Friday, March 27, 2015

Fox News Interviews Dr. Frazier On WHO Hearing Report


The World Health Organization (WHO) released its “Deafness and Hearing Loss” report in an effort to sound the alarm on recreational noise-induced hearing loss on Tuesday, March 3, International Ear Care Day.
Dr. Rebecca Frazier, Center Chief Audiologist, talked to Margie Ellisor, local Fox News Channel 2 reporter, regarding the WHO report.
Dr. Frazier said the report is raising awareness that one billion young people across the globe are potentially at risk of hearing loss due to "unsafe listening practices."
In its "Make Listening Safe" account, the United Nations agency detailed hearing-damaging practices popular with young people, such as attending loud concerts or cranking up the volume on personal listening devices. In middle- and high-income countries, nearly 50 percent of teens and young adults are exposed to unsafe levels of sound from such devices. From 1990 to 2005, the number of people listening to music through headphones increased by 75 percent according to the report's analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
"Exposure to loud sounds for any length of time causes fatigue of the ear's sensory cells," Dr. Frazier explained. "When the exposure is particularly loud, regular or prolonged, it can cause permanent damage of the sensory cells and other structures, resulting in irreversible hearing loss."
The good news, she said, is that half of all cases of hearing loss are avoidable through primary prevention.
“Devices such as music players should not be listened to for prolonged periods of time,” Dr. Frazier advises. “I recommend teens and young adults reduce their daily use of personal audio devices to less than an hour and take short listening breaks.”

Dr. Frazier also suggests that young people should reduce music volume and use noise-cancelling headphones.  Concert-goers can protect their hearing with earplugs and move away from loud speakers. After listening to loud music, Dr. Frazier says give your ears at least 10 hours’ rest and have your hearing checked regularly by a hearing care professional or specialist physician.

If you experience symptoms such as a feeling of pressure in the ear, a dull hearing sensation or persistent sounds in the ear, Dr. Frazier recommends resting your hearing, drinking lots of fluids and consulting an ears, nose and throat (ENT) specialist as soon as possible.

If you think you or someone you know has a hearing loss, call the Center for Hearing & Speech for an evaluation at (314) 968-4710, or visit our website at hearing-speechstlouis.org.

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

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. 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.





Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Center’s “Swinging to the Beat” Event Hits a Home Run!


Center supporters and donors had a fun evening “Swinging to the Beat for Hearing & Speech” at Hollywood Casino St. Louis in Maryland Heights on March 13.
The annual fundraiser night supports Center’s hearing and speech-language programs, enabling the nonprofit to serve more than 13,000 children and adults in the St. Louis area each year.
“This event is the cumulative efforts of so many dedicated volunteers, sponsors, clients and staff of the Center,” said Rita Tintera, executive director. “It’s wonderful that so many people want to help others less fortunate to receive hearing aids and speech therapy they need to live productive lives. And it’s truly inspiring that we experienced our best year in financial support this year; thank you!”
 Nearly 200 donors, clients, sponsors and volunteers packed the Casino’s second floor ballroom for this special event. Ballroom decorations inspired memories of the golden age of baseball. Attendees enjoyed delicious food and drink, and danced to 1940’s swing music with local band, “Miss Jubilee.”  

The evening was also filled with exciting electronic auctions and special prize raffles. Congratulations to Elaine Jurkowsky, event chairwoman and Fundraising Committee member, who won a raffle for a week’s stay at a gorgeous home in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

The Klepper Challenge Match generously enabled attendees to double their donations to support Center programs throughout the evening.

“Swinging to the Beat” was popular with long-term and new local sponsors, including Platinum Sponsors Hollywood Casino St. Louis, Coventry Healthcare and LDI Integrated Pharmacy Services.
Silver Sponsors included Edward Jones, Waterway Car Wash and Darren Robbins.
Bronze Sponsors were Amalgamated Bank of Chicago, Hammond & Shinners Attorneys at Law and Modern Litho.
Copper Sponsors were Armstrong Teasdale and the Kenny Family, Mr. and Mrs. James Buhnerkempe, Clifton Larson Allen, The Commerce Trust Company, Ekon Benefits, Teamsters Local 610, Matter Family Office, Oaktree Products Inc., Mutual of America and Wolfe Nilges Nahorski.
Friend Sponsors were Citizens National Bank, Keystone IT Consulting and J. W. Terrill.
Click here to see exciting free photos from this event, courtesy of Al Schupmann Photography!
The Center for Hearing & Speech is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that has donated $1.75 million in speech-language, school screening and audiology services to residents of metropolitan St. Louis and surrounding communities.
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.

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.



Friday, March 20, 2015

Identifying and Treating Speech and Language Disorders in Adults

Identifying and treating speech and language disorders in adults can be tricky, and the Center for Hearing & Speech can help you the way they helped Adija identify her disorder. 

Adija began treatment in the form of language therapy at the Center about five months ago, and is ecstatic with the results of her treatment. Adija struggles with using words and understanding others which is called aphasia. There are different types of aphasia and some forms are a direct result of a stroke or some other brain trauma. 

Adija’s aphasia is not related to any type of stroke or brain trauma, but prior to seeking treatment she always felt like something was wrong. She knew she had a significant speech problem, but she didn’t know what to do about it.


Do you suspect that you, a friend or a family member might have a speech-language disorder? You can ask yourself these questions to identify if you might need treatment:

1) Do you have trouble remembering things people tell you at work?
2) Do you have trouble following a conversation?
3) Do you need to have information repeated to you?
4) Do you have trouble understanding what you read?
5) Do you have trouble thinking of words you want to say?
6) Do you have trouble putting together sentences that make sense?
7) Do you say words that don’t make sense but you are unaware that others do not understand you?
8) Do you leave words out of sentences?

Adija has been working with Gina Cato, the Chief Speech-Language Pathologist at the Center, for just five months and has been working on remembering key points in conversations. When she began treatment, Gina noted Adija could only remember one key point in a conversation, but has built up to remembering four key points. Gina has been working with Adija to repeat aloud key points back to customers where she works to confirm what they have said, as well as asking more questions when she is not sure she has heard something correctly.  

When asked about her language therapy sessions Adija says, “I feel better about asking people questions or to repeat information when I don’t understand something. I feel I have better listening skills now, but I would still like to work on speaking better.”

Coming in to the Center for an evaluation is the first step. “The evaluation [at the Center] helped narrow down the problem to smaller areas I can focus on," said Adija. "It helped define the problem.” 

There is a free clinic day coming up on Saturday, May 2nd, 2015. Go to http://www.hearing-speechstlouis.org/FreeClinicDay.php for more information. Take advantage of this free clinic day.

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.

Speech Therapy Games Helped My 1st Grader!

Speech-Language Pathologists like Gina Cato, who work for the Center for Hearing & Speech in St. Louis, use speech therapy games for kids to help them overcome a wide variety of speech difficulties. Every year the Center hosts a Free Clinic Day, and this year it will be held on Saturday, May 2, 2015. 

Last year, 1st grader Alexis came to the Center’s Annual Free Clinic Day, and a Center Speech-Language Pathologist confirmed Alexis had a speech problem. After her initial visit, Alexis spent six months in weekly therapy sessions, practicing at home with her mom, and her speech was transformed as a result.

“Alexis really loved the speech therapy games Gina used to keep the sessions fun and engaging," says Alexis's mother. "Everyone is so professional. They really put you at ease. It was great to use the observation room to watch the therapy techniques Gina used so I could help Alexis practice at home between sessions.”


Speech activities provide the repetition necessary to realize improvements. They keep children engaged. Alexis’s pathologist helped her stay enthusiastic about the process by playing games like “Jenga” and “Concentration”. Alexis also enjoyed scavenger hunt activities during her therapy sessions.

"At first, Alexis had to watch her mouth in the mirror to say the "s" sound correctly. She needed to monitor where her tongue was placed while she said "s". After practicing a few words, Alexis would then remove a block from the Jenga game," says Gina Cato, M.A., CCC-SLP, Chief Speech-Language Pathologist at the Center. "We practiced saying the "s" sound correctly to say "this one", while choosing a Jenga piece. Gradually, Alexis started saying the "s" sound correctly without looking in the mirror. While playing Concentration, we practiced saying "same" or "not same" with the correct "s" sound when turning over two cards." 

During their scavenger hunts, Gina would guide Alexis's searches around the Center for items with an "s" sound in the word such as "pencil". It helped Alexis to say her "s" sounds correctly in practice, which then carried over to her saying those same sounds correctly in conversations with people outside of therapy.  

The Center's observation rooms have two way mirrors to allow parents to watch their child’s therapy sessions without their child realizing they are watching. Parents learn the speech therapy techniques along with their child since they are essentially able to hear and see everything that goes on during each therapy session. This is all by design; each therapy program is unique to each child based on their needs. Parents are encouraged to help their child practice these techniques at home between sessions to speed up the effect of the therapy. Practice makes perfect as they say, and parents can have a huge impact on their child’s rate of improvement.

In addition to helping parents feel comfortable with the therapy, the observation rooms also allow parents to hear improvements over time. “It was powerful to watch the interactions between Gina and Alexis," said Alexis's mother. "I could actually hear improvements over the course of her treatments.”

How do you know if you child needs speech therapy? Alexis’s mom noticed she had difficulty pronouncing words that began with an “s” or a “z”. These are just examples. Speech difficulties come in all shapes and sizes. If you even question whether your child needs speech therapy, then it might be a good idea to attend the Free Clinic Day coming up on Saturday, May 2, 2015 at the Center. For more information please go to http://www.hearing-speechstlouis.org/FreeClinicDay.php. 

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.   

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Third-Party Fundraisers Support Center’s Hearing and Speech/Language Programs










Center for Hearing & Speech is happy to partner with volunteers who want to host third-party fundraisers to support the Center’s hearing and speech/language programs.


Two recent successful volunteer fundraisers endorsed by the Center include a Pampered Chef party and a Premier Designs Jewelry Party.  Both events were hosted by the Center’s Fundraising Committee and provided it with gifts to be included in the silent auction for its upcoming “Swinging to the Beat for Hearing & Speech” annual fundraiser on Friday, March 13.

“Having the opportunity to purchase wonderful items from Pampered Chef for your kitchen or to wear beautiful jewelry from Premier Designs and, in the process, sales that generate funds for a non-profit like the Center are a win-win for everyone,” says Jeff Tarr, Center development director. “Every little bit helps!”

Other past third-party fundraisers include a Young Friends of the Center for Hearing & Speech wine and canvas event held at a local restaurant last summer. The Center has also partnered with St. Louis Noodles & Company and Texas Roadhouse restaurants to sponsor fundraising nights where a certain percent of event sales that evening were returned to the Center.

For more information, contact Jeff Tarr at tarrj@chsstl.org or by phone at 314-968-4710.

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

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.

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.














Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Big Thanks to Vicki Nanney, Center’s Administrative Assistant Volunteer!
















Center staffers Ann Joseph and Kimberly Camp with volunteer Vicki Nanney.
Nanney’s mother is severely hearing impaired and wears a hearing aid.


Center for Hearing & Speech thanks administrative assistant volunteer  Vicki Nanney for the donation of her time in the Center’s office and clinic this past year. Nanney is moving on to her new role as a nutrition administrative assistant for the Mid-East Area Agency on Aging (MEAAA).

Nanney answered phones and provided administrative support to the Center from May 2013 to February 2015, volunteering more than 390 hours of her time. In the Clinic, Nanney retrieved client charts for the next day’s appointments and made appointment confirmation phone calls. In the Payables area, she entered hearing aid invoices, processed checks for management signature & mailing and filed the payables paperwork.  In addition, she worked on projects for the industrial, school screening and development departments, and filled in during a staff member’s recent medical leave.

"With most of us here at the Center ‘wearing many hats,’ it was great to have Vicki come in twice a week and take some of these tasks off my plate so that I could focus more on reporting and IT issues,” said Ann Joseph, the Center’s systems analyst. “Besides being very pleasant and easy to work with, I could count on the quality of her work.”

Vicki’s mother wears a hearing aid, so she was able to relate to the Center’s mission and wanted to contribute. My mother is severely hearing impaired so I have a sympathy and understanding for the Center’s clientele,” she explained. A St. Louis native and Mizzou alumna, Nanney moved to Baltimore for a job as the Hearing Journal’s assistant managing editor prior to moving back to the area and becoming a freelance copywriter.

Nanney said she initially became a Center volunteer to gain work experience during a career change.  “All of my experience was in medical publishing and, when that industry began merging and downsizing, I lost a lot of opportunity,” she explained. “It was entirely too stressful so I decided I’d like to assist a person or a department with their work instead.” 

Right away, Nanney clicked with the Center’s staff and volunteers. “The clinic was such a fun place because of the great people and the interaction with all of the audiologists, who are awesome!” she said. “I have never worked in a place where the morale is so high! The people are all just genuinely kind and easy going.” She encouraged potential volunteers to consider the Center as a great place to gain experience for future employment.

In her new job, Nanney will be assisting the administrative manager in MEAAA’s efforts to serve the elderly. “It is also a non-profit, which was an important criterion for a job for me after working at the Center,” Nanney said. “Both the Center and MEAAA work together periodically so I hope to see some of the old gang!”

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.       

  

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Monday, March 2, 2015

School Screenings Battle Hearing Loss in Children

For Sarah Igoe the battle against hearing loss in children started in 1997 when she became an employee at the Center for Hearing & Speech. Conducting school screenings for hearing loss and vision problems all over the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, Sarah visits private schools, pre-schools, public schools, parochial schools and Head Starts. 

Sarah says, “The best part of the job is getting to be with all sorts of different people.  I love the people I work with, and I love going into the schools and being with the kids and meeting the school nurses.  Working with people brings something new every day, and makes every day a sort of adventure.  It keeps me on my toes!”


In addition to the school screenings, Sarah also attends several health fairs each year. The Pro Sports Health Fair sponsored by the St. Louis Cardinals, Rams and Blues each summer is one of her favorite events, but she also loves to participate in the annual free clinic day at the Center coming up on Saturday, May 2, 2015.  (If you are interested in this free event please go to http://www.hearing-speechstlouis.org/FreeClinicDay.php for more information.) 

Sarah began her career at the Center after spending 18 years at home raising four wonderful boys. When her oldest child started college and her youngest was in 1st grade, Sarah figured she was going to start having more free time on her hands as her boys grew up. The school screener position seemed like a perfect fit since she would only be working during the school calendar year and school hours. This way she would still have time to raise the three kids she had living at home.

Now that her four sons have grown up, Sarah and Jon (her husband of 37 years) have plenty of free time to read, bike, walk their dog Gracie and play with their two grandchildren. (She has another grandchild on the way in May, and is excited about the new addition to the family.) Sarah is proud to say her sons turned out to be a lawyer, a dentist, a nurse and a monk.

Sarah has been the coordinator of the School Screening Program since 2010, and she hopes to continue identifying hearing loss in children for a long time to come.

Want to join her fight? 

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. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Center Welcomes Michelle Fricks, New Speech/Language Pathologist


Michelle Fricks’ connection to the Center for Hearing & Speech began during a high school job shadow project when she observed a pediatric speech therapist working at the Rock Hill clinic.

The therapist I observed was providing articulation and language treatment to preschool and school-age children,” she explained. “The families of these children had received scholarship funding from the Center based on financial need, which gave them access to services they might not have been able to afford otherwise. The therapist made it fun for the kids, and I doubt they even realized how hard they were working or how much they were learning!”   

Fricks said that magical moment made her very excited about pursuing a future speech/language pathology career.  She is pleased to have such a rewarding career that allows her to improve the quality of life of the individuals and families she serves.

As a member of the Center’s speech/pathology staff, Fricks will spend two mornings each week working with young children at Magnolia Grace Hill Head Start and Hilltop Child Development Center. In the afternoons, she will take pediatric appointments at the Center’s Rock Hill clinic.
Before joining the Center, Fricks was a pediatric speech and language pathologist at Leaps & Bounds, an outpatient clinic in Lincoln, Nebraska, that provided speech, occupational and physical therapies to children from birth to age 18.

She earned her bachelor’s degree with majors in Communication Sciences & Disorders and German at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, and earned her master’s of science degree in Speech Language Pathology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

A St. Louis native, Fricks grew up in South St. Louis County where she attended Lindbergh High School. Her husband, Dennis, is an attorney for the Social Security Administration.  They lived in Nebraska for a few years after she finished graduate school and are now happy to be back home.

In her free time, Fricks loves the outdoors and being active, especially playing tennis and running, biking, camping and hiking. The couple are avid Cardinals baseball fans and also enjoy traveling and cooking together.

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.