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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE Bay Area – Hearing Aids CATEGORY

Eric Stratton is a 19-year veteran of the hearing aid industry and owner of Advanced Instruments Hearing Aid Center, a Diamond Certified company since 2006. He can be reached at (707) 560-1920 or by email.

Eric Stratton

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Eric Stratton: Auditory Restoration

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

VACAVILLE — With a background in both communications and electronics, it’s no surprise that Eric Stratton found a career in audiology to be a perfect fit. “At the time I became interested in audiology, I was working on life safety systems in San Francisco—hauling around a ladder and a tool belt, climbing up high rises, and servicing elevators and fire alarm systems,” he remembers. “I found audiology very appealing because it involved electronics and improved the lives of others. Plus, hearing aids were a lot less heavy to lift than the materials I was working with!”

Today, as owner of Advanced Instruments Hearing Aid Center, Eric says his favorite part of his job is impacting people’s lives by restoring their hearing. “Hearing loss can be quite debilitating, which makes the change that much more significant when it gets corrected. When a family has become used to someone being the ‘weak link’ in the chain of communication, they’re amazed at the transformation that occurs when that person can suddenly hear what they’re saying. It truly reanimates them and enables them to go from being mere spectators to participants in the family’s social life, and that’s something I find really rewarding.”

Originally from Southern California, Eric attended college in San Francisco and later settled in Vacaville, where he now lives with his wife, Mariette, and their son, Tyler. He expresses an appreciation for the altruistic attitude that characterizes Solano County. “I read that Solano County has one of the highest percentages per capita of people who give to charities, whether churches or nonprofit organizations. I like the fact that I get to live in such a giving community.”

Outside of work, Eric spends much of his time outdoors, whether hiking or just relaxing in his own backyard. “I enjoy the world of plants and animals, which is why I like hiking through remote areas like the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness,” he says. “I’m also interested in horticulture, and since I live in the country, I have the opportunity to pursue that in my spare time. In addition to gardening, I recently purchased a couple of beehives in hopes of encouraging the dwindling bee population.”

In his life and career, Eric applies a maxim coined by Abraham Lincoln: ‘Whatever you are, be a good one.’ “I want to be the best at what I do, which is why I’m constantly looking for ways to improve,” he explains. “The Diamond Certified rating is a good example of that. I know of other businesses in town that are Diamond Certified, and they’re all top-notch companies run by wonderful people, so I’m proud to be part of that circle.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Eric says he’d devote more effort toward his horticultural pursuits. “I’d probably spend more time gardening and cultivating my yard. When you have a few acres of plants and trees that need tending, it’s a lot of work, so that would definitely keep me busy.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: Ever read a book more than once?
A: “Galaxies like Grains of Sand” by Brian Aldiss, which I read several times when I was a boy.

Q: Do you consider yourself a dog person or a cat person?
A: Both—I like dogs and cats alike.

Q: What’s your earliest memory?
A: Learning how to walk. I remember it feeling like a big win when I didn’t fall—I just kept on stumbling forward until I got where I wanted to go.

Q: What’s the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?
A: Grasshoppers.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Fresh Bing cherries.

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The Secondary Effects of Hearing Loss

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VACAVILLE — Since hearing loss is a gradual regression, most people who experience it fail to notice the symptoms. In fact, it’s common for those with hearing loss to be in denial about it, blaming their communication issues on the assertion… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Dealing With Hearing Loss

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Complete Video Transcription:

VACAVILLE — Host, Sarah Rutan: In most cases, hearing loss can be a slow and gradual process, which is why it is important to heed… Read more

Jonathan Lipschutz is a 22-year veteran of the audiology field and owner of Berkeley Hearing Center, a Diamond Certified company since 2014. He can be reached at (510) 398-0699 or by email.

Jonathan Lipschutz

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Jonathan Lipschutz: Patient-Centered

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter

BERKELEY — As a young paramedic, Jonathan Lipschutz knew he wanted to move up in the medical field, but he wasn’t sure which direction he should go. It wasn’t until a chance interaction with someone from his past that he discovered his intended path. “Soon after I started working as a paramedic, I realized there wasn’t a lot of room for professional growth, so I began to contemplate my options,” he recounts. “One day at work, I ran into my old baseball coach, who was an audiology professor at Purdue University. He suggested I come by his office and talk to him about audiology, which I did later on that week. After learning a bit about the field and how dramatically it could improve people’s lives, I knew it was a perfect fit.”

Today, as owner of Berkeley Hearing Center, Jonathan says he finds his job rewarding on numerous levels. “In addition to being a music lover, I’m a big believer in the idea that communication is the key to resolving conflict. As an audiologist, I have the opportunity to help people reconnect with the world, both in terms of communicating with others and enjoying auditory sensations like music.”

A resident of Berkeley (where he lives with his wife, Anna, and their daughter, Tessa), Jonathan expresses his love for the Bay Area. “The first time I visited the Bay Area back in the mid-1980s, I knew it was where I wanted to live,” he remembers. “I love the diversity, weather, food, culture, geography and activities. It’s just a fantastic place.”

Outside of work, Jonathan enjoys taking advantage of the many recreational opportunities available in the Bay Area. “I’m a big music fan, so I like going to see live music at venues like the Fillmore in San Francisco and The Fox Theater in Oakland,” he says. “Additionally, I’m an avid snowboarder, hiker and poker player. I also love to cook, and I’m known among my friends and family for my sushi skills.”

In regard to a professional philosophy, Jonathan says he takes a patient-centered approach to his career. “I’m all about my patients, and as their hearing health care advocate, I strive to provide them with the best care and resources available. This also means being straightforward with them and making sure they get the appropriate treatment for their particular needs.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Jonathan says he’d do some extensive traveling. “I’d like to travel the world and experience different cultures. I’d also probably go on some big snowboarding excursions and try to find some untracked powder.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: Have you ever read a book more than once?
A: I’ve read “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy many times over the years.

Q: Do you have a favorite band or musician?
A: I enjoy a wide range of music, so it’s hard to say. I’m a big fan of jam bands like the Grateful Dead and Phish, but I’d have to say my all-time favorite album is “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis.

Q: If you could immediately master a musical instrument, what would you choose?
A: The tenor saxophone.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: I’d like to go to Southeast Asia to see countries like Vietnam, Thailand, and Papua New Guinea and do some world class diving.

Q: Would you ever skydive?
A: I totally would, but I don’t think my wife would like that.

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The Importance of Preventative Hearing Loss Treatment

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BERKELEY — At least 28 million adults in the United States suffer from hearing loss, a condition that impacts communication and functional ability, which often leads to cognitive decline, depression and an overall decrease in quality of life. However, despite… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Proactive Hearing Loss Treatment

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Complete Video Transcription:

BERKELEY — Host, Sarah Rutan: While many people ignore the symptoms of hearing loss, addressing it proactively can greatly increase the effectiveness of treatment. Today,… Read more

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