Acoustic Neuroma Association was founded in the city Carlisle, PA in 1981 by an acoustic neuroma patient, Virginia Fickel Ehr. She found no patient information/patient support available when she had surgery for the removal of an acoustic neuroma in the year 1977. She resolved that future acoustic neuroma patients should have easy-to-read medical material about their condition, support & comfort from each other. With the help of her physician, she contacted eight other patients and formed the organization. The mission of ANA is to inform, educate and provide national and local support networks for those affected by acoustic neuromas, & to be an essential resource for health care professionals who treat acoustic neuroma patients. The vision of ANA to be the most comprehensive and reliable resource on acoustic neuroma for patients, caregivers, & medical professionals, as well as committed advocates in the advancement of research & improvement of patient experience and quality of life worldwide.
The association is a non-profit organization. The patient-focused, member organization now serves approximately 5,000 members which includes acoustic neuroma patients, family members, friends & health care professionals giving information about all types of treatment. It is governed by an all-patient (or relatives) Board of Directors and it is operated by a small group of people (staff) in metropolitan Atlanta, GA. With assistance from several leading surgeons and patient volunteers, Acoustic Neuroma Association was incorporated in 1981. During her decade & a half of ANA leadership, Ginny contacted thousands of acoustic tumor patients & worked for the association's growth in services & numbers. In addition she wrote patient-perspective articles for medical journals & spoke to both patient & medical groups in the Europe and U.S. She got retirement as President of the Board of Directors of the association in 1992 and serves at President Emeritus. The Ginny continues to be a resource to Acoustic Neuroma Association and participates in ANA symposiums. Since the ANA founded in 1981, thousands of patients, family members, health care and friends professionals have received comprehensive & non-technical information about acoustic neuroma. Pre- and post-treatment information is provided in their quarterly newsletters, patient information booklets, their website, symposiums and support groups.