The Barton G Kids Hear Now Foundation
Written by South Beach Annie
Medical statistics report more than 2,000 deaf children are born every year in the U.S. alone, making deafness our nation’s most common birth defect. This year, Barton G. Weiss launched The Barton G. Kids Hear Now Foundation (www.kidshearnow.org) created to enable hearing challenged children to develop the ability to listen and speak with others.
The Barton G. Kids Hear Now Foundation is a charitable and educational non-profit, whose mission is to establish awareness of deaf children’s needs, facilitate research, and accomplish treatment goals. The Foundation was inspired by Weiss’s own experience in seeking to provide his deaf daughter, Jadin, with the best chance of success in a hearing world. Barton’s research led him to Thomas J. Balkany, M.D., Hotchkiss Professor and Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, and the promise of cochlear implants. As the result of these electronic devices, Jadin is now an alert toddler, responsive to sound, and on her path to acquiring verbal communication.
With the guidance of Dr. Balkany, one of the world’s foremost authorities on cochlear implant surgery, the Foundation generates awareness about and accessibility of cochlear implants through a series of fundraising events to accumulate the financial resources necessary. The first Gala dinner dance was held on May 3, 2008, underwritten by Barton G. to honor Dr. Balkany and showcasing the synergy between The Barton G. Kids Hear Now Foundation and The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis.
Some of the The Barton G. Kids Hear Now Foundation’s goals are to develop a world-class auditory-verbal training and certification center to address the global shortage of auditory-verbal therapists, add two audio-verbal therapists to the current staff of the Miami Ear Institute and establish a Cochlear Implant Family Resource Center at the University of Miami as a national resource and database for the hearing challenged and their families. -DUO