In August 2016, students and faculty of the Long Island Au.D. Consortium, which offers a clinical doctorate in audiology through the cooperation of Adelphi Hofstra and St. John’s, traveled to India for ten days to provide free hearing healthcare and services to undeserved communities.
During the program, made possible by The Starkey Hearing Foundation as part of their Global Based Hearing HealthCare Program ‘So The World May Hear’, the group traveled to Mumbai, Delhi, Nagpur, Arga, and Hyderbad. The group provided primary ear care services, assisted in the community outreach to identify patients and, when appropriate, fit hearing aids and made custom earmolds for qualified candidates. This program complemented a similar effort in Vietnam in January 2016, also made possible by The Starkey Hearing Foundation.
The LI Au.D Consortium values international clinical experiences for their students. “As Clinical Program Coordinator for the LI AuD Consortium, one of my primary responsibilities is to develop clinical affiliations and experiences that will provide the students with clinical opportunities that help broaden their practical scope,” explains Dr. Ianthe Murad. “The global experiences made available to our students is really unique as it encourages the students to adopt new solutions when resources are limited. Moreover, their intellectual point of view begins to shape and even stretches with each patient that they encounter. All of the students that have participated in a global mission have responded positively that they had significant gains not only in their clinical skills but gains in their clinical confidence skills.”
“I remember a young girl, around the age of 7,” recalls Ms. Krupi Shah, a third year Adelphi Au.D Student who just returned from the India Program. “She received her first hearing aids from the Starkey Hearing Foundation two years ago. At one of the foundations aftercare services, we were informed that two years ago, when she first received her hearing aids, she was struggling in school and did not speak. The child was brought in by her teacher, and the teacher was so excited to share with everyone the good news, she informed us of all the improvements she had made since she had received the hearing aids. She was speaking, solving mathematical problems, doing better in school and all around happier, she even performed a traditional Indian dance for us. Just two years ago, this would not have been possible. I think it was at that moment when it really hit me, the great impact of what I was doing. Not only did we have the opportunity to help people, but we had the ability to change their lives. I feel so grateful to have had this opportunity with my program, to be a part of something so wonderful, I will forever be grateful.”
Roseann Valenti, also a third year student from the LI Au.D. Consortium program states “each patient I had the privilege to work with while in India has a special place in my heart. Despite the language barrier, each one of them showed their appreciation and gratitude for the help we were providing. They were all so so grateful for our attention and help in improving their quality of life. I was honored to be a part of these life changing events. All of these individuals have touched my heart and I am sure that we have made a lasting impression with them as well. This real life experience has taught so much in ten days, more than any class or textbook could have in an entire semester. We had the opportunity to experience true Indian culture, from food and customs to Indian hospitality; it has greatly enhanced my appreciation of different cultures. It has given me a true humanitarian experience, further increasing my desire to help others, and has enhanced my belief that I have chosen such an incredible profession. In addition to all of this, my experiences have significantly supplemented my academics and clinical practicum, I’m thankful to my professors and clinical coordinators for making these opportunities possible for us. While in India we had the opportunity to learn and experience various cerumen management techniques from two Audiologists who were part of the mission team, I also has the opportunity to work closely with the 3rd year Audiology students from the University of Osmania in Hyderabad. This was an experience I will always cherish!”