Nora Stewart received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1994 and went on to obtain her Master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1996. After working in the hearing health-care industry for four years, she and her husband built a successful private practice in Fort Wayne, Indiana. While Nora and her husband enjoyed their success, they felt a need to do more to give back to their community. In 2011, they founded HearCare Connection: a not-for-profit clinic providing hearing assessment and hearing aids for under-served individuals in their community. The HearCare Connection is an organization unlike any other. HearCare Connection is supported through grants, donations, corporate sponsorship, and volunteerism to provide services on a sliding-scale and reduced-fee basis. The program empowers recipients of its services to give back to their community through volunteer work in a model referred to as the “circle of giving.” Since its inception, HearCare Connection has helped nearly 400 individuals and has inspired more than 4,000 hours of volunteerism which has directly, positively impacted their local community.
The “circle of giving” model implemented through HearCare Connections worked so well that Nora and her husband decided to found Entheos Audiology Cooperative in order to empower audiologists seeking opportunities to give back to their local communities -and to the world. Entheos helps private-practice audiologists to conceptualize and implement local hearing health projects, found their own not-for-profit organization, and develop community partnerships. Entheos also provides opportunities to serve on international hearing health humanitarian missions to locations such as the Middle East, Mozambique, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Zambia. The Entheos Audiology Cooperative International Hearing Smiles program has helped thousands of people around the world to enjoy the gift of hearing. Nora serves the Entheos Audiology Cooperative as the chief vision officer.
Nora Stewart is a model of generosity and embodies the ripple effect of giving and empowering others to give. Her own words summarize her practical approach to giving, “There was such a direct need and it was a need that I could fill because of my experience in the industry. People were not receiving the help they needed simply because of finances. I could do something about that.” Nora serves as an exemplar and a model of giving. Few are more deserving of the American Academy of Audiology’s Humanitarian Award than Nora Stewart.