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Now hear this: Hearing center opens in Southold

It isn’t so much a sound that is like music to David Carr’s ears as it is a look.

That look comes from patients at any of McGuire’s Hearing Centers upon being fitted for a hearing aid, allowing that person to hear sounds for the first time in a long time. “For me the thrill is turning it on and watching their eyes light up,” he said.

Now hear this: McGuire’s has opened a new location in Southold.

Mr. Carr, McGuire’s owner, has a chance now to see that thrilled look more often, having opened McGuire’s sixth location in Suffolk County and 10th in New York State on Nov. 2 with its Southold office, which provides a full range of audiological services. A grand opening, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, is scheduled for Nov. 17.

McGuire’s has been operating a satellite office at Peconic Landing in Greenport where it has been offering limited services for close to a decade. The new location at the Winds Way Professional Center in Southold offers full diagnostic services and may be a more convenient option for North Forkers than McGuire’s in Riverhead, the business’ first location in 1970.

“It’s extremely important,” Mr. Carr said of the new site in a phone interview. “We’ve been in business for 50 years and we never really have been out there except for the satellite office. We’re already booked. We’re starting out in the Southold office as a two-day-a-week location, but we’re finding that we’re going to have to expand that already.”

Mr. Carr had worked for Rochester Telephone for 10 years before going back to school and then, in 1996, joining his stepfather, Jim McGuire, and mother, Marge, in the family business, McGuire’s. They worked side by side for 11 years before his late parents retired.

“I took a leap of faith in leaving a union job in upstate New York and in six months I was running the operation,” said Mr. Carr, who lives in Manorville. “I fell in love with making a difference in people’s lives. There’s just no better profession in the world than one where you make a difference to humanity or where you can put a smile on someone’s face.”

Mr. Carr, whose wife, Danielle, is the general manager, has seen the business blossom from a mom-and-pop organization, growing to 30 employees. The Southold office will have two doctors of audiology and a patient care coordinator.

McGuire’s temporarily shut down its Peconic Landing operation March 13 with the first coronavirus breakout. “We’re not leaving Peconic Landing,” Mr. Carr said. “We still will be servicing out there when permitted.”

McGuire’s opened its first location in Riverhead, where it currently has an office on East Main Street. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

McGuire’s also has offices in Patchogue, Southampton, Centereach and four locations in the Bronx. Each office provides advanced hearing aid technologies and diagnostic services for people ranging from pediatrics to geriatrics.

Mr. Carr has been on the Hearing Health Care Alliance of New York board for 15 years and is currently in his second four-year term as its president. “Basically, our responsibility is protecting the consumer and protecting the profession,” he said.

In 2009, Mr. Carr was co-founder of Help America Hear, what he called the largest hearing aid foundation in the United States, providing hearing aids for the less fortunate.

Mr. Carr said with the population shift toward eastern Long Island, “it made sense for us to extend onto the North Fork and provide those services. It really is a win-win. It’s a win for my team to be able to create more jobs on the East End and it’s a win for the community to have better access to premium quality health care.”

Among those who will be present at the ribbon-cutting ceremony will be McGuire’s mascot, a giant cartoonish ear named Super HearO, created several years ago to promote hearing protection.

The important message, Mr. Carr said, is to not let the sounds of life pass people by.

He said, “Life’s too short to miss the beautiful sounds of people, birds and music.”