Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Greater St. Louis Health Foundation Awards $10,550 for Center's Audiology Program



The Greater St. Louis Health Foundation has awarded $10,550 to the audiology program of the Center for Hearing & Speech.

The grant will help fund the project, “Audiology for Low and Middle-Income Adults.”   It will be used to provide hearing assessments, treatment and follow up care for hearing loss to 10 low- and middle- income adults ages 21 and older who would otherwise not be able to pay for the services.

The Center’s new partnership in north St. Louis City at the Grace Hill Murphy O’Fallon Health Center will play a role in this program, allowing the Center to continue offering audiology services to a community in need.

“Left untreated, hearing loss can get worse, become a source of frustration or misunderstanding, severely limit social interactions, cause depression and even challenge long-term independence,” said the Center’s Executive Director Rita Tintera. “People with hearing loss are also more likely to be victims of crime.”

Lack of transportation and costs for services may prevent low- to middle-income individuals from seeking care for a hearing impairment.

The average hearing aid costs about $1,400, said Dr. Rebecca Frazier, Au.D., CCC-A, Chief Audiologist at the Center.  Fitting both ears costs around $2,800 and can run as much as $5,600.

Although some people can afford to private pay for hearing aids, many can’t, Dr. Frazier said. “We exist to help people who can’t afford these prices.  We offer our services at a price that’s more in line with what they can pay.”

The project will also track and measure how better hearing improves the quality of life, prevents or improves communications disabilities and helps improve any social isolation that  participants may have experienced.

Last year, the Center served 1,571 audiology clients, 61 percent of whom received financial scholarships.  The Center also provided 613 hearing aids to clients, 86 percent of whom received a financial scholarship.

Founded in 1920, the Center for Hearing & Speech provided approximately $1.75 million in audiology, speech and school screening services to residents of metropolitan St. Louis and surrounding communities in 2013.

It’s a proud member of the United Way.

The Center can be reached at 314-968-4710 or find it on the web at www.hearing-speechstlouis.org.




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