Dr. Melanie Driscoll, AuD, founded Hear Here Hearing Centers in 2006 on the principles of providing exceptional patient care, educating the general public on hearing healthcare topics and giving back to local communities through services projects. Incorporating each aspect of her practice's mission, she began hosting free educational seminars throughout the Louisville, KY, area when she opened her first office. Since then, the practice has tripled in size and the seminars have continued on a regular basis, covering basic hearing healthcare topics, including a tinnitus support group, and benefitting her practice in many ways.
The Best Place to Start
"We currently host free educational seminars every quarter and speak to organizations on the importance of proper hearing care about twice a month depending on demand," Dr. Driscoll says. "All of our speaking engagements are offered free of charge. We are in the business of improving hearing healthcare within our community, and educating the public is the best place to start."
According to Adam Jones, the general manager of the practice and Dr. Driscoll's son, Hear Here has hosted educational seminars at many different locations, including at their offices for smaller crowds and at restaurants and other public venues for larger crowds. The audiology staff at Hear Here also visits corporate headquarters of companies in the Louisville area to speak to their employees and offer free onsite hearing screenings, making these engagements a great way not only to inform a large group about the importance of hearing healthcare but also to help make them comfortable with the screening process.
"Our audiologists typically give a presentation to attendees followed by a question and answer session. The audiologists are often assisted by other staff members to help point people in the right direction as well as to hand out educational information," Jones says. "We work very closely as a team at Hear Here, and it is not uncommon for the majority of our staff to show up to these speaking engagements." He added that during peak business hours, however, the practice usually delegates one audiologist to speak at a seminar due to the needs of patients.
| Melanie Driscoll, AuD, owner of Hear Here
LLC, performs a check-up.
Keeping with the practice's primary founding principle of providing exceptional patient care, and acknowledging that seminar attendees may very well become patients, Hear Here goes beyond free admittance and offers free lunch and refreshments as well.
"We want to ensure that each person attending our educational seminars has the best experience possible," Jones says, "even if it means paying a little extra on our end."
Focused on Education
This approach has resulted in attendance numbers in the range of 30-40 people per seminar. Dr. Driscoll says the seminars are usually very well received, and she believes it is because they focus on education.
"We are not trying to sell them anything or push them to do anything they are not comfortable with," she adds. "We are there solely to educate them on the importance of proper hearing healthcare, and the people who attend our seminars pick up on this." We have never had an unhappy attendee and have actually had several people from our tinnitus seminars follow up with us to tell us that we literally changed their lives for the better. What could be more rewarding?"
Building on this thought, Dr. Driscoll advises other hearing healthcare professionals to "throw the sales pitches out the window" when hosting educational events.
"We have heard time and time again about other companies who have held so-called seminars that are just fancy sales pitches," she says. "Stick to trying to help the people attending these seminars, and be sure to build your seminar around providing a benefit to the community. Seminars mean a great deal to our practice because they allow us to do our part in improving the overall hearing healthcare in our state. We may be just one company, but we are dedicated to making an impact on the hearing healthcare industry one day at a time."
To learn more about the practice, visit Hear Here online at http://www.hearherellc.com/ and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/HearHereLLC.
Rich Magda is a senior associate editor at ADVANCE and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.