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Dear Avalon family,

Thank you for opening up and reading, Take Heart today. This is the 100th edition of Take Heart so I am taking time to see what’s on my heart about human connection and hearing.

I only know about this milestone because of Stu

Stu collaborates with me in bringing you Take Heart every Tuesday morning. I met Stu several years ago when he came to Avalon looking for someone to take care of his hearing. He had moved from San Francisco and needed to find a new hearing provider for himself. Stu has been using hearing aids since he was a young child. We ‘adopted’ Stu into the Avalon Family! He told me, “In over thirty years of experience, I have never known the kind of care I receive at Avalon. I didn’t know that hearing care could be this way!”

On his third appointment, Stu mentioned that he ran a digital marketing business and that he would love to help me with Avalon. Who better to collaborate with than a person who knows about hearing loss at such a personal level AND who has such passion to help others struggling with hearing? That’s how Stu and I got started. As they say, the rest is history.
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Talking about history, I was in Alexandria, Virginia over the weekend

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I woke up on Saturday May 7th with Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech playing in my head. That was not surprising because I just spent Friday in Washington, DC, near where he gave his famous speech. This was my very first time in the capital of the United States of America. There is so much to explore and take in, especially now when so much of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence is being tested by today’s politicians and governmental institutions.
As I enjoyed a leisurely morning, contemplating what to share with you in the 100th Take Heart, I noticed the “I Have a Dream” words were still resonating in my head, but they had changed to the ABBA song, “I Have a Dream.” Next thing I know, I was singing the song in my mind.

This song has deep, personal meaning for me because it was the song that my Dad picked for our father-daughter dance so many years ago. I could not believe the power of these words.

Here they are:

I Have a Dream - ABBA

I have a dream, a song to sing
To help me cope with anything
If you see the wonder of a fairy tale
You can take the future, even if you fail

I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I’ll cross the stream, I have a dream

I have a dream, a fantasy
To help me cope through reality
And my destination, makes it worth the while
Pushing through the darkness, still another mile

I believe in angels
Something good in everything I see
I believe in angels
When I know the time is right for me
I’ll cross the stream…

I (also) have a dream…

I have a dream of 💙 Heart-Centered Hearing Care, alive and growing in our communities, in our world.

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You see, hearing care has been shifting over the past 30 years from smaller privately owned and operated practices taking care of people’s hearing into the dispensing of hearing aids by large, corporately owned, and operated offices (both retail and medical), online sales, big box retail stores and insurance companies dictating the kinds of hearing aids you can get, and who you can work with.

Most of these models of selling and dispensing hearing aids are driven by the bottom line

Many of those large corporations ask questions such as:  How much money can they make? How fast can they make that money? There is little emphasis on how well clients are being treated, whether their hearing aids are making life easier for them and their loved ones. Nor are some of those big corporations concerned about the well-being of their employees. I can tell a lot about a business by how happy their employees are.

Often, the focus is on short term goals, making money now for their shareholders instead of taking a long term and healthy approach to business – for the sake of shareholders AND for the good of the people they serve.

I remember one of the most reputable audiology practices in the Sacramento area being bought out by a large corporation. The remaining staff was told, “Don’t bother booking a hearing test appointment unless the person brings a significant other. You’re just wasting company time and money because you need the significant other to close the deal.” That made my skin crawl. They were only interested in making a sale. Little or no consideration was given to the unique human being concerned about their hearing, and willing to have their hearing tested to learn the truth.

Over the past twenty years, I have watched over 30 local offices who were bought out by large businesses. Three to five years later, the majority of these offices closed down, leaving clients stranded, not knowing where to turn. Or sadly, who to trust.

I have a dream of 💙 Heart-Centered Hearing Care growing

Growing, like a movement. I dream of a place and many more places…

💙 Where people and their families can come and learn about the impact of hearing loss.
💙 Where people are treated respectfully and tenderly because coming to terms with a hearing problem is a big deal.
💙 Where people listen – listen with their hearts.
💙 Where people speak – speak from their hearts.
💙 Where people feel connected to their hearing care provider.
💙 Where hearing care providers feel connected to their clients.
💙 Where people are so comfortable and so informed that they can powerfully choose the right hearing technology for themselves.
💙 Where long-term relationships work best for both the clients and the hearing care providers. Where relationships matter.
💙 Where people want to come because they leave hearing better and feeling better with each and every appointment.
💙 Where connected hearing and living happen.
💙 Where people know that they matter.
💙 Where heart is put into hearing care.

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Avalon Hearing is the original 💙 Heart-Centered Hearing Care practice

No matter how the hearing aid industry shifts and turns, I know in my heart, that there is a need for 💙 Heart-Centered Hearing Care, now and for years to come.  In fact, I believe that this need will only grow stronger as the hearing aid market continues to get more confusing for those people in need of hearing help.

As I stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial, I realized that I, too, have a dream.  A dream that has become true at Avalon! A dream that continues to grow for the sake of all people impacted by hearing loss. A dream that brings heart into hearing care.

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Yours for CONNECTED Hearing & Living,

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💙 Betty Vosters-Kemp, BC-HIS
Owner, Avalon Hearing Aid Centers, Inc.
Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist