Technology Meets Traditional Values
Ross Cushing met his wife Jenifer while on a graduate school tour (she was his tour guide), and the two fantasized about opening a private practice together since their relationship started.
They realized that dream when they opened A&A Hearing Group about 10 years ago, and have since expanded to seven locations. The Frederick office first opened in 2008, and moved to its current location, 1700 Kingfisher Drive, about five years ago.
The group offers a variety of hearing services, including exams, hearing aids, tinnitus help, earwax removal and special services such as testing for children and infants and inner and middle ear testing.
For Cushing, the desire to help people began as a child. His father, a chiropractor, worked out of their family home, and Cushing often spent time talking to patients as they sat in the waiting room.
“I got exposure to that as a typical work environment,” Cushing said. “I liked sitting with thepatients in the waiting room and chatting them up. I think I’ve always had it in my head that I’d have my own practice of some sort.”
Cushing initially studied speech language pathology, but found audiology more interesting after taking a class on it. Audiology’s focus on technology and helping people drew both Ross and Jenifer to the field.
The rapid development of technology has facilitated major advances in hearing aids. Cushing said there have been many changes in the last decade, and that the latest models of hearing aids have a much clearer sound, and features like the ability to adjust settings with a smartphone app.
“The sound clarity you can get from a new hearing aid—it not only amplifies sound, but helps you hear much better in noisy situations,” he said. “That’s a challenge for people with hearing loss.”
And while he likes being able to work with cutting-edge technology, the practice still holds onto the values he learned talking to his father’s patients as a child, like making sure they feel cared for and welcomed.
“It’s the idea of creating a great patient experience,” he said. “Having done it for 10 years, we have learned what works and what doesn’t work for most patients. The provider’s relationship with the patient is key. You just don’t fit a person with a hearing aid. You have to do it in a way that makes sense for each patient.”
Cushing said the best part of the job is being able to help his patients with their hearing problems.
“I have the need to do something that’s useful in the world—the need to be a help,” he said. “To make a living doing something charitable, and giving makes me feel good.”
For more information, visit www.aahearinggroup.com