Monday, January 25, 2016

Center Receives $37,000 Grant to Support Rural Audiology Programs in Jefferson County

Poverty is not only an inner city problem. Many impoverished rural residents struggle to afford audiology screening and necessary hearing aids.

To address that need this year, the Center received a $37,000 grant by the Jefferson Memorial Community Foundation to provide both full-spectrum audiology services for 25 Jefferson County adults and children, and school hearing and vision screenings for 1,000 kids in selected Jefferson County schools.

“We are very grateful to the Jefferson Memorial Community Foundation for providing us with this important grant,” said Rita Tintera, executive director of the Center for Hearing & Speech.  “For nearly 100 years the Center for Hearing & Speech has worked to provide audiology and speech services for people in the St. Louis metropolitan area, regardless of their ability to pay.  Generous groups such as the Jefferson Memorial Community Foundation enable us to bring these needed services to the less fortunate among us and to help improve their quality of life.”

The average cost to provide full-service audiology comes to $1,200 per person. The grant will fund full-service audiology services for 25 people living with hearing-loss in Jefferson County -- about 20 percent of the people annually seeking help from the Center who live in Jefferson County.  The funds will cover the cost of a one hearing aid (average reduced cost to the Center $350), a hearing evaluation and up to five more office visits to fit the hearing aids and ensure they are working properly. The Center provided 1,500 Jefferson County residents with hearing aids in 2014.

The grant also enables 1,000 children to receive hearing and vision screenings at several Jefferson County schools which are currently unable to afford these services. The screenings are mandated by Missouri state law for all children entering kindergarten and third grade. The cost to provide screenings in neighborhood schools is $7 per child.  The grant will fund screenings for children at Plattin Primary School; Telegraph Intermediate School; St. John Lutheran School; St. Joseph School of Imperial; Crystal City Elementary School; Head Start Centers in DeSoto, Hematite, Windsor, Fenton and Northwest; and the Jefferson County Back-to-School Health Fair. In 2014, the Center screened 14,156 children in St. Louis area schools, including several schools in Jefferson County.

If you think your child or someone you know has a hearing problem, call the Center for an evaluation at (314) 968-4710. Services are provided through insurance and Medicaid programs. Financial assistance is available based on documented need.

Founded in 1920 in St. Louis, the Center for Hearing & Speech is a 501(c) 3, non-profit organization and a proud member of the United Way, which provides major funding.  The Center’s primary goal is to identify, treat and help St. Louisans with communications disorders by offering speech/language and audiology services to children and adults, regardless of whether they have insurance and/or financial resources to afford such care.  For additional information call 314-968-4710, visit or “like” the Center on Facebook.

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