HCN News & Notes

Baystate Wing, Mary Lane Audiology Team Celebrates the Gift of Hearing

PALMER — The Baystate Mary Lane and Baystate Wing Hospital Audiology team recently hosted a patient-appreciation breakfast at the Ludlow County Club to celebrate the gift of hearing with more than 170 of their hearing aid patients from throughout the region.

In addition to thanking patients for choosing Baystate Wing, Ludlow, or Mary Lane for their audiology and hearing aid care, the annual event was an opportunity for the audiology patients and their guests to learn more about the wide variety of healthcare services offered at the hospital and this year to also meet and to welcome Cassandra Hawk, the newest member to their team of hearing professionals.

Hawk has been a member of the audiology team for over a year, working full time as an intern as she finished up her doctorate in Audiology at the UMass Amherst. Now that she has graduated with her doctorate and has her license, she is staying in the department and is a full time Audiologist for Baystate Eastern Region.

“I am so thrilled to be able to remain part of this fantastic team and to continue to see and serve the patients I have grown a relationship with,” she said. “My passion for working with this community began in 2016 when I had my first clinical experience working at Mary Lane Hospital, and since then, my love for this community, my patients, and my field has deepened further.  I am very blessed to be able to be able provide hearing health care to such a wonderful community in such a wonderful work environment.”

According to the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), approximately 15% of American adults (37.5 million) aged 18 and over report some trouble hearing and one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss.

“Hearing loss is a sudden or gradual decrease in how well you can hear, and is one of the most common conditions affecting people of all ages,” said Deborah Stroetzel, MA, CCC-A. “Hearing loss is a common problem caused by noise, aging, disease, or heredity, and can have a big impact on a person’s quality of life, both physically and emotionally. Hearing Loss has been linked to stress, depression, loneliness, reduced job performance, and reduced physical and emotional health. People with hearing loss may find it hard to have conversations with friends and family and they may also have trouble understanding a doctor’s advice, responding to warnings, and hearing doorbells and alarms. All of this can be frustrating, embarrassing, and even dangerous.”

The Audiology and Hearing Improvement Centers located in Palmer, Ware, and Ludlow offer routine hearing tests, specialized audiological testing, and tests for middle ear function. In addition, the audiology team offers a comprehensive hearing aid program and provides hearing aid evaluations, demonstrations, fittings, adjustments and cleanings. Special services such as swim plugs, noise protectors, and musicians’ earplugs are also available.

Out in the community, the Baystate Mary Lane and Baystate Wing Audiology team offers free clinics at the Palmer, Ludlow, and Belchertown Senior Centers. There, the audiologists provide hearing screenings, check ears for wax, and clean and check hearing aids at no charge.  Seniors can call their local senior center in order to schedule an appointment for the free clinics; Palmer Senior Center (413) 283-2670, Ludlow Senior Center (413) 583-3564, Belchertown Senior Center (413) 323-0420.