Business

 Child-focused Dispensing Company Opens
Audiologists and early interventionists Jacqueline Scholl, AuD, and Kristi Carpenter, MS, have formed a new company, Kidlfyx Kreations, Tulsa, Okla. Pint-sized hearing aid maintenance kits in whimsical fabrics, beaded hearing aid retainers, and stylish and comfortable FM slings are just a few of the kid-focused products designed and marketed by the Web-based company.

The company was conceived after the two long-time friends, colleagues, and moms of small children became increasingly frustrated with the lack of stylish products available for children, especially children with special needs.

”Hearing loss shouldn’t sentence you to unattractive and industrial-type products,” Scholl says. “I have searched for these types of products for several years, and haven’t been able to find anything I was happy dispensing.”

In addition to the company’s original designs, Kidlfyx Kreations plans to keep its product offerings fresh, timely, and exciting by featuring items from individual artisans and small, quality-conscious companies. Every Kidlfyx purchase is accompanied with a brochure written by Scholl and Carpenter, titled “The ABCs of Early Intervention.” This brochure highlights important aspects and milestones of communication development.

The Kidlfyx Kreations Web site, www.kidlfyxkreations.com, reportedly adds new products monthly.


Newsletter Reaches 26 Million Copies
Hearing Health Care News®, White Plains, NY, a customized patient newsletter, has reached the 26 million-copy mark. The newsletter was started in 1986 by audiologist Dennis Hampton, PhD. He started publishing customized versions for audiologists in the United States after using it in his own practice. Since then, more than 26 million copies have been sent to nearly 500,000 hearing aid users throughout the United States and Canada.

In 2003, the publisher began offering the Practice Development Program, a collection of the best audiology marketing techniques and tips collected from several hundred practices over the past 20 years.

“Patient satisfaction and patient retention are vital to the success of any practice,” Hampton says. “Hundreds of audiologists have proven that a patient newsletter is an easy and effective way to nurture that satisfaction and loyalty.” For more information, visit www.hearinghealthnews.com.


 Advanced Bionics, Cochlear Americas Renew AG Bell Partnership
Advanced Bionics® Corp, Sylmar, Calif, has renewed its Circle Alliance Partnership with the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Washington, DC, with a contribution of $100,000. Cochlear Americas has also renewed its partnership.

James R. Miller, Advanced Bionics’ president, auditory division, and Chris Smith, president of Cochlear Americas, will serve on the newly formed AG Bell Corporate Advisory Council, and will provide guidance and leadership for AG Bell initiatives that promote spoken-language communication for children and adults with hearing loss. Launched in 2004, the Circle Alliance Partnership Program promotes collaboration with partner organizations on a range of AG Bell programs and services.


 Free Educational CD on Initial Contact and Consultation
CareCredit®, Costa Mesa, Calif, is offering a free educational CD titled, “Increase Sales by Effectively Connecting with Patients,” featuring Von Hansen. This informative audio program details why hearing instrument sales remain flat, and how practices can increase sales by connecting with patients. Hansen focuses on two critical communication opportunities: the initial telephone inquiry, and the patient consultation. Through real-life examples, he provides effective communication techniques to help practices take control of phone inquiries, schedule third-party appointments, and understand patient needs before suggesting care. For more information, contact (800) 300-3046, ext 4125.


AuDNet Signs Supply Agreement with MedRx
MedRx, Largo, Fla, announces a supply agreement with AuDNet. Members of AuDNet are now eligible to receive preferred retail pricing on equipment as a benefit of membership to the group. For more information, visit www.aud-net.com.


 Audiology Online, CAA Partner to Offer CEEs
Audiology Online, San Antonio, has partnered with the Canadian Academy of Audiology to provide continuing education programs to its members via the Internet. CAA members can now access more than 250 online activities provided by Audiology Online and earn continuing education equivalents. For more information, visit www.audiologyonline.com.


Scholarship

Energizer Program to Train Student at HEI
Energizer® Battery Inc, St. Louis, has signed an exclusive multi-year agreement with the House Ear Institute (HEI), Los Angeles, to name its Energizer Audiology Traineeship program and provide a full scholarship to one individual each year who will train in the HEI Children’s Auditory Research and Evaluation (CARE) Center. The Energizer Audiology Traineeship term runs July 1 through June 30, and provides a wide range of services, including newborn screening and cochlear implants.

Program entrants must have a master’s degree or clinical doctorate in audiology. For more information, contact (213) 483-4431; www.hei.org.  


Cochlear Americas Presents College Students with Scholarships
Cochlear Americas, Englewood, Colo, announced the recipients of the fourth annual Graeme Clark Cochlear Scholarship, awarded during the first Cochlear Celebration in Orlando, Fla, on February 16-18. The Celebration, attended by more than 1,200 people, was hosted by Cochlear Americas to provide Nucleus® cochlear implant recipients and their families the opportunity to learn and network at Walt Disney World.

 Starkey Hearing Foundation employees gave the gift of hearing to people in Nicaragua during one of its hearing mission trips.

This year’s winners of the scholarship are:
Mooena Das, Bethesda, Md, a first year student at Wellesley College. Das wore hearing aids until she received a Nucleus cochlear implant when she was 13 years old.

Mark Leekoff, Annadale, Va, a second year student at Tufts University, majoring in biology. Deaf at birth, Leekoff received his Nucleus cochlear implant in 1989.

Kaitlyn Mielke, Eagle Idaho, a freshman at California State University, Northridge, majoring in journalism and deaf studies. Mielke has been a Nucleus cochlear implant user since 1991.


Donations

Starkey Plans Seven Mission Trips
The Starkey Hearing Foundation has plans to complete seven major hearing mission trips over the next several weeks through which it will provide an estimated 6,000 hearing aids to 3,500 adults and children in four countries. The mission trips will include stops in Managua, Nicaragua, Antigua, Guatemala, Caracas and Margarita Island, Venezuela, and Mexico City, Monterrey, and Reynosa, Mexico.

“We are truly delighted to be able to start off 2006 by giving the gift of hearing to thousands of people in need,” says William F. Austin, founder of the Starkey Hearing Foundation. “We thank our partners and sponsors who are truly changing lives by making these mission trips possible.”

Mission trips are paid for by donations to the Starkey Hearing Foundation.


 AFA Garners Almost $100,000 in 2005 Donations
Individual audiology practitioners and the hearing industry supported the Audiology Foundation of America (AFA), Lafayette, Ind, with $97,000 in financial support in 2005. Results were tabulated after a final end-of-year campaign drive. Donors also backed the AFA through its annual Art Auction, via homemade and donated items, as well as in the annual AFA Golf Tournament. Together, these events raised more than $35,000.


Books

New Books Offers Tips for Teachers, Students on Hearing Loss
The Mainstream Center at the CLARKE School for the Deaf, Northampton, Mass, has published two books to help the oral deaf students and school staff communicate more effectively with one another. “Have you heard? Welcoming a student with hearing loss to your school community,” by Melissa Griswold, gives school staff basic information about hearing loss, and how to make a deaf child feel comfortable communicating.

“What works for me: Young adults with hearing loss talk to teens,” by Claire Blatchford, is a compilation of monologues from successful young adults with hearing loss—from a student studying for an MBA at Harvard University to a young man who competed in the Winter Games for the Deaf. This book provides inspiration and tips for students who are or will be entering mainstream schools.

Each book is available for $15, and can be ordered by contacting (413) 582-1121.


DawnSignPress Advocates ASL with New Books
DawnSignPress, San Diego, a publisher of American Sign Language and Deaf-culture-related books and videos, has released two new series to promote ASL: the “100 Signs” series, and the “American Sign Language Babies” series.

The “100 Signs” series offers common signs used in everyday situations, and encourages communication when Deaf and hearing people interact. They are pocket-sized and sold in sets of 10 or 50.

The “American Sign Language Babies” series uses ASL, not a combination of ASL and gesture to reinforce signs used earliest with “First Signs,” and signs used at mealtime with “Let’s Eat.” For more information, contact (800) 549-5350; www.dawnsign.com


Send press releases to Morgan Saffari at:
The Hearing Review
6100 Center Dr, Ste 1020
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Phone:    (310) 642-4400, ext 231
Fax:    (310) 641-0790
Email:    [email protected]