HARRISBURG (October 25, 2018) – State Senator Andy Dinniman recently recognized Audiology Awareness Month in Pennsylvania.
Dinniman met with and presented a special Senate citation in recognition of the occasion to Dr. Judy Curtin, AuD, an audiologist and former longtime professor at West Chester University.
“Hearing is an important facet of our lives that many of us take for granted until we have a problem,” Dinniman said. “Fortunately, Chester County and Pennsylvania are home to skilled and dedicated health care professionals who diagnose, treat and manage hearing loss and balance disorders. It is important that we recognize the vital care provided by audiologists, including diagnosis and treatment options, ongoing research, and the public policy implications of changes in the field.”
Hearing loss is the third most common chronic physical condition in the United States and nearly a quarter of adults may have noise-induced hearing loss in one or both ears, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although the prevalence of hearing loss increases with age, approximately 40 percent of individuals with hearing loss are under 60 years of age and approximately 10 percent of children born in Pennsylvania have some level of hearing loss present at birth.
Dr. Curtin contributed to pioneering work on cochlear implants in children. For many years, she taught at and led the West Chester University Speech and Hearing Clinic in the Department of Communicative Disorders. She has also lectured at the local, state, national, and international levels, and her work is published in textbooks, journals, and local articles.
Today, Dr. Curtin and her husband, Francis, an electrical engineer and hearing instruments fitter, own and operate a private practice, ABC Hearing in West Chester. The company has won Reader’s Choice Awards for six straight years. They also strive to give back to the community and have volunteered their time and expertise to help establish a hearing clinic in Honduras.
Dinniman also noted that Pennsylvanians has made vast and enduring contributions to the field of audiology.
Audiology, as a profession, begin in Pennsylvania under the guidance of Raymond Carhart, known as “the Father of Audiology” at the Deshon General Hospital in Butler. In addition, the telecoil, which allows connection of large room sound systems to hearing aids and is still used today, was invented by Samuel Lybarger in Pittsburgh in 1947. And the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the former Eye and Ear Hospital, was the first medical center in the country to dispense hearing aids.