On June 24, Miracle-Ear joined the International Hearing Society (IHS) to visit more than 100 congressional offices in support of IHS’ Fit to Serve campaign and related bi-partisan federal legislation, HR 353/S 564, which seeks to improve veterans’ access to critical hearing healthcare services. IHS reports that the legislation, if adopted, would achieve that goal by adding hearing aid specialists to the audiologist-led Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hearing healthcare team, and hold the VA more accountable for addressing long wait times and distances to travel to VA facilities.
Participants in the “Fit to Serve” campaign event on Capitol Hill shared with their Congressional offices the challenges local veterans are having in accessing hearing aids and related services through the VA, citing wait times for appointments that can span as long as a year in some areas, and the extensive distance that many veterans must travel in order to get to a VA facility that offers audiology services – a serious difficulty for those Veterans who cannot travel due to medical or other mobility issues. Campaign participants also cited the implications of untreated hearing loss, such as loss of income or challenges obtaining employment as well as depression, anxiety and isolation, which, in the Veteran population, can further exacerbate other medical and psychological issues that are a result of service.
IHS reports that throughout the day, Capitol Hill-goers met with staff and several Members of Congress to seek co-sponsorship and support.
“Miracle-Ear was founded by Kenneth Dahlberg who was a veteran of WWII,” said Miracle-Ear Senior Vice President Vera Peterso. “The Miracle-Ear system is proud to advocate for the hearing health of our nation’s veterans and make a difference in collaboration with the International Hearing Society.”
Also in attendance was IHS President and Miracle-Ear Franchisee Scott Beall, AuD, ACA, who kicked off the day by providing an inspired welcome to “Day on the Hill” participants before heading to the Hill himself to meet with his Congressional offices. “We are thrilled with Miracle-Ear’s support of Fit to Serve,” said Beall. “IHS and our members stand ready to help relieve the backlog for hearing aid services at the VA. We’re grateful for the support of Congress in this important initiative to help our veterans.”?
Founded by the International Hearing Society, the “Fit To Serve” campaign is dedicated to improving the hearing healthcare system for America’s veterans. The campaign goal is to ensure timely access to high quality hearing health care for all veterans. Learn more by visiting the campaign website or its Facebook page.
The International Hearing Society (IHS) is a membership association that represents hearing healthcare professionals worldwide. IHS members are engaged in the practice of testing human hearing and selecting, fitting and dispensing hearing instruments and counseling patients. Miracle-Ear is a Plymouth, Minn-based company specializing in customizable hearing solutions that feature discreet, comfortable products designed to meet each individual’s hearing loss needs. Free hearing tests are available at all of the company’s 1,200 franchised locations across the US.