Our History
Funding Research Into New Treatments for Hearing Loss and Tinnitus
HHF has provided millions of dollars of research funding to the top hearing and balance scientists, leading to new treatments for those living with hearing loss and tinnitus.
Photo: A copy of a letter written by President Dwight Eisenhower to Collette Ramsey Baker, the founder of HHF (formerly Deafness Research Foundation).
Collette Ramsey Baker
HHF was founded as the Deafness Research Foundation in 1958, by Collette Ramsey Baker, a woman who lived with a substantial hearing loss. Baker was steadfast in her support of funding for new technologies and treatments for hearing loss, despite objections and doubts from supporters and those in the industry. Since then, HHF has been a leader in driving new innovations and treatments for people with hearing loss, including funding research that led to the development of cochlear implants and many of today’s standard treatments for otosclerosis (abnormal bone growth in the ear) and ear infections.
Cochlear Implants
Back in the 1970s, HHF began funding research into cochlear implant technology. HHF’s founder, Collette Ramsey Baker, prevailed despite objections and doubts from supporters that she was wasting money. Cochlear implants have proven to be a valuable treatment option for people with profound hearing loss, benefiting 125,000 people in the U.S. and 300,000 people worldwide.
Newborn Hearing Screening
In the 1990s, HHF was a leader in advocating for Universal Newborn Hearing Screening legislation. In 1993, only 5 percent of newborns were tested at birth for hearing loss. By 2007, 94 percent of newborns were tested. 
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