In praise of sea otters and shapeshifters for delivering PCC

By Clint McLean

When audiologist Carly Girard bought Illinois-based Hearing Associates in 2012, it was already 3 years older than the 29-year-old. She’s led many updates to the business over the years including a full remodel on both locations. And while she may have said goodbye to most of the pink Formica cabinets and counters, the basic philosophy of the business remains; focus on the patient as a whole and embrace new hearing technology quickly.

Recently, Girard and her staff became Inspired by Ida. Girard talked to us about the Inspired program, PCC, and what her business has in common with sea otters.

What is your clinic’s superpower?

Shapeshifting. We are there for our patients in every possible way: wearing the hat of a hearing doctor, a counselor, a therapist, a companion, a Bluetooth expert, and so much more. 

Why did you and the team enroll in the Inspired by Ida program?

We have spent a lot of time making sure we are there for our patients and walk with them on their journey to better hearing. The Ida program was one more way that we could train to make sure that we are meeting the patient at their comfort level and helping them make the changes they desire.

Three words to describe the Inspired by Ida program

Exceptional Patient Care

Was there a lightbulb moment or key takeaway from the Inspired course?

The journey to treating a hearing loss looks different for every patient. Through the Inspired course, we learned to meet each individual patient wherever they are in their own journey. This might mean providing educational information about hearing loss, encouraging attendance at our Hearing Health 101 class, or fitting them with amplification. The first step to managing hearing loss should be unique to each individual.

What does person-centered care mean to your clients?

It means their values and needs are respected and they feel engaged, supported, and involved in all aspects of their care.

If your clinic were an animal, what would it be and why? 

Sea otter: Otters are known to be engaging creatures with positive energy, and are considered intelligent, witty, and lovable. Otters are also known to be capable problem solvers. Our clinic has all of these qualities.