HES Executive Director, Dr. Anne Orsene, Storms Capital Hill!

She is fighting for you! On November 14, 2019 our Executive Director, Dr. Anne Orsene, along with 175 other Audiologists from across the country, stormed Capitol Hill to gain support for the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act of 2019 (H.R. 2276, S.2575).

This act, introduced by Rep. Tom Rice, [R-SC-7], would enhance the Medicare benefit by providing beneficiaries critical direct access to both diagnostic and rehabilitative services provided by an Audiologist. It would remove unnecessary barriers, allowing patients to receive appropriate, timely, and cost-effective care. The goal of Lobby Day was to secure co- sponsors to help push this act forward.

Dr. Orsene, along with several other Audiologists from New York, met with five legislators and their staff to educate them on how this act would benefit Medicare recipients. Our NY team was extremely proud to have secured a co-sponsor for the act, Rep.Max Rose ,of StatenIsland.

Passage of the Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act would dramatically improve audiology care for Medicare recipients.  It would enable them to have their choice of a qualified audiologist and would eliminate the need for a physician order to receive coverage of medically necessary audiology and vestibular services. It would also allow for Medicare coverage of treatment services such as vestibular rehabilitation, cerumen removal, and aural rehabilitation provided by audiologists.

Medicare’s archaic referral requirements must be modernized to allow seniors direct access to efficient, effective care.  All other federal programs as well as Medicare Advantage plans and most private health insurance plans already allow direct access to audiologists without first requiring a physician referral. Medicare patients should have the right to choose among all recognized providers for all Medicare-covered services as this comprises the majority of hearing health issues for the older adult population.

As a result of Lobby Day, 16 new co-sponsors were secured and the act now has 56 co-sponsors and has bipartisan support in the House and Senate.  Rest assured that HES will continue to fight for the rights of Medicare patients until this act is passed and will push forward to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries with a hearing or balance disorder receive timely treatment from an Audiologist.

 

 

DENT Dizziness, Balance and Tinnitus Center Celebrates 10 Years of Service

On September 19th, 2019 Hearing Evaluation Services of Buffalo celebrated the 10 year anniversary of our collaboration with Dr. Lixen Zhang’s Dizziness, Balance and Tinnitus Center at DENT Neurologic Institute. Since this partnership, DENT, Hearing Evaluation Services and Susan Bennett’s Rehabilitation Institute have helped thousands of patients receive treatment and solutions to help with these debilitating disorders.

We are proud to be part of this amazing interdisciplinary team that Dr. Zhang has assembled and look forward to working with DENT as their program continues to grow.

New HES TV Campaign Launches this Fall

Last month, Hearing Evaluation Services of Buffalo launched three new patient stories for our ongoing television campaign. Additionally, we have a fourth commercial that will be launching later this month that highlights the opportunity to demo hearing devices before you commit to a purchase. We would like to thank Bruce, Gregg and Katie for sharing their stories of how it’s Good to Hear.

From the corporate world, to the joy of music and life as an athlete, each story brought a unique perspective on how hearing loss can affect any one at any time. The commercials also feature three Doctors of Audiology from our practice; Dr. Anne Orsene, Dr. Jill Bernstein, and Dr. Nicole Ball. Commercials can be seen locally on Channel 2 and Channel 7, as well as on our YouTube page and website.

If you are interested in participating in a future television commercial, and would love to share your success story, please let one of our Patient Care Coordinators or Audiologists know at your next appointment. You could be the next star!

Special visit from HES Board of Directors

On Monday, September 16th, the entire staff of Hearing Evaluation Services had the opportunity to meet the board of directors at our first annual joint meeting. HES is a 501(c3) non-profit organization that is governed by a board of directors. Our board oversees the organization to ensure that we achieve our mission to improve lives through personal and honest hearing healthcare and to help more individuals in need in WNY.

With their continued support and guidance, our audiologists are able to provide care to all individuals regardless of their financial circumstances. Having a strong, committed board makes HES one of the most unique practices in the country. Our board is comprised of Chairman David Carlson, President of Sentz-Carlson Agency, Edward Lobarinas, PhD, Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, Ross Cushing, AuD, owner of Live Better Hearing and Balance with 20 offices in Maryland and Virginia, and Anne Orsene, AuD, Executive Director of Hearing Evaluation Services. We were thrilled to have Dr. Lobarinas and Dr. Cushing travel in from Texas and Maryland, respectively, to attend this important company meeting.

HES Announces hiring of Dr. Christine Pleban

Hearing Evaluation Services (“HES”) of Buffalo is pleased to announce the hiring of Orchard Park resident, Dr. Christine Pleban, as an Audiologist at the 4063 North Buffalo Road location.

Dr. Pleban received her B.S. in Communicative Disorders and Sciences from SUNY Geneseo in 2003 and her Doctorate in Audiology from the University at Buffalo in 2007.  She specializes in working with adult and pediatric populations and has extensive expertise in audiometric assessments, hearing aid fittings, and aural rehabilitation.

Dr. Pleban focuses on patient counseling, education and quality of life improvements and joins HES after practicing at Ken-Ton Hearing. In addition to seeing patients at the Orchard Park location, she also sees patients at Fox Run and has seen community residents for hearing screenings at the Orchard Park Senior Center.  As a resident of Orchard Park, Dr. Pleban looks forward to immersing herself as a hearing health advocate in her local community.

In addition to her work at HES, Dr. Pleban is the Board President for the not-for-profit after school program, Just for Kids, and is a member of the American Academy of Audiology.

Hearing Evaluation Services is one of the largest freestanding, non-profit audiology practices in the country with locations in Amherst, Williamsville, Orchard Park and Tonawanda. HES offers evaluations, treatments, and solutions for those with hearing loss, balance disorders, and tinnitus. Since its inception in 1981, HES has upheld the highest standards of ethics and aims to not only treat but to educate individuals about the impacts of untreated hearing loss including cognitive decline, social isolation and depression.  To learn more about HES, visit www.HESofBuffalo.org.

HES Welcomes Tony Caligiuri!

Tony Caligiuri, a longtime radio personality at WBEN, is famously known as the producer of the Sandy Beach Show. Tony came to HES in the Fall of 2018 after finally getting fed up with his hearing loss and bothersome tinnitus.

His hearing difficulties were affecting both his home and work life as well as his recreational activities. Tony is passionate about his family and community and didn’t want his relationships to continue to be negatively affected by his hearing loss. Tony was fit with hearing aids to address both his hearing and tinnitus complaints and was so satisfied with his results and his experience at HES that he has become an official spokesperson for our organization.

You can listen to Tony’s story, and his continued experience of better hearing health on WBEN, 930 AM, Monday through Friday from 9 am – noon.

Five Fun Facts from our Certified Tinnitus Specialists

At Hearing Evaluation Services, our Doctors of Audiology have the expertise to manage your tinnitus and help you hear well again. HES is the only practice in Western New York to have four Doctors of Audiology who are all members of the American Tinnitus Association as well as certified by the Tinnitus Practitioners Association, making them uniquely qualified to help with tinnitus. Here are some fun facts to help you get to know our Specialists:

Nicole L. Ball, Au.D

• Joined HES in 2012.

• Graduated Summa Cum Laude from Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

• Bilingual.

• Studied at the University of Costa Rica and Nova Southeastern University

• Mom of Twin Boys

Alyssa Beaton, Au.D.

• Joined HES in 2015.

• Certified in Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment.

• Worked as an Audiology Assistant and completed her residency with HES

• Western New York native.

• Getting married June 2019.

Jennifer Sutton, Au.D.

• Joined HES in 2007.

• Has extensive experience in vestibular and pediatric testing.

• Specializes in non-sedated auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing for infants.

• Helps train Doctoral-level audiology students from the University at Buffalo.

• Mom of two boys and a girl.

Carolyn Yates, Au.D.

• Joined HES in 2013.

• Graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University at Buffalo.

• 2013 Recipient of the Tindle-Schupe Award for Clinical Excellence in Audiology.

• Participates in clinical research studies for Tinnitus, Dizziness, and Balance disorders.

• Proud Mom of two boxers.

Tinnitus – FAQs

Hearing Evaluation Services has developed a Tinnitus Management Program that is built off of treatment research and years of tinnitus treatment outcomes. Many patients we treat have suffered for years before seeking treatment because they didn’t know that getting help was even an option.

Here are a few frequently asked questions about tinnitus that may help you have a better understanding of this condition:

What is tinnitus? – Tinnitus is defined as the perception of sound when no external sound is present. Tinnitus is often described as ringing, buzzing, hissing, crickets chirping, etc. It can be present constantly or occur intermittently and can fluctuate in volume or type of sound. Tinnitus is considered a symptom and not a disease.

What causes tinnitus? – The biological mechanism of tinnitus is still unknown; however, current research suggests it is a result of the brain’s reaction to a change within the auditory system. Roughly 90% of people who experience tinnitus have an underlying hearing loss. It can also occur temporarily because of ear wax that is plugging the ears, ear infections, exposure to loud sounds or as a side effect of certain medications. Tinnitus is also associated with other non-auditory conditions such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder as well as head or neck injuries.

Is there a cure for Tinnitus? – Tinnitus that is the result of certain ear-related issues (including impacted ear wax and conductive hearing loss) will typically diminish once the underlying medical issue is resolved. Tinnitus that is related to permanent hearing loss is not generally curable but it is often manageable using sound therapy and counseling techniques so that is no longer bothersome. Our Tinnitus Management Program is extremely successful. Over 85% of patients reported a reduction in how bothersome their tinnitus was in just six weeks.

What options are available to help patients better manage their tinnitus? – The certified tinnitus specialists at Hearing Evaluation Services are trained in various aspects of Sound Therapy and work with patients to develop an individualized tinnitus management plan.

Current management options include:

• Hearing Devices

• Masking Devices

• Neuromonics™ Devices

• Combination Devices

• Counseling

• Stress and Sleep Management

If you are experiencing bothersome tinnitus, please call our office today to set up an appointment with one of our specialists.

Major Milestone achieved for Dr. Ann E. Stadelmaier Hearing Aid Fund

Dr. Ann E. Stadelmaier

Hearing Evaluation Services of Buffalo (HES) is pleased to announce that they have now fit over 300 people in Western New York in financial need with a brand new digital hearing aid through the Dr. Ann E. Stadelmaier Hearing Aid Fund!

HES established this fund in memory of their former Executive Director, Dr. Ann E. Stadelmaier who passed away in 2006 after a long battle with cancer. Since its inception, the fund has been generously supported by 45 local Lions Clubs who donate to offset the costs of running the fund. Our staff is extremely proud of the Dr. Ann E. Stadelmaier fund, which has helped so many individuals in Western New York hear better. These members of our local community could not have afforded to do so without the help of the fund.

We would like to thank our local Lions Clubs for their continued support.  As a non-profit organization, HES is dedicated to helping all people hear better and looks forward to continuing to help more individuals in WNY.

The fund provides hearing assistance to individuals in  need who cannot otherwise afford these services in Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties.

If you are interested in learning more about the fund or making a donation to help sustain it, please visit our website at HESofBuffalo.org or call our office at (716) 833-4488. 

It’s ‘Good to Hear’ us on the radio!

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new radio campaign on WHTT 104.1 FM.  In addition to advertising on a new station, we also have a new series of commercials airing that  feature our wide array of programs and services.

We have also re-launched our television campaign on WGRZ – Channel 2!  In addition to highlighting the stories of our patients, John and Nanette, we have added a commercial about Missy from Youngstown, and her beautiful journey of enjoying life again!  We would like to once again thank John, Nanette and Missy for their help with our campaign, and letting Western New York know that – It’s Good to Hear!

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