Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Center Audiologist Celebrates One-Year Work Anniversary

Kate Sinks, Au.D, CCC-A, F-AAA is celebrating her ‘official’ one-year work anniversary this month at the Center.

She’s actually been around the facility on a part-time basis since 2009. “I have a bit of history with the Center,” she said.

Sinks worked part-time in the Center’s audiology clinic in December 2009. She continued until July 2010, when she began working on an as-needed basis for the Center’s Industrial Hearing Conservation Program. During that time she also worked for an ear, nose and throat doctor.

Last December she was thrilled to rejoin her old friends on a full-time basis and looks forward to making new ones, too.

“Dr. Sinks is a fantastic audiologist and a great team member,” said Dr. Rebecca Frazier, the Center’s chief audiologist. “She is always willing to step in and help out. And, more importantly, patients love her as much as we do!”

Sinks sees between five to 15 patients per day. She performs diagnostic hearing tests and auditory processing disorder evaluations. She fits and repairs hearing aids, counsels patients regarding Bluetooth accessories, alerting systems for the home and the use of amplified telephones.

She loves her job, she says, but like many medical professionals she’s not terribly fond of the paperwork that comes with it.  

Paperwork aside, perhaps what has kept Sinks so devoted to the Center is its mission of serving those with communications disorders who can’t afford treatment. “The need to effectively communicate is fundamental in our society and critical for the health and wellness of every person. I feel that right shouldn't be denied due to lack of income,” she said.  

The Center for Hearing & Speech is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that last year donated $1.75 million in speech/language and audiology services to residents of metropolitan St. Louis. 

It is a proud member of the United Way of Greater St. Louis and was awarded the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) 2014 TORCH award in October.

The award is given to charities and businesses that “demonstrate a commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices,” according to the BBB.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Center for Hearing & Speech Sets Record School Screening Year



Screeners take a break at the Center's holiday party
held in mid-December this year. 
The Center for Hearing & Speech screened 14,156 school children for vision and hearing deficits in 2014, said Sarah Igoe, School Screening Coordinator. This number surpasses the 2008 record of 11,985 screenings by 2,171. 

The main reason for the increase: “We are screening more students in more and bigger schools,” Igoe said. “Congratulations to the screeners for all their hard work.”

 “This year’s services reached 18% more than in our previous record breaking year. This is tremendous and I am proud the Center has touched so many young lives in one year,” said the Center’s Executive Director Rita Tintera.

The Center screens students ages three years and older. On a rotating basis, eight screeners travel to schools in St. Louis City and St. Louis, St. Charles, Lincoln and Jefferson counties. The majority of schools don’t pay for these services, Igoe said.

Children found to have hearing deficits are referred back to the Center for treatment. Igoe follows up with parents and/or guardians to ensure they know appropriate, targeted treatments for their children are available at a free or reduced cost.

Parents and/or guardians whose children fail the vision screen are provided with a list of seven area eye care clinics, all of which provide services to Medicaid patients and some that provide services free of charge.

The Center for Hearing & Speech is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that in 2013 provided $1.75 million in speech/language and audiology services to residents of metropolitan St. Louis.

It is a proud member of the United Way and in October was awarded the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) 2014 TORCH award.

The award is given to businesses and charities that “demonstrate a commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices,” according to the BBB.



Thursday, December 18, 2014

Center Employee Celebrates Work Anniversary

Beverly Hawthorne has an extra reason to celebrate this holiday season.

It’s her four-year employment anniversary at the Center for Hearing & Speech.

Hawthorne is the Center’s office assistant, wearing many hats on a day-in, day-out basis.

“I am glad to have Beverly as part of our support team, which is the backbone of our day to day operations,” said the Center’s Director of Finance Kimberly Camp.

Among her many responsibilities include answering as many as 85 calls to the Center per day; sending out financial assistance applications; reviewing them for income documentation; and scheduling client appointments.  She also processes incoming payments and reconciles financial records for the speech/language and audiology clinics. In addition, she logs all donations to the Center’s Development Department.

 “I enjoy my job because I’m able to help a population that otherwise couldn't afford audiology and speech/language services,” she said.

In her spare time, Hawthorne enjoys Bible study, her family and friends and an occasional restaurant meal.

She has two parakeets named Fidget June, a male, and Tumbalynn, a female. The two are siblings.

The Center for Hearing & Speech is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that in 2013 provided $1.75 million in speech/language and audiology services to residents of metropolitan St. Louis.

It is a proud member of the United Way and in October was awarded the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) 2014 TORCH award.

The award is given to businesses and charities that “demonstrate a commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices,” according to the BBB.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ann Munier Celebrates Eight Years with Center in January

Ann Munier talks up the Center for Hearing & Speech at an area
health fair. 
Ann Munier will celebrate her eight-year anniversary with the Center for Hearing & Speech in January.

Munier is the Center’s Community Outreach Coordinator.

It’s her job to tell people about the Center and its services, and the assistance it offers patients who cannot afford treatment for speech/language and audiology challenges they or family members face.

“Ann is the face and voice of the Center to many in our community,” said Rita Tintera, executive director. “She does a great job keeping in touch with professionals that share our same target population - those without the financial resources to access services.”

 “I talk to social workers, clinicians, a whole variety of people,” Munier said. “Some know about our services and some don’t.”

She also sets up Center exhibits at area health fairs. While she participates in as many as she can on behalf of the Center throughout the year, some months are busier than others. “Spring and fall are my busy seasons,” she said. “It does tend to pick up right before school starts.” 

Munier travels throughout the 16-county United Way of Greater St. Louis service area. It stretches west from Warren County in Missouri eastward to Clinton County in Illinois.

While her job keeps her on the move, Munier enjoys it a lot. “The services the Center provides are great, and its mission to help people afford them is wonderful,” she said.

In her spare time Munier likes to read psychology books and travel to new places.

The Center for Hearing & Speech is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that in 2013 provided $1.75 million in speech/language and audiology services to residents of metropolitan St. Louis.

It is a proud member of the United Way and in October was awarded the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) 2014 TORCH award.

The award is given to businesses and charities that “demonstrate a commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices,” according to the BBB.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Brad Bishop rotates off Center's Board of Directors

The Center's Executive Director, Rita Tintera, right, gave
outgoing board member Brad Bishop a service award
in early December.  Bishop served on the Center's
board of directors for 15 years. 
Brad Bishop has rotated off the Center’s board of directors.

He has served on the board since 1999.

“It is not often that a board member such as Brad comes along,” said the Center’s Executive Director Rita Tintera. “He is dedicated to the cause and provides exceptional leadership. I will miss his presence, but know that he is just a phone call away when I am in need of advice.”

Bishop originally joined the board as a favor to a friend. He maintained ties with the Center for more than a decade because of its work on behalf of St. Louisans needing help with communications disorders but having little or no means to afford treatment.
   
“Over the years I have come to know and appreciate just how much the Center does in serving the ‘underserved’ that need assistance in speech and hearing,” he said. Bishop has personal experience with the Center as well. His 14-year-old son was a Center client for short spurts during summer breaks to help keep him on track with speech pathology exercises.

During his board tenure, Bishop served on numerous committees, and as treasurer, vice president and board president, twice. His greatest sense of accomplishment was being a “constant,” he says, someone who was there when the Center evaluated programs that did not serve its mission as well as originally intended.

His years with the Board also helped new members feel more connected to the Center. “My history has provided some grounding to the new members that come along,” he said.
 
He encourages anyone who wants to feel part of the community and give back to consider volunteering and ultimately board service. “The rewards more than offset any negatives. You really get to meet some wonderful people – staff, board, donors, etc.”

Bishop is a graduate of the University of Florida. He is partner in Matter Family Office. Prior to this he was a senior vice president of The Commerce Trust Company.

He is a board member of the Animal Protective Association of Missouri and serves on the investment committee of Forest Park Forever.

Bishop is an avid reader, enjoys running and training for triathlons.



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

'Adopt' the Center for Hearing & Speech this holiday season

As the holidays approach, the Center for Hearing & Speech is encouraging area companies to consider ‘adopting’ it.

“If your employer adopts a charity for giving this time of year, please remember the Center when nominations are being considered or accepted. Such a program can be of great benefit to us and our clients,” said Jeff Tarr, the Center’s director of development.

With the help of Center board member Mary Jennings last year, nearly $7,000 was donated by Sandberg Phoenix von Gontard’s Charitable Efforts Foundation to benefit the Center.

The $7,000 provided either:

                                  ·          Nearly 1,000 low-income children with hearing and vision tests through the School Screening Program to detect unseen disorders;

                                  ·          Seven children each received 12 speech/language therapy sessions by trained and licensed speech/language pathologists in the comfort of their own schools or at the Center to help correct speech deficits; or

                                  ·          Seven adults or five children each received complete hearing evaluations, one hearing aid and follow up visits to check that equipment was serving their needs and that they are able to communicate effectively with others.

Another Center board member, Lisa Luetkemeyer, arranged for the Center to receive $750 last holiday season. Attorneys at the firm where she works decided to donate to a charity in lieu of purchasing gifts for one another.

“The Center puts every dollar donated to good use by helping St. Louisans communicate better and live more fulfilled lives,” Tarr said.

If your employer is interested in establishing a charitable giving program during the holidays or throughout the year, please contact Jeff at 314-968-4710.

The Center for Hearing & Speech was founded in 1920. It is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that last year donated $1.75 million in speech/language therapy, audiology and school screening services to St. Louisans and those in surrounding communities.

It is a proud member of the United Way, and was recently awarded the Better Business Bureau’s TORCH Award. The awards are given annually to businesses and charities that “demonstrate a commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices.”


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Center's Annual Fall Appeal is Now Underway

The Center for Hearing & Speech annual Fall Appeal began in November and runs through the end of the year. 
  
The multi-colored brochure, mailed to past, present and potential Center supporters, features five clients’ stories and how Center services have enhanced their abilities to communicate.

It also underscores the fact that communication disorders are the nation’s No. 1 disability. Although most are highly treatable, the steep costs of hearing aids and speech therapy prohibit many individuals from seeking help.
    
Katherine has been wearing hearing aids for 15 years. She calls them her diamonds because they are ‘her best friends.’

Alexander’s health complications and seizures caused him to slur his words. He’s been in speech therapy for the past year to better prepare him for the challenges of kindergarten. Family and friends say he is now much more easily understood when he speaks.

Anthony is a junior class vice president and maintains a 4.2 GPA. A premature baby, he lost his hearing due to antibiotics that kept him alive. The hearing aids he received at the Center have helped him achieve high academic goals and provide motivation for him to help others.
     
“The Center conducts annual appeals in both fall and summer in efforts to raise funds to bring much needed hearing aids and related services or speech/language therapy to those in need in the St. Louis area,” said Jeff Tarr, the Center’s development director.

“Many communication disorders are highly treatable. Our appeals help to ensure these local residents to maintain their freedom and independence and to help build confidence to break invisible barriers that can lead to isolation, anxiety and depression.” 
   
Donations can either be mailed to the Center at 9835 Manchester Road, St. Louis, MO 63119-1243, or made online at the Center’s website, www.hearing-speechstlouis.org.

The Center for Hearing & Speech was founded in 1920. It is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that last year contributed $1.75 million in speech therapy, audiology and school screening services to residents of metropolitan St. Louis and surrounding communities.

It is a proud member of the United Way and a 2014 recipient of the Better Business Bureau’s TORCH award. The awards are given to businesses and charities that “demonstrate a commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices.” 

For more information, please call the Center at 314-968-4170.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Sayeed Sanaullah joins the board of directors at the Center for Hearing & Speech

Sayeed Sanaullah
Mr. Sayeed Sanaullah has joined the board of directors at the Center for Hearing & Speech.

“We are excited to have Sayeed with us.  He brings high intellect, enthusiasm and a keen interest in our mission,” said the Center’s Executive Director Rita Tintera.

Mr. Sanaullah has worked for more than four years at Wells Fargo. He currently serves as Vice President of Strategy & Analytics for Wells Fargo Advisors, the brokerage business for the company. It has $1.4 trillion in client assets.

In this role, he leads strategic efforts to grow the business and protect it per compliance with federal and state securities laws and regulations.

Mr. Sanaullah is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, India, the number one engineering school in the country. He received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in economics.

He received an MBA from Washington University’s Olin School of Business in May 2010 with concentrations in strategy and finance.

He is a Wharton Fellow of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. The Fellows Program brings together top executives from many disciplines and focuses on networking and meeting and overcoming business challenges in the rapidly changing global environment. 

In his spare time, Mr. Sanaullah enjoys learning about different cultures.