Louise Hart, long time Board Director, passed away peacefully at her home on May 1, 2020 at the age of 99. As a founding member of the Foundation for Hearing & Speech Rehabilitation (FHSR), Mrs. Hart helped to shape the mission of the Foundation and provided an unmatched level of commitment to helping individuals who are living with hearing loss.
Louise Hart had been associated with the Foundation for Hearing & Speech Rehabilitation since the early 1950’s. As a parent of a young deaf daughter at the time, she jumped at the opportunity to become involved in the Foundation. She served as the first President of the Women’s Board and held that position on two other occasions. Mrs. Hart, along with her friends, was a skillful fundraiser and used these talents to coordinate several extremely successful events. She later joined the FHSR Board of Directors where she served in a variety of roles, in addition to continuing her strong fundraising efforts.
In 2007, Mrs. Hart provided the initial funding for a crucial support position at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the Hart Family Cochlear Implant Education Coordinator. This position provides support for families of children who have been recently identified with hearing loss and are candidates for a cochlear implant. The Coordinator is the bridge out to the academic community and plays a key role in the child’s education. This position directly supports over 150 children and their families each year, helping to place these children on a path to communication and academic success. The Education Coordinator is the only position like this in the Chicago-land area, and it would not have been created without Mrs. Hart’s keen insight and forward thinking.
In 2018, the Hart Family Foundation stepped forward to support the creation and initial funding drive for the Music To My Ears program to honor the Foundation’s 60th Anniversary. This program provides a year of tuition-free early childhood music enrichment classes for children born with hearing loss up to four years of age.
While we are deeply saddened by the loss of such an amazing person, the Directors and Staff of FHSR draw on Mrs. Hart’s passion to support deaf /hard of hearing children and will work diligently to continue her legacy of hope.