Advanced Hearing Systems
Joe and Pat Manhart, BC/HIS
Owners, Advanced Hearing Systems
BY Holly Andren O’Dell
Since Joe and Pat Manhart purchased Advanced Hearing Systems in Rancho Mirage nearly 10 years ago, they have given a great gift to thousands of people on both the local and international levels: the ability to hear again. And serving others has been at the core of their business. “We stress service,” says Joe. “Our philosophy is to help people hear better, not just to sell them a hearing aid.”
The Manharts have dedicated decades of their lives to those with hearing loss — Pat since 1959, Joe since 1989. Their state-of-the-art facility in Rancho Mirage is evidence of their extensive experience. Clients visiting Advanced Hearing Systems can expect warm, undivided attention from a talented staff of four front office employees and four consultants, who are board certified in hearing instrument sciences (BC/HIS).
As a first step, a client undergoes a personal history so the consultant can determine the hearing aid solution that best suits their lifestyle. Next, the consultant uses a video otoscope to check ears to make sure there are no blockages or abnormalities in the ear canal. If there are, Advanced Hearing Systems will refer the client to a doctor. Using a camera equipped with a fiber optic light, the video otoscope magnifies the image of the ear canal and projects it on the monitor for both the client and consultant to see. Then, the consultant performs a hearing test and what’s called a speech discrimination test to determine how the client understands words at a comfortable hearing level.
If it’s determined that a hearing aid is the best solution for the client, he or she is carefully fitted for one. Custom-made devices are available within 10 business days.
Clients can also choose to purchase an over-the-ear hearing aid called the LX 700. “It’s a new type of fitting that can be done right after we test the hearing,” Pat explains. “They can have the hearing aid that day and take it home and try it.”
Whatever option they choose, customers can be assured they’re receiving the most technologically advanced products on the market. In the desert cities, Advanced Hearing Systems is the exclusive distributor of Audibel hearing aids, which use the latest in digital technology and have a 95 to 98 percent success rate. In fact, Audibel has a patent on its circuit that does not allow any squealing or feedback, which has been a complaint of “old-fashioned” analog hearing aids. So that stigma of the whistling hearing aid has been eliminated with a best-in-class product like Audibel. Advanced Hearing Systems also has other top-of-the-line brands available. They service all hearing aids and snowbirds are always welcome.
The relationship that the client forms with Advanced Hearing Systems’ staff does not end after the first appointment. After the initial fitting stage and instruction on how to care for their hearing aid, the customer comes back to Advanced Hearing Systems in a week for a follow-up. The consultant determines if they need to do any adjusting to the hearing aid. Then, other appointments are scheduled to ensure that the hearing aid is working to the best of its ability. “We’re always available if someone is having a problem,” Joe notes. “They don’t have to wait for an appointment time. One way or another, we work them in and address the issue as soon as possible.”
“We like to have trial periods on all hearing aids, because we want to make sure they are comfortable with it in their own environment,” Pat continues. Adds Joe: “We want them to try the hearing aid in restaurants and groups of people, too, because setting and adjusting the hearing aid here in a quiet office isn’t the same. We want them to experience all different types of hearing situations.”
Additional services that Advanced Hearing Systems provides — at no charge — include checkups every three months to clean hearing aids and check for wax, as well as a courtesy call before the warranty expires with an option to renew it.
The work that Pat and Joe Manhart do outside their office is just as impressive. Through the Starkey Hearing Foundation, the Manharts have traveled to Brazil, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, South Africa, and many other countries to fit children for free hearing aids. On the local level, the Manharts work with the Palm Springs Unified School District to do the same; in fact, they helped about 20 schoolchildren this past school year alone. “We just fit a 7-year-old girl with her first hearing aid,” Pat says. “In four or five years, she’ll be hearing and learning to talk. She’ll be back in the mainstream of society. That’s the whole purpose of helping these kids. They can’t learn if they can’t hear.” Furthermore, Advanced Hearing Systems travels to senior centers and retirement homes around the valley once a month to clean, check, and adjust hearing aids, as well as perform hearing screenings — all at no charge.
For all their work and contributions to the community, it’s no surprise that the Manharts have earned plenty of awards and honors. They have been chosen by the Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce as Distinguished Citizens of the Year for 2008. The Palm Springs Unified School District gave the Manharts the Shining Apple Award for their work with children. Additionally, the pair has won the William F. Austin Humanitarian Award and four Gold Awards from Audibel, among many other achievements.
No matter what accolade comes their way, what really drives the Manharts is working with people and helping them reconnect with friends and family. “They’re able to get back into social situations they used to avoid because the background noise was so loud that it drowned out all the speech cues.”
Perhaps the words of one client best sums up the superior, personalized, and caring service that Advanced Hearing Systems provides: “You really helped me join the world again.”
Advanced Hearing Systems
Joe and Pat Manhart, BC/HIS
42-382 Bob Hope Drive
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
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