Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Welcome to the Center’s Two New Board Members!

Azra Ahmad
Gabe Wilson

The Center is pleased to welcome two new board members in 2015. We look forward to the fresh perspectives and ideas they will bring to the organization!

Azra Ahmad practices at Mid-America Law Practice, which she founded in 2012. She received her B.A. from Washington University, her Master’s degree from Ithaca College in New York, and graduated from St. Louis University’s School of Law.

Gabe Wilson is a Senior Case Manager for the Client Consultation Group at Edward Jones. A Mizzou graduate, he has been working in the financial field since 2004. 


The Center for Hearing & Speech is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that  provides $1.75 million in speech/language and audiology services every year 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.        

A Big Thanks to Center Volunteers Nikki & Sarah!

Nikki Weintge 
Sarah Young 

 The Center said farewell this spring to two college volunteers, Nikki Weintge and Sarah Young.

A St. Louis Community College student, Nikki Weintge began volunteering in the Center’s Speech-Language Pathology Department in Summer 2014. She took additional classes to study speech disorders. Over the summer, Nikki traveled to Asia to work as a missionary. Nikki plans to further her speech-language studies at Fontbonne University in the fall.

"I loved the opportunities to learn and how much I could take away each day,” she said of her time at the Center.

As a child, Sarah Young spent six years in speech therapy, and before starting college she found out she had inherited hearing loss from her father, who has Meniere’s Disease. She discovered the Center at St. Louis University’s Service Fair in September 2011. She was a SLU nursing major with plans to join a national service fraternity and became a Center Audiology volunteer to earn service hours. Sarah worked in both the Clinic and the Development Department, but her favorite activity was assisting in the preparation for the Center’s big annual spring fundraiser.

“I loved making baskets, wrapping them, and of course the event itself,” she said.

The Center thanks both Nikki and Sarah for their time and effort and wishes them the best of luck in their future endeavors.


The Center for Hearing & Speech is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that provides $1.75 million in speech/language and audiology services every year 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.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Center Introduces Friday Audiologist Hours at Affinia









Audiology services at Affinia Health Center on Biddle Street in downtown St. Louis have been expanded from one day a week to two days a week, thanks to ongoing support from the Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) and additional support from the Episcopal Presbyterian Health Trust (EPHT).

Now in the second year of the partnership of providing these services at this federally-qualified health center (formerly known as Grace Hill Murphy-O’Fallon Health Center), Center audiologists now are providing hearing evaluations and fitting hearing aids on Fridays. This extra day is in addition to hours begun in 2013 on Tuesdays.

Friday service means that clients living in north St. Louis City have more access to caring audiologists and state-of-the-art audiology services in a more convenient and timely manner. It’s definitely needed since client appointment rosters were booked for weeks in advance. The extra day will help alleviate an appointment back log.

“We are grateful to the Missouri Foundation for Health and the Episcopal Presbyterian Health Trust that allow us to continue to diagnose and treat hearing loss in the city of St. Louis,” said Dr. Rebecca Frazier, the Center’s chief audiologist. “These funds make the gift of hearing affordable, thereby enriching our patients’ family and work lives.”

Thanks to the awarding of a generous seed grant by EPHT in 2013, the Center was able to offer audiology services for north City senior citizens a different north City Grace Hill facility. Later that year, multi-year funding was obtained through MFH to offer these services to local residents of all ages, including children, one day a week. These services were moved to the former Grace Hill Murphy O’Fallon facility in 2014 that could better serve clientele requiring audiology help. With the latest EPHT funding, the Center’s audiology team can provide this additional day of service for low-income residents throughout 2015. MFH funding for this partnership is pledged through 2017.

Audiology appointments can be made at the Center for Hearing and Speech by calling 314-968-4710.


 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.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Students Benefit From Speech-Language Therapy at St. Cecilia






In 2012, speech-language pathologists from the Center for Hearing & Speech created a therapy program at St. Cecilia School and Academy in the Carondelet neighborhood of St. Louis. The program was based upon a similar pre-literacy language piloted at Hilltop Childhood Development Center from 2010-2013. This program had a successful blueprint already in place to springboard with ease into St. Cecilia’s.

The number of children enrolled in this program increased to 14 in the 2014-2015 school year and Center pathologists estimate the number of children enrolled in speech/language therapy in the 2015-2016 school year to remain at 14 children who will require ongoing or new therapy. Students in the program range in age from five to 10 years. They all reside in St. Louis City around the school and receive financial assistance provided by the Center.

Two of these students are Ervin and Roberto, who, at the beginning of last year, struggled to meet any pre-requisite skills for learning to read, write and spell.

When Ervin first entered the program it was difficult for him to read short words in print and to create new words using a variety of letter combinations. During the Language-to-Literacy program, he learned to associate written letters to the sounds they produced and increased his reading skills significantly.

Roberto had difficulty perceiving the differences between the ending sounds of words, which made the very important literacy skill of rhyming much more difficult for him.  Upon exiting the program he was able identify the ending sounds of words and create some his own rhyming words.

One of the biggest positive changes for both boys, noted at the end of the school year, was their increase in confidence and their willingness to participate and more challenging academic activities.

Joe Kilmade, Principal at St. Cecilia’s, is thrilled with the assistance and outcome of the program. “The Center for Hearing & Speech provides critical and timely intervention for students at St. Cecilia. Dozens of students have benefited from a variety of screening and therapy services. This invaluable support empowers students by building confidence and teaching skills necessary to find success inside and outside the classroom. St. Cecilia is grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Center; we hope our relationship continues for many years to come!”

In 2005 St. Cecilia’s was designated the official church for Catholic Latinos in St. Louis. Because of the large population of Latino children in the school, the Center has worked with 10 students in the pre-literacy program that were unable to communicate at an age-appropriate level in either English or Spanish.

The Center looks forward to the upcoming year working with St. Cecilia’s and seeing the great things the program will bring for years to come.

Speech-Language therapy appointments can be made at the Center for Hearing and Speech by calling 314-968-4710.

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 every year 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.