Dr. Hecker and Associates is an audiology practice based in Newport News, dedicated to improving the quality of life of all those who come in as patients. This, to Eric Hecker, is the goal of his company.
“The practice was started by my mother and father in 1974. It was the first private audiology practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and one of the first in the country,” Hecker says. “My dad actually began the practice after its initial beginnings at Riverside Hospital.”
Hecker himself joined the practice in 1987, after earning his Ph.D. at the University of Virginia. “I received my undergraduate degree in biology. Then after taking a year off working for mom and dad and getting my Ph.D., I bought into the practice.”
Dr. Hecker and Associates serve a very diverse population. While approximately 75 percent of the customer base is geriatric, about 10 to 15 percent are young children with industrial clients the remaining percentage. Within these groups, Hecker’s services generally focus in diagnostics, balance testing and hearing aids.
“One of the reasons this practice is unique is because my father started it as a very broad-based operation. We were one of the first places in the country to do the specialized balance test. My dad was always very innovative. And today, we are still a very broad-based practice, from pediatrics to geriatrics,” Hecker says. Even after 31 years of personally working in the practice, Dr. Hecker and Associates has continued to avoid specializations, continuing its broad spectrum of treatments and services.
In addition to the practice’s wide range of services, Hecker is passionate about “giving back” to the community. “A lot of what we do is working as a philanthropic organization,” he says. “We work closely with the Lions Club and other area and national organizations. It’s about making sure that everyone in the community has a good chance to hear better.”
Dr. Hecker and Associates proudly focus on education. “Our approach is broadly based upon schooling people. I’m a big believer in education.” Hecker says. “I believe you empower people to make better medical decisions by giving them information. We work very hard on teaching our patients. We want to find solutions tailored specifically to them. It makes a wiser, more informed consumer and a better patient as well,” he adds. Hecker says he always emphasizes both educating patients and staff. This, combined with staying current with the latest technology, ensures that the practice serves its patients as best it can.
Hecker is also passionate about people. “We don’t look at people as just numbers. When you walk in our offices, you’re greeted in a friendly manner. My parents taught me the Golden Rule, to treat people the way you want to be treated,” he says. “The goal is not to have patients, but to have friends. It’s about getting to know and taking care of them.”
This love of close interaction shows in Hecker’s personal life. He coached his daughter’s basketball team from age five until she graduated high school. He also enjoys participating in tough mudder racing with his kids, along with traveling and photography.
Dr. Hecker and Associates look forward to continuing its work within the Newport News community and beyond. “The ability to improve the quality of life of people is a tremendous gift to be given. To be working with a patient who has his family with him and to finally hear the voice of his mother is very powerful. We get to see that on a daily basis, and you never take it for granted,” Hecker concludes. “Treat people how you want to be treated, and everything else will fall into place.”
TO THE POINT:
Dr. Hecker and Associates, Audiologists
Address: 808 Triton Ct., Ste. 100, Newport News, VA 23606
Contact: Dr. Eric Hecker