Youngstown Hearing and Speech History
In 1948 the Youngstown Hearing Society was formed with the purpose of working for the conservation of hearing and the prevention of hearing impairment; to offer appropriate service to the hard of hearing; and in all ways possible to promote their general welfare. In 1956, as new services and programs were added, the organization took on a new name of Youngstown Hearing and Speech Center to better represent its scope.
As one of the first organizations of its kind in our area, Youngstown Hearing and Speech played a vital role in providing services and support to children and adults with Speech and Hearing challenges. For many years the facility operated out of the former Beeghly Family Home on the campus of Beeghly Medical Park in Boardman. In 1998 a campaign was initiated to build a new building on that campus, and in 1999 the new building at 6614 Southern Boulevard was dedicated. Over the years, services were added or subtracted to meet the demands of residents of the Mahoning Valley. In 2011, Youngstown Hearing and Speech merged with Easterseals of Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana Counties. A goal of the merger was to equip both organizations to operate more efficiently in an ever challenging health care environment. Many of the same services and staff were offered at both the Southern Boulevard and Easterseals locations.
In 2016, to allow greater access to travel across the primary five county region serviced by the Community Center for the Deaf (CCD), this program was relocated to the Easterseals office at 299 Edwards Street in Youngstown. The quick and easy access to Interstate 680 was beneficial to both the staff and clients of the CCD. In the space vacated by the CCD, additional Physical Therapy services were added at Southern Boulevard.
In recent years, as is the case for many not-for-profit companies, Easterseals and Youngstown Hearing and Speech faced a number of challenges. Increased costs for employee healthcare, reductions in payment from insurance companies, loss of grant revenues, demographic and population changes, increased competition, and higher operational costs led the organization to strategically evaluate how they could best continue to offer high quality services to our residents of the Mahoning Valley while streamlining operations and increasing efficiencies in necessary areas.
As a result of that process, a decision was made in the summer of 2017 to discontinue the Audiology Services and work towards consolidating all remaining Youngstown Hearing and Speech services into the Easterseals location at Edwards Street in Youngstown. A significant benefit of doing this is it would allow our entire therapy staff to operate out of one location. This allowed clients receiving Speech, Occupational, or Physical therapy to benefit from a strengthened team approach, and allowed the organization to enhance the services provided, increase efficiencies, and reduce operating expenses. Effective October 2017, these Therapy services were all relocated to the Easterseals building in Youngstown. All current therapy and office staff from the Southern Boulevard location in Boardman were moved to the Edwards Street location without interruption to any of the services provided. All of the phone numbers and contacts remained the same.
In preparing for this consolidation, the Edwards Street building completed a remodeling and updating project that included all therapy areas at that location. During this project, more than $400,000 was invested in the building to enhance the appearance, security, and functionality of the building. As a result of the move, patients from the Youngstown Hearing and Speech location have greater access to the additional services not available at the Southern Boulevard location, including an Aquatic Therapy Pool, Skill Development and Adult Day Care programs.
The rich history and heritage of the Youngstown Hearing and Speech Center will always be a part of the Easterseals organization. A special area of the Edwards Street building is set aside to recognize this history and the many individuals and donors who were a part and responsible for the care provided by Youngstown Hearing and Speech for so many years.