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Humanitarian Trips

Changing Lives Through Hearing Healthcare: Our Trip to Alaska

By | Humanitarian Trips

This past August, Dr. Patricia Reiff traveled to Alaska to provide the gift of hearing. Travelling across the world to countries in need has been incredible, but this time, Dr. Reiff wanted to give back in a place that we might overlook. Providing hearing healthcare is essential for connection and survival in a place where sunlight is scarce in the winter.

We asked Dr. Reiff about her experience the effects this trip had on her and the people she served.

Why were you in Alaska?

I was there for a conference and a mission trip to the more remote part of Alaska where limited or no hearing care services are available.

How did you end up providing care to the community?

It was arranged by a hearing aid manufacturer to provide hearing care services to native Alaskans. I wanted to volunteer to help the citizens of our country since my last two mission trips have been abroad.

What type of problems are people facing in Alaska?

A lot of people there have hearing loss due to noise exposure from hunting, target shooting, and oil rig work. Because the areas where these people live is so remote, getting hearing healthcare is next to impossible. Sometimes flying a plane is the only means to get to a neighboring town. If you are in an underprivileged area, hearing care is far from an option.

How does hearing loss affect these people emotionally, and how does it impact their community?

It makes you feel more isolated and depressed. Alaska can feel very lonely, and when you are around people, you value the connections. In the winter months, the sun is barely visible for eight hours a day. It can become overwhelming. For survival, being able to hear animals approaching and being able to hear animals for hunting is necessary to survive in the region.

What kind of work was done? How did it make you feel to provide this care?

We provided many aspects of hearing care, intake case history, hearing testing, wax removal, ENT referrals, hearing aid programming, assessments, and fittings. We were able to provide full hearing healthcare services and also began to train people on how to take care of themselves in between visits.

What type of impact made? What will they be able to experience now?

A big impact was made to improve their quality of life. Now they are able to work, socialize, enjoy music, enjoy television and be better providers for their families that depend so much on them.

What was your favorite moment of the trip?

My favorite moment was with a 90 year old man who felt he could finally hear his children again. He was a musician and played over eight instruments. Now he could hear what he was playing with better definition. His eyes began to water, which only made me run up to him and give him a hug.

Trips like these are possible because of generous people like you. When you donate your old hearing aids or provide a monetary donation, you are helping people everywhere receive the hearing healthcare they need to live a fulfilling life.

Want to learn more? You can partner with us today. Learn more here!

10 Questions with Dr. Trish Reiff

By | Humanitarian Trips, Resources

At Associates in Hearing, we want you to treat your hearing loss. We also want you to know how much we care about seeing you thrive in your life because hearing loss is no longer an obstacle. Getting to treat our patients in one of our highest honors.

Our practice began with Dr. Patricia Reiff, a doctor of audiology for over 30 years in the Philadelphia area. As the owner and founder, she has been instrumental in setting us apart from every other practice by making you, our patients, our top priority.

Here are a few facts about Dr. Reiff, the things she loves, and why she’s audiologist.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be in the medical profession. I started out in pre-med and switched to speech pathology and audiology.

What song from your teenage years do you still rock out to when nobody else is listening or watching?

ABBA – “Dancing Queen”

What made you decide to start your own practice?

I wanted to have control of how I provided audiology and hearing services. I saw the need for comprehensive care, and I wanted to design services to meet the needs of my patients.

Why did you decide to study audiology?

My aunt had a stroke and lost her ability to talk, speak, walk, and feed herself. Her inability to communicate was by far the most isolating and depressing result of her stroke.

What do you enjoy most about being an audiologist?

I enjoy direct patient care and being able to help the most difficult hearing losses. Hearing from patients about what an improvement hearing help has made in their lives is one of the highlights as well.

What is your favorite part about working at Associates in Hearing?

I love hearing from other staff members the stories about the impact we have on our patients and our patients’ families and friends. I also enjoy seeing other staff grow in their positions and find satisfaction in their work.

What do you love most about Associates in Hearing humanitarian trips?

It’s amazing how even small acts of kindness and hearing care can make such a difference in others’ lives. We live in a very privileged society, and it makes me grateful for all I have in our country.

Outside of audiology, what else are you passionate about?

Seeing people expand their thinking, work hard and never give up on themselves. I’m also passionate about traveling and experiencing new cultures and ways of viewing the world.

What is your favorite book and why?

I love to read novels with strong interesting characters. The last book I read was Small, Great Things by Jodi Picoult. I loved Ruth in the book. She was always fighting to do the best for her son and for her family.

When you retire and able to look back on your life, what do you hope to have accomplished?

I hope to have shown a lot of love to people and inspired them to live a full and rewarding life. The fact that I helped improve the quality of some people’s lives will be my major accomplishment.

3 Answers for Why We Give the Gift of Hearing

By | Humanitarian Trips

Turks and Caicos is a place most of us have heard of–a beautiful, tropical getaway location with idyllic beaches and all-inclusive resorts. It’s a paradise vacation of your dreams. But behind the paradise lies a territory of people who don’t have access to hearing healthcare.

“Behind every beautiful island, there’s a group of people trying to survive,” Dr. Patricia Reiff tells us.

It’s not something you think about, is it? In our minds, these tropical islands are a dream. But reality isn’t quite as kind. There isn’t an audiologist on any of the islands to help treat hearing loss.

Dr. Reiff, an audiologist at Associates in Hearing, joined a team of other audiologists and volunteers to provide the gift of hearing to those in need. For 10 days, they removed wax build up, performed hearing evaluations, fit people with hearing aids, and even removed a few seashells from a few ears.

But why Turks and Caicos? Why is it so important to go on these humanitarian trips to help those in need?

1. It Brings People Together

The trip to Turks and Caicos is one of many trips each year through Entheos, a hearing cooperative made up of audiologists who want to give back to their community and world. Each trip is made up of hearing healthcare professionals and volunteers from all over the country.

Once the group arrives to the location they’re serving, they can see hundreds of people in a day who need treatment. When these people receive the care they need, like a set of hearing aids, they can reconnect to the place they live and the people they love.

On the Grand Turk island, a gentleman who received a set of hearing aids saw the immediate positive effect of restored hearing. His job is to take care of all the animals on the island, work seven days a week, and receive multiple phone calls a day about animals that need his attention. Now fit with the proper hearing aids he needs, he can keep doing his job well and even dream bigger.

“I told him, ‘You should become a vet!” He told me, ‘Maybe now I will!’” Dr. Reiff says.

Another woman, named Grace, received new hearing devices as well. After she was fit and the hearing aids were turned on, Dr. Reiff and another volunteer played the song “Amazing Grace” for her. To their surprise, she sang along and knew every word!

Entheos not only connects the professionals at home; the people they serve are connected to each other through the gift of hearing.

2. Empower a Community and a Country

This trip helped the people living on these islands reconnect to themselves and each other. The effects of the gift of hearing will continue even though the group of audiologists have left the island.

“The more you can give people to make them more capable of giving to others, the better they’ll be able to do their work, relate to other people, and how they feel about themselves,” Dr. Reiff recalls. “It’s a snowball effect.”

Now that these people are reconnected to their people and their community, they don’t have to feel like a burden. They can have a positive outlook on their life and what’s to come.

It’s also empowering for those who are already making a difference. Pediatricians and nurses from the islands took time to observe how the audiologists removed ear wax and material from the ear, meaning that whenever these situations come up, they are now empowered to deal with them.

3. Give Meaning to the Work Done at Home

A humanitarian trip like this one is a way to serve the world. But it also serves the audiologists and volunteers who are giving their time, money, and resources to make it happen.

“When you interact with other healthcare professionals, you work better together,” Dr. Reiff explains. “You learn new ways to do things.” When a group comes together to work together, they are given the unique opportunity to learn from each other. Often when a group returns stateside, they find themselves inspired to do meaningful work here at home, too.

Dr. Reiff describes it as an honor: “It gives so much to us because we’re able to do something like this and not worry about the transaction cost. We’re just helping people because we can and because we’re capable and trained.”

So, are you wondering what you can do and how you can make a difference, too?

These trips are possible because of your generosity. Here are a few ways you can help us give the gift of hearing:

  1. Donate your old hearing aids.
  2. Send a monetary donation to go directly to a trip, our non-profit, or Entheos.
  3. Spread the word about why giving the gift of hearing is important.

We want to do meaningful work here in Landsdale and all over the world, and we want you to join us. Visit Giving Back Page to learn more!

We’re Back From Guatemala!

By | Humanitarian Trips

At Associates in Hearing, we have always wanted to give patients like you the best hearing possible. We also have a dream to make that same impact across the world. Last week, we brought that same excellent care to under-served people in Guatemala.

With your hearing aid donations, hundreds of children and adults were given the Gift of the Hearing. For them, this means mothers hearing their babies for the first time, students going back to school, and communities being changed forever.

But we don’t want to stop there. We want to continue to make this type of impact and we want to partner with you to make it happen.

Donate your old hearing aids today and help people everywhere live the life they were meant to live. Even though we just got back from Guatemala, your donations will continue to make an impact around the world.

Here’s how you can make a donation in three easy steps…
1.) Find your old hearing aids
2.) Visit our office 
3.) Make a hearing aid donation at the front desk.

 

Let’s make an impact together.