Over the past 40 years, Starkey Hearing Foundation has brought the gift of hearing to nearly 1.5 million people around the globe, inspired by co-founders Bill and Tani Austin’s drive toward sustainable community-based hearing healthcare and supported by many generous donors.
Our model is built upon Starkey Hearing Foundation’s legacy of international hearing missions. During these missions in more than 100 countries, we helped people hear through testing, fittings, and hearing aid donations, but we also built long-term self-reliance by providing training and education to local professionals on hearing, hearing loss and hearing aids.
We’ve trained hearing healthcare professionals and developed programs in 70 countries through our unique combination of knowledge and skill, creating the Wide Frequency Audibility® Community-Based Hearing Healthcare Model.
Strategic Shifts for Sustainable Capacity Building
As we look ahead, our goal remains the same: sustainable community-based hearing healthcare. To make that vision a reality, the foundation’s focus has shifted from international hearing missions to an even larger approach of systems change through partnerships, education, and capacity building.
This model is delivering significant impact with the first Starkey Hearing Institute, a program of Starkey Hearing Foundation created in 2016 in Lusaka, Zambia. Graduates of the institute have gone on to become hearing healthcare professionals and champions who return to their home countries and make an immediate impact in their communities.
By the end of 2023, the Starkey Hearing Institute in Zambia will have graduated more than 100 students.
The Future of Global Hearing Healthcare
The enormous success of the Starkey Hearing Institute in Zambia inspired Starkey Hearing Foundation’s commitment to establish two additional educational initiatives in the next five years to educate community members and power the future of hearing healthcare in the communities that need it the most.
In 2023, foundation leaders and community and government representatives in the Philippines finalized plans with the University of Santo Tomas to add a certification program in Community-Based Hearing Healthcare. The certificate program will allow classes of 40 to 60 students from several countries in Asia to complete a concentrated, six-month curriculum. We’re also beginning preparations to add a third institute in the Latin America/Caribbean region.
As with the Institute in Zambia and other foundation initiatives, the impact from these two new institutes will be felt far beyond campus as students return to their home countries and share their new knowledge and practices in their communities. Each graduate has the capacity to assist between 1,500 and 2,500 patients a year, while also creating good jobs for themselves and their employees.
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