Loud and Clear: Hear Wisconsin’s Mobile Audiology Clinic (MAC)
Identifying and treating hearing loss is so important. Over 15% of adults over the age of 18 have reported some issues related to hearing.1 In the United States, two to three children out of one thousand are born with a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears.
Hearing loss is also the third most common health issue in the U.S.
HEAR Wisconsin of West Allis knew it was time to bring hearing screenings to a wider audience. The non-profit set out to solicit grants and donations to develop, build and put in service a mobile audiology clinic, or MAC as they refer to it.
“The Mobile Audiology Clinic (MAC) eliminates barriers to accessing hearing healthcare by going deep into our Wisconsin communities and offering onsite hearing healthcare services, especially for low-income and underserved populations. MAC solves the transportation issue by bringing the hearing care professional and equipment directly to the patients. Free hearing screenings and full hearing evaluations will be offered at homeless shelters, schools, assisted living centers, health fairs, and more,” proclaimed HEAR Wisconsin President & CEO Jill Van Calster.
HEAR Wisconsin came to LDV with an idea and LDV went to work providing chassis recommendations, interior configurations and more to make it happen.
“HEAR Wisconsin needed a vehicle that would allow them to screen more patients throughout the state of Wisconsin. The best way to do this is with a mobile audiology vehicle. Now they can set the vehicle up and conduct screenings remotely,” said LDV Medical Vehicle Sales Specialist, Cory Weithaus.
The pandemic prevented a lot of people from being able to travel to have their hearing checked. Now MAC can be brought to schools, assisted living facilities, festivals and other events in the community to conduct hearing screenings or to companies who need their employees’ hearing tested annually as federally required.
“One of the things we love about the vehicle is that it is adaptable based on a particular event – we can do simple free hearing screenings, provide OSHA compliance hearing conservation services, conduct full hearing evaluations, repair hearing aids in the lab area, and/or demonstrate assistive technology devices. There is ample storage space to allow us to have everything we need for any type of event,” said Meredith Klinker, Doctor of Audiology at HEAR Wisconsin.
The convenience of bringing the audiometric testing equipment to all patients is what will enable so many to have their hearing screened or tested, including those with disabilities.
“LDV was able to figure out how to not only put in a full six-person sound booth inside the vehicle but also make it fully wheelchair accessible so we can accommodate literally anyone who needs our hearing healthcare service,” said Mark Stein, Director of Strategic Initiatives at HEAR Wisconsin.
Hear Us Out
Should you obtain a hearing test yearly? The short answer is yes. Just like other examinations, a yearly hearing test can identify problems early. This is especially important as adults age but don’t discount the importance of testing children.
A yearly test will also serve as a baseline for future screenings. Do you have constant ringing in your ears? This is called tinnitus. An audiologist can help identify the cause of the tinnitus and if you should seek medical care to treat the problem.
Additionally, hearing loss can usually be treated right on the MAC through the use of hearing aids. Modern hearing aids are not the devices of years past, so don’t be embarrassed should you need one. Today’s devices are very small and discrete and are nearly invisible to others around you. Many different options and accessories are available to suit your individual needs and lifestyle.
HEAR Wisconsin has a full schedule of community events and other stops throughout 2021 and beyond to get more people screened. Their mission of reaching more patients with the MAC should help thousands of people identify and remedy their hearing loss.
Complex Vehicle, Convenient Package
LDV vehicles such at this one are rolling technological marvels. The sound booth was incredibly difficult to fit and install within the confines of a vehicle but LDV’s design and build crews love a challenge. The end result is a truck that can be set up in minutes, has a beautiful full graphic wrap, colorful interior and more to create a welcoming environment for anyone receiving a hearing screening or full hearing evaluation.
“LDV helped HEAR Wisconsin create a one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art mobile audiology clinic to bring hearing healthcare services to our community. As a family-owned business with a long history of serving their community – they were an ideal partner. We feel lucky to have had them as an option right in our back yard,” Jill Van Calster, President and CEO.
You can learn more about HEAR Wisconsin’s MAC on our website: www.LDVusa.com