CENTENNIAL, COLORADO — Cochlear Limited announced that it will be pledging a gift of $10 million to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to establish the Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health. According to the announcement, the new Center will be led by Dr. Frank Lin and will be the first of its kind at any academic institution focused on addressing hearing loss as a global public health priority.
“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.” –Dig Howitt, Cochlear President, CEO
Hearing Loss: Significant Public Health Issue Worldwide
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are approximately 360 million people living with disabling hearing loss across the globe. Based on the work of Dr. Lin, research has found hearing loss to be connected to increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia. As the prevalence rates rise, due to an aging population, the global cost of unaddressed hearing loss has been estimated at $750 billion per year.1
Cochlear’s gift will be made over a period of 10 years. The company says it will collaborate with the Center to help “amplify its impact on worldwide public health”. Additionally, Cochlear will have representation on the Center’s Advisory Board to provide feedback and to help identify opportunities for continued industry-academic collaborations in furthering the Center’s primary mission focused on hearing and public health.
“The Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health will be dedicated to understanding and addressing the impact of hearing loss on public health. The Center 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 Center.” –Frank Lin, MD, PhD
According to the announcement, Cochlear and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health will celebrate the official opening of the Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health on World Hearing Day, March 3rd.
1. Factsheet number 300. World Health Organization; c2018 [cited 8th February 2018]. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs300/en/
Source: Cochlear Ltd