Mission Trip to China

Severna Park, MD — A local audiology practice, Chesapeake Hearing Centers, is sending three representatives to China in August to fit hearing aids on people in need through the Starkey Hearing Foundation (SHF).

Over the course of seven days, Dr. Cortney Butler, Au.D.; Mariya Hutto, HAD; and Julie Petruzzi, Director of Operations, will fit hundreds of patients. All three are mothers and see the mission as a way of modeling humanitarian work for their young children.

“Helping people is what motivates me every day as an audiologist and [in] serving Chesapeake’s mission of ‘treating our patients as we would want to be treated.’ I can’t imagine how rewarding it will be to live out our mission statement in China,” said Dr. Butler.

This trip will be full circle for Ms. Petruzzi, a graduate of Severna Park High School. She taught English in China in 2003 and then served China policy positions within the U.S. government before returning to manage operations at her family’s 40-year-old hearing practice — alongside her sister, Ms. Hutto.

“The United States and China are often at odds over larger political and economic issues, so this type of people-to-people exchange through SHF is critical to increase understanding about our shared humanity,” said Ms. Petruzzi. Ms. Hutto added, “The experience will likely have an even more profound effect on me and my co-workers than it will on the patients we help.”

Chesapeake Hearing Centers donates a portion of the proceeds from every Starkey-manufactured hearing aid they sell to SHF. These funds are later used to pay for mission work in locations all across the globe. The overall goal of SHF is to fit 1 million aids both here and abroad. SHF accepts donations of used aids, and they can be dropped off at any of Chesapeake’s seven locations.

Chesapeake is also committed to balancing its overseas work with assisting people in the U.S. through the Starkey Hear Now Foundation and other local charity organizations.

For more information on SHF, visit their website.

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