August 25, 2016

SMART TD partners with KUMC in hearing loss study


Dr. Hinrich Staecker

Sixty percent of the U.S. population has hearing loss and most of those incidences are the result of exposure to noise. The University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) and the SMART Transportation Division have launched a partnership that could benefit you if you are suffering from this disability.

The partnership between KUMC and the SMART TD provides active and retired members with:

  • The most up-to-date information and research on hearing health through regular newsletter articles;
  • Access to state-of-the-art testing that can help the KUMC team find the best treatment or device for your hearing loss, and
  • An opportunity to participate in research if you qualify for any of the active studies.

As an international leader in hearing loss research, Dr. Hinrich Staecker of KUMC has been working for more than 20 years on a way to restore hearing. The product of this groundbreaking research is beginning to reach the clinic and patients could begin to participate in that research soon. The hope is that by using gene therapy, KUMC’s program will be able to restore hearing in those suffering from hearing loss.

The initial program launch will be in the Kansas City area, with plans to expand to satellite locations. The KUMC team is in the process of developing a registry for members who are interested in more information. This will be launched soon, so look for updates in future newsletters and on the website.Ear_Wave

If you are an active or retired SMART member with hearing loss/concerns, and have interest in being evaluated by the KUMC team, or are interested in receiving more information about research opportunities, please email the team at or contact Christine Adams at (913) 945-5077. You will be contacted to discuss the multitude of services that may be helpful to your needs.

For general questions, contact a SMART general chairperson in the Kansas City area.

The KUMC Ear, Nose, and Throat team is excited about this partnership and looks forward to working with SMART TD to help improve the hearing health of its membership.

Through the advancement of state of the art testing, education and the best treatments available, this program shall serve to encourage members of SMART TD in exercising care and treatment of their hearing health.