April 14, 2004 – On Friday, "World Voice Day" is being observed for the first time, and to mark the occasion in the territory, Dr. Adam Shapiro and his Virgin Islands Ear, Nose & Throat practice will host a free voice clinic open to the public.
The clinic, aimed at identifying possible vocal conditions, will be held between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Suite 111 of the V.I. Medical Foundation Building behind Roy L Schneider Hospital. Appointments are required and may be made by calling 774-8881 or via secure online scheduling at the ENT V.I. Web site.
"State of the art voice laboratory equipment is available for visualizing the voice box and assessing vocal disorders," Shapiro said in a release.
World Voice Day, an observance of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, is being billed as "an international celebration of the human voice."
The public is being asked to recognize that "the human voice, a fragile communication instrument, can be easily and irretrievably damaged through harmful speaking techniques and alcohol and tobacco abuse." The consequences of such abuse, the academy notes, include strained vocal cords, chronic hoarseness and, in some cases, deadly head and neck cancers.
Otolaryngologists have been pioneering diagnostic and treatment procedures for the care and treatment of voice disorders for more than a century. Some have assisted celebrity entertainers in protecting and preserving their voices. Many more have helped such people as teachers, clergy, salespeople and trial lawyers professionals who must be able to speak clearly in the performance of their jobs.
World Voice Day has evolved from Brazil's observance, starting in 1999, of National Voice Week. That designation was in response to findings by the World Health Organization that Brazil had a high laryngeal cancer rate.
To learn more, visit the World Voice Day Web site. There you'll find information about the care and treatment of voice disorders. There are four new patient information sheets available for viewing: "You and Your Voice," "Maintaining a Healthy Voice," "Laryngeal Cancer" and "Common Voice Disorders."
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