BHI Unveils New Consumer Education Brochure and Website

Alexandria, Va — The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) has released its new publication, Your Guide to Better Hearing, designed as one of the most comprehensive consumer references of its kind. The 28-page booklet incorporates information from seven prior BHI publications—as well as new articles authored by BHI’s Technical Advisory Council (see sidebar) and BHI Executive Director Sergei Kochkin, PhD.

“BHI is deeply indebted to the volunteers who donated their expertise and time to develop what we believe is the most comprehensive information about hearing loss for the public,” says newly-elected BHI President Stephan Sagolla who also serves as president of Interton.

BHI Guide. The new Guide covers a comprehensive range of topics and includes the following subjects:

• The impact of untreated hearing loss;
• Celebrities who overcame hearing loss;
• Prevalence of hearing loss;
• Physical and anatomical aspects of hearing loss;
• The BHI Quick Hearing Check;
• Hearing instrument styles and features;
• The positive impact of hearing instruments on quality of life;
• When a loved one resists hearing help;
• Medical and audiological advances, and childhood hearing loss;
• Assistive device technology;
• Hearing loss prevention and financial assistance.

 The new BHI Web site (www.betterhearing.org) is an information clearinghouse for consumers, featuring many educational and entertaining resources.

The Guide is available to the public either through the mail or as a PDF download on the new BHI website at www.betterhearing.org. The publication is also available for sale to hearing care professionals who want to distribute it in their office/practice or as a handout in physician offices. (To order, visit www.betterhearing.org/professionals).

Kochkin noted the tremendous amount of effort that went into this booklet: “I believe we effectively leveraged the 30-year history of BHI, our knowledge of the efficacy of modern hearing instruments, as well as the quality of life insights emanating out of the landmark National Council on the Aging (NCOA) study.”
BHI Web site. In addition to offering The Guide, the new BHI Web site features a 15-question hearing check that is computer scored and normed to adults (ages 55+) with self-admitted hearing losses and recommends one of five courses of action depending on the test score; a comprehensive database of celebrities that have supported the association; a database of resources for people with hearing loss; relevant articles available for download, and a database of factoids and quotes on hearing, ears, and listening.

Onward and Upward
Over the past 3 years, BHI has focused primarily on its physician education program which has been very successful (see March 2004 HR, p 14). “It is now time to shift BHI’s focus to educating the public about hearing loss and available hearing loss solutions,” says Kochkin.

 The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) has recently released one of the most comprehensive and authoritative consumer education booklets available. To review the 28-page Guide, download it (in PDF format) or order copies online from the BHI Web site at www.betterhearing.org/professionals.

With the building blocks in place and its mission and objectives clarified, Kochkin says that the BHI is now positioned to embark on public relations initiatives designed to motivate people with hearing loss to seek a hearing solution earlier rather than later in their life. BHI President Sagolla says, “With the basics behind us, BHI is eager to initiate creative marketing communications designed to introduce America’s 30-million people with hearing loss to the joys of better hearing.”

BHI Technical Advisory Council

The BHI TAC was developed to bring the knowledge of leaders in the hearing care community to the general public. Volunteers on the Council who contributed either as authors or reviewers of BHI materials include:

Ruth Bentler, PhD, Univ of Iowa
Richard Carmen, AuD, Auricle Ink Pubs
Cynthia Compton-Conley, PhD, Gallaudet Univ
Patricia E. Connelly, PhD, New Jersey Medical School
Richard W. Danielson, PhD, National Space Biomedical Research Institute and Baylor College of Medicine
Judith Gravel, PhD, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Patricia McCarthy, PhD, Rush Univ Medical Center
H. Gustav Mueller, PhD, Vanderbilt Univ
Ross J. Roeser, PhD, Univ of Texas-Dallas/Callier Center for Communication Disorders
Todd Fortune, PhD, and Brian Bender, Interton
David Fabry, PhD, Phonak
Kathy J. Harvey, MsEd, CCC-A, BC-HIS, Beach Hearing Healthcare Centers
Thomas Powers, PhD, Siemens Hearing Instruments
Donald Schum, PhD, Oticon
Tim Trine, PhD, Starkey Laboratories
Laura Voll, MS, GSI Viasys Healthcare