South Bay Magazine Feature – Businesses Give Back 2014
South Bay Hearing’s own Dr. Sunni was interviewed by South Bay Magazine our office’s mission work. Read the Q&A below!
Tell us about Starkey Hearing Foundation.
“Starkey Hearing Foundation sends teams on hearing missions around the world. I was part of the mission that went to Guadalajara, Mexico last year. South Bay Hearing sends hearing aids donated by our patients to the foundation. We also donate a portion of every hearing aid sold to support the foundation.”
What motivates you to combine your passion for your industry with your desire to give back?
“Many people are good-hearted and want to give of their time to help others. As audiologists, we have specific skills that enable us to deal with hearing loss. There are millions of people in the USA with hearing loss, and only 25% of them use the hearing aids they need. Around the world, the numbers are staggering. We hope to be part of more hearing missions in the future to give people hope for a better life.”
In what ways do you encourage your team to support worthy organizations?
“One of our audiologists, Dr. Ryan Bullock, is a competitive long-distance swimmer. He has his own foundation, Swim to Hear. His goal is to build audiology awareness and educate people about ear health and hearing loss through his swimming efforts. He won the Alcatraz swim race in San Francisco—first place in a field of 400 swimmers, including two former Olympians.”
What are the biggest benefits of making social responsibility a priority?
“You can come to work and punch a clock or have all of your focus be financially on the bottom line. People burn out, and life can be pretty shallow. But if you turn outward and try to figure out how to help the most people you can, your work during the day has a different sense about it. Your employees are proud to work with you. Your patients know that they are truly important to you. You attract good people to you. It feels good to know that your efforts made someone else’s life more sweet.”
Starkey Mission trip in Peru
Hot on the heels of the Starkey Hearing Foundation’s “So the World May Hear” Awards Gala — an event that raised nearly $9M, and featured guests and honorees such as former Secretary of Hillary Clinton, Forest Whitaker, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, John Legend, and Derrick Coleman — Sound Wave Hearing Center’s Dana Ryan took her audiological expertise to South America in support of the Starkey Hearing Foundation’s Peru mission.
The mission, which was made possible through the support and sponsorship of Audigy Group and Rotary Club, was focused on spreading the gift of better hearing across Peru by fitting nearly 5,000 people in need with a staggering near 10,000 hearing aids.
“I’m incredibly honored to have participated in this better-hearing mission,” said Dana. “This has put me back in touch with why I became an audiologist in the first place. To see the eyes of children, adults, and the elderly light up from experiencing better hearing for the first time in years — the feeling is indescribable. It’s a dream come true to be able to offer that level of support to the people of Peru. We all have something we can give back to others, and for these folks, better hearing is just the first step in improving their lives. I know that there’s a brighter future in store for those we worked with.
Starkey Hearing and GRAMMY Foundations’ LA “So the World May Hear Mission”
South Bay Hearing, hearing care providers, in conjunction with the GRAMMY Foundation and the Starkey Hearing Foundation—along with such notable celebrities as Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie, Love Actually), Jessica Sanchez (American Idol), Paige Hemmis (Extreme Makeover, Home Edition), Kyle Massey (That’s So Raven, Dancing with the Stars), singer Cassie, music producer Dallas Austin (Michael Jackson, Gwen Stefani), and skateboarding legend Tony Hawk -was on- hand at USC’s Los Angeles campus to fit nearly one hundred people in need of better hearing with donated Starkey digital hearing aids.
Those in attendance, ranging in age from just a few years old to people in their seventies, sat with Starkey founder and CEO Bill Austin along with Members of the event sponsor’s organization, Audigy Group, for free hearing aid fitting, programming, and counseling.
The Starkey Hearing Aid Foundation, which began its mission to fit more than 1 million hearing aids to those in need of better hearing in just a decade, is well on its to fulfill its goal—already having fit hundreds of thousands of ears. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have participated in numerous international missions and endorse the foundation’s cause, alongside other celebrity mission volunteers such as Sir Richard Branson, Barbara Bush, Sir Elton John, Miley Cyrus, Lennox Lewis and Trisha Yearwood.
Though the event was scheduled from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., the Audigy and the Starkey teams were vocally committed to stay until everyone was fit and comfortable with their new technology. A last-minute buzz on social media site upped attendance, resulting in more people served than initially forecasted.