CCHAT Partner Spotlight: Tahoe Family Hearing Clinic

Program or Partner
CCHAT Partner Spotlight: Tahoe Family Hearing Clinic

CCHAT continues to look for ways to expand its impact and improve the hearing health of more families. CCHAT currently services a large portion of Northern California, covering approximately 20% of the state, and a recently formed partnership has the potential to broaden CCHAT’s reach even further. 

Thanks to a connection with Dr. Jenelle Sandy of Tahoe Family Hearing Clinic, CCHAT is now positioned to help children as far east as South Lake Tahoe. Dr. Sandy’s love for children, audiology and technology is a perfect match with CCHAT’s mission of creating positive outcomes for children with hearing loss.

Finding a Career in Audiology

Dr. Sandy knew she loved working with people, kids specifically, but she was not sure where that would lead her when she began studying communication disorders at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. 

The answer soon revealed itself.

“I knew audiology was the route for me as it blended my love of working with people and the ever-changing technology that exists today,” Dr. Sandy recalled.

These interests were the perfect combination for Dr. Sandy’s next step. Upon graduating, she spent 10 years as a pediatric cochlear implant audiologist in Chicago. When she moved to South Lake Tahoe in 2022, she soon noticed her skillset was sorely needed. 

“It quickly became apparent that there were few options between Reno and Sacramento for children and adults to receive specialty audiologic care,” Dr. Sandy said. “I knew I could not sit around waiting for something to arise.”

Tahoe Family Hearing Clinic was born, and Dr. Sandy immediately started offering a variety of services, from hearing aid programming to cochlear implant mapping, to people of all ages in the region. 

Connecting with CCHAT

As Dr. Sandy put it, “audiology is a small world.” It didn’t take long for her to discover a connection to CCHAT, located 90 miles to the west. 

“An old coworker of mine from Chicago grew up in South Lake Tahoe and just so happened to have a family friend who worked at CCHAT,” Dr. Sandy said. “I was thrilled to find out that not too far away was a program committed to helping children (who are deaf and hard of hearing) reach their full potential.”

Dr. Sandy was all too happy to begin supporting CCHAT in any way possible. Tahoe Family Hearing Clinic was a 2023 CCHAT Uncorked sponsor, allowing Dr. Sandy to attend the event and meet CCHAT staff, families and students.

“Being able to offer our sponsorship meant making more connections with parents and professionals in Northern California and knowing that our sponsorship would be put to good use right away,” Dr. Sandy said.

Forming a Mutually Beneficial Relationship

The best aspect of CCHAT’s relationship with Tahoe Family Hearing Clinic are the benefits to the community at large. Dr. Sandy’s goal is to put families at ease and ensure them that their children are being supported with the best resources possible.

“As Tahoe Family Hearing Clinic grows, we've been able to refer to and receive referrals from CCHAT to support both the families that live in the Sacramento region as well as the families here in South Lake Tahoe,” Dr. Sandy said. “I want families to feel confident knowing that they are receiving the highest quality care.”

CCHAT is fortunate to have partners like Dr. Sandy who believe in the program’s goals and want to work collaboratively to help more families. It is a partnership that has the potential to grow in the coming years. 

“I have witnessed firsthand the impact that early intervention with skilled professionals can have on a child's speech and language development, as well as their confidence, social and advocacy skills,” Dr. Sandy said. “I absolutely want and love to see CCHAT flourish and am pleased to be able to support the mission in any way I can.”

To read about how CCHAT is partnering with local birthing centers to ensure that babies born in the region receive vital hearing screenings, click here

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