Masonic Charity Board President Neill Stiff (left) and Grand Master Glen Chaney (right) present an oversized check representing a $200,000 grant to support Hearts for Hearing’s Newborn Hearing Screen Services program and efforts to detect hearing loss as early as possible in the lives of Oklahoma babies. Accepting this generous gift on behalf of Hearts for Hearing are Chief of External Affairs, Kris Hopper, and Hardy Watkins, Chief of Strategy & Innovation.
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (April 12, 2023) Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma recently awarded Hearts for Hearing a generous grant of $200,000 to support its Newborn Hearing Screen (NBHS) programs across the state. The newborn hearing screen is a specialized screening performed shortly after birth to help diagnose hearing loss in newborns. Based on previous incidence rates , there will be approximately 150 babies born each year in Oklahoma with deafness or significant hearing loss.
“Early detection is critical for optimal brain development in children born deaf,” says Joanna Smith, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Hearts for Hearing. “Babies who are deaf are learning to listen and talk when they are diagnosed early, fit with technology and enrolled in listening and spoken language therapy,” Smith added, “When we do what it takes from the beginning, children who are deaf are achieving great things. We are grateful to the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma for making this investment to change the lives of babies impacted by hearing loss,” concluded Smith.
John Logan, Executive Director of the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma added, “Public wellness and education have long been focal points of our mission. Hearing loss can present great challenges for children and their ability to attain educational goals, have meaningful relationships, and enjoy the same opportunities as their typical hearing peers. Early detection and therapy can provide life changing help for children with hearing loss, as they learn to listen and talk, and our Foundation is happy to be able to help.”
Hearts for Hearing offers a unique model where pediatric audiologists and speech language pathologists collaborate with families as part of a single visit. The organization provides the first set of hearing aids to Oklahoma children at no cost to families., Hearts for Hearing also provideshigh-quality hearing care for adults as well.
About Hearts for Hearing: Hearts for Hearing is a comprehensive hearing health center for both children and adults headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK with clinics in Tulsa and Shawnee. It was founded by Joanna T. Smith, Dr. Teresa Caraway and Dr. Stan Baker as a 501(c)3 to provide funding for the first set of hearing aids for children with hearing loss in Oklahoma. Its mission has expanded to become a comprehensive hearing health clinic for both children and adults. It provides industry-leading services, technology, and research. Its collaborative model of audiologists and speech-language pathologists working together helps enable the best outcomes for its patients. Learn more at www.heartsforhearing.org.
Hearts for Hearing was founded in 2003 with a mission of providing hearing technology and speech therapy services at no out-of-pocket costs to families with children who were born deaf. 20 years later, we are still teaching babies and children born deaf to listen and talk. Our services have expanded to include adult hearing care with offices in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Shawnee. Our team of professionals has grown from our original three people to 117 now. Hearts for Hearing continues to provide the first set of hearing technology and therapy to children at no out-of-pocket costs to families, and now includes Newborn Hearing Screen services, major research initiatives, Eyes Open Ears On programming, and its own 3D ear mold lab.