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Chris Smith, President of Cochlear Americas, Joins the Board of Hearing Health Foundation

NEW YORK, Jan. 31, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hearing Health Foundation is thrilled to announce that Chris Smith, President of Cochlear Americas, a Denver-based subsidiary of Cochlear Limited, the market leader in the development, manufacturing and distribution of implantable hearing devices, has joined their Board of Directors. The Foundation, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to curing hearing loss through groundbreaking research while raising awareness about valuable prevention techniques, welcomed Mr. Smith beginning on January 23, 2013.

"I'm proud to be on the Board of Directors of Hearing Health Foundation, which has, for the last 55 years, been funding important research, including many grants - even back to the 1960's - on cochlear implants," says Chris Smith. "Hearing Health Foundation continues to make hearing issues a national priority for the nearly 50 million people in this country who currently have hearing loss. Hearing research is essential, as it is only through research that will we continue to enhance treatments and options for hearing loss."

Since its inception in 1958, Hearing Health Foundation (formerly Deafness Research Foundation) has raised over $27.8 million for hearing and balance research including work that led to cochlear implant technology, newborn hearing screening and surgery for otosclerosis. Recently, Hearing Health Foundation has brought together the nation's leading researchers to form the Hearing Restoration Project, a program designed to accelerate the timeline to a cure for a hearing loss.

"Chris Smith has been a long time leader in the hearing health care industry," says David S. Haynes, M.D., Medical Director of Hearing Health Foundation and Director of Otology and Neurotology at Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center. "His depth of knowledge in the hearing implant field and vision of the future is unparalleled. He is a significant addition to the Hearing Heath Foundation Board of Directors."

Mr. Smith has served as President of Cochlear Americas since 2004 before which he was CEO in Residence with Warburg Pincus in New York, a leading direct equity investor in health care, and Group President of Gyrus Group, a market leader in surgical products headquartered in Reading, England. In addition, he previously served as director of Acclarent, Inc., a private medical device company and Xtent Medical, a public medical device company.

Mr. Smith brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Foundation's Board of Directors, joining an impressive group that already includes: Shari Eberts, Mark Angelo, Robert Boucai, Judy R. Dubno, Ph.D., Rebecca Ginzburg, Roger M. Harris, David S. Haynes, M.D., Elizabeth Keithley, Ph.D., Richard Miyamoto, M.D., Michael C. Nolan, Paul E. Orlin, Peter S. Steyger, Ph.D., Clifford P. Tallman, Jr., Elizabeth Thorp and Nancy M. Williams.

In addition to their work toward a hearing loss cure, Hearing Health Foundation also publishes Hearing Health magazine, a free consumer magazine on hearing loss and related technology, research and products.

For more information or to see how you can get involved please visit: www.hearinghealthfoundation.org.

CONTACT: Nick Carcaterra Susan Blond, Inc. 212.333.7728 ext.126 nickc@susanblondinc.comSource: Hearing Health Foundation