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The Help BC Hear Better Group is a passionate team of healthcare professionals, researchers, and people with hearing loss who want improved access to hearing health care in British Columbia.


Our group formed in April 2022, and has raised awareness on the importance of hearing health care to MLAs and government officials, special interest groups, and other interested stakeholders. Our group has developed a briefing note advocating for the creation of a formal provincial Hearing Health Program that includes the funding of hearing aids, particularly for vulnerable populations: children and seniors. With the assistance of Speech and Hearing BC, we plan to present this proposal to the BC Ministry of Health for their review.

A large and growing proportion of British Columbians have hearing loss. Over three-quarters of seniors have hearing loss in both ears. Hearing loss can also lead to delayed speech and language development in children, and have an impact on social development. Left untreated, hearing loss can also adversely impact the health and quality of life of our population, especially seniors. Research has shown a link between hearing loss and cognitive decline. Treatment with hearing aids and counselling may help to mitigate this risk for those at greater risk for cognitive decline. Hearing loss also contributes to social isolation among seniors, which contributes to poorer health. A significant factor contributing to lack of hearing aid usage is the high cost of hearing aids. British Columbia lags behind other provinces and territories when it comes to consistent hearing health coverage.

We believe that a provincial Hearing Health Program is a strategic investment in health, as untreated hearing loss can lead to increased health care costs. A Hearing Health Program will keep the people of BC safer, healthier and more connected with their communities, and

Help BC Hear Better.

We have developed a petition asking the BC Legislative Assembly to invest in a Hearing Health Program for British Columbia. By signing our petition, your support will advance our efforts to bring this matter to the attention of the BC Minister of Health.

Please also see our resources page for a template to write a letter of support to your local government official

Help BC Hear Better Group


  • Co-Chair and Primary Contact: Dr. Brian Westerberg, Head, Division Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Surgery, UBC.

  • Co-Chair: Grace Shyng, Audiologist, Clinical Assistant Professor, UBC School of Audiology and Speech Sciences

  • Dr. Lorienne Jenstad, Audiologist, Associate Professor - UBC School of Audiology and Speech Sciences

  • Danielle Lafleur, Audiologist, Ph.D Student - UBC School of Audiology and Speech Sciences

  • Dr. Jane Lea, Otolaryngologist, Director - BC Rotary Hearing and Balance Centre at St. Paul’s Hospital

  • Yinda Liu, Audiologist - Audiology Advisor - Speech-Language & Audiology Canada

  • Heather Ritchie, Audiologist - Audiology Private Practice Director - Speech and Hearing BC

  • Elissa Robb, Audiologist, Member - Canadian Hard of Hearing Association BC

  • Janine Sigurdson, Audiologist - Audiology Public Practice Director - Speech and Hearing BC

  • Craig Stevenson, Research Assistant, UBC School of Audiology and Speech Sciences

Reach Out/ Mailing List

For questions, updates, or if you would like to join us in advocating for improved hearing healthcare for British Columbians, reach out using this form.

Thank you for contacting us!


To learn more about untreated hearing loss and associated health outcomes, click here.

To read our 2023 Briefing Note proposal for improved access to hearing health services in BC, click the image below. 

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Supported By

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By signing our petition, or joining our mailing list, you consent to the collection of your personal information and you accept the Help BC Hear Better Privacy Policy and agree to receive occasional emails about our advocacy efforts. You can unsubscribe at any time.

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