Starkey Cares: Our Corporate Social Responsibility
AudiologyOnline: Can you tell us about Starkey Cares?
Michael Scholl: Starkey Cares is our public commitment to corporate social responsibility designed to bring people together under the common bond of caring for one another.
AudiologyOnline: How would you describe Starkey Cares' primary mission and values?
Michael Scholl: At Starkey, we are caring, fearless, and dedicated. Caring is our top value and has always been at the core of everything we do. It’s our “why” and something that we weave into every area of our company. Our passion for changing the world starts with our product innovation and comes to life through the people and communities whose lives are forever made more vibrant as a result.
AudiologyOnline: What are the current initiatives you’re working on through Starkey Cares?
Michael Scholl: Currently. We are focused on two initiatives:
- Neighbors in Need: we believe everyone deserves hearing health. This is why we created Neighbors in Need, which is a program that provides hearing aids at no cost to patients. We have partnered with hearing healthcare providers to give affordable access to hearing healthcare to those who need it most. For only the cost of an application fee, the patient can receive premium hearing aids provided by Starkey, and aftercare services provided by our customers.
- Special Olympics: In March of 2022, Starkey and Special Olympics International created a global partnership that increases access to hearing health services worldwide for individuals with intellectual disabilities. A gift from Starkey Cares has made Starkey the global supplier of hearing instruments for the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes® Healthy Hearing program and provides key support and hearing instruments at some of Special Olympics’ signature events, such as the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando, and the 2022 Special Olympics Unified Cup in Detroit. Special Olympics is all about inclusion, and their Healthy Athletes program is committed to getting athletes the health care resources they need. That mission aligns perfectly with our mission at Starkey Cares, and so bringing these two organizations together made perfect sense.
AudiologyOnline: Who does Starkey Cares serve?
Michael Scholl: Starkey Cares consists of three pillars:
- Local communities in need: Starkey helps communities struggling to afford hearing aids by helping them acquire technologies that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford. We do this by offering cutting edge hearing solutions at a dramatically reduced price through our Neighbors in Need program.
- Veterans and active-duty military: As the only American-owned hearing aid company, Starkey believes that those who dedicate their lives in service of our country deserve our gratitude and assistance as they navigate their service careers and eventually move into the next chapter of their lives. As such, Starkey supports veterans organizations in the United States through sponsorships, partnerships and by bringing the best in American innovation to those who helped us safeguard our nation.
- Our World: What we offer the world is only effective if it reaches the individuals for whom we create our products — and that these individuals come from a variety of different backgrounds, geographies, and lived experiences.
AudiologyOnline: Any specific examples of life transformation?
Michael Scholl: Yes, I want to share with you a story about Joseph Eden from Boise, Idaho. Joseph had a blast at the Special Olympics USA Games playing flag football. Joseph’s parents adopted him from China when he was 14 years old and had no idea he had about 40% hearing loss. They bought him hearing aids, but Joseph wasn’t comfortable wearing them. Now at 22 years old, we were able to fit him for hearing aids at the Special Olympics Healthy Athlete Center during the USA National Games as part of the partnership between Special Olympics and Starkey Cares. His dad is happy to report that Joseph now wears his hearing aids every day! Here is video of Joseph for reference.
Imagine playing on the football field, but you can’t hear your teammates or your coach. Hearing is our connection to the world around us. That is so vital for everyone, including these athletes. However, many of these athletes either do not know how to advocate for their own health or they don’t have the support to do so – whether that be family support, financial support or even access to a trained hearing professional. Starkey Cares is committed to ensuring each of these athletes has access to both the technology and the care and support they need. We want to empower them to advocate for their hearing health. When these athletes go back home, they will continue to have the support of a hearing professional in their community.
AudiologyOnline: That is inspiring. How does Starkey interact with Starkey Cares? Do employees have the opportunity to contribute?
Michael Scholl: As a company that is focused on caring for others, our employees are at the heart of serving. Employee service is lived each day through our 5,000 employees located around the globe who devote volunteer hours and financial support to local and global organizations.
AudiologyOnline: Why should someone reading this article get involved?
Michael Scholl: Starkey was founded on the principles of helping others. At the core of our business is providing a more robust and equitable life experience to those who are hearing impaired. Starkey is committed to working with our neighbors to help those in need find the hearing health they deserve!
AudiologyOnline: How can they get involved?
Michael Scholl: If you or a loved one is in need of hearing health support, go to starkey.com/starkeycares or call (855) 686-2202 for more information and to find a partner near you. If you’re a hearing healthcare provider interested in getting involved, please email us at email@example.com.
For more information, please visit Starkey Hearing Technologies or the Starkey Partner Page on AudiologyOnline.