The Starkey Hearing Foundation (SHF), headed by 2015 UST Golden Cross Awardee and Starkey Hearing Foundation founder Mr. William F. Austin was assisted by SHF co-founder Tani Austin, his wife in a series of missions in the Philippines that commenced on November 3, 2018. For this particular mission of the Foundation in the country, coordination was made with Tomasinong Kapampangan Alumni Chapter co-founder Dr. Ma. Salve Olalia, former UST Health Service director and Program Advisor of the Starkey Missions in the Philippines.

From 2011, the partnership between the Starkey Hearing Foundation has resulted in numerous missions whereby many Filipinos, including members of the Thomasian community have benefited. Austin is known for his humanitarian act in many parts of the world. Established in 1984, the Starkey Hearing Foundation is a US-based non-profit organization that collaborates with governments, nongovernment organizations, and health leaders to make hearing healthcare services more accessible.

To date, they have conducted missions in over 100 countries The Golden Cross Award is given by the University of Santo Tomas to outstanding personalities that include, among others, the former United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director General Her Excellency Madame Irina Bokova, the former King of Spain His Majesty King Juan Carlos I, and former Permanent Delegate of the Philippine Mission to the United Nations General Carlos P. Romulo. The Starkey mission in the Philippines is an ongoing project of the Starkey Hearing Foundation. Dr. Salve Olalia quoted SHF Founder William F. Austin, saying, ‘We go where we are needed and where we are appreciated.’

First published in and photos courtesy of: SunStar Pampanga