Pacific’s Hearing and Balance Center Collaborates with Stockton Civic Theater

deans-letter-audiology-hearing-aidsThe lights dim, the curtain rises, the music begins to play — it is the sights and sounds that make going to the theater an unforgettable experience. Imagine if you had difficulty hearing the music or the actors and how that would impact your experience. The Pacific Hearing and Balance Center has collaborated with the Stockton Civic Theatre to make the theater experience more enjoyable for community members that use hearing aids by refurbishing the theatre’s telecoil sound system.

“We have many patients who attend plays or musicals at the Stockton Civic Theatre and they could not hear well due to the acoustic of the space,” said Gail Amornpongchai, AuD, FAAA, C-AAA, clinical director of audiology. “We called Stockton Civic Theatre and found out they had the loop, but it had been turned off for many years as the system had interfered with the sound of one of the shows. When they tried to turn it back on, they discovered the company who had installed the loop had gone out of the business. We found another company who came to install the new amplifier and made sure everything worked well.”

“A hearing loop, or telecoil loop, is a sound system that magnetically transmits the signal to hearing aids,” explains Dr. Amornpongchai. “The hearing loop brings sound directly from the sound system of the theatre to the patient’s hearing aids, similar to a Bluetooth headset. This allows the wearer to have direct access to sounds in the presence of room reverberation and background noise, which can improve their understanding of speech.”

Sound reverberates in rooms with high ceilings, which makes auditoriums challenging environments for those who use hearing aids. “A hearing loop consists of a loop of cable which is placed around a designated area, usually a room, auditorium, theatre or church. The cable generates a magnetic field throughout the looped space which can be picked up by a hearing aid that is compatible with telecoil. Patients who have hearing aids should consult with their audiologists to see if their hearing aids have telecoil and if the telecoil is activated.”

Dr. Amornpongchai believes that it is important for everyone to understand the challenges that individuals with hearing impairments face so that as a community we can help create inclusive environments. She elaborates, “The main factors that affect hearing are distance between the speaker and the listener, background noise and reverberation. Some people think that hearing aids will solve everything and that is not true. Therefore, the community needs to provide accommodations for those who have hearing impairments. This includes modifying the acoustics in restaurants or churches by installing carpet or installing sound-absorbing materials on the walls or ceiling. Also, we can educate servers to seat people close to the wall, or in less noisy areas, when requested or sponsor a telecoil loop in public places.”

Doctor of audiology student Cheryl A. Linton ’19, MS had the opportunity to assist Dr. Amornpongchai with the process of refurbishing the hearing loop at Stockton Civic Theatre. Linton shares, “Audiology is a hands-on profession; I can learn all about hearing aids and telecoils in a book or through a lecture, but handling and operating devices gives me a much more thorough and personal understanding of what my patients have to live with on a daily basis.”

Linton explains the importance of experiential learning for students training to become audiologists. “In order for us to serve our patients well, we have to become capable, confident and competent practitioners in our field,” Linton said. “Pacific’s faculty and facilities in Stockton and San Francisco are second to none. Within the first few weeks we began interacting with patients, while being precepted by experienced faculty and clinical audiologists. Our rigorous two-year classwork in science, technology, speech and language development, business practices and other topics continues as we begin our internships. The internships are in hospitals, private practice clinics and medical offices throughout the Bay Area. They provide us with a breadth of experience with patients of all ages and in all situations. The education and ‘real world’ training I’m getting through Pacific will give me the knowledge and the skills I need to have in order to serve my future patients well.”

To learn more about Pacific’s AuD program go to

To learn more about Pacific’s audiology clinics go to

Hearing and Balance Center, Stockton Campus
757 Brookside Rd
Stockton, CA 95211

Hearing and Balance Center, San Francisco Campus
155 Fifth St
San Francisco, CA 94103



Midnight Magic at the Senior Prom

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Prom attendees dance the night away.

American Society of Consultant Pharmacy (ASCP)-Pacific welcomed 60 seniors to the 4th Annual Senior Prom at Pacific on March 14, 2014. It was a wonderful night of music, food, and company as seniors from church groups, senior living homes and community centers in the Stockton area gathered for some “midnight magic.” With the fairytale-like theme and a very fun and successful prom, anyone can be a Prince Charming or a Cinderella if they open their hearts to some magic.

On this very special night, the ballroom was filled with seniors – some who were first timers to the Senior Prom and some who were veterans, having made the Senior Prom a yearly tradition for themselves. Many seniors were impressed with the sit-down dinner buffet made by ASCP-Pacific board members. While a slideshow of photos of ASCP-Pacific’s health outreach events from throughout the year played in the background, seniors dined on appetizers of salami, cheese and crackers as they mingled with other guests and with student volunteers. They also enjoyed feasting on rosemary chicken salad and vegetarian salad as the main course. For a light dessert, the seniors ate fruit and pound cake.

One highlight of the night was undoubtedly the dancing. With their snazzy footwork and smooth twirling, the seniors really showed their talents as they danced to cha-cha, tango, waltz and more. Since many of the seniors take dance lessons and enjoy dancing as a regular hobby, they were willing to teach their skills to students as well. The dance floor was filled with smiles, laughter and excitement.

To commemorate the night, there was a photobooth complete with a starry night sky background for seniors to take photos. Seniors gathered their friends, new and old, to celebrate being young at heart and having fun. The lovely pictures were printed and framed for the seniors to take home so they could capture this magical night.

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ASCP member Jessica Nguyen ’16 having fun at the Senior Prom

Finally, no prom would be complete without the crowning of the prom king and queen. This year, the prom king is Mr. Cecil Rendon. Mr. Rendon has attended the event since its inception. Looking very sporting in his gentleman hat and a trendy, tan-colored blazer, Mr. Rendon is a humorous man who very much deserved the prom king title. When asked what is his favorite part of the night, he answered, without any hesitation, that dancing the night away was the most enjoyable part of his night. Although “Kansas City” is his favorite song, he does have many other favorites and suggested some of them for next year’s Senior Prom.

This year’s Prom Queen title was given to Ms. Virginia P. McDaniel. This is her second time attending this event, with her first time being in 2012. Her favorite part of the night was also dancing. Her eyes lit up as she talked about her favorite types of dancing, which are cha-cha and nightclub-two-step. She, along with many other seniors, considers dancing as good exercise for their health and takes weekly night dance classes. In fact, a few of the seniors are going to dance classes following Senior Prom. When asked what ASCP can improve on for our Senior Prom event, she indicated that she prefers more waltz and box trot style music because those are the easiest to dance to. Lastly, the prom king and queen shared a sweet dance together.

In all, Senior Prom would not have been possible without the help of Academy of Student Pharmacists (ASP)-Pacific and Dr. Donald Florridia ‘71, ASCP-Pacific advisor, Dr. Joseph Woelfel ’70, ’72, ’78, and student volunteers. The annual ASCP-Pacific Senior Prom was made a night to remember by celebrating health and life. It was also a night to show our appreciation for the seniors in the community and bridge the generation gap between students and seniors. It is our hope that Senior Prom continues to bring more students and seniors together every year and build upon the relationship between the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and the seniors in our community.



Tiger Dash for Cash – Sponsoring the CSM

And they’re off! The 8th annual Tiger Dash, hosted by the Department of Physical Therapy (DPT) class of 2014, was a booming success with over 250 Pacific students, staff, and faculty joining together for a day of fitness and health recognition. With the greatest turn out so far, the 2013 Tiger Dash was a fun filled frenzy of activities. Featured at the Tiger Dash were several events such as a 5K run for adults around the Stockton campus as well as a half mile Cub Run for children, a health fair to promote physical fitness which featured booths hosted by local health related organizations and clinics, and a raffle with tons of great prizes. Proceeds for the Tiger Dash went to support the DPT class of 2014’s travel to Combined Sections Meeting (CSM), an annual meeting of professional and student physical therapists. Some of the proceeds also went to the local Stockton YMCA to promote health and well being in the community.

The 5k and half mile Cub Run were the main events of the Tiger Dash. With double the number of runners this year, the class had a lot on their hands. Chelsea Keys ’14, current DPT student and event coordinator said, “The worst part had to be the anticipation for the event and making sure everything came together for race day, but this was outweighed by the best part of the event which was the amazing turn out from the community and all the help from the students to put everything together.” A long time tradition here at Pacific, the Tiger Dash not only sponsors the entire class’ trip to the CSM, but it also helps to promote a healthy lifestyle within the Stockton community. Keys explained, “It’s a great opportunity for the students to work together and to get the community thinking about health and fitness. It was also a great way to give back to an organization like the YMCA.”

DPT students presents check to Mike Vann of YMCA.
DPT students present check to Mike Vann of YMCA.

So how exactly did the Stockton YMCA benefit from the Tiger Dash? Mike Vann, the YMCA program director was very pleased to announce that the YMCA received over $700 from the event. This money will go towards scholarships for families who are unable to pay for programming, like low income families who just can’t afford to put their kids in child care, sports teams, and the like. These families can simply fill out a scholarship application form to participate in YMCA activities. Vann explained the importance of these types of programs, “Children learn at a very early age to develop habits like reading books regularly, being physically active, doing hands-on things, experiencing the outdoors and learning life skills.” One of these life skills is swimming, which is particularly important in San Joaquin County as it has one of the highest drowning rates in California. Vann continued, “Life skills are essential in development. We don’t want to turn anyone away especially if it’s because they don’t have money.” Applying for a scholarship is a very easy task which yields an immeasurable benefit to the community.

When it comes to health and fitness, running is one way to support our active bodies. Running is great for the heart as well as the rest of the body. Exercise is critical in maintaining the health of our bodies and minds. Not only that, but exercising regularly helps reduce stress, and will perpetuate a long and healthy life. Keys gave some advice on improving health in the Stockton community, “We can improve health by starting with education—teaching people about the benefits of exercise and taking care of your body. By holding events like the Tiger Dash, we can bring the community together while promoting the value of a healthy lifestyle.”

The goal of the DPT class was to fundraise enough money to attend the American Physical Therapists Association (APTA) Combined Sections Meeting which is a phenomenal opportunity for these young professionals. CSM allows them to connect with students and professionals that are passionate about physical therapy. The DPT class will also be able to learn about new and innovative therapy techniques, as well as hear about the latest equipment and research in the constantly evolving profession. And did the PT Tigers reach their goal? Absolutely. The Tiger Dash enabled the class of 2014 to attend the CSM with no costs for flights or hotel rooms. Keys exclaimed, “We are very thankful for the donations we received and we are all very happy about the turn out for the event!”