Susie Cambre, of Hammond, was among the outstanding individuals honored by the 2014 Oticon Focus on People Awards, a national competition that celebrates individuals who are helping to eliminate negative stereotypes of what it means to have a hearing loss, a news release from the company said.

This is the third year that Oticon Inc. has invited the public to cast their votes to help determine who among the 12 finalists would be first-, second- and third-place winners in the adult, student, practitioner and advocacy categories. More than 10,000 votes were cast by people from across the country and around the world.

As the first-place winner in the adult category, Cambre was honored at a special awards ceremony Aug. 14 at Oticon’s U.S. headquarters. Hearing-loss proffesionals attended the event. As part of her award, Cambre has designated the Tangipahoa Voluntary Council on Aging as her choice for a $1,000 donation from Oticon.

Cambre is the director of elderly services and community education for the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office. She has worked special assignments with most major law enforcement agencies and school systems internationally and has created more than 40 nationally award-winning safety and awareness projects, including “Project See and Save” for the elderly and “Red Light, Green Light” for young children. She is the founder and former director of the Louisiana Hearing Dog Program.

When Hurricane Katrina demolished her home and community, Cambre and her husband volunteered to work emergency operations on the Gulf Coast for several months then worked at Red Cross shelters in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

“Individuals like Susie Cambre are inspiring role models for people living with hearing loss,” Oticon President Peer Lauritsen said. “The remarkable people who are honored in this year’s Oticon Focus on People Awards program have taken their unique circumstances and transformed their lives with a positive outlook that has enabled them to overcome challenges and accomplish goals well beyond what many thought possible.”

The Oticon Focus on People Awards program was created in 1997 by Oticon Inc . By celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of individuals with hearing loss, Oticon aims to call attention to common misconceptions about hearing loss and motivate people with hearing loss to take advantage of the help that is available to them, the release said. The company’s goal is to reach out to the 80 percent of an estimated 28 million Americans who could benefit from hearing solutions but who fail to seek professional help, the release said.