Healthy Hearing conversation | Dr. Victoria Graff
What’s the recipe for a long and successful audiology career? For Victoria Graff, Au.D., CCC-A, the ingredients include hiring friendly and knowledgeable staff, offering affordable and effective hearing solutions, and earning a reputation that earns her enthusiastic referrals from patients and medical professionals alike.
Dr. Graff owns Audiology and Hearing Specialists of Kentucky, a hearing care center located in a professional medical complex which has served the Lexington area for 25 years. “We’re a nice practice,” she said. “If you’re not a kind, friendly person, you don’t work in my office. I take pride in that.”
A tradition of compassion
That friendly attitude comes in handy some days when the staff finds themselves dealing with difficult patients who may have health challenges that go beyond hearing loss. “We do a pretty good job, but there are some people...I just keep smiling,” Dr. Graff said. “By the end of the session, I usually have them smiling a little bit, too. We do have some people in denial or in chronic pain. We try to be a little ray of hope for them and give them the time they need.”
In addition to Dr. Graff who is on site every day, the staff includes two licensed Hearing Instrument Specialists (HIS), both Millennials named Amanda, who bring a lot of pep and energy to the practice. “My patients love the Amandas. With the new hearing aids that work with iPhones, they are tech savvy and can help readily with all the technology.”
Dr. Graff said owning her business gives her the ability to provide services based on patient need. “I’m not governed by someone telling me what to do,” she explained, “so if we see someone needy, we help them. I think that’s the greatest thing I get to do is give someone the ability to hear. If I want to make a small profit or no profit at all on a patient, I can do that.” That helping philosophy is one of the reasons Audiology and Hearing Specialists of Kentucky has such a loyal clientele. “We’re very reasonable, which is why we’ve stayed in business for 25 years.”
Dr. Graff believes digital technology is the most significant advance in hearing aid technology since she began practicing. “When Oticon came up with DigiFocus in 1990s, that changed the industry,” she said. “They provided a better service for the patient. There’s not as much waiting time because we can do so much right in the office. The patient can have a new hearing test done and we can program the hearing aids right there in the office to the new thresholds. And they sound better.”
One of Dr. Graff’s patients, a soccer referee, is a good example of how this new technology can enhance quality of life. “I put a set of Oticon Opn™ hearing aids on him and gave him the TV Adapter. He called us back and said he is thrilled. Now he can hear his TV and can be in the same room with his wife.”
Dr. Graff said they don’t do a lot of advertising, mainly because they don’t need to. Their standing in the community and business reputation means they receive many referrals from the medical community and satisfied patients. “We depend upon word of mouth. That’s how we get the majority of our patients. People tell their friends and bring their relatives,” she said. “We’re really blessed because they love us.”
Take the next step
If you're not in Dr. Graff's neck of the woods, there are still caring professionals near you who can help you get on the road to better hearing. If you haven’t been referred to a hearing care professional by your physician or a good friend, visit Healthy Hearing’s extensive directory. There, you’ll find a listing of hearing centers in your community, along with verified patient reviews to help you choose which professional is right for you.