WICHITA — After taking Midwest Hearing Aids from one office to 37 since 1977, president Terry Brewster has further expanded by opening eight Balance Centers.
The latest of the centers is being installed today in Dodge City.
“It’s been an unbelievable response,” Brewster says. “It’s unique testing that we’re doing.”
The centers test patients for balance disorders and dizziness.
“They’re going to take off,” says Mike Keller, chief operating officer for the Newton Medical Center.
The Newton Medical Center is leasing space for one of the new Balance Centers.
“When you look at the aging population, one of the more difficult diagnoses is dizziness,” Keller says. “It’s a complex issue. That’s because a person’s dizziness could be the result of so many different things.”
It could be visual, neurological, a muscular skeletal issue or an inner ear issue, he says.
“As more research and advances come, hopefully the balance centers can be helping in guiding a physician,” Keller says. “From the centers, (patients) go from there to one of the specialties.”
The first center opened within a Midwest Hearing Aids office in Chanute late last year.
“It takes kind of a leap of faith to do this,” Brewster says of the investment in the offices. “So we finally opened one up.”
He says he knows the centers are meeting a need, though.
“It’s servicing a population that really needs servicing.”
Brewster says a lot of patients in areas such as Chanute used to have to drive to Joplin or Wichita for testing but now can be tested and treated in the same place.
“That’s a quality of life issue.”
The centers also are in Midwest Hearing Aids offices in Andover, Dodge City, Great Bend, Liberal, Newton, Salina and Winfield.
Brewster isn’t sure how quickly he might expand the centers.
“We’ll see how this goes.”