Voters of the Collierville Independent‘s first-ever Readers’ Choice ballot have selected Dr. Casie Keaton as the 2016 Woman of the Year.
Dr. Keaton opened Thrive Hearing and Tinnitus Solutions in Collierville last year on the Historic Town Square. She is a Doctor of Audiology and earned her Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders from Auburn University and her Master of Science in Audiology from the University of South Alabama.
She received her Doctorate in Audiology from the University of Florida in 2007.
We recently caught up with Dr. Keaton to ask her a few questions about her practice and recent nomination as Woman of the Year.
Q: When did you open Thrive Hearing and Tinnitus? What encouraged you to open it in Collierville?
A: After nearly 10 years practicing as an audiologist, I started Thrive Hearing and Tinnitus Solutions in November 2013, and joined the Collierville community in July 2015. The beauty of the town is what initially drew me here, but what has made it feel like home are the warm and welcoming people that we’ve gotten to know.
I have also been impressed with the planning and overall direction of the town. From education, to their approach to attract new people and businesses, it’s an exciting place to be. The Collierville Chamber of Commerce has helped us tremendously. I was honored to serve on the steering committee of the Women’s Leadership Network, which has been a great resource and extremely supportive. We feel very fortunate to be a part of the Collierville community.
Q: Audiology seems like a very rewarding field, getting to help people repair such a significant human sense (audioception). What made you want to work in the Audiology field?
A: I love answering this question. As a little girl, I always enjoyed solving problems. From about three years old, my dad would sit down with me before bed and we would work 10 or 15 math problems. It was my favorite subject in school and I know those nightly equations with my dad had a big hand in that. I also have a passion for people. Learning about someone’s need, where they may be having difficulty, and have the opportunity to apply those problem solving skills in a way that’s meaningful to that person. That passion I know comes from my mother.
A person’s hearing tells so much about their life and what brought them to this point. Where they worked, what they did for a living, maybe they were a musician, or an avid hunter, all these stories are usually told in their hearing test.
We don’t see a typical patient at Thrive. Hearing loss and tinnitus can affect a person at any age.
Hearing loss and tinnitus can serve as a barrier. A hurdle in someone’s life that they often don’t know how to move beyond. I enjoy working with patients, helping them find the right tools and resources to have the life they want. One that is free of limitation. Being an audiologist is the perfect combination of problem solving and a love for people.
Q: What are some of your interests outside of your field?
A: Family is so important and I love being a mother. My daughter is my joy. She is a constant reminder of what’s most important in life. My brother is currently serving in the Airforce and is stationed in Turkey. He has a wife and two boys that I love dearly. I have wonderful parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. I’m very happy when I can spend time them.
I love music and also love to travel, which is a relatively new interest. I enjoy learning about other cultures and seeing the beauty of other countries.
Q: What is a typical day like for you?
A: I’m not sure we have too many typical days! We see patients in the office Monday through Friday, but I’m also asked to speak on hearing loss and tinnitus within our community. Most recently I was asked to speak at the Tennessee Academy of Audiology on Tinnitus and Private Practice. I enjoy the opportunity to educate and share knowledge with others. Tinnitus is such a rare specialty; people often don’t know where to turn for help. I want those with tinnitus to be full of hope, that there is something that can be done.
Q: Are there any stories you can share about a specific patient you’ve helped that was significantly gratifying?
A: Someone asked me recently if there was a defining moment or a patient that convinced me I was in the right profession. I’m grateful to say that each day affirms that I’m exactly where I am meant to be. I never take for granted what has led someone to my office. I appreciate each person’s decision to change their life by coming to see us. I think there’s a misconception that you only wear hearing devices if you have a severe hearing impairment. Today, we have incredible technology. Think about your smart phone or tablets, all the things they are capable of now.
We now have much of the same capability in a tiny device that sits atop your ear. One that no one would know you were wearing, unless you wanted them to. My patients are helping me to change the perception of what someone with hearing loss looks like. Its not a matter of age, it’s who you want to be. Someone who makes the decision to see us wants to be the best version of themselves. They work hard, they love their families, they want to enjoy their life. Hearing well is part of that. I feel honored that I get to walk with someone through that journey. And because of that, I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.