In 1970 while an undergraduate psychology student, Dr. Hutto and his wife Kate took in a deaf foster child who had been misdiagnosed at birth as “severely mentally retarded and grossly emotionally disturbed.” He spent the first 10 years of his life in an institution with the key thrown away. Finally, his hearing loss was discovered and IQ tests placed him in the high normal range. Bewildered that such a tragedy could occur, Dr. Hutto began a period of study and eventually decided to dedicate his work life to the study of hearing loss and service to individuals with impairment of hearing.
As a foster parent he became the first president of the Anne Arundel County Parents of Hearing Impaired Children Association, and along with numerous other parents fought for a better educational opportunity for their kids in the school system.
One of his proudest moments was being chosen to initiate the first in hospital hearing screening program at Anne Arundel General Hospital in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Today it is generally the law of the land that all babies born in the US be screened for hearing before leaving the hospital. Dr. and Mrs. Hutto’s foster child is now 47 married and living on the eastern shore. Hopefully misdiagnosis and its tragic consequences will now be a thing of the past.
Dr. Hutto graduated from the University of Maryland with high honors, did graduate studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, and earned his Doctor of Audiology degree from the Arizona School of Health Sciences. He had served as consultant to the State of Maryland Deaf/Blind Program, consultant audiologist to the State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Crippled Children’s Division, and various county health departments. Dr. Hutto lectured at local and national professional meetings on topics ranging from computerized hearing aids to early intervention strategies for hearing-impaired children; and taught graduate courses at Loyola College. He was a past-president of the Audiological Resource Association and past-president of the Maryland Academy of Audiology.
In 1975, he founded the first audiology clinic outside the public health sector in the state of Maryland. Chesapeake Hearing Centers has grown to serve Anne Arundel County and the Eastern shore with seven offices and a professional staff of audiologists and hearing aid dispensers.
Read the story of how his wife, Kate, and Dr. Hutto started Chesapeake Hearing Centers over 45 years ago.
On November 21, 2020, Dr. Hutto passed after a five-month battle with pancreatic cancer. His legacy lives on at Chesapeake Hearing Centers, where the team continues with dedication to the mission of treating every patient how they would want to be treated, with professionally competent, respectful, and caring service. Click here to learn more about the life and legacy of the inimitable Dr. Charles L. Hutto.