UNION HEARING AID CENTRE CELEBRATES 100 YEARS IN HELPING PEOPLE HEAR… HERE
Over 21,000 satisfied patients and counting can attest to the integrity, compassion, and commitment to the community that has defined the Union Hearing Aid Centre (UHAC) for the past 100 years.
At the helm of such an extraordinarily vital operation are two exceptional human beings and owners of Union Hearing Aid Centre, Chris Kyroglou and Nick Veronico. While people know Chris and Nick to be accomplished Hearing Instrument Practitioners in their practice, many may not know about the peculiar lineage and extraordinary responsibility passed down to these champions of auditory health.
From their current location at 123 Edward Street in Toronto, it’s in these offices where Hear Here, their annual event started by Nick and Chris in 2000 was conceived. In the many years that the fun fest has been held, it has been a great success thus far with over $400,000 raised for the Peter and Margery Keller Fund. The Peter and Margery Keller Fund has been established at the Hospital for Sick Children to help provide hearing aids for hearing impaired children. The fund covers the patient cost of hearing aids that is not covered by the Assistive Devices Program. Eligible families for funding are those who demonstrate financial need and who are not covered by any insurance benefits or social assistance agency.
The focus of the event is to promote public awareness to rid people of the stereotypes and stigmas associated with hearing loss. They want to make people aware that hearing loss is not directly related to how old one is and that children wear hearing aids as well, while raising awareness of hearing loss in all aspects – work, play, concerts, and wearing headphones.
But let’s go back a moment. About 100 years’ worth of moments.
In the ashes of the First World War arose a man named Lou Saad, who founded one of the first hearing aid offices in downtown Toronto in 1922 called Acousticon of Toronto. The clinic would remain in Saad’s hands for approximately 30 years until Acousticon of Toronto was purchased by pediatric hearing aid specialist Peter Keller and his wife Margery Keller and officially changed to the Union Hearing Aid Centre.
After over 40 years in business and several pioneering practices and technologies, Peter Keller decided in 1994 to pass down his expertise to his two bright-eyed apprentices, Chris Kyroglou and Nick Veronico.
In Jaipreet Virdi’s 2020 book Hearing Happiness: Deafness Cures in History, she talks about being a patient of UHAC for over 25 years and the first time she encountered Nick and Chris. They were assistants on a primary school visit to check the hearing aids and ear molds of children conducted by Peter Keller, the local hearing aid dealer, who had arranged the program with schools. “We were told that Mr. Keller was approaching retirement and eventually his new employees would take over the practice,” says Virdi.
Armed with the wisdom of the ages and unrivalled technical expertise, Chris and Nick and the entire Union Hearing Aid Centre team continue to provide life-changing services and improve the quality of life for patients of all ages. Expertise is one of the main factors that make hearing aid practitioners so vital to the lives of their patients; the other is character. For many who discover or live with hearing impairment, seeking care can be a troublesome burden. Chris, Nick and the entire team go to extraordinary lengths to ensure the processes at Union Hearing Aid Centre are streamlined and empathetic to the needs of patients.
A review by Karine Valentini on the Union Hearing Aid Centre Facebook business page points out her outstanding experience, where she says, “Most importantly, they don’t treat you like a patient, they treat you like family; I honestly can’t imagine going through this ongoing learning curve without them.”
Another customer by Diane Elizabeth Trovao echoed the same sentiment when she wrote, “Best place for kids, my son started at six months, and now he is 10. Highly recommend this place!! I’ve dealt with Chris and Nick, and both are amazing individuals with very good knowledge and experience.”
It is undeniable that the success of the Union Hearing Aid Centre can be attributed to a century-long dedication to community care that has blossomed into an essential practice with over 15 staff members. With the amazing team continually steering the Union Hearing Aid Centre toward progress and inclusiveness for all and making life better for the kids and adults who walk through the door, there is little doubt that the Union Hearing Aid Centre will be providing care for another 100 years.
In a world of billion-dollar superhero franchises and leading figures saving the world on screen, REAL heroes like Chris Kyroglou, Nick Veronico and their amazing team continue to inspire REAL change in the world through their effortless grace and renowned professionalism.