by Shaun Tilghman
Family Hearing Center, Inc. is opening a new office in North Manchester (located at 225 E. Main St.) on Wednesday, July 31. Dr. Brandy Weaver, Au.D. will be the audiologist for the local branch, which will be open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Dr. Suzanne Ginter, Au.D., who has been a licensed audiologist for 15 years, is the owner of Family Hearing Center, which also has offices in Bremen and Goshen. Prior to starting her own business five years ago, Dr. Ginter gained experience while working for other private practices, as well as for ENT (Ear, Nose, & Throat) physicians.
Like Dr. Ginter, Dr. Weaver earned her doctorate from Ball State University. “It worked out well that I was graduating from Ball State in May because [Dr. Ginter] was already part-owner of this building, along with Matt Mize, and she was looking for somebody to run the new office,” said Dr. Weaver.
“I actually did my fourth-year rotation with her at the Goshen office, so I think I will be a good fit for this office,” Dr. Weaver continued. “Plus, I grew up just west of Roann and have lived there all but two years when I lived in Fort Wayne, so the business is close to home and that works out really well too. I’m really excited about this because I’ve driven an hour and a half or more for work for the last nine years, so I’m grateful to only have a half-hour drive now.”
Dr. Weaver went on to say she is also excited to be able to offer members of the local communities better access to quality hearing services and quality hearing products.
“There is an audiologist that comes down to Wabash County Hospital once or twice a week, but really I’m the only one that will be available five days a week,” she explained. “So, the thought behind this new office is that it will save local people from having to drive to Fort Wayne or Kokomo or South Bend to receive help. I really just want to make my services available to the community, and hopefully there will be a lot of interest and eventually I’ll have a full schedule.”
Dr. Weaver has gained experience by working in a variety of settings in a number of different areas, such as Fort Wayne, Marion, and Goshen.
“I worked in hospitals, where I worked more with balance patients in addition to doing hearing tests and hearing aids, and I’ve worked in a couple of different private practices, which is what this is,” she said. “I’ve also been in the clinic setting – from our first semester until we graduate, we have hands-on experience, which is definitely unique to Ball State. I also worked for an ENT practice for a semester, and that’s when I got more of the diagnostic experience. I’ve worked in two different VA hospitals as well; so I’ve had experience working with the veterans already, and we will be doing some testing for the veterans here too.”
Dr. Weaver will offer a variety of services at the North Manchester office. The initial visit generally involves a Diagnostic Hearing Evaluation to determine if there is a presence of hearing loss. The results of the evaluation, which are shown in decibels rather than percentages, are plotted on a chart called an audiogram and fit into categories ranging from “normal hearing” to “profound hearing loss”, according to the website (www.betterfamilyhearing.com).
“I do hearing tests and consultations for all ages, from birth through the entire lifespan,” Dr. Weaver stated. “I can also do ABR (Auditory Brainstem Response) tests [that give information about the inner ear and brain pathways for hearing], which are more for infants that didn’t pass their newborn hearing test or for individuals that are difficult to test, such as those with developmental disabilities. I also do wax removal, hearing aid adjustments and repairs, and hearing aid evaluations, and we offer a three-year plan with our new hearing aids, which includes a 45-day trial, a three-year warranty for repairs or office visits, a three-year loss and damage policy with deductible, and three years worth of free batteries.
“Also, we are having a Grand Opening event on Tuesday, July 30, at 6 p.m., at the North Manchester Public Library, where we’ll have someone from the company there to talk about hearing loss and hearing aids. Then, from July 31 through Aug. 16, we’ll be offering $200 off of our DREAM line of hearing aids. So, we hope to spark a lot of interest in the community, and I hope to get real busy soon after we open.”
Beginning July 31, the North Manchester Family Hearing Center, located at 225 E. Main St., in North Manchester, will be open Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, please call Dr. Brandy Weaver at the office at 260-306-3444.