Photo by Emily Fitzgerald
Wayne Jacobson, who owned Hear’s The Answer Hearing Center in The Dalles before retiring in 2005, is the fourth-ever recipient of the Marylene Freshley Award, honoring his “years of exemplary service and commitment to the hearing health industry.”
As of Friday, December 22, 2017
Wayne Jacobson’s career as an internationally recognized expert on hearing aids and hearing health became his passion after he fitted his first patient with a hearing aid in 1976.
Upon witnessing the joyful tears of a mother who, thanks to a properly fitted hearing aid, could clearly hear her daughter speak for the first time in 10 years, Jacobson knew he had found his professional calling.
Forty-two years later, in early December of this year, Jacobson became the fourth-ever recipient of the Marylene Freshley Award, which honored his “years of exemplary service and commitment to the hearing health industry.”
The award was issued on behalf of the National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences (NBC-HIS) an independent, non-profit credentialing organization established to provide a standard of excellence in hearing health care.
Their difficult certification exam is intended to differentiate professionals more accomplished in the industry. An official NBC-HIS certification represents the ability to go above and beyond as a hearing instrument dispensation practice.
Jacobson was honored to receive the award. “If you give back to the industry it comes back to you eventually,” he said.
Since entering the field in 1976, Jacobson has been a board member for the Oregon Hearing Society for 18 years and served two terms as its president, volunteered 36 years as an NBC-HIS item writer and exam committee member and been both chairman and three-term board member of the NBC-HIS.
Jacobson moved to The Dalles in 1983 with his wife, Gayle, after spending six years learning the hearing health industry in Portland. “I figured I could do things differently and better myself,” Jacobson said.
He and his wife opened Hear’s The Answer Hearing Center in The Dalles in February of that year and ran the practice until 2005, when they sold it in favor of semi-retirement. The practice engages in hearing testing, hearing aid fittings and hearing aid manufacturing and repair.
Upon his retirement in 2005, Jacobson joined Phonak, the largest hearing aid manufacturer in the world at the time, as a practice development consultant.
“It was very fascinating dealing with patients in different parts of the country,” Jacobson said.
While he is currently enjoying retirement with his wife on their 16-acre lot near Rowena, his passion for the hearing health industry persists.
“It’s an exceptional industry,” Jacobson said.
Fitting people with hearing aids can help “bring people back into the real world so they can live useful lives again,” Jacobson said.