When you live in Longview, Texas, you’re likely to run into somebody you know at the grocery store and children hear The Star Spangled Banner played so often, they learn the lyrics at an early age. The family-oriented community is the perfect location for Ken Martin Audiology, where the Golden Rule guides their philosophy on patient care.
“Our patients know about our families, and we know about theirs,” Ken Martin, Au.D., said. “If we see them in the grocery store, we feel comfortable enough to stop and chat. It’s reflective of the area we live in, but at the same time, we intend for them to feel that way.”
The staff at Ken Martin Audiology treats every patient as an individual they would truly like to get to know. They offer complete audiology services, participate with most insurance plans and go the extra mile to help patients find affordable solutions for their hearing health.
Dr. Martin started school as a pharmacy major; however, shifted his major to Communication Disorders where he became intrigued by the technology involved with audiology. After completing graduate work in various pediatric audiology clinics he also became interested in hearing instruments. Today his practice is a nice blend of both passions, where half of his patients are children and the other half adults.
In fact, one of Dr. Martin’s favorite success stories involves a 5-year-old girl who was in for a hearing aid fitting after an initial identification of her hearing loss. Her family relayed cute stories of how she loved to sing, but would often misunderstand the lyrics. The day of her fitting, she was so excited with her new “ears” that she immediately started singing “The Star Spangled Banner.”
“She was thrilled to hear her voice differently and I have to admit I had tears as did her family,” Dr. Martin said. “I knew there would be many other benefits, but her instantaneous acceptance and reactions were literally music to my ears!”
Dr. Martin said his favorite part of being a hearing healthcare practitioner is being present for moments when a child listens through their new hearing aids for the very first time. “It’s so special when they can tell us what they hear,” he said. “Since I get the privilege to provide pediatric services often, I’ve enjoyed being part of those moments many times, which definitely keeps my job as an audiologist in perspective.”
Ken Martin Audiology participates in community health fairs, where they distribute general information about hearing loss awareness and solutions to hearing difficulties. They also place awareness ads in the city paper throughout the year in an effort to educate the public about hearing loss in general, hearing protection, and awareness of audiology as a profession.
One of the biggest challenges they face is finding a way to provide services and equipment to patients with limited financial resources. “It’s very difficult to approach the cost issue with some patients or parents of children who are coping with a newly identified hearing loss,” Dr. Martin said. “We search out resources for patients when we can in order to find a way to provide the best care. Sometimes it just comes down to being very flexible with payment arrangements.”
Dr. Martin said the most significant change in hearing health technology since he’s been in business has been wireless technology. “Not only has this caused significant improvements in how hearing instruments process sound to provide the best overall signal to patients, but it also opened the door to many new assistive listening devices,” he said. “Patients now have affordable solutions that work with their hearing aids to provide better communication in many challenging listening situations.”
And that’s important when one of your patients is a five year-old girl who loves to sing and rural customers trust you with their hearing health so much they’re willing to drive for miles to reach your office.
“We’ve been blessed with a busy practice since day one, and I sincerely believe it’s due to the way we treat our patients. There’s something to be said about the