By Susan Mikula Campbell
Niagara Falls area audiologist Alan M. Geldin describes his career as "so the hard of hearing may hear and the children can speak."
Geldin, a Grand Island resident, retired Dec. 31, 2014.
Back in 1970, the Rochester native, a young graduate of Syracuse University, moved here to become the first full-time audiologist at Mount St. Mary's Hospital. With the assistance of the chairman of the department of audiology at the University at Buffalo, he pioneered the speech and hearing center at the hospital, which grew from 18 patients the first year to about 60 when he left 2-1/2 years later to work with three ear, nose and throat specialists in the Falls.
"I started the testing of newborn babies at St. Mary's," Geldin said. "I didn't have any technology in the '70s like they have now."
At that time, people in industry in the city were being exposed to noise pollution and no one was doing anything to help, Geldin said. After leaving St. Mary's, he set up most of the industrial testing and worked through Niagara Falls Memorial Hospital's safety and occupational health department. In 1980, he took over selling hearing aids at Francis Optical on Main Street, then, in 2009, opened his own office at 600 Pine Ave. He was the first full-time audiologist in Niagara County.
Now that he's retired, Geldin said his priority is to spend more time with his wife, Linda, a retired Niagara-Orleans BOCES speech therapist, his two children and three grandchildren. He also will continue to be busy with the Grand Island Rotary Club, which he has been an active member of for 24 years.
But he won't be abandoning the science of hearing and hearing loss.
"I spend most of my time writing (about audiology), and I'm enjoying it a lot," he said. "Forty-four years of information is pouring out of my head."