Hearing clinic to open at CCMC

Former Mayo Clinic audiologist will visit every five weeks

Cordova Community Medical Center. (Dec. 27, 2019) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times
Cordova Community Medical Center. (Dec. 27, 2019) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

A Southeast Alaska-based hearing clinic will offer services in Cordova beginning Jan. 22.

Northland Audiology & Hearing Services will offer clinic hours at Cordova Community Medical Center over a two-day period, every five weeks. This schedule may be adjusted in the future based on the needs of the community, according to a release by the clinic.

The Cordova audiology clinic will be run by Dr. Mary Owen, an audiologist who has worked throughout Colorado and rural Alaska, as well as at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Owen has an extensive work background in noise-induced hearing loss, tinnitus and hearing loss prevention, according to the release.

“Prior to us offering services in Cordova, residents there had to travel to Juneau or Anchorage to receive care,” said Kaia Rongstad, co-owner of Northland Audiology. “We know it’s critical for people to have healthcare services close to home. It saves time and money, and oftentimes is the key factor in whether a patient gets the treatment they need, rather than putting it off for a more convenient time.”

The Cordova audiology clinic will provide diagnostic hearing evaluations, hearing loss counseling, treatment plans and management support, hearing aid fittings and servicing, and custom hearing protection, including earmolds and earplugs for swimming. Employment and Occupational Safety and Health Administration screenings will also be provided, according to a release by the clinic.

While CCMC currently offers basic hearing screenings, any patient found to have hearing deficiencies must go to Anchorage for treatment, said CCMC Clinic Manager Tamara Russin.  As well as expanded treatment, Northland Audiology will also be able to provide hearing screenings for newborns and seniors — a particularly important service, Russin said.

“We are definitely not a one size fits all approach,” Rongstad said. “Every case is unique and thus every treatment is unique. We have the honor of witnessing restored hearing every day and with it comes a rebirth of quality of life.”

Northland Audiology initially entered discussions with both CCMC and Native Village of Eyak’s Ilanka Community Health Center. CCMC was first to offer use of their space to Northland, Rongstad said. Although the clinic will be held at CCMC, Northland Audiology will handle all administrative duties, meaning that patient bookings must be made through Northland Audiology rather than CCMC.

The Cordova audiology clinic will first open from Jan. 22-23. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 907-789-6780 or emailing intake@northlandaudiology.com. Northland Audiology accepts most insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid.

Northland Audiology has operated in Southeast Alaska since 1993. It maintains an office in Juneau, as well as travel clinics in Craig, Haines, Ketchikan, Petersburg, Sitka and Wrangell.

“We do plan on this being long-term,” Rongstad said. “We’re not just going to come there every now and then. Once we commit to going to a new place, we go there consistently.”