For more than 40 years, Pine Tree Society’s audiology program has been a trusted partner for people of all ages who are living with hearing loss. Every client who comes through the door receives services designed to meet their unique hearing needs, and those needs did not stop during COVID-19.
“If anything, the needs increased as people realized how much they were struggling with understanding what their friends and family were saying while wearing masks,” said Robin Galleher, director of audiology.
Thanks to a grant from Davenport Trust Fund, Pine Tree Society can safely see clients in person for evaluations and hearing aid fittings and services.
Davenport Trust Fund is a 93-year-old private foundation serving the Bath, Maine area. They have worked with Pine Tree Society for several years providing scholarships for Pine Tree Camp. In recent years, they have also supported various upgrades to audiological services.
“We understand the financial burden meeting the unprecedented safety requirements of COVID-19 has placed on local nonprofits,” said Barry Sturgeon, trustee of the Davenport Trust Fund. “We are pleased that our grant will help Pine Tree Society continue to provide important services.”
This grant provides funds for the materials needed to ensure client and staff safety protocols for physical distancing and cleaning.
“The Davenport Trust Fund supports the audiology team’s ability to follow CDC guidelines for safe physical distancing, mask wearing and sanitization by providing the necessary funding for cleaning supplies, air purifiers, disposable earphones, gloves, masks, face shields, hand sanitizer and a gate system to help direct flow in the clinic,” said Noel Sullivan, President and CEO of Pine Tree Society.
“People are also required to use hand sanitizer when arriving and leaving,” Robin continued. “Unless a client truly needs someone with them at their appointment, family members are asked to safely wait in their car.”
Every chair, surface and piece of equipment is sanitized in between each client and there are individual air purifiers in each hearing testing booth.
Masks are required to be worn at all times and, in the event someone relies on lip reading, staff wear face shields to assist with communication.
Hearing aid repairs are being done via curbside pickup. By appointment, staff safely meet clients at their car to pick up the hearing aids in need of service. Once repaired, they are returned to people in the same fashion, with staff wearing masks and gloves. Pine Tree Society’s audiologists are offering both telephone and telepractice appointments for trouble shooting hearing aids and any training people may need to support the use of hearing aids.
“It is a true source of pride for us to be able to continue to serve people during this challenging time,” said Noel.
For more information or to schedule an appointment or services, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-386-5920.