In January, 15 students and two clinical faculty members of the Long Island Doctor of Audiology Consortium—a collaborative terminal degree program offered jointly by Adelphi, Hofstra, and St. John’s Universities—joined the Starkey Hearing Foundation (SHF) as part of their global-based hearing health care initiative, So the World May Hear.
SHF traveled to Peru to provide free hearing healthcare and services to underserved communities. In 10 days, they traveled to three cities and helped to register more than 1,500 patients, provided ear screenings and ear cleanings, identified hearing loss, fit proper amplification, and made sure patients were thoroughly counseled regarding the use, care, and maintenance of wearing a hearing aid.
“As students prepare to enter the profession of audiology as practicing clinicians, they need to be prepared for the diverse and underserved patient population that they may encounter,” emphasized Ianthe E. Dunn-Murad, Sc.D., CCC-A, Clinical Program Coordinator of Clinical Education for the Long Island Doctor of Audiology Consortium. “It is critical, especially in today’s globally-engaged society, that students have a solid understanding of different cultures, people of different linguistic backgrounds, and especially of the health disparities seen around the world.” The trip enabled students to gain broader “clinical experiences and patient encounters, helping them gain a new perspective on life and their chosen careers.”
“Having the opportunity, as a student, to visit Peru on a hearing humanitarian trip was nothing short of a life-changing experience,” said third-year student Meaghan Curley. “Providing hearing health care and seeing the smiling faces of those who no longer have to live in a world of silence has forever left a mark on our hearts. As much as we were able to give the gift of hearing, we believe that this experience was just as much a gift to us. I learned so much about myself and the type of clinician that I would like to become when I begin my career as an audiologist.”
The program makes an impact on tomorrow’s audiologists and helps those in need receive better health care. “I believe that by creating these student-based, global learning experiences, we help students increase their world views about global health differences, which will make them better equipped to address the present and future hearing health disparities that they may encounter,” said Dr. Dunn-Murad. The consortium thanks the Starkey Hearing Foundation for their support in this initiative.