Hearing and Public Health Center Launched by Bloomberg School

"We are just now beginning to understand the impact that hearing loss can have on the lives of older adults," said Dr. Frank Lin, who heads the new center. "Amazingly, there is a dearth of public health research that examines this area and that is geared towards developing solutions and policies needed to mitigate these effects."

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School recently announced the launch of the Cochlear Center for Hearing and Public Health, a research center that will study the effects of hearing loss, particularly among older adults, in order to prevent and mitigate the consequences, which can include cognitive decline and dementia. A $10 million gift provides seed funding the Baltimore center, described as the first center of its kind devoted to researching impact of hearing loss on public health with a focus on older adults.

The $10 million gift come from from Cochlear Limited, a Sydney, Australia-based developer of hearing implants. The new center will be headed by Dr. Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor of Epidemiology and Mental Health at the Bloomberg School and of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

"We are committed to bringing critical issues to the fore of public health research and awareness," said Bloomberg School Dean Ellen J. MacKenzie, Ph.D., MSc. "We are excited about the contributions the Cochlear Center will make in driving research and policy on the consequences of hearing loss, particularly as the world's population ages."

"We are just now beginning to understand the impact that hearing loss can have on the lives of older adults," Lin said. "Amazingly, there is a dearth of public health research that examines this area and that is geared towards developing solutions and policies needed to mitigate these effects. This center is going to address these gaps through epidemiological, intervention, and health policy studies that span the otolaryngology and gerontology fields with public health."

The center's research will be funded by traditional grant-making organizations, including the National Institutes of Health; the center launched with its researchers having more than $20 million in NIH funding committed to the study of hearing loss.

The center's offices are located at the Johns Hopkins East Baltimore campus in the Bloomberg School's Department of Epidemiology.

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