Our History

Central Speech and Hearing Clinic (CSHC) was founded in 1989 by a group of five families in Winnipeg, Manitoba. At this time, CSHC was able to provide families with local Auditory-Verbal Therapy (AVT) services and audiology support for hearing aids and cochlear implants. These families had previously been taking their children with hearing loss to various centres in Eastern Canada and the United States to access AVT. Dr. Elizabeth Fitzpatrick, Audiologist and LSLS Certified Auditory-Verbal Therapist, was CSHC’s first therapist to provide parents with the opportunity to teach their children to listen, hear and speak. Ten years later, CSHC was mandated by the province to provide cochlear implant services for adults with hearing loss.

Prior to 2011, Manitoba children and adult cochlear implant candidates were travelling to centres in Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto, and St. John’s to receive cochlear implant surgery. In the fall of 2011, the Government of Manitoba approved the Surgical Hearing Implant Program (SHIP)* so that families could receive cochlear implant surgery in Winnipeg.

CSHC, along with its parents' group, has advocated for changes and improvements to the quality of life for children with hearing loss. The results have included the Government of Manitoba’s approval of bilateral cochlear implants for children as well as a cochlear implant replacement program for speech processors, similar to the program which was in place for children who use hearing aids.

CSHC is a registered, not-for-profit charitable organization which depends on the ceaseless efforts of many individuals and organizations. With the generous support of many private individuals, service clubs, corporations, fundraising activities, Manitoba Health, Manitoba Family Services, and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, CSHC has been able to offer an exceptional level of programming and excellence to all families at no cost.

CSHC Timeline

Year Event
1989 October 1 - CSHC Began providing Auditory-Verbal Therapy to families
1990 February 2 - CSHC Officially opens
1991 March - CSHC signs an affiliation agreement with Victoria General Hospital
1992 Janurary 30 - CSHC hosts first triennial Culinary Classic for Kids (CCFK)
June 1 - CSHC relocates to Victoria General Hospital
June 4-7 - CSHC co-sponsors the first Auditory-Verbal International Conference in Western Canada
1994 VOICE Chapter becomes active in Manitoba
1999 September - CSHC is mandated by Manitoba Health to provide cochlear implant services to adults
2005 May 24 - CSHC relocates to Markham Road
2007 November 23 - First child receives bilateral cochlear implants
2011 Fall - CSHC expands the Audiology Centre
October 14 - First adult cochlear implant surgery in Manitoba
November 29 - First pediatric cochlear implant surgery in Manitoba
2013 September - Government of Manitoba approves program for replacement cochlear implant speech processors
2014 October - Manitoba celebrates 100 cochlear implant surgeries
November 6 - CSHC celebrates 25th anniversary at the 9th Culinary Classic for Kids
2016 Services for Bone Anchored Implants (BAI)