The Voice Health Institute (VHI) is a federally-approved non-profit public charity (501-C-3) that was established in 2003 by patients with voice loss. Its mission is to raise public awareness about the importance of voice in society, including the devastating personal consequences associated with voice loss, and to support programs that are designed to improve the prevention and treatment of voice and upper airway problems.
The VHI pursues its mission by using the funds that its raises through donations to support cutting-edge translational and clinical research, as well as educational programs that seek to advance the state-of-the-art in voice care. This is motivated by a desire to help the millions of individuals in the United States and abroad who are currently suffering from the negative psycho-social (and economic) impact associated with voice loss and by a realization that normal voice/speech capability is becoming even more critical in a communication-based world that is increasingly dependent on voice for human-machine interfaces (e.g., computer recognition of speech for generation of text).
Voice loss and/or breathing difficulties due to upper airway problems can be caused by congenital conditions, disease (e.g., cancer), and/or overuse trauma, and can affect people of all ages and circumstance; ranging from the inability of a parent or grandparent to read bedtime stories to children to the loss of employment/income in occupations more heavily dependent on voice and speech (e.g., teachers, lawyers, ministers, salespeople, etc.).