Media - Sonova News Room

Commitment for better hearing in the Appalachian Mountains

Sonova employees actively support the work of the Hear the World Foundation in one of the USA’s economically poorest regions. They are involved in a long-term project which gives families in need access to hearing aids and audiological care.

In the southeastern part of Kentucky, deep in the Appalachian Mountains, there is a place that doesn’t seem to fit into the archetypical picture of the USA as world's leading economic power. The area around the small town of Beverly, with its picturesque landscape and gently rolling hills resembling a scene out of a storybook, is one of the country’s economically poorest regions.

Here, the Hear the World Foundation is supporting a project in collaboration with the organization Red Bird Mission and Clinic since 2008. This organization has been operating in the Red Bird River Valley since 1921, providing educational support, job training, medical care, and community assistance. This assistance also benefits poor families under their care who would not otherwise be able to have hearing aids. In addition to seeing that hearing instruments are fit, since 2014 the Hear the World Foundation has been financing also the work of Angela Hubbard, a nurse with special training, who ensures that the people under their care have access to long-term basic hearing care needs.

Angela Hubbard, nurse at the Red Bird Mission Clinic

I never dreamed it would be possible for us to provide such reliable and consistent hearing care here!

Angela Hubbard, nurse at the Red Bird Mission Clinic

Sustainable support on-site

Apart from the consistent contact and follow up by Angela, the Red Bird Clinic also relies on help from volunteers like the six Sonova volunteers from USA and Austria who visited this project in 2015. During their visit they ran “hearing clinics”, where hearing screenings were carried out, new hearing aids fitted, and old one readjusted or repaired as needed. Amy Robinson, a hearing consultant from Hearing Planet sums up the volunteers impressions: “The Red Bird Mission Clinic is a fantastic institution that have spared no effort to help people with hearing loss."


Facts & Figures

Medical care for 10,000 people

The Red Bird Mission and Clinic provides basic medical care to around 10‘000 people.

33,5% poverty rate

The poverty rate in Kentucky lies at 33.5% compared to 15.4% in average in the rest of the USA.

6 years less life expectancy

Life expectancy in the region is 6 years less than in the rest of the USA. 

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