Clinic Helps with Hearing

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Waiting months for his brand new hearing aids was well worth it, said Ken Smith.
“Wonderful! This is wonderful!” he said after his new aids were in place. “Oh, my goodness I can hear. Thank you!”
Ken was one of the patients who received new hearing aids at a clinic held March 25 at Red Bird Mission. While some clinics have been held over the past several months, this was the first since the pandemic to include new equipment.
Supply chain issues caused the delay of delivery in new equipment for patients. The past clinics were for maintenance and repairs of equipment people already used.
While he was being fitted, Ken, who came to Red Bird Mission from Harlan, was told that he would need to change out the tubing that goes from the piece on the back of his ear to the piece inside it. He could go to Corbin, where the volunteers that day were from or go to one of the places in Harlan that sells and services hearing aids.
However the trip the day he got it would cost him nothing since all of the equipment and supplies were bought with do-nations and the people working the clinic donated their time.
Dr. Liz Rogers was one of the volunteers at this clinic. She says she tries to come once a year, trying to plan for the unexpected.
“We joke that it’s more like being a field medic audiologist,” Dr. Rogers said. “You don’t know what to expect so it keeps you on your toes. You have to think quickly.”
Whatever the challenge is, she knows the effort is important.
“If you come to our office in Corbin, a cleaning will cost $25, plus the transportation to Corbin, which is more than an hour from here,” Rogers said. “Some people can’t afford that. That’s why we like coming to help these people.”
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