The Department of Defense established the Hearing Center of Excellence, or HCE, to focus on the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, and rehabilitation of hearing loss and auditory injury. HCE was legislated by Congress in the National Defense Authorization Act and directed to partner with the Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA, institutions of higher education, and other mission-minded public and private organizations.
HCE’s primary responsibilities include:
- Developing a data registry to track hearing loss and auditory injuries across the Armed Forces, and sharing the registry data with the VA
- Encouraging and facilitating hearing health research
- Developing best practices and clinical education, and
- Ensuring the coordination and delivery of VA rehabilitation benefits and services to former Service members