Starkey Foundation holds third hearing mission in St. Kitts and Nevis
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – The Starkey Foundation has once again brought the gift of hearing to the citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis on its third hearing mission in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. The June 18–20 mission is a collaborative effort partnered by the Ministry of Health, the Rotary Club of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Starkey Foundation.
International Development Director in the Caribbean for Starkey Kirk Richards said that the foundation is committed to providing hearing aids to those in need across the Caribbean. “Our mission is to use hearing as a vehicle to provide independence for those individuals who are having issues with hearing and cannot afford hearing aids,” he said. “Our programme is designed not only to provide the hearing aids, but also provide the support that go with the hearing aids.”
He explained that they have provided hearing aids for approximately 140 people so far in the federation. He said that their mission in Nevis held June 18 provided about 50 hearing aids to people in need and about 90 thus far in St. Kitts.
Richards said that he is pleased for the support provided by the ministry, not only for the mission that is presently going on, but also the after care for the patients who were given hearing aids. “The nurses that we work with through the Ministry of Health who we call our hearing care coordinators provide after care services,” he said. “The support has been tremendous from the Rotary Club and the Ministry of Health. Their involvement has definitely gotten us to this level.”
Starkey Foundation Founder William F. Austin said that he is pleased to be in St. Kitts on this third hearing mission and thanked the ministry for its support of the foundation. “We are having a great time here in St. Kitts helping these nice people,” he said. “It’s what we do all around the world. We are blessed to have the support of the government here and with the support of everyone working together, we can get the job done.”
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Delores Stapleton-Harris thanked the foundation for its continued collaboration with the ministry with its hearing missions. “I would like to extend our most profound thanks to the Starkey Foundation, the Rotary Club of St. Kitts and Nevis, and to the Ministry of Health for their collaboration in hosting the Starkey Mission. This is their third mission and it is very critical and significant in that it provides the gift of hearing to our people.”
The Starkey Hearing Foundation was created in 1984 by Austin, whose life work was built on the premise of “So the World May Hear.” The foundation’s community-based hearing health care model makes hearing health care and education more accessible to those in need by being simple, sustainable and scalable.