Partner Spotlight: Professor Lisa Rickard, University of Maryland, Department of Hearing & Speech Sciences

Thanks to the generosity of donor Mary Mellon and a unique partnership with the University of Maryland’s Department of Hearing & Speech Sciences, AFC is, for the first time ever, offering hearing testing and hearing aids. This important new partnership came about because of great research and outreach by Dr. Chris Renner, an AFC volunteer optometrist for over 20 years and a member of the Arlington South Lions Club, a community organization which supports AFC’s vision and hearing programs.

Hearing loss is linked to dementia, depression, and other health conditions, but access to hearing aids and other treatment can allow patients to reengage with friends, family, and coworkers and help reverse the social isolation that hearing loss can trigger.

Professor Lisa Rickard, AuD, CCC-A first met with our team last Spring to begin exploring the feasibility of bringing this important service to our patients. With the help of her clinical audiology doctoral students, one Friday a month we will be providing hearing tests/hearing aid fittings and, in many cases, sending patients home the same day with their new devices.

A true partner, Professor Rickard recently won a grant that includes $12K in funds earmarked for hearing aids for AFC patients—and Professor Rickard was able to secure a deeply discounted price that will allow us to fit about 20 patients!