Long Island Doctor of Audiology Consortium students traveled to Trinidad to participate in the consortium's annual Starkey Hearing Foundation Mission Trip.
In January 2017, the Long Island Doctor of Audiology Consortium Class of 2018 packed their bags, put on their otoscopes and embarked on the mission trip of a lifetime. The students traveled to Trinidad to participate in the consortium’s annual Starkey Hearing Foundation Mission Trip.
The SAA chapter fundraised for an entire year prior to the trip. Through the help of the consortium, as well as family and friends, the chapter was able to raise $10,000, which was donated to the Starkey Hearing Foundation.
The mission trip consists of three phases in the WFA Community Based Hearing Healthcare Model. The first phase has the volunteers train partners and community-based health workers, conduct hearing screenings and take ear mold impressions. The second phase consists of fitting hearing aids for hearing aid candidates, provide counseling, and provide hearing aid patients with follow up information. The final stage has the volunteers provide outreach and continue to provide education for the new hearing aid users.
Our students were fortunate enough to be able to participate in all three stages of the mission trip during their time in Trinidad. This allowed them to follow patients through the entire process of their hearing aid fitting.
“I was so deeply touched by the love and hospitality that I received from my patients and I don’t think that was something I have ever felt before,” said Areeka Tiwari as she reflected on her experience. “It’s incredible how they were all so eager and excited to learn to use and maintain their hearing aids and we saw how much of a difference the hearing aid made for them. I was very humbled and emotional during my experience in Trinidad because I really thought I was going there to give the people of Trinidad a gift, not knowing that they were going to be the ones to give me the greatest gift of all, the most beautiful, life-changing experience ever.”
The program is so grateful to be able to continue this partnership with the Starkey Hearing Foundation. We are looking forward to our next mission trip with the class of 2019!
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