MISSION STATEMENT: HearCare Connection builds the self-worth of individuals by restoring their hearing potential and by providing them opportunities to engage with their communities through service to others.
PURPOSE: Provide hearing testing and the fit & maintenance of hearing aids to low-income individuals and under-served families in Southwestern Florida.
According a to a 2014 report by the Herald-Tribune, economists say that much of the job gains in recent years in Southwest Florida has been in lower-wage positions that may not provide enough income to lift people out of poverty. “That has left many families struggling to stretch paychecks that have not increased with expenses”.
HearCare Connection seeks to alleviate the financial burden of audiology care while empowering individuals to make an investment in their own healthcare. Fees for services are based on a sliding scale according to family size and income. We use this sliding scale so that hearing aids are affordable for patients while also requiring them to make a personal investment in their own healthcare. In addition to our nominal fees, we require our patients to complete a set number of volunteer service hours at a not-for-profit agency within our community to earn “sweat equity” for their hearing aids. We call this our Circle of Giving model. Because we rely on the community’s support to operate our program, our patients give back to the community that has made it possible for them to receive care.
National Hearing Loss Statistics:
- 1 in 8 Americans suffer hearing loss to an extent that interferes with communication
- 1 in 5 teenagers are being identified with hearing loss
- 14.9% of school age children have some degree of hearing loss.
- An estimated annual cost of $122 billion to $186 billion in lost productivity and tax revenues in the United States is attributed to hearing loss. (Rubenstein, John Hopkins University, 2015)
Source: Johns Hopkins University
Local Hearing Loss Statistics:
- Based on national averages, 6,564 children in Sarasota County under age 18 are living with hearing loss (Kids Count Data Book, John Hopkins University)
- 25% of children under age 18 were living in poverty in Sarasota County (Spotlight on Poverty)
- Approximately 48,975 adults in Sarasota County are living with hearing loss and 5,975 of those are living in poverty
- Sarasota County has an 11% poverty rate in seniors, one of the most prevalent ages for hearing loss. (Spotlight on Poverty, 2014)
Services We Provide:
- Reduced Fee, Sliding Scale Hearing Clinic for families with incomes up to 250% Federal Poverty Level.
- Hearing Aid Donation Program collects used hearing aids for use in clinic, repair or credit.
- Loaner Hearing Aid Program for Cancer and Hospice patients
- Annual International Hearing Mission