Press Releases

HHF Maintains 4-Star Charity Navigator Rating and Consumer Reports “Best Charities” Distinction

By Gina Russo

Hearing Health Foundation (HHF) concludes our 60th anniversary year of groundbreaking hearing and balance research with a third consecutive four-star rating from Charity Navigator and a third consecutive designation as a “Best Charity for Your Donation” by Consumer Reports.

HHF’s mission is to prevent, treat, and ultimately cure hearing loss through innovative research. The organization also promotes hearing health through education and awareness programs. HHF funded the discoveries that certain animals are capable of restoring their hearing once deafened, and now works toward replicating this phenomenon in people, while also investigating new treatments and cures for other hearing and balance conditions like tinnitus, Ménière's disease, and auditory processing disorder (APD).

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Consistent accolades from Charity Navigator and Consumer Reports affirm HHF’s life-changing work is carried out with financial efficiency, accountability, and transparency. HHF’s Board of Directors and the organization’s endowment cover all administrative expenses, so donations from generous supporters fully fund hearing loss research and awareness.

Charity Navigator’s 4-star rating, its highest possible, signifies that HHF executes our mission in the most responsible way. The score considers program, administrative, and fundraising expenses, fundraising efficiency, Board policies, and the disclosure of financial records. Fewer than 25% of the 9,000+ nonprofits evaluated by Charity Navigator have received three or more consecutive 4-star ratings.

Consumer Reports’ annual list of the “Best Charities for Your Donation” aggregates data from Charity Navigator along with CharityWatch and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance to identify organizations most worthy of donors’ support. This year, HHF is the only hearing loss focused charity to earn a placement on the Consumer Reports roster.

As HHF enters our seventh decade of funding critical hearing and balance research, we express our gratitude to those who have given their time and financial resources in pursuit of new treatments and cures. We’re thankful to have your support in our efforts to improve the quality of life for millions of Americans with hearing loss.

If you haven’t yet, and are able to give, please consider an end-of-year donation with confidence HHF will work diligently to ensure your contribution matters.

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HHF’s Fiscal Practices Endorsed by Consumer Reports for Second Consecutive Year

By Nadine Dehgan

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  Source: Getty Images

Source: Getty Images

Hearing Health Foundation (HHF), the largest nonprofit funder of hearing and balance research, is thrilled to be recognized by Consumer Reports as one of the “Best Charities for Your Donations” for the second consecutive year.

Consumer Reports’ prominent charity roster, released annually to facilitate informed giving, includes 11 categories ranging from Animal Welfare to Youth Development. HHF is acknowledged as a top-rated nonprofit in the Blind and Hearing-Impaired category, and the only organization listed whose mission is to better the lives of those with hearing loss.

The “Best Charities for Your Donations” are determined using metrics from three major charity watchdogs: BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, and Charity Watch. These watchdogs independently research charities’ financial histories and moral standards to evaluate how donors’ contributions are used. Each of them have previously highlighted HHF for its excellence in fundraising, governance, effectiveness, and financial standards.

HHF’s superior charity ratings and our placement on the Consumer Reports list illustrate how we pursue our mission in a financially responsible way. These accolades differentiate HHF from its peers and assure donors we are worthy of their trust.

HHF exists to better the lives of those with hearing loss by funding life-changing research and through our awareness and education programs. Our endorsements from Consumer Reports and charity watchdogs show our commitment to our mission. We have achieved many scientific milestones in our 60 years, but more work is needed. We are grateful to those who give their time and financial resources in pursuit of better treatments and cures for hearing and balance conditions.

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Puro Sound Labs Officially Launches Hearing-healthy Headphones for The Entire Family to Enjoy

California-based company to debut with the first ever studio-grade Bluetooth wireless headphones for kids

LA JOLLA, Calif., December 18, 2014 – Puro Sound Labs, a premiere consumer electronics audio company, is proud to announce their official launch into the market today. The company will provide consumers with premium quality, hearing-healthy, contemporary designed on-ear and over-ear headphone monitors at disruptive prices. Puro Sound Labs introduces the BT2200, Bluetooth “Kid-friendly” headphones with built-in volume optimization. This is the first in a line of products that aim to deliver this unique experience and value.  

The Puro Sound Labs BT2200 are Bluetooth headphones created specifically for kids and designed with the health and safety of a child as a priority. They will be the first ever and only studio-grade Bluetooth headphones on the market made especially for kids with volume limiting ear protection. Volume levels over 85 decibels (dB) have been known to cause hearing loss over time. Their unique headphone design protects children’s ears, while delivering studio-grade sound. With hearing health and education in mind, Puro Sound has committed to donating a portion of every sale of all Puro Sound products through 2015 to the Hearing Health Foundation.

“Noise-induced hearing loss is 100% preventable; however prolonged exposure to sounds that are 85 decibels (dB) or above, such as loud music, is often the culprit. By placing an 85 dB volume limit on their headphones, Puro Sound is taking significant strides towards protecting children’s hearing against premature hearing loss. We are excited to work together to achieve the same goal of both educating and providing consumers with hearing-friendly solutions,” said Claire Schultz, CEO, Hearing Health Foundation. “We are looking forward to their continued support and their on-going efforts towards our collective cause.” To find out more about safe listening levels and how to prevent hearing loss, visit us here.

Puro Sound Labs headphones are designed with a unique frequency response curve called Puro Balanced Response®, designed to recreate the natural sound produced in a perfectly tuned listening room in the headphone listening experience. This helps to maximize the satisfaction of Healthy Ears® hearing protection.

Great care has gone into the design and materials used in the headphones. A soft and supple cushioning material and durable lightweight aluminum are used to make the headphones comfortable for young ears and to stand up to everyday use. Their design also attenuates 82% of ambient noise, eliminating a need for higher volume limits. When combined, Puro’s Balanced Response® Curve and the headphones’ noise attenuation design, kids can enjoy their music with no need to exceed safe playback levels.

Parents will love them for their great value and hearing health while kids will love them for their comfort, wireless Bluetooth freedom and great sound. Plus, when employing Bluetooth wireless technology, the chance of a child getting tangled or caught on the headphones’ cable is reduced.


  • Unique volume governor system that limits sound output on most portable devices to 85 dB for parents’ peace of mind
  • Puro Limiter cable insures 85 dB sound limit for the auxiliary wired experience
  • Puro Balanced Response® equally balances bass, mids and highs, delivering clear, understandable vocal reproduction without excessive volume
  • Ambient noise limiting by up to 82%* - even in noisy environments like an airplane, allowing for reasonable listening levels
  • Integrated microphone for seamless use with a phone
  • 18 Hours of Battery Life for Music Playback & 200 Hours Standby
  • Durable, Lightweight Aluminum Construction
  • Supple Protein Leather Ear Cushions and Headband
  • Puro EQ App for iOS (Android coming soon)
  • Folds Flat for Travel

Puro Sound has also developed the Puro Sound Equalizer App, an iOS 16-band EQ application that allows headphones to be customized to the listener's sound and genre preferences. A version of the app for Android devices will be available after the first of the year.


“Using only the very best of science and engineering available, we have mastered the art of methodically replicating big room sound by fine-tuning our audio products with our signature Puro Balanced Response Curve. We are creating products that will lead to a new generation of premium sound entertainment and I am excited about what’s to come in 2015,” said Jason Wehner, CTO of Puro Sound Labs.

The “Kid-friendly” Puro Sound Labs BT2200 will be available for $79.99 in White/silver and Tan/gold colors and available through authorized online resellers including amazon.com and purosound.com.

*Source: Puro Sound Labs

About Puro Sound Labs
Established in 2014, Puro Sound Labs is a premiere consumer electronics audio company that designs innovative and audiophile quality audio products. Using only the very best of science and engineering available, Puro Sound Labs engineers have been able to master the art of methodically replicating big room sound and fine-tuning audio and introducing a new generation of premium sound entertainment. You know great sound when you hear it – Puro Sound Labs know the science behind creating it. For more information please visit www.purosound.com

About Hearing Health Foundation
Hearing Health Foundation is the largest private funder of hearing research, with a mission to prevent and cure hearing loss through groundbreaking research. Since 1958 Hearing Health Foundation has given away millions of dollars to hearing and balance research, including work that led to cochlear implant technology and now through the Hearing Restoration Project is working on a cure for hearing loss. Hearing Health Foundation also publishes Hearing Health magazine, a free consumer resource on hearing loss and related technology, research, and products. To learn more, subscribe to our magazine, or support this work, visit www.hhf.org.

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Hearing Health Foundation Names Claire Schultz as Chief Executive Officer

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By Tara Guastella

New York, NY (April 29, 2014) - Hearing Health Foundation (HHF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing and curing hearing loss and tinnitus through groundbreaking research, announced today the appointment of Claire Schultz as chief executive officer.

Ms. Schultz comes to HHF with extensive experience in the public and private sectors. She most recently served as the chief external affairs officer of Amnesty International USA, where she was responsible for all revenue development, marketing, communications, digital engagement, and entertainment relations.  At HHF, she will be responsible for strategic leadership and direction of the organization helping to increase its prominence and impact.

Shari Eberts, chair of the board of directors, said, “I am delighted to welcome Claire Schultz as our chief executive officer.  Claire’s depth of leadership and management experience make her uniquely qualified for this vital role.  I am confident that she will galvanize our mission to prevent and cure hearing loss and tinnitus through groundbreaking research through the Hearing Restoration Project, and that she will help navigate a path to build and strengthen HHF with vigor, resolve, and imagination.” 

“It is an honor to be joining HHF and to be working with its forward-looking leadership and the distinguished scientific research community. The mission of HHF is personal for me. As someone with a parent that has hearing loss, I have seen first-hand the challenges a person faces on a daily basis. I am motivated to expedite scientific breakthroughs for the millions of people who live with hearing loss and tinnitus." Claire Schultz said.

Ms. Schultz also previously served as the senior vice president, strategic marketing and communications at JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) where she launched the organization’s national rebranding initiative, and the JDC (Joint Distribution Committee), where she established the first marketing and communications function aligned with fundraising.  While at JDC, she traveled internationally creating award-winning videos documenting the critical humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable children and the elderly.   Prior to working in nonprofit organizations, Ms. Schultz held management positions at NBC, Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Disney/ABC, Inc.

Ms. Schultz received her B.A in Communications from Tulane University and has a certificate in linguistic studies from University of East Anglia, Norwich UK.  

About Hearing Health Foundation:
Hearing Health Foundation is the largest private funder of hearing research, with a mission to prevent and cure hearing loss and tinnitus through groundbreaking research. Since 1958 Hearing Health Foundation has given away millions of dollars to hearing and balance research, and now through the Hearing Restoration Project is working on a cure for hearing loss and tinnitus. Hearing Health Foundation also publishes Hearing Health magazine, a free consumer resource on hearing loss and related technology, research, and products.

For more information visit: www.hhf.org
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/HearingHealthFoundation
Follow us on Twitter: @HearingHealthFn

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Hearing Health Foundation Announces "Pledge for Hearing Health"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HEARING HEALTH FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES
“PLEDGE  FOR HEARING HEALTH”

Occurring in Conjunction with National Better Hearing & Speech Month

New York, NY (May 1, 2013)—In honor of Better Hearing and Speech Month this May, Hearing Health Foundation (HHF), a non-profit dedicated to finding a cure for hearing loss through innovative research, has launched a campaign to encourage individuals to pledge online to get their hearing, or a loved one’s hearing, tested. To take the pledge, please visit: http://hhf.org.

Nearly 50 million Americans experience hearing loss, yet the average person has trouble hearing for seven to ten years before having their hearing tested by a hearing healthcare professional. HHF will provide resources to help those taking the pledge find local hearing healthcare professionals as well as topics to discuss with their providers. In addition, for every person who takes the pledge, HeathyHearing.com, a leading online resource for hearing health, will donate $1 to HHF to support groundbreaking research to prevent and cure hearing loss.

Also joining Hearing Health Foundation as partners in this initiative are the four major professional hearing associations: Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA), American Academy of Audiology (AAA), American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) and American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

“We are thrilled to have the support of all these incredible organizations, uniting together to support a very important health initiative,” said Andrea Boidman, Executive Director of Hearing Health Foundation. “Nearly every single person is affected one way or another by hearing loss. While our Hearing Restoration Project works to find a cure for hearing loss, our goal is to make hearing health a national priority. There are so many treatments available to help people hear better, and we want to encourage Americans to have their hearing tested and speak with a hearing healthcare provider about what options are available.”

"Most people have their teeth and eyes checked every year, but neglect to check their hearing. Hearing loss is the third most common health problem in America behind high blood pressure and arthritis," said Paul Dybala, Ph.D., President of HealthyHearing.com. "We wanted to support this initiative with Hearing Health Foundation to encourage people to visit a hearing care professional to get their hearing checked regularly."

As people often delay treating hearing loss, HHF notes several critical reasons to have your hearing tested, including:

  • Only 16% of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss.

  • 20% of preschoolers fail hearing screenings.

  • 72% of people attending senior centers fail the hearing screening.

  • People with a mild hearing loss are twice as likely to develop dementia; the likelihood to develop dementia increases with the severity of the hearing loss.

  • Hearing loss can lead to depression and social isolation.

In 2011 Hearing Health Foundation launched the Hearing Restoration Project (HRP), a consortium of scientists working on cell regeneration in the ear. The goal of the Hearing Restoration Project is to find a biologic cure for hearing loss within the next ten years through innovative research surrounding inner ear hair cell regeneration. Most non-mammals spontaneously regenerate these specialized cells after they are damaged, which allow them to restore their hearing, but humans do not and the Hearing Restoration Project aims to understand why. The Hearing Restoration Project brought together a consortium of 14 senior scientists at leading universities around the country, requiring them to share data in order to find a quicker path to a cure.

For more information or to see how you can get involved please visit: http://hhf.org

About Hearing Health Foundation
Hearing Health Foundation is the largest private funder of hearing research, with a mission to prevent and cure hearing loss through groundbreaking research. Since 1958 Hearing Health Foundation has given away millions of dollars to hearing and balance research, including work that led to cochlear implant technology and now through the Hearing Restoration Project is working on a cure for hearing loss. Hearing Health Foundation also publishes Hearing Health magazine, a free consumer resource on hearing loss and related technology, research, and products. To learn more, subscribe to our magazine, or support this work, visit www.hhf.org.

Follow the Foundation on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/HearingHealthFn and like the organization on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/HearingHealthFoundation to stay current on hearing research, trends, technology and breakthroughs.

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Chris Smith President of Cochlear Americas Joins the Board of Hearing Health Foundation

New York, NY (January 31, 2013)—Hearing Health Foundation is thrilled to announce that Chris Smith, President of Cochlear Americas, a Denver based subsidiary of Cochlear Limited, the market leader in the development, manufacturing and distribution of implantable hearing devices, has joined their Board of Directors. On January 23, 2013, the Foundation, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to curing hearing loss through groundbreaking research while raising awareness about valuable prevention techniques, welcomed Mr. Smith to the board.  

"I'm proud to be on the Board of Directors of Hearing Health Foundation, which has, for the last 55 years, been funding important research, including many grants - even back to the 1960's - oncochlear implants,” says Chris Smith. “Hearing Health Foundation continues to make hearing issues a national priority for the nearly 50 million people in this country who currently have hearing loss.  Hearing research is essential, as it is only through research that will we continue to enhance treatments and options for hearing loss."

Since its inception in 1958, Hearing Health Foundation (formerly Deafness Research Foundation) has raised over $27.8 million for hearing and balance research including work that led to cochlear implant technology, newborn hearing screening and surgery for otosclerosis. Recently, Hearing Health Foundation has brought together the nation’s leading researchers to form the Hearing Restoration Project, a program designed to accelerate the timeline to a cure for a hearing loss.

“Chris Smith has been a long time leader in the hearing health care industry,” says David S. Haynes, M.D., Medical Director of Hearing Health Foundation and Director of Otology and Neurotology at Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center. “His depth of knowledge in the hearing implant field and vision of the future is unparalleled. He is a significant addition to the Hearing Heath Foundation Board of Directors.”

Mr. Smith has served as President of Cochlear Americas since 2004 before which he was CEO in Residence with Warburg Pincus in New York, a leading direct equity investor in health care, and Group President of Gyrus Group, a market leader in surgical products headquartered in Reading, England. In addition, he previously served as director of Acclarent, Inc., a private medical device company and Xtent Medical, a public medical device company.

Mr. Smith brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Foundation’s Board of Directors, joining an impressive group that already includes: Shari Eberts, Mark Angelo, Robert Boucai, Judy R. Dubno, Ph.D., Rebecca Ginzburg, Roger M. Harris, David S. Haynes, M.D., Elizabeth Keithley, Ph.D., Richard Miyamoto, M.D., Michael C. Nolan, Paul E. Orlin, Peter S. Steyger, Ph.D., Clifford P. Tallman, Jr., Elizabeth Thorp and Nancy M. Williams.

In addition to their work towards a hearing loss cure, Hearing Health Foundation also publishes Hearing Health magazine, a free consumer magazine on hearing loss and related technology, research and products.

For more information or to see how you can get involved please visit: www.hearinghealthfoundation.org.

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Hearing Health Foundation Announces Inaugural Junior Board Holiday Event

Hearing Health Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to finding a cure for hearing loss through innovative research, is proud to announce their inaugural Junior Board Holiday Event. Tomorrow, Tuesday, December 4th from 6:30-8:30 PM at Ashtons Alley in New York City, members of the Junior Board will host an event inspiring young professionals to rally around a cure for hearing loss. The collection of unique and passionate individuals serves as ambassadors and advocates for Hearing Health Foundation.

"As we swing into the holiday season, and enjoy the company, conversation, and the sounds of the holidays, lets not forget that nearly 1 in 5 Americans suffer from some form of hearing loss,” said Bejamin Melting, President of Hearing Health Foundation Junior Board. “This impairment isn't limited to the aged, but effects the young and old alike. As we celebrate over the next few weeks with family and friends; think what it would be like if you weren't able to hear the conversations around you, or the sounds of the holidays? If like me, you want to find a cure for this devastating ailment, come join us on December 4! If you can't make it, you can always donate!”

Since 1958, Hearing Health Foundation has given over $27.8 million to hearing and balance research. In 2011, Hearing Health Foundation launched the Hearing Restoration Project (HRP), a consortium of scientists working on cell regeneration in the ear. HRP's goal is a biologic cure for most types of acquired hearing loss within the next ten years. Hearing Health Foundation also publishes Hearing Health magazine, a free consumer resource on hearing loss and related technology, research, and products.

"We are thrilled to have the support of such a committed and passionate Junior Board," said Andrea Boidman, Executive Director of Hearing Health Foundation. "We know this event will be the first of many and look forward to seeing this group develop into a key awareness and fundraising team for our next generation."

The event on December 4th will feature a $45 entry fee ($35 if purchased in advance) that will include free beer from Blue Moon and wine from Justin Vineyards & Winery as well as 2 for 1 well drinks, light hors d’oeuvres, an on-site caricature artist and a silent auction featuring concert tickets, beauty packages, signed sporting memorabilia and more.

Hearing Health Foundation Junior Board members include: Benjamin Melting, Anthony Bartoli, Kristie D’Agnes, Jason Frank, Jenny Frank, Andrew Hebert, Michael Kolodny, Jessica Luterman Naeve, Dominic Pisano, Felicia Rovegno, Nicole Simels-Kolodny, Katherine Simpson, Paris St. Clair and Nathan Walcker.

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Hearing Health Foundation Names Peter Barr-Gillespie Director of HRP

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Nick Carcaterra
Susan Blond, Inc.
212.333.7728 ext. 126
nickc@susanblondinc.com

HEARING HEALTH FOUNDATION
NAMES PETER BARR-GILLESPIE DIRECTOR OF

THE HEARING RESTORATION PROJECT
& ANNOUNCES “GEORGE A. GATES RESEARCH AWARD”

Non-Profit Dedicated To Curing Hearing Loss Through Innovative Research Announces New Director for Their Groundbreaking Hearing Restoration Project

New York, NY (October 24, 2012)—On October 8, 2012, Hearing Health Foundation (HHF) honored George A. Gates, M.D., who, until his recent retirement from Hearing Health Foundation’s Board of Directors, served as the Medical Director for the organization.  As part of the evening, the Foundation announced the “George A. Gates Research Award,” to be presented annually, in perpetuity, to an outstanding Emerging Research awardee. Gates, who has been a key member of the HHF board since 1987, was the founder of the Hearing Restoration Project (HRP), a program designed to accelerate the timeline to a cure for hearing loss. Today, the Foundation is also proud to announce Peter Barr-Gillespie, Ph.D, as the new Director of the HRP.

“We will forever be grateful to Dr. Gates for his perseverance, vision, and commitment to Hearing Health Foundation and especially the Hearing Restoration Project,” says Andrea Boidman, Executive Director of Hearing Health Foundation.  “He started us out on the right foot, and we are very excited to see Dr. Barr-Gillespie now at the helm.  I am confident that Dr. Barr-Gillespie will help our consortium work toward the goal of a biologic cure for hearing loss; we are very lucky to have him in this leadership role.”

The goal of the Hearing Restoration Project is to find a cure for hearing loss within the next ten years through innovative research surrounding inner ear hair cell regeneration. Most non-mammals spontaneously regenerate these cells, which allow them to hear, but humans do not and the Hearing Restoration Project aims to understand not only why this is the case, but how we can translate what we know about non-mammals to people. Barr-Gillespie brings a wealth of experience to the HRP, joining an already impressive team of researchers.

After undergraduate studies at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, Peter G. Barr-Gillespie attended graduate school at the University of Washington, where he received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology in 1988. He spent five years as a postdoc with Jim Hudspeth, first at the University of California, San Francisco, then at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He joined the Department of Physiology at Johns Hopkins University as an Assistant Professor in 1993 and rose to Associate Professor in 1998. In 1999 he joined the Oregon Hearing Research Center as an Associate Professor and the Vollum Institute as a Scientist. He was promoted to Professor in 2004 and granted tenure in 2007.

"It's extremely exciting to be part of the Hearing Restoration Project,” said Peter Barr-Gillespie. “Progress towards a successful strategy for restoring hearing has been hampered by the scattershot approach to the problem taken by individual investigators. In the Hearing Restoration Project, a consortium of outstanding scientists has chosen to work together collaboratively towards this common goal, an approach that should substantially shorten the time needed to devise a way to restore hearing in people with hearing loss. I feel privileged to lead such a distinguished group of investigators."

In his new role, Barr-Gillespie will oversee the work of the entire Consortium, made up of some of the most talented, creative, and inspired researchers in the area of cell regeneration in the ear, whose work has already contributed significantly to the field. In addition to Barr-Gillespie as Director, the Consortium consists of: Dr. John Brigande, Dr. Alain Dabdoub, Dr. Albert Edge, Dr. Andy Groves, Dr. Stefan Heller, Dr. Michael Lovett, Dr. Liz Oesterle, Dr. Tatjana Piotrowski, Dr. David Raible, Dr. Yehoash Raphael, Dr. Edwin Rubel, Dr. Neil Segil, Dr. Jennifer S. Stone, and Dr. Mark Warchol.

For more information please visit: http://hearinghealthfoundation.org/

About Hearing Health Foundation

Since 1958, Hearing Health Foundation has given over $27.8 million to hearing and balance research.  In 2011 Hearing Health Foundation launched the Hearing Restoration Project (HRP), a consortium of scientists working on cell regeneration in the ear.  HRP's goal is a biologic cure for most types of acquired hearing loss within the next ten years. Hearing Health Foundation also publishes Hearing Health magazine, a free consumer resource on hearing loss and related technology, research, and products.

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Hearing Health Foundation Launches Public Service Campaign

For Immediate Release
Contact: Libby Schnee
Libby.Schnee@gmail.com
917.767.8282

Hearing Health Foundation Launches Public Service Campaign Featuring Iraq Veteran and Others on the Prevalence of Hearing Loss
-- Research Underway to Find a Biologic Cure --

NEW YORKMay 15, 2012 -- Today Hearing Health Foundation announced its long term initiative to raise awareness and funds for hearing and balance research through a national public service advertising campaign featuring real people who suffer a hearing loss.  Johns Hopkins reports that nearly 50 million Americans suffer a hearing loss.  That number is expected to double in 20 years.  Hearing loss affects a growing number of teens and 60 percent of returning military from Iraq and Afghanistan, who acquire hearing loss or tinnitus due to noise exposure during service.

The campaign launches at a time when the nation’s attention is focused on the service of military veterans (May 19 Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day Weekend) whose lives are forever altered by the visible and invisible wounds of war.  “I suffered hearing loss serving my country as an army specialist in Iraq. The damage I suffered in combat is making it even harder to fit back in as a civilian,” said Specialist Rebecca Nava.

Other personal stories featured in the campaign include Katherine Simpson, “I started to lose my hearing in college.  Social situations became awkward.  And even though I had no reason to be embarrassed, it was hard for me to tell my friends.” Sean and Samantha Brownlie, who are 9 and 7 respectively, noted, “Hearing aids have helped me and my sister for most of our lives, but they’re not a solution for everyone with hearing loss.”

The public service advertising campaign includes television and radio spots of real people sharing their experience living with this unwanted change in their lives and their hope for a cure.  Hearing Health Foundation funds a research consortium, The Hearing Restoration Project, with the goal of finding a biologic cure for hearing loss within the next decide through cell regeneration therapies.  The campaign calls for people to learn more about the issue and the search for a cure by visiting www.hearinghealthfoundation.org.

“Hearing Health Foundation has long been at the forefront of hearing and balance research, and we understand that it is important to invest in the next wave of hearing treatments,” said Andrea Boidman, Executive Director of Hearing Health Foundation.  “Hearing research is important to the future of a growing number of people, and they need to know that there are new treatments on the horizon that could really impact their lives.”  

 

Lt. Col. Mark Packer, MD., Executive Director for US Department of Defense Hearing Center of Excellence (HCE) understands what new treatments could mean for returning combat veterans. “In the military, hearing is critical for the instruction, teamwork and reporting that are necessary for mission accomplishment.  Hearing loss is truly a hidden disability and our aim is to address significant gaps in the military’s ability to prevent or mitigate and then treat this type of injury.”  The HCE is partnering with the Veterans Health Administration, Hearing Health Foundation and others to address this issue.

The campaign is timed with May’s Better Hearing and Speech Month and includes a new website community for consumers who are living with hearing loss to access helpful resources and information.  Hearing Health Foundation publishes Hearing Health Magazine, and award-winning publication that is free to those who subscribe.

About Hearing Health Foundation

Hearing Health Foundation is the largest private funder of hearing research, with a mission to prevent and cure hearing loss through groundbreaking research.  Since 1958 Hearing Health Foundation has given over $26.6 million to hearing and balance research, including work that led to cochlear implant technology.  In 2011 Hearing Health Foundation launched the Hearing Restoration Project (HRP), a consortium of scientists working on cell regeneration in the ear.  HRP's goal is a biologic cure for most types of acquired hearing loss within the next ten years. Hearing Health Foundation also publishes Hearing Health magazine, a free consumer resource on hearing loss and related technology, research, and products.  To learn more or support this work, visit www.hearinghealthfoundation.org.

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Jay Alan Zimmerman's Incredibly Deaf Musical To Benefit Hearing Health Foundation

For Immediate Release
Contact: Amy Briskin
abriskin@aol.com
212-794-6644

Jay Alan Zimmerman’s Incredibly Deaf Musical Playing at the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater
at 10 West 64th Street, New York City, Benefiting Hearing Health Foundation

NEW YORKMay 7, 2012 -- Beginning on May 31st, 2012, acclaimed composer and author, Jay Alan Zimmerman, will debut his stage production, the Incredibly Deaf Musical, at the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater in New York City.

Stemming from his own personal experiences, Jay Alan Zimmerman’s theatrical production tells the story of Jay – a composer who is dealing with the noisy buzz of progressive deafness stealing away his songs.  As Jay struggles to hold onto the disappearing notes, his wife and son help him strive for something other than fame or death. 

“I learned a lot from the 2010 New York Musical Theater Festival production of this play,” explained Mr. Zimmerman.  “While the reviews were very positive, I discovered I needed to restructure the drama, cut a few songs, and make both deafness and music -- two things that are ‘invisible’ --  more visible on stage.   So even though we're far from having a Broadway budget, we're using costuming, movement, and visual music projections like I've done for art exhibits in order to enhance the production while deepening the story.  It's exciting to be improving the show and raising money for Hearing Health Foundation at the same time."

A vibrant pop-classical-experimental-caption integrated mash-up, Jay Alan Zimmerman’s Incredibly Deaf Musical is the heartwarming, booty-shaking autobiography of a man trying everything he can to keep the music flying.  Jay himself – a man of many talents – not only wrote the show but also steps into the starring role for this special limited run production to benefit Hearing Health Foundation, the leading private funder of scientific research for the regeneration of hearing.  Show proceeds will go to the Hearing Health Foundation.

Available Dates and Times:
Thursday, May 31 at 8:00 PM
Friday, June 1 at 8:00 PM
Saturday, June 2 at 3:30 PM
Thursday, June 7 at 8:00 PM
Friday, June 8 at 8:00 PM
Saturday, June 9 at 3:30 PM

Ticket prices begin at $30.00 each. 

Accessibility & Captioning: Wheelchair accessible. The WC locations will be in the “Dance section”—which is perfect because the last song is about “dancing in your heart,” and using whatever you’ve got.  It will include dances for everyone, including wheelchair users!  Captioning will also be provided for this show.  The captioning will not only be invaluable to those who are deaf or who have hearing loss, but will also serve as a character in the show, expanding beyond the caption screen to interact with the actors via multimedia.

Running time: Approximately 2 hours, including intermission.

The Incredibly Deaf Musical will be playing select dates at The Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater on 10 West 64th Street, New York, NY 10023.  The show is co-produced with Hearing Health Foundation.

For more information, please visit: www.deafmusical.com

For information on Hearing Health Foundation, please visit: http://hearinghealthfoundation.org/

To learn more about the MSDLT “Like” Us on Facebook:
The Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater at the West Side YMCA

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About Hearing Health Foundation

Hearing Health Foundation is the United States’ leading source of private funding for research in hearing and balance science.  Research made possible by Hearing Health Foundation grants has resulted in dramatic innovations that have increased options for those living with hearing and balance disorders, and protected those at risk.  Since its inception in 1958, Hearing Health Foundation has awarded more than $26.5 million through more than 2,000 scientific research grants to researchers who are dedicated to exploring new avenues of hearing and balance science.  Hearing Health Foundation also publishes the award-winning Hearing Health magazine.  For more information visit www.hearinghealthfoundation.org.

About the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater:

The Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater at the West Side Y is a non-profit, independent, Off-Broadway Theater in the West Side YMCA which exists to: encourage the creative spirit in young people; empower, educate, and maximize the potential of the young people and emerging artists; serve our community by providing affordable and high quality professional arts performances, programming, training, and education;  create and launch new and innovative works that inspire, entertain, and reflect our diverse community while furthering the YMCA of Greater New York's mission of building healthy bodies, healthy minds, and healthy spirits. The historic space was named in 2004 for the late Marjorie S. Deane, a New York City philanthropist, theater advocate and fashion industry icon, whose study of fashion was fueled by her interest in costume design for the theater.  www.ymca.org/westside

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