Speech, hearing clinic to be held Friday

Published 9:00 am Thursday, September 21, 2023

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Auburn students will be hosting a speech and hearing screening clinic at the Chambers County Community Health and Wellness Center on Friday from 2 to 4 CT.

The Chambers County Community Health and Wellness Center hosts students from many different health backgrounds, including Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. Students and faculty have been hosting health screenings as a part of the Auburn Rural Health Project.

Allison and her colleague at the Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences estimate there have been 40-50 individuals who have received hearing screenings at the center.

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“Our hope is that by increasing access to not only Speech and Hearing Services, but medical services through the online telehealth station, that we are able to invest in the community, not just for right now, but years to come as well,” said Auburn Speech and Hearing Sciences Assistant Clinical Professor Lydia Allison.

The hearing screenings are free walk-in clinics every other Friday at the center. Diagnosticians will make their recommendation on whether an individual should have a full evaluation at the wellness center in LaFayette or at the Auburn campus clinic.

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, almost 1 and 12 children between the ages of 12 and 17 have had a disorder related to voice, speech, language or swallowing.

Nearly 40 million people in the U.S. have some trouble hearing. More than half of all adults have hearing trouble but only 11% of those have sought treatment.

“The likelihood that you know you know somebody who may have a communication disorder is pretty high,” Allison said.

The next screenings will be Oct. 6 and 20, Nov. 3 and 17 and Dec. 1.

The health and wellness center is a partnership between the Auburn University Rural Health Project, the city of LaFayette and Chambers County Commissioners. The goal of the project is to provide healthcare to individuals in rural communities and lower healthcare disparities.

“The goal of the clinic is to provide health care services in an area that is really lacking in access. Part of Auburn being a land-grant university is outreach,” Allison said. “Outreach is a big part of the university. It’s a big part of what I do with Speech and Hearing Sciences — specifically giving back to the people of Alabama.”

Speech Language Pathologists, or speech therapists, work with individuals from infants to geriatrics. They work with individuals with disabilities and disorders, like autism, Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy, as well as those who have suffered a stroke or head injury.

The OnMed Telehealth station provides free, virtual healthcare to community members on a walk-in or appointment basis. Individuals can enter the station and speak with a healthcare provider with privacy.

Those interested in the telehealth station or the other offerings can visit the health and wellness center Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT and Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.