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July 11, 2018

Third-Year Audiology Students Travel to Guatemala

In May 2018, six students and two clinical faculty members of the Long Island Doctor of Audiology Consortium, which offers a clinical doctorate in audiology through the cooperation of Adelphi University, Hofstra University and St. John’s University, traveled to Guatemala, Central America, for seven days to provide free hearing healthcare and services to underserved communities. During the program, made possible by Starkey Hearing Foundation (SHF) as part of their Global-Based Hearing Health Care program, “So the World May Hear,” the group of third-year audiology students helped to register over 2,500 patients, provided ear screenings and ear cleanings, identified hearing loss, fit proper amplification and made sure the patients were thoroughly counseled.

“One of the greatest benefits of this opportunity for our students is that they are fully immersed in understanding the hearing disparities that occur in underdeveloped countries, the culture and language. It allows for excellent learning experiences outside of the classroom”, states Dr. Ianthe Murad, the Au.D. clinical program coordinator.

The students all expressed that the experience in collaboration with Starkey Hearing Foundation was genuinely life-changing for them. Third-year student Gregory Bonistalli said, “Ultimately, this mission experience went beyond providing hearing healthcare, it motivated me to be kind, compassionate and truly listen to each and every story that the patients had to share, because it’s what defines their needs. Seeing the lack of hearing-related services in the country and learning the different standards of hearing healthcare outside the United States helped me quickly see the need for our services as audiologists and hearing healthcare professionals around the world.”

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