The Center for Hearing and Communication is older than the field of audiology itself. In 102 years, CHC has witnessed the entire evolution of hearing technology and hearing healthcare, and has led important parts of it.

Our clinicians never stop thinking about what technology’s ahead. And as a place with a rich, living history, we have friends who remember way back when the best we could do for hearing loss, technologically, was primitive.

That astounding progression was on our minds at this year’s Annual Meeting, November 15, 2012. We celebrated the naming of CHC’s otology center in honor of Dr. Noel Cohen; he was one of the earliest pioneers of cochlear implants and is a tremendous supporter of this agency. Without him, we wouldn’t be able to touch as many lives as we do. (However, Dr. Cohen is quick to insist that his beloved wife Mrs. Baukje Cohen, herself with a distinguished medical career, is the generous heart deserving the credit!)

Dr. Noel Cohen at CHC's otology center

Mrs. Baukje and Dr. Noel Cohen at the dedication of CHC’s otology center in the renowned doctor’s name.

A patient’s story

Caitlin Parton is a 27 year old law student in NYC who’s leading a movement to make her school ADA-compliant and accessible for people with disabilities. 25 years ago, Dr. Cohen performed her cochlear implant surgery — at the time, she was one of the youngest people ever to get the device. As a toddler she came to CHC for her post-implant communication therapy; as a bright young adult, she returned to us as the keynote speaker at one of CHC’s Adolescent Workshops to talk to the next generation of kids with hearing technology.

Caitlin Parton at CHC's 2009 Adolescent Workshop

Caitlin Parton at CHC’s 2009 Adolescent Workshop

At the Annual Meeting and otology center naming, Caitlin’s mother Melody James introduced our honoree with a beautiful account of Dr. Cohen’s impact on their lives.

Melody James at CHC's 2012 Annual Meeting

Melody James moves the audience at CHC’s 2012 Annual Meeting

Melody remembers that after Caitlin’s surgery, Dr. Cohen said he had only done the easy part. The real work was every day helping Caitlin to hear, process sound, and use language with a new technology with no history and no track record. And Dr. Cohen continued working to help the Partons and other parents get both the emotional and practical support for the unknown road ahead.

Our shared mission: clinical excellence and compassionate care

When technical expertise and excellence come together with compassionate care, people with hearing loss can reach their full potential. We know that our extra concern for how hearing technology affects our clients’ real lives — emotionally, physically, and practically — is one of the reasons people choose CHC. Our heartfelt thanks to Dr. Noel Cohen for his exemplary and inspiring work, unmatched expertise, support, and warmth.

Dr. Noel Cohen was the longtime chairman of the NYU Medical Center’s Department of Otolaryngology. He’s published scores of studies on cochlear implants and is recognized as one of America’s leading experts on acoustic neuroma and cochlear implantation. His relationship with CHC began over three decades ago, and he’s been a member of CHC’s Board of Directors for 25 years.

CHC offers pre- and post-operation cochlear implant therapy to families and children to help them learn what to expect, how to manage the equipment, and auditory training techniques to help deaf children understand and speak. We also offer communication therapy to people of all ages and hearing abilities and quarterly informational and welcoming cochlear implant support groups for adults.

Learn more about CHC’s services and make an appointment online.