HEAR Nashville was founded in 2010 by two members of the Sertoma Club ofNashville. The Sertoma Club is a civic organization that has been in the Nashville community for over 75 years. They raise money and then donate it to other area non-profits with a focus being on non-profits that deal with communicative issues and specifically hearing loss. Dr. Les Hutchinson and Mr. Bill Rogers felt strongly that an organization should be created to assist low-income adults with obtaining hearing aids, so with the help of partners such as The Vanderbilt Bill WilkinsonCenter, Bridges and Sertoma HEAR Nashville was created.
There are about 25,000 adults and seniors in Middle Tennessee who live below the federal poverty line and have a diagnosable hearing loss that could be corrected with hearing aids. More than95% of these individuals have no third-party payer that covers the cost of hearing aids. Their hearing loss, therefore, typically goes untreated.This can result in other medical conditions such as anxiety, depression, cognitive issues and low self-esteem, just to name a few. With the average cost of hearing aids today being $3000-$5000, it is virtually impossible for a low-income adult to purchase hearing aids.
HEAR Nashville is the sole agency in Tennessee that provides assistance to low-income adults to obtain hearing aids. Since our organization is largely volunteer, all of the money that we raise goes directly to pay for hearing aids. Our clients pay a small application fee and HEAR Nashville pays the balance. It is estimated that HEARNashville has had an economic impact of over $4.6 million in the community over the last twelve (12) years.
Each client that is approved for our program receives a hearing test, a new digital set of hearing aids and three follow-up visits with one of our partner audiologists.Typically, we see 60 – 100 clients a year with most of our clients being seniors over the age of 65. We have even had a client that was 101 years old.
While we can put a number on the clients that we directly help each year, it is important to note that the total number of people impacted by our services is exponential to the number actually served.
Quite often we receive feedback from our clients stating…”You saved my marriage”; “Now I can enjoy my grandchildren again”; “I am enjoying life again”. We could not serve the community and provide such a valuable resource without the support of organizations such as WEHF. For every $1020 we receive in support, allows us to put hearing aids on another person and change their life.
Currently, HEAR Nashville has started planning for growth by expanding our call center and increasing the marketing efforts. It is our goal to make sure that everyone that needs a hearing aid has a resource to obtain one and not only change their life, but also change their world.