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President and CEO of Phonak, Mike Orscheln, Named Business Team Chair for the Chicago Walk4Hearing

Chicago: Mike Orscheln, president and CEO of Phonak, has been named Business Team Chair of the 2009 Chicago Walk4Hearing to be held on Sunday, October 18, in Lincoln Park.

In its third year, local volunteers from HLAA chapters and community groups have brought together hundreds of people to Walk4Hearing. This year, HLAA is honored to have Mike Orscheln serve as Business Team Chair of the Chicago Walk4Hearing. In his role, Orscheln will lead by example by having a Phonak employee team and enlisting other local businesses to sponsor the walk.

Orscheln comments, "At Phonak, we are committed to opening up the world of hearing to those with hearing loss through the development of and manufacture of world-class digital hearing systems. The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) shares our mission, that's why Phonak is proud to be a national sponsor of their Walk4Hearing program. It is also why I am particularly honored to serve as the Business Team Chairman for the HLAA's Third Annual Chicago 5K (3.1 mile) Walk4Hearing scheduled for October 18, 2009, in Lincoln Park."

The Walk4HearingTM, produced by the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), is the largest walk of its kind in the country. The 2009 HLAA Walk4Hearing will be held in 22 cities nationwide with at least 5,000 people walking and raising money for programs and services for people with hearing loss and their families. Proceeds will be shared between the national organization and local HLAA affiliates or Walk4Hearing Alliance Groups to benefit national and local programs. Since 2006, more than $1 million has been raised and the goal is to double that to $2 million in 2009.

HLAA launched the Walk4Hearing to:

  • increase awareness among the general public about hearing loss and the 36 million Americans who have hearing loss
  • minimize the stigma associated with wearing hearing aids, cochlear implants, and other assistive technology by educating people about hearing loss
  • raise funds to expand services and programs for people with hearing loss and their families at the national and local levels
  • empower the HLAA state organizations and chapters to work with community leaders to organize walks for fundraising and local outreach

Why Walk?

Thirty six million people have hearing loss to some degree and
yet only 20 percent receive the technology and services they need.

Hearing loss is a public health issue that is third in line only to heart disease and arthritis. According to the National Center for Health Statistics 36 million (17%) American adults have some degree of hearing loss. Hearing loss should be screened for just like blood pressure or diabetes. The Walk4Hearing creates awareness and raises funds for local and national programs.

The Hearing Loss Association of America is dedicated to providing information, education, advocacy, and support - and to enable people with hearing loss to live rich and productive lives.

2009 Walk4Hearing ... It's Fun!

For a complete update of walk locations, dates, participation and other information, go to http://www.walk4hearing.org You can walk as an individual, form a team (some form a workplace team), join a team, donate and more. To find out how you can sponsor a walk or start a walk in your city, contact Ronnie Adler. You can also view the newly-released Walk4Hearing video or request a copy on DVD to motivate, inform, and get people walking! Please contact Ronnie Adler for a copy.

National Sponsors

To date, the Walk4Hearing has the national sponsorship of Advanced Bionics, HearUSA, IBM, Phonak, Sorenson SIP Relay, and T-Mobile. There is a variety of sponsor opportunities to showcase your company. Contact Christopher T. Sutton for national sponsor opportunities.

About the Hearing Loss Association of America

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), founded in 1979, opens the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, education, advocacy and support. HLAA publishes the bimonthly Hearing Loss Magazine, holds annual conventions, Walk4HearingTM, and more. Information can be found at www.hearingloss.org. The national headquarters is located at 7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 1200, Bethesda, MD 20184. HLAA has chapters and state organizations across the country.

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