Cedar Rapids local is a finalist for Oticon Focus on People Award

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- A Cedar Rapids local is a finalist for a national award.

Professional naturalist, writer and Executive Director of the Indian Creek Nature Center Rich Patterson is one of the top three finalist in the advocacy category for the Oticon Focus on People Award.

The award celebrates the accomplishments and contributions of people with hearing loss.

Rich's hearing loss has diminished his ability to enjoy the sounds of nature like bird calls. Now Rich wears hearing aids and encourages others to protect their hearing so they can continue to enjoy the sounds of nature as well.

Rich also volunteers at the Catherine McAuley Center, a local nonprofit that helps refugees adjust to life in the U.S. He has helped teach English to people from Mexico, Bhutan, Burundi and the Congo.

For more information about the Oticon Focus on People Award, and to cast a vote, visit www.oticon.com