Dr. Laura Moran, owner and audiologist at Harbor Audiology in Gig Harbor, WA, recently returned from volunteering in Fiji with the Oticon Foundation. In October 2016, she joined a group of medical professionals to provide quality auditory healthcare to underprivileged families and help raise awareness for hearing health, an often-overlooked aspect of medical care.
“We did a lot of ear cleaning and testing, and thankfully most children we saw had normal hearing,” said Dr. Moran.
The volunteers worked with Project H.E.A.V.E.N in Lomawai Village over a three-day period. They saw about 500 patients (free of charge), conducted over 400 hearing tests, and fit nearly 300 hearing aids.
Hearing health isn’t seen as an urgent or immediate need, like dental or vision health, so it’s often pushed down the priority list or overlooked entirely. But delaying hearing care can result in hearing loss and other issues going untreated. “Hearing is hugely important for quality of life,” explains Dr. Moran. “We hear with our brains, not with our ears, so our hearing is what keeps us engaged with relationships. It’s really what keeps our brains healthy.”
As part of their Hearing Wellness Program, Harbor Audiology offers free baseline hearing screenings to anyone age 50+, raising awareness for hearing health and giving back to the community.
“Hearing degrades so slowly that a lot of the time we’re not even aware of it,” Dr. Moran says of the screenings. “It’s important to know where you are and establish a baseline,” she continues.
“Hearing mission trips are a passion of mine,” concludes Dr. Moran. In addition to her Fiji trip, Dr. Moran has volunteered overseas in Argentina with the Oticon Foundation and visited Guatemala seven different times with Healing the Children.
About the Oticon Foundation
The Oticon Foundation seeks to promote sustainable improvements in access to hearing care for in-need people and communities around the world. By uniting hearing healthcare professionals, the Foundation aims to provide lasting benefits to underserved populations worldwide.
About Harbor Audiology
Harbor Audiology and Hearing Services in Tacoma, Gig Harbor and Silverdale, Washington, offers a wide range of hearing health services, from hearing evaluations to hearing aid fittings. Their mission is to provide superior hearing health and rehabilitative care to all patients.