President George W. Bush Joins Starkey Hearing Foundation's Global Fight Against Hearing Loss

July 10, 2013 Press Release


Starkey provides hearing care in Tanzania with the help of the former president

MINNEAPOLIS (July 10, 2013) – Last week, former President George W. Bush personally joined Starkey Hearing Foundation’s global effort to provide hearing care to people in need and worked with the Foundation’s team of professionals to give customized hearing devices to 222 people in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Hearing loss is a global epidemic, with disabling hearing loss impacting more than 360 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Yet with the help of a hearing device, hearing loss can often be corrected in many cases, giving an individual the opportunity to better connect with family, the community and the world around them. President Bush joined Starkey Hearing Foundation on the first day of a two-week mission swing through Tanzania and Malawi, during which it will provide more than 9,400 hearing aids.

“Hearing is a powerful gift that brings people together, opens doors and gives individuals the power to seize opportunities and reach their full potential in life,” said Bill Austin, founder of Starkey Hearing Foundation. “President Bush has done amazing things across Africa in HIV/AIDS and cancer prevention and treatment, and we are incredibly grateful that he supports us in our fight for better hearing.”

President Bush has long supported the philanthropic efforts of the Starkey Hearing Foundation, but this was his first opportunity to personally give the gift of hearing. His daughter, Barbara Bush, CEO and cofounder of Global Health Corps, is also a supporter and partner of the Foundation and has joined Starkey on several missions, including New York and Uganda in the last year alone. Global Health Corps fellows support Starkey’s work across Africa, and Barbara will be honored for her charitable efforts by the Starkey Hearing Foundation at its annual So the World May Hear Awards Gala on July 28, in St. Paul, Minn. The gala is the foundation’s largest fundraiser. In 2012, it raised more than $7.6 million to support the foundation’s work around the world. This concerted effort helps improve communication and build relationships worldwide.

Starkey Hearing Foundation uses hearing as a vehicle to improve the lives of individuals around the world. Its work in Tanzania is part of the dozens of domestic and international missions conducted each year. The foundation fits more than 100,000 hearing aids to people in need annually and has pledged to fit one million hearing aids this decade.

More information about the foundation’s work can be found on Starkey Hearing Foundation’s website, Facebook andTwitter pages.

About Starkey Hearing Foundation

Starkey Hearing Foundation uses hearing as a vehicle to reflect caring and improve the lives of individuals, families and communities around the world, by helping them reach their full potential. Hearing loss affects one in 10 Americans, and 63 million children worldwide, yet many do not have access to the hearing devices that can help them. Starkey Hearing Foundation fits and gives more than 100,000 hearing aids annually, and as a member of President Clinton’s Global Initiative, it has pledged to fit one million hearing aids this decade. In addition to giving the gift of hearing through worldwide hearing missions, Starkey Hearing Foundation promotes hearing health awareness and education through the Listen Carefully initiative and provides hearing instruments to low-income Americans through the Hear Now program. For more information on Starkey Hearing Foundation, visit


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