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Audiologist relocates office

Sunday, August 7, 2005

(Photo)
Ken and Vicki Rubenacker stand outside the new office at 417B South Kingshighway.
SIKESTON - Listen up, Sikeston. Area audiologist Ken Rubenacker, MS, CCC-

A, is on the move.

Rubenacker and his wife and office manager, Vicki, have relocated his practice to 417B South Kingshighway. Rubenacker has created a professional office space complete with waiting room, administrative office, testing area and plenty of space for his St. Louis Cardinals memorabilia.

Making the move a year ago to the building which once housed the late Cliff Morris' insurance agency, the Rubenackers explained it enabled them to own their own building and provides easy access for his patients. While the office is manned daily by Mrs. Rubenacker, Rubenacker sees patients at the Sikeston facility from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and is affiliated with Dr. Courtland Smith, ENT, at Kennett on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Each of the locations enables Rubenacker to have a general practice in audiology. "My day may consist of assessing a newborn's hearing potential, testing a factory work for noise-induced hearing loss then I may test the hearing of a 100-year-old, as I did recently" said Rubenacker, who added it is the diversity which he enjoys.

Since opening his practice in Sikeston on Aug. 4, 1987, Rubenacker said he has seen the difference he can make in the lives of the hearing impaired. The first 10 years, he worked in association with Dr. Ed Felker then went into private practice.

Rubenacker points out audiology is a field that is continually changing, especially the hearing aid technology now available to his patients. "Hearing aids are becoming more sophisticated. As a result we are able to help a wider segment of the population with hearing problems," he said.

Through his office he offers a wide range of basic to advanced digital hearing aids including such major brands as ReSound, Siemens, Phonak, Unitron and others.

While he marvels at the changes in the hearing aids he can offer, Rubenacker also worries that changes in Medicaid will mean some people will not get the hearing help they need. Effective Aug. 28, adult Medicaid recipients will no longer be eligible for hearing aids with a few exceptions; Medicaid hearing aid services will continue to be available for children.

"I fear that these changes will affect a good portion of the hearing impaired population in Southeast Missouri," he said. "Unfortunately I feel these cuts are detrimental to those recipients who otherwise can't afford hearing help."