Child Hearing Services Program Receives $10,000 from Safeco Insurance

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Safeco Insurance has donated $10,000 to help the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology Child Hearing Services Program at the UTHSC continue its mission of treating hearing-impaired children.

Safeco Insurance has donated $10,000 to help the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology Child Hearing Services Program at the University Of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) continue its mission of treating hearing-impaired children. The Audiology and Speech Pathology Department is part of the UTHSC College of Allied Health Sciences. The department is located on the UTHSC Knoxville Campus.

In business since 1923 and based in Seattle, Wash., Safeco sells insurance to drivers and homeowners through a network of independent agents and brokers in eight regions throughout the United States. The company sent the donation in honor of 6-month-old Emerson Grace Doty, the granddaughter of one of its employees and a participant in the Child Hearing Services (CHS) Program.

“When we were informed by Safeco Insurance that their desire was to donate money in honor of Emerson Grace, we were elated,” said Jesse and Cristin Doty, Emerson’s parents. “Safeco even gave us the opportunity to help choose where to donate the money so that it would be most beneficial. We had just learned that Emerson had been identified as a perfect candidate for cochlear implants, but we knew the success of these implants would be determined by her therapy because of the amazing results we have been able to witness in the children who are participating in the CHS program.”

Emerson will receive her first cochlear implant at 10 months of age, with the second one following six months later.

Child Hearing Services provides treatment for hearing-impaired infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged children and their families. Special emphasis is placed on early intervention and family education/counseling.

“CHS provides wonderful treatment and education to many hearing-impaired children and their parents,” said Noma Anderson, PhD, dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences. “This donation from Safeco Insurance allows CHS to expand the breadth and depth of what they’ll be able to provide.”

Currently, CHS provides services for more than 85 children on a weekly basis with more than half of those enrolled having a cochlear implant. The children range in age from birth to 21 years of age with most children being between birth and 10 years of age. The comprehensive program incorporates audiological services, communication evaluations, and aural rehabilitation services. The objectives of this program are to develop spoken language skills through listening and for each child to have speech/language, social and academic skills commensurate with their peers.