March 2018 MassDevice

Cochlear donated $10 million to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to found the Cochlear Centre for Hearing and Public Health, which it sees as the first academic institute looking to address hearing loss as a global health priority. The new centre is slated to be led by Dr. Frank Lin and aims to conduct research to determine the effects of hearing loss on public health on a global scale. The centre will also develop and test interventions looking to reduce the effects of hearing loss and create policies and strategies to improve hearing loss interventions.

“The Cochlear Centre for Hearing and Public Health will be dedicated to understanding and addressing the impact of hearing loss on public health. The centre represents a unique collaboration between industry and academia that is possible because of the shared vision that hearing and our ability to engage effectively with others and the environment is fundamental to human health but not yet a priority in public health. Implementation of public health initiatives around hearing­—or nearly any other public health problem—requires insights from industry into how to create scalable commercial and economic models for the development and delivery of services and technology. Cochlear will be able to provide these insights to the Centre,” Dr. Lin said in a prepared release.

The $10 million gift will be delivered over 10 years, during which Cochlear will collaborate with the centre to help promote it and identify collaborative opportunities. “At Cochlear, we are driven by our mission to improve the lives of people with hearing loss, and our gift to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health supports this commitment. Hearing loss is a major public health problem. There is increasing evidence of the importance of hearing to overall health, especially as people age. Developing evidence of the impact of untreated hearing loss on people’s health, on our communities and the economy is critical to ensuring hearing loss is treated appropriately. Cochlear is making an investment to build collaborative partnerships within the global medical research community and to be actively involved in delivering evidence-based research so we can better understand, address and provide access to treatment options for individuals and communities impacted by hearing loss,” Cochlear president & CEO Dig Howitt said in a prepared statement.

“This gift is a tribute to the accomplishments Johns Hopkins University has already achieved in our field and showcases our belief in the future achievements of the Centre. It is also a reflection of our shared vision to make hearing and the ability to communicate priorities in the spheres of public health and policy. Through our work together, we hope hearing loss will no longer be an unaddressed, debilitating public health issue impacting the ability for so many to connect with others and to live full lives,” Cochlear chief medical officer Dr. David Cade said in a press release.

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