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New mobile hearing clinic connects with community

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Hearing loss can happen to anyone at any age and of course makes life challenging. That's why a new mobile hearing clinic through Munson Healthcare is aiming to help people identify hearing problems.

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- Hearing loss can happen to anyone at any age and of course makes life challenging. That's why a new mobile hearing clinic through Munson Healthcare is aiming to help people identify hearing problems.

Pat Ross of Traverse City makes the most out of each day, even if that day includes a hearing exam.

"It's easy. All you have to do is listen for the beep," says Ross.

This is Pat's third time getting a screening with the mobile hearing service. She even gets her hearing aides tuned up.

"It went really well I think. I think it's good they come here," says Pat.

Although Munson Healthcare's speech and hearing clinic on site opened in 1964, the first mobile ear lab started in 1984 and has grown over the years.

"We've had five generations of trucks. This is our newest one. This is a mobile clinic but what's great is it's a clinic. We have audiologists, technicians. We have a full arsenal of what we can do," says hearing instrument technician, Tyler Scott.

The new clinic on wheels was unveiled in November 2016.

Now, it makes it way through more than 16-surrounding counties with stops including the Traverse City Senior Center.

"Each time we've seen it get bigger. I think being right here at the center makes them a little more confident," says Scott.

Besides this stop, the mobile clinic travels to students with Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District and for workers at industrial businesses. The staff of audiologists and technicians provides the latest screening technology with record keeping of patients.

"We want to offer them the opportunity to see a baseline where they are. Then we'll maybe refer them to talk with primary physicians or our clinic. We can do full hearing exams, anything that you can do in a clinic on wheels," says Scott.

More than anything, Scott says it's a way to connect with the community.

"It's about flexibility and being able to work together and figure out what someone needs or what we can give back," says Scott.

Munson Healthcare says the mobile clinic was made possible because of a $314-thousand grant from the Carls Foundation.

It makes stops at community events including the Suttons Bay Expo in Leelanau County and Elk Rapids Days in Antrim County. If your business or organization is interested in the mobile clinic you can click here or call (231) 935-6455.

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