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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018 1 week ago

Audiologist holding hearing essay contest

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Deadline for the writing contest is Dec. 10, and the winner will receive new hearing aids in time for the holidays.
by: Amy Quesinberry Community Editor

Dr. Kristen Weinbaum has lived with hearing loss since she was 5, and she knows what it’s like to not understand what the people around her are saying. She knows also that it can be more difficult during the holidays when social events are popular and many people are gathering for conversation.

The Winter Garden audiologist, who owns Precision Hearing in Clermont, is giving back to the community for a second year by holding an essay-writing contest. The winner will be fitted for and receive a new pair of digital hearing aids.

The Gift of Hearing contest is designed to give someone in need the chance to receive just that — the gift of hearing. The Oticon Opn hearing aids work in harmony with the brain to help people hear better with less effort and to recall more of what is being said.

“Unfortunately, hearing aids aren’t typically covered by health insurance plans,” Weinbaum said. “Everyone deserves better hearing, even those without the financial means.”

To submit an entry, write an essay describing why you or someone you know would benefit from winning a pair of hearing aids but have been unable to obtain them due to financial difficulties. 

Weinbaum is celebrating her second anniversary in her current location and is holding the contest to celebrate her success.

“Hearing loss creates a disconnect between an individual and their loved ones which becomes particularly noticeable around the holidays when there are lots of gatherings,” she said. “I’m hoping to give someone the opportunity to connect with their loved ones this holiday season.”

There is no word limit on the essay. Area audiologists will judge the contest and select a local winner based on hearing need and financial need.

Once the winner is chosen, he or she will be screened and fitted for hearing aids costing about $4,400. The recipient will receive them in time for the holidays.

Weinbaum is board certified in audiology and specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss at her clinic. 

“Making a difference in people's lives is my passion,” she said. “Sometimes it’s small, sometimes it’s big. But I get to help people every day, and, occasionally, the results are literally instantaneous when you turn on a patient’s hearing aids for the first time. … I hope with this contest that I can make a huge difference in someone’s life.”  

Amy Quesinberry is the community editor of the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. She was born and raised in Winter Garden, grew up reading the community newspaper and has been employed there as a writer, photographer and editor since 1990....

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