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Albany ENT distributing 'Think Pink' hearing device

Dr. Monica Mennite of The Hearing Center at Albany ENT is partnering eith hearing device manufacturer Oticon to help fund breast cancer awareness with the sale of Think Pink Hearing aids.

Dr. Monica Mennite of The Hearing Center at Albany ENT is partnering eith hearing device manufacturer Oticon to help fund breast cancer awareness with the sale of Think Pink Hearing aids.

ALBANY -- An Albany ear, nose and throat practice is doing its part to help patients hear better and fight breast cancer at the same time.

Dr. Monica Mennite of The Hearing Center at Albany ENT has found a way to combine her commitment to improve the hearing health of people in Southwest Georgia and her determination to help find a cure for breast cancer by participating in the national "Pink with a Purpose" campaign to help raise funds for breast cancer research.

As part of the campaign, hearing care manufacturer Oticon will donate a portion of proceeds received in October -- which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month -- from the sale of a special "Think Pink" Agil model, and all other Agil hearing devices, to the National Breast Cancer Coalition.

"We are partnering with the hearing device company and working to improve the quality of hearing and breast cancer awareness," Mennite said. "Breast cancer has touched us all at some point. This is our way to give back."

The precise amount to be donated is dependent on the number of devices sold, the audiologist said.

Agil preserves natural cues without compromising sound quality and speech understanding so less energy is needed to translate and interpret the meaning of sounds. By minimizing the cognitive energy expended in typical listening situations, Agil empowers people with hearing loss to communicate freely, interact naturally and participate actively in everyday life.

The special "Think Pink" Agil is available in a mini, behind-the-ear device that is almost invisible in the ear. The Agil family of hearing instruments is a good option for approximately 80 percent of patients with a hearing loss, Mennite said.

This is the third year the practice has been participating in the campaign. So far, the response has been positive.

"When patients come in, they are surprised and glad that hearing health can be linked to the whole body," Mennite said. "They do not expect to see the link.

"It is an extra motivator to do something for the ears and to also do something good."

Participation in the campaign has also had an impact on those who have been unwilling to get a hearing aid device in the past.

"It removes some of the stigma people have about hearing devices," Mennite said. "People think they are very cute. This is helping the community hear better while helping to further research."

"Pink With a Purpose" is a cause that the whole practice has gotten behind as well.

"The whole office participates by wearing a 'Think Pink' shirt on a random day of the week to keep patients inquiring about it," Mennite said.

The Agil "Think Pink" model is considered top-of-the-line, and generally carries a price tag between $6,000 and $6,500.

The National Cancer Institute has estimated that 230,480 women and 2,140 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States this year. It is the most common cancer in women, and the second-most common cause of death by cancer among white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaskan Native women.