The screenings, free hearing protection and referral services will be offered through Songs for Sound and its mobile hearing health unit. Appointments are not required, and the free screening is available to anyone regardless of health insurance status.
“We’re excited to partner with Songs for Sound to bring free hearing screenings to Wilson County,” said Lea Rowe, Charis Health Center executive director. “Our mission is to serve the healthcare needs of the underserved in our community, and this event is a great opportunity to expand upon the primary healthcare services we offer at Charis. We’re #BringingTheMissionHome.
“Hearing loss is an important and treatable health issue. Songs for Sound is a wonderful organization that both aids in identifying hearing loss and helps patients navigate the services and resources available for treatment.”
Some facts about hearing loss include:
• hearing loss is the third most prevalent health issue in older adults after arthritis and heart disease.
• hearing loss can contribute to cognitive decline; studies show 30-40 percent increased decline in five years compared to their normal hearing peers.
• hearing aids and cochlear implants can restore sound for healthy hearing and increased cognitive function.
Songs for Sound is a Nashville-based nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of people with hearing loss. Its Hear the Music Project is a charity mission and mobile health exhibit designed to not only provide free hearing screenings, but also help every person navigate hearing health care.
Its mobile hearing health clinic will be at Charis Health Center on May 17. Visitors complete a self-administered hearing screening using a touchscreen kiosk. If the screening indicates they have hearing loss, they receive information both electronically and in printed form. Checklists and clinic finders are provided, and guests can even demonstrate hearing technologies – all a part of the Hear the Music Project and experience. Industry leaders Cochlear Americas and Phonak sponsor the project with partners such as Otohub offering advanced screening technology.
Songs for Sound has helped people with hearing loss access sound since 2010. Jaime Vernon founded the charity after her daughter, Lexi, was born deaf and received the life-changing ability to hear through cochlear implants at 19-months old.
“After years of raising awareness and helping families navigate what can be a frustrating and cost-prohibitive system, we realized we need to do more to reach the people who need our help the most,” said Vernon. “We created the Hear the Music Project to target populations throughout the nation where hearing loss is common and often goes undetected – among veterans, senior citizens and children living near the poverty line.”
To learn more about the Songs for Sound organization, visit songsforsound.com. For more information about Charis Health center, visit charishealthcenter.org.
The Hear the Music Project has an overall referral rate of 48 percent, meaning hearing loss is detected in nearly five in 10 people screened. This includes 85 percent of veterans, 59 percent of senior citizens and 38 percent of underserved children. The individuals are counseled on site and referred to a local audiologist. Songs for Sound follows up with each referral with a checklist of next steps and how to navigate hearing health care.