A new Mission to Xanthia blog and hearing instrument donation program created by Oticon Inc, Somerset, NJ, may provide a way for hearing care professionals across the United States to make a positive difference in a part of the world most in need of hearing care services.

This summer, Oticon Inc in partnership with the American Academy of Audiology Foundation (AAAF), is putting People First into action by underwriting the cost for Jamie Burton Shumaker, AuD, CCC-A, F-AAA, and Julie Martinez Verhoff, AuD/PhD candidate, CCC-A, F-AAA, to join a humanitarian mission to remote villages in South Africa, including Mpumalanga, the location of the Oticon Xanthia Hearing Clinic.

The two audiologists were selected during a special drawing held at 2010 AudiologyNOW! and will travel with Jackie L. Clark, PhD/CCC-A, F-AAA, of the University of Texas at Dallas (who also has a research scholar appointment at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa) and a volunteer team of US audiology students.

Clark’s teams have been working for more than 12 years, engaging professionals in the program, which includes school screenings for incidence/prevalence measures and community hearing clinics to identify and refer those with remediable hearing.

To enable hearing care professionals and other supporters to experience the day-to-day successes and challenges of this life-changing mission, Clark, Shumaker, Martinez and other members of the Mission to Xanthia team will post their comments on a Mission to Xanthia blog located in the Professionals section of oticonusa.com. Click on “TEAM XANTHIA – Mission to South Africa” under the Professional section.

In addition to an assortment of supplies and gifts for young children donated by the AAAF, Oticon will supply the team with 100 hearing instruments and more than 5,000 batteries for their mission. To sustain the humanitarian effort throughout the year, Oticon plans to refurbish and ship any gently used Oticon hearing instruments that are donated by hearing care professionals from across the country.

“As much as they might wish to, not every hearing care professional has the opportunity to travel to remote locations to deliver much-needed audiological care and supplies,” said Oticon President Peer Lauritsen. “The daily blogs from Xanthia will allow hearing care professionals to follow the progress of our team as they provide needed care for children and adults with hearing loss.

"Through the Mission to Xanthia hearing instrument donation program, we aim to enable hearing care professionals to make a tangible contribution to the success of the program and thus share in the satisfaction of the many good works accomplished,” he added.

Hearing care professionals may ship gently used Oticon hearing instruments to Oticon Inc, 29 Schoolhouse Road, Somerset, NJ 08873, Attn: Customer Service/Xanthia Donations. Tax receipts will be issued for all donations.

[Source: Oticon]