The adult cochlear implant program at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center has been assisting patients with hearing loss for more than 25 years. The goals of our program are simple: provide the most outstanding and comprehensive patient care, while advancing the field of cochlear implantation through research and innovation. 

To achieve these goals, we use a multidisciplinary approach. Your team of hearing experts will include an audiologist (a clinical doctor who will test your hearing and program your cochlear implant after implantation), an ear surgeon (who will perform the cochlear implant surgery), a speech-language pathologist (who will help bridge the gap between your brain and the new sounds it’s able to hear) and a cochlear implant program coordinator (who will assist in the overall process). 

Most importantly, you and your family will play a vital role in your hearing and communication success with a cochlear implant. This process will also require your dedication and your routine use of the cochlear implant, your willingness to engage in listening opportunities, and an overall commitment to return for follow-up appointments. 

With your active participation and our clinical skills and knowledge, we are confident that we can help you achieve truly successful hearing outcomes. Schedule an evaluation with an Ohio State hearing professional to learn if a cochlear implant is the right step for you!
Learn more about cochlear implants

Learn more about cochlear implants

See how you can benefit from a cochlear implant

How a cochlear implant works

When hearing aids are no longer effective, cochlear implants could be the right alternative. Cochlear implants are electronic devices that partially restore hearing by bypassing portions of the ear and directly stimulating the auditory nerve. 

Benefits of cochlear implants

After realizing that her hearing aids were no longer helping, Stephanie turned to the audiologists at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for a better alternative. 

Our Cochlear Implant Care Team

LauraFeeney

Laura Feeney, AuD

Audiologist

Laura Feeney, AuD, earned both her bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Science and her doctoral degree in Audiology from The Ohio State University. She has been with the Department of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery since 2007. She is board certified by the American Board of Audiology and is a member of the American Academy of Audiology and the Ohio Academy of Audiology. Dr. Feeney's interests include basic audiological testing and working with patients with hearing aids and cochlear implants.

BrendaHall

Brenda Hall, AuD

Audiologist

Brenda Hall, AuD, graduated from the University of North Carolina with a master’s degree in Audiology. She received her doctoral degree from Arizona School of Health Sciences in 2010. She has been a member of the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery since 1991. Her interests include working with patients with cochlear implants and hearing aids.

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Meghan Hiss, AuD

Audiologist

Meghan Hiss, AuD, received her bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Science and her Doctor of Audiology degree from The Ohio State University in 2008 and 2012, respectively. She worked as a clinical audiologist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Columbus Speech and Hearing Center before joining the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery in 2018. Her clinical interests include diagnostic audiology, cochlear implants, and the fitting of hearing aids and assistive technology. Dr. Hiss is a research audiologist at The Ohio State University’s Buckeye Center for Hearing and Development. She is board certified by the American Board of Audiology and is a member of the American Academy of Audiology and the Ohio Academy of Audiology. 

DebbyLaPrete

Debby LaPrete, AuD

Audiologist

Debby LaPrete, AuD, received her bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University and her master's degree from the University of Cincinnati. She graduated from the Arizona School of Health Sciences with her doctoral degree in Audiology in 2009. Dr. LaPrete has worked at Ohio State since 1994, and specializes in providing services to recipients of cochlear implants and auditory brainstem implants.

MelissaSchnitzspahn

Melissa Schnitzspahn, AuD

Audiologist

Melissa Schnitzspahn, AuD, received her bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Science from The Ohio State University in 1998 and her master’s degree in Audiology from Ohio State in 2000. She obtained her doctoral degree in Audiology from the Arizona School of Health Sciences in 2008. Dr. Scnitzspahn joined the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery here in 2001, and her interests include hearing aid dispensing and cochlear implants.

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Erin Stefancin, MA, CCC-SLP

Speech Language Pathologist

Erin Stefancin, MA, CCC-SLP, is a speech language pathologist in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. She earned her Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Speech and Hearing Science from The Ohio State University. 
Christy Ray

Christy Ray, PhD

Speech Language Pathologist

Christy Ray, PhD, CCC-SLP is an assistant professor in the Department of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery. She earned her Master’s and PhD degrees in Speech and Hearing Science from The Ohio State University. She currently engages in clinical practice and research with a particular interest in optimizing outcomes of adults with cochlear implants.
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Kara Vasil, AuD

Audiologist

Kara Vasil, AuD earned a BS in speech and hearing science from The Ohio State University in 2012 and her Doctor of audiology from the Northeast Ohio Au.D. Consortium in 2016. Her clinical interests include diagnostics, cochlear implantation, hearing aid fitting and assistive devices. She's a research audiologist at Ohio State's Buckeye Center for Hearing and Development. She's a member of the American Academy of Audiology, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Ohio Academy of Audiology.

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