I can't believe it...
The Hearing Matters Podcast has been raising awareness of hearing healthcare for almost 4 years.
As we celebrate the release of our 100th episode, our team would like to extend our gratitude and thank you for your support! You carve out time in your busy schedule to hangout with us to talk about hearing aids, ear wax, and best practices...that's so cool!
In celebration of our 100th episode, we wanted to reflect on the last four years in the podcasting space. I am a firm believer that podcasting is positively influencing the hearing healthcare industry. Patients can learn about best practices and what to expect at their hearing aid fitting appointment in the comfort of their home.
You see, hearing healthcare and hearing aids don't have to be confusing! In fact, that's one of the many reasons we started the Hearing Matters Podcast ~ to assist patients in making an educated decision regarding their hearing healthcare. It's safe to say we're doing just that.
With 100 episodes released, we've helped people in 90 different countries and 2,235 different cities. What started out as a resource to help patients at the local level turned into a global resource. However, we couldn't have helped this many people without the help of our guests! They are all incredible and we appreciate them dedicating their time. Alone we can't do much. Together we can change the world.
I am looking forward to releasing another 100 episodes. Until next time, Hear Life's Story!
Blaise M. Delfino, M.S. HIS
Founder and Host
Blaise Delfino, M.S. - HIS (00:06):
You're tuned in to the Hearing Matters Podcast, the show that discusses hearing technology, best practices, and a growing national epidemic: Hearing Loss. Before we kick this episode off, a special thank you to our partners...
Weave - the All-In-One patient communication and engagement platform. Redux - faster, drier, smarter, verified. Fader Plugs - the world's first custom adjustable earplug. Welcome back to Another Hearing Matters podcast. And I have to say congratulations because this is the 100th episode. The 100th episode. We have released 100 of these and to the entire Hearing Matters podcast team, congratulations. We have and continue to raise awareness of the importance of hearing healthcare. Now going into this episode, I've really just been thinking a lot the past couple of days, and well, do I really want to go in with a script and pre-planned notes. And I have to say, I'm going into this episode really right off the cuff. I mean, I've lived it, I've experienced it. And so has our team and wanted to take this time really to thank you, the listener, because every single week you tune in to learn more about hearing healthcare.
And what you're doing is you're joining our mission, raising awareness of hearing healthcare, hearing technology, why it's important to get your hearing tested on an annual basis. So I wanna bring you back a couple of years to 2019. It was during this time that I was practicing full-time at my family's private practice audiology services in Nazareth and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. And there were times where I would be working with patients and I would say to myself, well, the last three patients that I've seen today have literally asked the same question. How can I duplicate what we're doing here and duplicate the answers to frequently ask questions that are being introduced to them in a medium that's gonna make them feel connected to our team, to our family, to the office. And really the answer was podcasting. Of course, we enjoy video and have plans for video podcasting in the future.
Just to be transparent, we don't have the bandwidth right now. So audio for us works well. We provide the transcript, but I don't want to go down that, uh, that rabbit hole sitting in the office 2019, I am a firm believer in transfer of information and process of duplication. Now, at this time, 2019, don't quote me, but there is about 750,000 podcasts globally. That number today has essentially two x I believe. I believe there's about 3 million podcasts. So we really got into podcasting at essentially the ground level. But again, the goal was transfer of information, process of duplication. How can we ensure that our patients are going to feel part of this hearing family? So we linked up with Marty Wolf because while I am in audio editing and while I have background in college, radio and music, and music production and audio engineering, when you are seeing patients full-time, you really lack the bandwidth.
So we linked up with Marty Wolff and he was actually the very first Hearing Matters podcast host. If you go back to the first two or three episodes, Marty, who is also a hearing healthcare advocate, he was the Hearing Matters podcast host. So we would drive to Marty's radio studio. He also has a, uh, show called, uh, business Builders Show. And Marty's been doing this for many years and we trusted in his passion and his ability really to host a great show. But again, taking time outta the office to see patients, we were releasing about one episode a month, which to start was so great for us because we really focused on those really big bucket items such as what to expect at your first or what to expect at your initial hearing evaluation, what to expect at your first follow up. So we really took a deep dive with Marty the first couple of episodes.
And then it came down to it was really tough for us to schedule out. We wanted more content, but again, to travel to the studio and then back. That was really digging into time that we would see patients. We ended up recording in-house and that really did help us. So, uh, you know, and, and Marty Wolff is tuned in right now. We're still great friends and colleagues and appreciate all the work that he's done because really he played an integral role in the Hearing Matters podcast. And, and I hope he hears that. So in order for us to release more content and to really get our patients rallying behind this show, we wanted to release two episodes a month, maybe three. So again, I have a background in music. I played music all throughout college, music production, audio production, audio engineering, editing the whole nine yards.
So I had the equipment to do this and we just hit record. We started recording content in the office. We would have podcast days and we would invite patients on the show. That was always one of my favorite events was the podcast days because once a quarter we would shut down audiology services on a Friday and we would have four or five patients on the show. And they really played such an integral role in the growth of this podcast and continue to play an integrale role. That's a little history of how the Hearing Matters podcast actually got started. We were traveling to a radio studio, uh, near Scranton, Pennsylvania, and then just decided to record this in-house. Now what happened after 2019? Well, it was the year 2020 and it was the Covid 19 pandemic. This was a pivotal time for the Hearing Matters podcast because this is really when we as a team and an organization started to make a large impact in the hearing healthcare industry.
And what do I mean by this? Well, everyone was home. So we were releasing weekly episodes and we of course started to see our reach grow, our downloads were growing. But really, and, and truthfully speaking, downloads are cool and it's awesome to see the show grow, but every week and every month we review the numbers. What we're thinking in our minds is, oh my gosh, the lives that we've impacted, we've helped individuals make the decision, get into hearing technology. We've helped patients get connected to trusted hearing healthcare providers. That's what we love so much about what we do with the Hearing Matters podcast. So I just wanted to throw that out there. But for us to see the growth during the pandemic was really exciting for us because it was a way in which, number one, we could still stay connected to our current patient base.
Cuz you have to think we were almost closed for about three months. The office was closed for three months. Yes, we were sending emails to our patients to keep them updated and of course answering the phone and hearing a drop off for repairs and stuff. But in terms of information and keeping them connected, this entire community, the Hearing Matters podcast is all about community and feeling connected. Our patients and our neighbors and our entire community felt connected to us because alright, this week they're releasing information about Bluetooth technology or about the importance about wearing hearing aids. So that was really cool to see the growth. In 2020, in the summer of 2020, one of our team members, Meghan Okken, she actually joined the Hearing Matters podcast team, uh, because she was interning at Audiology Services the summer of 2020. We're just so excited for how many lives that we've impacted and continue to impact.
Now the title of this episode is How Podcasting is Positively Influencing the Hearing Healthcare Industry. What I get so excited about and what is so cool to see is all of the other hearing healthcare podcasts out there now, we all have one mission and I know it is to raise awareness of the importance of hearing healthcare. So to see colleagues of mine that I I see at conventions and I've literally worked with when I was full-time in private practice in terms of vendor relations, it is so awesome to see all of these colleagues and really what I consider friends now doing what we're doing and just raising awareness. That really gets me excited because podcasting is happening, like it's not going anywhere and it's a medium in which current patients can tune in and feel connected to your office. It is a way in which professionals stay connected with us.
We want to ensure that we are a trusted source when it comes to releasing content. And that's always been the mission from the very start, is the information we release, you know, when you listen to it, is going to be first class content. And when you listen to the Hearing Matters podcast, we are going to assist you in making an educated decision regarding your hearing healthcare. So it is really enlightening and exciting to see fellow colleagues and friends continuously releasing content. It inspires me, it gets me jazzed up, it gets me excited. And, uh, just shout out to the entire Hearing Matters podcast team for making this happen while I am the host. And while I have a hand in some of the creative with what we do, it really is a team effort and I just want to thank everyone involved because without you, without your support, this really wouldn't be what it is today.
Just thinking back to how podcasting is positively influencing the hearing Healthcare Space podcasts, they are a companion medium. And what the heck do I even mean by that? Well, when someone is listening to a podcast, they're more or less doing something else, whether it be driving, riding a bike, maybe they're on their jog. Shout out to Andrew Bellavia. He always tunes into our episodes when he is on a jog, so that's really cool. But actually Andrew, thank you for doing that because it really drives home the point that if you're a hearing healthcare provider and we encourage you, share the episodes and the content that we release to help you educate your patients, because we only have 24 hours in a day, we cannot be everywhere. And that's why we created this platform for fellow hearing healthcare professionals to recycle our content, share it with their patients, because there's only so much time in a day.
And I've personally experienced that when I was in clinic. You are consistently being asked the same question over and over and you love educating patients. But what's really cool is we would actually send patients the, if they were a new patient, what to expect at your first appointment, we would send that episode to their email address before they even showed up to the office. And 98% of them were actually listening and tuning in, which is really cool to see. So of course we've seen growth, we've had really, every single guest that we've had on is amazing. Um, I can't say that I have a favorite truthfully because every single guest that we have on this show has such an interesting story to share. And I think that's the coolest thing about life. That's the coolest thing about humans, is everyone, every single colleague of mine that has come on the show has such an interesting perspective when it comes to hearing healthcare.
And I just love that so much about what we do in celebrating 100 episodes, the amount of hours that we've all put into this, the, the time that's been dedicated. It is a lot of work to run a podcast and especially when you're releasing weekly episodes, you really have to become creative and, and how are you gonna schedule your guests. But I just wanna thank our guests for always showing up, dedicating your time and your positive feedback because that's something that we're always, always doing. What's really cool, and I would have to say one of my most memorable moments with the Hearing Matters podcast. So we're gonna continue to influence the hearing healthcare industry. And what do I mean by that? I mean help patients make educated decisions regarding their hearing. Healthcare and podcasting is influencing the hearing healthcare industry because patients are tuning in when they're not in your office and they are being assisted in making that educated decision.
They are listening to, whether it be your voice or our voice, which is trusted in the industry. And when they come back to your office, they're gonna say, oh my gosh, thank you so much for sharing that episode with us. You know, we really appreciate that resource. Let's move forward with your recommendation. So that's what we foresee the Hearing Healthcare podcast doing. Of course it is education and it's just so cool to see. We recently had one of our, um, guests on her name is, uh, Dr. Mindy Staler. She was talking about how it's so cool to see more education and more access to hearing healthcare today, especially when it comes to the educational aspect of things. And podcasting is doing that in this space and it's so cool to see. So again, I didn't really have a script today. I kind of wanted to go right off the cuff, but really just extending my gratitude.
One of my most memorable moments, I was about to share my most memorable moment <laugh> and then kind of went down a rabbit hole. But there's a few, um, I would have to say the podcast days in the office with our patients. Those were always my favorite. And I'll always cherish, you know, in my heart because it was just so fun to have your patients come in. We'd have baked goods for them, coffee, tea, we would take photos with them. It was just a lot of fun. Um, and, and this podcast really has brought us to many places. I think it's, I really do believe that we are on a mission and we are meant to do what we do with the Hearing Matters podcast. And um, it's just super exciting. Another highlight was Autumn I, in December of 2021, we flew out to Eden Prairie, Minnesota and we interviewed a few of the Starkey team members.
That was really cool because again, I was still in private practice and our goal was, you know, we wanna connect with thought leaders in the hearing healthcare industry. Of course, Starkey is not close to Pennsylvania, so we had to get on a, uh, on a plane and, and head on over to Minnesota. But that was such a really cool experience because this podcast has connected us with just amazing people. And again, I can't emphasize it enough community. That is what we're building. That is the mission that we're on, is we want to connect like-minded individuals with each other in the hearing healthcare space to join us in our mission of raising awareness of the importance of hearing healthcare. Because everyone gets their eyes checked and their teeth cleaned. But when's the last time you actually had your hearing screened to my hearing healthcare professionals out there?
You can't answer that question cuz I know you're probably getting your hearing tested every week, right? But that was biological listening checks. But super excited for the future of hearing healthcare and really excited for the future of podcasting in the hearing healthcare space. Yes, videos are amazing and again, we're, we're eventually going to consistently release podcast videos, but the biggest thing right now is bandwidth and time and uh, we'll make it happen. But right now you're gonna continue to get the audio version. I'm not sure if I've shared this before, but I've actually, so I have a background in music and I got started in podcasting really then it was college radio when I was 18. This was 2010. I first attended school at St. Peter's University in Jersey City, New Jersey. And I had a college radio show at St. Peter's. It was called Ride and Solo.
And it was a show that promoted solo recording artists, or excuse me, independent recording artists. So artists that are not signed by a music label. And it was such an exciting time because again, I was able to connect with like-minded individuals in the music industry. It was a lot of fun, for lack of a better term. And then I transferred because I changed my major from communications to communication sciences and disorders, most commonly known as speech language pathology. And I transferred to East Strausberg University of Pennsylvania and then I joined East Strausberg, uh, radio station, which was 90.3 W E s s. And that radio station we actually won the M T V Woody Award, which we won. We were named the number one college radio station. But those were some exciting times during my undergrad and graduate studies. And here we are today, you know, 13 years later.
It's really cool to be back behind the mic. I know we've been doing this for the past, uh, four years now, but just super excited. I can't say it enough. I keep thinking back to all of the experiences I've had as a college radio host, a musician, a hearing healthcare professional. And I've been working on a lot of different projects lately. And what's so interesting and to, to any of the students tuned in right now, audiology, speech language pathology, college student, every single one of the skills that you acquire now you're going to absolutely use in the workforce. And, and when you start your career and I find myself kind of smiling and chuckling to myself cuz I'm like, man, I was doing this when I was 19, 20 years young and here I am applying that skill in in today's day and age. It's just so cool.
And to celebrate 100 episodes with all of you, I can't even calculate the amount of hours we've, we've, uh, <laugh> invested in editing, promoting, uh, but really it's about the guests. It's about the patients. You know, we believe that we're a medium, that we're here to serve our guests. We are here to serve our listeners, and we hold that to a high standard. You know, that is a, uh, a responsibility we do not take lightly. And I just wanna thank you and I want to thank the entire Hearing Matters podcast team. This is not just me, it's not just Blaze Delfino. There is an entire team behind this production between scheduling, preparing the documents for all of our guests for promoting. Thank you Autumn. Thank you Meghan for your continued support. And thank you to every single one of the guests. I'm not gonna go through all 99, uh, but thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm looking forward to the next 100 episodes, the next 3000 episodes. Let's work together to continue to raise awareness of hearing healthcare. You're tuned in to the Hearing Matters podcast, the show that discusses hearing technology best practices, and a growing national epidemic. Hearing loss. On behalf of the Hearing Matters podcast team, thank you for celebrating 100 episodes with us. Looking forward to celebrating another 100. And until next time, hear life story.