I got an early start in the world of hearing healthcare, first meeting a Deaf man in a restaurant and learning the basic greetings and alphabet when I was four. I received my first book about American Sign Language (ASL) and the Deaf community from my very astute mom a few months later. By the time first grade rolled around, when the ASL alphabet was to be taught, I was emboldened to teach the class. I discovered later that one of my childhood friends/classmates never forgot the ‘alphabet lesson’, and now works with Deaf children after earning her M.A. in Deaf Education.
I continued my involvement in the Deaf community, working in camps for the Deaf for the City of Berkeley summer programs, while earning my B.A. degree in Spanish and Communicative Disorders and my M.S. degree in Audiology (2005) from San Francisco State. I began practicing at an established Audiology private practice in Oakland immediately after graduation. My first boss/mentor treated everyone with such kindness and respect, engendering those same connections with patients and co-workers alike.
I earned my Doctorate in Audiology in 2010 from Salus University in Pennsylvania, while continuing my private practice work. In 2011, I took a position at Herrick Hospital, diagnosing & treating hearing loss and balance issues. In 2016, the hospital unilaterally decided to end their hearing aids dispensing activities. Although I missed working with my hearing aid patients, I continued to enjoy the diagnostic aspects of audiology, counseling and helping my patients find the best referral sources for the treatment of their hearing loss.
After the hospital decided to stop dispensing hearing aids, I worked hard to determine where I felt comfortable recommending patients go to get the best hearing healthcare. From my professional interactions with their staff, I had always felt confident referring patients to Berkeley Hearing Center. But more and more, as I spoke with my patients who had been seen there, I kept hearing accolades about their experiences-about the kindness, time spent, professionalism and care. So when they reached out to me to see if I would consider joining their growing practice in a new, beautiful, spacious location, I was excited for the opportunity to be working with state-of-the-art hearing aid and assistive listening technology, to create/foster those long-term connections with my patients that I missed (more than I realized), to collaborate with other professionals in hearing healthcare. Observing Jonathan and John over my first few weeks working at Berkeley Hearing Center has confirmed to me that they share my same philosophies of holistic patient care, creating trustworthy, lifelong relationships that emphasize recognizing the whole person while assessing and addressing their audiological needs. And above all, treating everyone with the same kindness and respect as my mentor did!
On a personal note, I love languages and other cultures and love helping people to communicate. Hearing is a part of the cultural linguistic bridge for interpersonal communication with loved ones and the world at large. I am fluent in ASL, Spanish and Italian. I am also conversant in what I jokingly call “Audiological Cantonese“.
I value connection with people, family, and communication as the binding glue that connects us all. I currently reside with my husband, son, daughter, two dogs, and one bunny. You can find me most days working with my husband in the garden or by the pond feeding the fish with the kids. I have a multigenerational family, living on the same street as my mom and Step-dad. They have been an integral part in the “village” that has been helping us raise our children and they continue to enrich all of our lives. I am rooted in the bay area, having grown up in the same house in Oakland that my great grandfather lived in!