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The CHHA-NL was originally formed as the Newfoundland Hearing Association (NHA) and was established in 1984 by founding President Dr. Norah Browne. It became the provincial chapter of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA) in 1994. Since its inception, the association has made steady progress in the number and extent of its programs and services. It is the only organization in the province which serves the hard of hearing exclusively.

Dr. Norah Browne

Dr.Norah-Browne

Dr. Browne was a well known Newfoundland Pediatrician who was an active volunteer in St. John’s. She was born in England and received her undergraduate education from London University in 1945 with the London M.B. and B.S., degrees. She took postgraduate training in pediatrics and then came to Newfoundland in 1961. Dr. Browne was a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada, a Consulting Pediatrician at the Dr. Charles A Janeway Child Health Centre, and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Clinical) in the Faculty of Medicine of Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Dr. Browne committed her life to serving others and one of her most significant contributions was the impact she had on the provision of services for hard of hearing and late-deafened persons in Newfoundland and Labrador. Having specialized in the diagnosis and care of children with hearing loss from a time when no other services for hard of hearing children in this province were available, Dr. Browne formed a planning committee in 1983 to set up the Newfoundland Hearing Association (NHA), which became incorporated in 1984 and she became the founding President. She retired from her full-time job as pediatrician at the age of 66 so she could devote her time to the Newfoundland Hearing Association which eventually changed its name to the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association-Newfoundland Chapter and then to Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter.

Dr. Browne knew that education on hearing loss and coping strategies were key to helping hard of hearing persons and their families. Dr. Browne was instrumental in assisting many people across the province with understanding their hearing loss, learning to accept it’s limitations, and moving forward in life as a hard of hearing person to the best of their ability. As she herself had hearing loss, she understood the grief associated with hearing loss and her compassion, understanding and  support for those who needed help was just incredible.

Dr. Browne passed away on Thursday, November 25, 2010 at the age of 93.

Everyone involved with the association, and indeed, most people who knew her, felt that Dr. Browne was one of the most amazing people they had ever known and she served as an example for all on how one should live a good and caring life. She strongly believed that the best way to help yourself was to help others.

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