UNDERSTANDING YOUR HEARING AID BENEFIT OR INSURANCE PROGRAMS

Understanding the complexities of your health insurance plan can challenging, especially for patients over 65 years’ old that may have recently received information about a new “hearing aid benefit.” There are also various programs, and levels of coverage for several different kinds of insurance or benefit programs through your employer that you may or may not know you even have.

Whether you are trying to navigate a hearing aid insurance benefit program for yourself or a loved one, we are proud to offer a trusted resource, with 35+ years of experience with local insurance companies to help you understand your hearing health options.

HES will be having a number of Insurance Benefit Seminars before and during the health insurance open enrollment period to help you better understand your options and make the right insurance selection for your hearing needs.

If you are interested in attending one of our popular Insurance Benefit Seminars, please give us a call at 544-6210 and we will add you to the next invitation list.

At HES, we believe in educating and empowering our patients to help them make informed and educated decisions about their hearing healthcare.

HES Honored by Quota International of Amherst

Amherst, NY – Hearing Evaluation Services of Buffalo was recently honored by Quota International of Amherst, at their Annual Awards Dinner on Tuesday, June 15, 2017 at Milo’s Restaurant.  HES was one of five organizations to receive the 2017 honors, which recognizes community organizations that serve Western New York.

Hearing Evaluation Services of Buffalo, Inc. is one of the only freestanding non-profit audiology practices in the country. Over the years, HES has provided quality hearing services at a variety of locations throughout Western New York (WNY) including downtown Buffalo, Amherst, Orchard Park, Tonawanda, and Williamsville.

Quota of Amherst, an International organization, was founded in Buffalo in 1919 and is dedicated to assisting the hearing and speech impaired as well as disadvantaged women and children. Its current members reside in locations all over Western New York.

 

Pictured above are L to R: Joy Higgins, St. Mary’s School for the Deaf ; Dr. Anne Orsene, Hearing Evaluation Services; Ronald Calandra, Hearts for the Homeless; Kathy Bucierka, Quota Club President; Gino Grasso and Tiffany Velado, Madonna of the Streets Inc. Buffalo.

COLD WEATHER AND YOUR HEARING

Protecting and preserving your hearing health is always one of our top priorities at HES. Environmental factors play a major role in the hearing health of many of our patients throughout the year.

As we enter the halfway point (hopefully) of winter in Western New York, it is a good time to remind you that cold air can also have an impact on your hearing as well.

Here are three important things to look out for with the cold weather relative to your hearing:

  • Increased risk of ear infections:
    • Cold temperatures limit the circulation in your ear – which can play a major role in causing ear infections. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), chronic ear infections are one of the primary causes of hearing loss. Additionally, having the common cold (which means more fluid in the middle ear space) in conjunction with poor circulation is the perfect combination to affect your hearing! If you can’t differentiate between a decline in your hearing due to these factors versus a problem with your hearing aid, please call us and we can help get your problem taken care of sooner than later.
  • Risk of “Surfers Ear”:
    • Exostosis (commonly known as ‘Surfers Ear’) occurs when cold and wet environments cause abnormal bone outgrowth to form inside the ear canal, blocking the passage and impeding hearing. Early symptoms of exostosis include frequent ear infections, or trapped water inside the ear. If you or someone you know has a job that requires them to work outside a lot during the winter months – it is extra important to be aware of these symptoms.
  • Damage to Hearing Aids
    • If you wear a hearing aid that utilizes a battery, it is important to know that exposure to cold air can affect the battery life of your devices (just as it can affect the life of any device with batteries in the cold air). Additionally, condensation from wet and cold environments can cause breakdown and corrosion which could potentially damage the device.

The solution is simple. Protect your ears from the cold when you are outdoors! From hats, ear muffs, or other protective head gear. Additionally, never go without hearing protection, even if you think it is just for a short amount of time (We’re looking at you unlucky ones who have to run the snow blower after Lake Erie dumps snow on us!). If you think your hearing devices or hearing may have been affected by the cold weather, please contact our office for help on what to do.

Powerful Moments: Rebecca Witter, AuD

As an Audiologist, my days often bring powerful moments of realization when I let a patient hear what they’ve been missing for so many years.  Hearing loss is a slow, insidious process and year to year we don’t notice the shifts in our hearing until one day we grow so frustrated that we seek help.

I am grateful for the number of patients I have been able to reach and educate about this important health concern over the years.  When a patient “gets it”, they are so much more likely to re-engage in life and live it to the fullest.

“Vince” has been a patient at HES for many years.  When I switched from our Orchard Park office to our Amherst office, he came with me even though it added an extra 40 minutes to his drive from his home in Holland, NY.  Vince is one of those guys who oozes humility and kindness.  Business owner, husband, father, and easily one of my most favorite patients I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.  Vince is a self-made man but he’ll be the first to tell you that he’s lost without his hearing aids.  An otherwise healthy active 68-year old who relies on me to keep him connected to the things he loves most in life – his friends and family.

It wasn’t until recently that his reliance on me was illustrated in a way that I’ll never forget.  I opened an email from “Vince’s” daughter a few weeks ago.  I had never met “Sarah” before; only heard about her through “Vince” who spoke so proudly of her.  She told me that “Vince” had been admitted to Buffalo General Hospital and that they had to remove his permanently-worn hearing aids to do some imaging scans.  Because “Vince” wears a style of hearing aids that are called extended-wear, that means I place them deep in his ear canals and they stay there for 4-6 weeks before he returns to me for a new set.  “Sarah” had asked me if I could make a bedside call and replace his hearing aids at Buffalo General.  “Vince” had been diagnosed with stage four liver cancer.  He and his family received this diagnosis, but “Vince” had no idea what was happening to him because he simply wasn’t able to communicate with his doctors and his family during this critical time.  He laid in his hospital bed all weekend until Sarah thought to reach out and ask if I could come to his aid.

I went to his room that day and I’ll never forget the two looks on his face – the one before I put his hearing aids back in and the one after.  I mentioned “powerful moments” earlier referring to patients’ reactions to hearing well again for the first time.  This time the powerful moment was all my own.  “Vince” came back to life when those devices went in his ears.  He spoke first to his daughter and there was a collective sigh of relief among all of us.  The gratitude in his eyes when he looked up at me was all-consuming.

I did what I could to hold back my tears, but eventually we all let them fall down our faces.  I stopped looking at my patient that day as a patient.  I saw my own father in that moment and it deepened my purpose as an audiologist.

I left the hospital not knowing if I’d ever seen “Vince” again.  His prognosis isn’t strong, but I am hopeful that God won’t take this man from his family yet.  Whatever the outcome, “Vince” has left an impression on my heart that I will carry with me forever.

Protect Your Hearing While Cheering for Buffalo!

14633102_10100150845461983_5420854676326373256_oWe love our Buffalo Sports teams – but we also love your hearing health!  With hockey and football both in full swing, Fall is the best time of year for sports fans (but not so great for your ears)!

Exposure to stadium noises, whistles and horns can speed up your chance of getting hearing loss or tinnitus.

Check out our latest commercial airing on WBEN about protecting your hearing health as you cheer for your favorite teams!

For more information please call 204-7400!

Let’s Go Buffalo!

Tonawanda Resident Honored For Humanitarian Contributions

IMG_0611[AMHERST, NY] Hearing Evaluation Services (“HES”) of Buffalo will honor Tonawanda resident (of nearly 50 years), Lion Tom Reinagel for his contributions to the Dr. Ann Stadelmaier Hearing Aid Fund (“AES Fund”) on Thursday, September 29th at Orazio’s in Clarence.

Since the Fund’s inception in 2006, 262 people with hearing loss have been given the gift of hearing through the donations of the 42 District 20-N Lions Clubs totaling over $64,000.  The Kenmore Lions Club of which Dr. Ann Stadelmaier was a member has provided 21 hearing aids, the most in the District.

Tom played an integral role in developing and growing the AES Fund, which was established in memory of his fellow Lion and past Executive Director of HES, Dr. Ann Stadelmaier, who passed away after a long battle with cancer in 2006. This program provides hearing assistance to those with hearing loss who cannot otherwise afford these services throughout the Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties.

“Ann demonstrated the Lions’ Motto, ‘We Serve’”, from the day she became a Lion until her health deteriorated to the point where she was no longer physically able to do so,” Tom recalls. “Shortly before her passing, her colleagues at HES asked what they could do to help. Ann humbly asked them to carry out her efforts and continue fundraising to provide patients in need with the gift of hearing.”

Dr. Stadelmaier’s request was embraced by her successor at HES, Dr. Anne Orsene. HES extended their fundraising efforts, raising several thousand dollars. The funding allowed Tom and HES to formally establish the Dr. Ann Stadelmaier Hearing Aid Fund.

“The success of the AES Fund can largely be attributed to Tom’s commitment to the cause,” says Dr. Orsene. “He helped garner the support of the Lions Clubs, which make up a large part of the Fund’s donations. I think Dr. Stadelmaier would be very pleased with all he has done.”

“Helping people of all ages improve their quality of life through better hearing is incredibly rewarding,” says Tom. “Hearing the happiness in the voices of these individuals when their application has been approved is absolutely incredible.”

Tom has been a Kenmore Lion since 1987, and has served as President, Secretary, Treasurer, Chaplain, Membership Chair and “Lion’s Roar” Editor. He has also served in several positions for District 20-N, most notably as District Governor for 2003 – 2004.  During his time as a Lion, Tom also served as Chair of the Lions Blind & Charity Fund for 18 years and the Buffalo Eye Bank Foundation for five years. Tom has earned recognition for his philanthropic service, receiving the prestigious Progressive Melvin Jones Fellowship Award, four International President’s Certificates of Appreciation, International President’s Award and the Lions Blind & Charity Fund: “Knights of the Blind” Award – among others.

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

Stephanie Hilbert Joins HES Team

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West Seneca resident, Stephanie Hilbert, has joined Haring Evaluation Services (HES) as a Management Assistant.  Hilbert will perform administrative tasks and assist with patient care.

Hilbert has nearly a decade of finance experience, working with well-known companies such as M&T Bank and Citigroup.  Before joining HES, she worked as a Prime Broker Margin Analyst at Citigroup for three years.  Hilbert holds a Bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from the University at Buffalo, and also started working towards her Master’s degree in economics.

Hearing Evaluation Services provides hearing healthcare services to the Western New York area.  Since its inception in 1981, HES has expanded to include practices in Amherst, Williamsville, Orchard Park, and Tonawanda.  HES specializes in diagnosing and counseling individuals who suffer from hearing, balance and tinnitus problems.

HES Seeking Nominations for 2016 Oticon Focus on People Awards

Williamsville, NY – Hearing Evaluation Services of Buffalo, Inc. (HES) is seeking nominations for the 2016 Oticon Focus on People Awards.  This award is given to individuals who show that hearing loss doesn’t limit a person’s ability to make a positive difference in their community or the world. Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 5.01.04 PM

There are four categories of awards, with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners chosen in each category:

Student:  Open to full-time students with hearing loss, ages 6-25.

Adult:  For people with hearing loss, ages 21 and above.

Advocacy:  For adult volunteers who support the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

Hearing Care Practitioner:  For professionals currently in practice, with or without hearing loss.

Nominations are welcomed from anyone who knows an outstanding individual with hearing loss.  Multiple individuals can be nominated by the same person.  Winners of this award will receive cash prizes, with first place winners in the hearing loss categories receiving both cash and a pair of Oticon hearing solutions with BrainHearing™ technology.

For more information, and to download the nomination form – CLICK HERE.

Or, to download a PDF of the nomination form – CLICK HERE.

If you have any additional questions about this award, please contact us today!

Alyssa Beaton, Au. D. joins Hearing Evaultation Services of Buffalo, Inc.

alyssa-d-beatonLockport, NY native Alyssa Beaton, Au.D. has been hired by Hearing Evaluation Services of Buffalo, Inc. (HES)as a Clinical Audiologist.  Dr. Beaton is joining one of the largest freestanding, non-profit audiology practices in the country.  She will be administering diagnostic audiometric testing, which includes testing patients’ hearing levels, balance testing, and hearing device fittings.

From 2012 to 2014, Dr. Beaton worked as an Audiology Assistant, and completed her clinical residency with HES. During her residency, she provided balance assessments for patients with dizziness and imbalance at Dent Neurologic Institute, in addition to seeing patients at HES

Dr. Beaton graduated from the University at Buffalo (UB) in May 2015 with her Doctorate of Audiology. She also completed her undergraduate education at UB, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Communicative Disorders and Sciences.

Hearing Evaluation Services provides hearing healthcare services to the Western New York area. Since its inception in 1981, HES has expanded to include practices in Amherst, Williamsville, and Orchard Park. HES is a non-profit specializing in all areas of hearing and balance services.  They have attracted a unique culture of audiologists who enjoy providing superior ethical solutions to individuals with hearing and balance problems.