On Friday afternoon, the East Tennessee State University College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences cut the ribbon of its new audiology clinic at the Marshall T. Nave Center in Elizabethton, located at 1000 Jason Witten Way.
Clinic Director Dr. Saravanan Elangovan said the new center will provide intervention services that not only help patients, but also allow audiology students a chance for hands-on clinical instruction and research.
Elangovan said the clinic will provide patients with access to services, including comprehensive audiology evaluations for all ages; testing and customized fitting for the latest hearing aids; cochelar implants; hearing evaluations; and other rehabilitative services, including tinnitus management and communication therapy.
With 48 million Americans and thousands throughout the Northeast Tennessee region being affected by hearing loss – 60 percent of whom are either in the work force or educational settings – Elangovan said expanding access to services such as these is essential to helping improve the quality of life for those with mild to severe hearing loss.
“Unfortunately, 20 to 25 percent of these individuals get help, either because they can’t find resources in the area or they don’t have the finances,” he said.
ETSU Department of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology Chairwoman Dr. Brenda Louw said the clinic’s secondary function as a center for educating audiology students will help strengthen audiology services throughout the region.
“I think everybody has come to realize that our students who plan a career in health care professions really need hands-on training,” she said. “This new location is really exciting to us because it’s another location for students to engage in meeting the hearing needs of our patients and working with our expert faculty who will be mentoring them.
“It’ll be an amazing opportunity for them to get prepared for multiple professional demands that are placed on audiologists.”
The clinic is now taking new patients and accepts most insurance plans while also offering a sliding fee discount program. For more information, call 423-439-4355 or visit www.etsu.edu.