Speech disorders affect children from an early age, or may develop later in life as a result of trauma or injury. Speech therapists are specially trained in helping individuals correct speech disorders and speak clearly. Speech disorders can be embarrassing for those that suffer from them, but regular sessions with a qualified speech therapist can improve speaking and help the patient to communicate more effectively.
Speech therapists, also known as speech language pathologists, or SLPs, are educated in human communications, speech and speech related disorders. They require a master's degree and state certification and a certificate of clinical competency from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. An SLP can diagnose and treat patients with various speech, oral and swallowing related disorders.
Darla Freeman M.A., CCC/SLP
Darla Freeman is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist, certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, and received her Masters Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Ohio State University. While in the masters program, she developed a special interest in voice disorders and their management, and she was selected for a clinical internship in the Department of Otolaryngology at Ohio State University. During the internship, she gained valuable experience and advanced training in the evaluation, diagnosis, and management of a wide variety of laryngeal disorders in a multidisciplinary center.
Lourdes Gomez-Luaces M.S., CCC/SLP
Lourdes Gomez-Luaces received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Emory University and a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Nova Southeastern University. She is board certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association and treats adult and pediatric speech, language, and swallowing disorders. She is fluent in English and Spanish.
Florida Center for Voice & Swallowing Recognizes World Voice Day
TAMPA, Fla. – April 13, 2018 – What would your world be like if you lost the ability to communicate with your voice? The voice has enormous value to each of us, providing a unique ability for us to interact with those around us every day. For some, like singers, news anchors, actors, teachers, call center or sales professionals, the voice is also a source of livelihood. The Florida Center for Voice & Swallowing will recognize World Voice Day on April 16, 2018, a worldwide celebration of the voice and its importance in our lives. The day is designated each year to increase awareness about vocal health, to educate and to inspire the public to take action to improve or maintain good vocal health habits.
The voice is a fundamental tool for emotional communication and is highly significant in how we form relationships with others. Beyond emotional expression, we also use it to relay wants and needs. Voices help to shape who we are, through their own characteristics and through the words they help to shape. The Florida Center for Voice & Swallowing is dedicated to helping individuals optimize their voice, whether it is identifying a problem, helping to treat it or putting patients in touch with other people that have similar voice problems for support.
Vocal health is often overlooked and misunderstood. Symptoms of a voice problem may include roughness, hoarseness, discomfort to talk, strain or loss of control, effortful talking or loss of the voice altogether. Some are potentially serious signs, and the cause of any persistent voice change should be determined. Someone experiencing difficulties should be evaluated by a voice specialist.
“A person’s vocal health is critical to effective communication and quality of life. We are excited to be able to provide high-level subspecialty care for voice disorders in the Tampa Bay community,” stated Laryngologist and Director, Daniel Vincent, MD. “The Florida Center for Voice & Swallowing is dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment and management of voice disorders, and also to education about keeping the voice healthy.”
The physicians and speech pathologists at the Florida Center for Voice & Swallowing have the experience and technology needed to precisely diagnose and measure the degree of voice impairment or loss, and to offer a wide range of surgical and non-surgical treatment options for voice-related problems.
Florida E.N.T. & Allergy and the Florida Center for Voice & Swallowing
The Florida Center for Voice and Swallowing specializes in the diagnosis and management of voice and swallowing disorders, offering the latest technology and a coordinated team approach to patients. It is a dedicated center of excellence at Florida E.N.T. & Allergy, the region’s premier single-specialty ear, nose and throat practice. With board certified ENT physicians in 11 convenient locations, our experienced team specializes in all aspects of ear, nose and throat care to address your concerns.
Florida E.N.T. & Allergy to Host Free Voice and Hearing Screening Event
Florida E.N.T. & Allergy will be hosting a voice and hearing screening event on Saturday, May 14 in honor of Better Hearing and Speech Month. The event will be held at 3000 Medical Park Drive, suite 200 in Tampa from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m., with screenings available by appointment only.
Although children are often affected by the same ear, nose and throat conditions as adults, they often require special care to treat these complex conditions. Children are often more susceptible to ENT conditions and are commonly affected by chronic ear infections, tonsillitis, congenital defects, voice and speech disorders, sleep apnea and more. All of our doctors are specially trained to diagnose and treat the unique conditions that affect children. We strive to provide the most effective treatment while taking into consideration the comfort of our patients and concerns of their parents.
Which ENT Physician Should Treat My Child?
We recommend an ENT physician who relates well to you and your child, and who takes the time to fully explain your child's problem and the rationale for the various treatment options. No one knows your child as well as you do, and we have found that parents have very good intuition about this choice.
We have found that there is occasionally some confusion about the term "ENT" among patients and some pediatricians. After completing four years of medical school and earning their MD degree, all U.S. trained ENT (Otolaryngology) physicians spend a very large part of their additional five or six years of specialty training ("residency") focusing on medical and surgical treatments for children. Therefore, all U.S. trained, Board Certified ENT physicians are fully trained to treat children as a core part of their practice. That is certainly true of all the physicians in our practice, as all of our training programs placed heavy emphasis on pediatric ENT. Our physicians have performed tens of thousands of pediatric ENT surgeries since our inception.
Common Childhood Ailments
Otolaryngologists are trained specifically to diagnose and treat diseases that appear much more frequently in children than in adults. One example of such a medical condition is a middle ear infection, or otitis media, since anatomical differences in the ears of children make them much more susceptible to this problem. Another example is tonsillitis, which, along with adenoiditis is a much more common ailment in children than in adults, perhaps because of their immature immune systems.
Congenital abnormalities, such as a cleft lip, cleft palate or congenital deafness are conditions best addressed as soon as possible in early childhood, so that speech development will be impacted as little as possible. For this reason, pediatric otolaryngologists are more likely to consulted for assistance with congenital medical problems than other physicians.
While ear infections can occur in any of the three parts of the ear, they most commonly develop in the middle ear. Ear infections are caused when fluid builds up behind the eardrum in the Eustachian tubes, the tubes that connect the ears to the nose. This moist environment is conducive to the rapid growth of bacteria which result in the infection. Occasionally, although ear infections are usually caused by bacteria, viruses or allergies may be the underlying factor.
Tonsillitis / Adenoiditis
Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils, the two pads of lymphoid tissue at the back of the throat. The tonsils are part of the immune system, functioning as the first line of defense against pathogens entering the body through the nose or mouth. Because of their role is protecting the body against infections, they can easily become infected or inflamed themselves. The immune function of the tonsils diminishes after puberty, so tonsillitis, a common ailment in children, is not usually found in adults. Tonsillitis is most often caused by a virus or a bacteria, usually a type of Streptococcus, but may also result from a fungal or parasitic infection. Although usually not considered a serious disorder, severe or untreated tonsillitis may result in complications.
Any lump or swelling on the neck is considered a neck mass. Neck masses are relatively common, both in childhood and adulthood, and may be the result of swollen lymph nodes or swelling of the muscles of the neck, known as torticollis, which usually appear on the front of the neck.
Some lumps on the neck may produce no symptoms and may disappear within a few days. Nonetheless, some neck masses may be serious or even life-threatening. Any swelling on the neck that remains for a week or more should be evaluated by a physician.
Otology is the study, diagnosis and treatment of ear disorders and diseases. In addition to hearing problems, an otologist may diagnose and treat patient's with the following disorders: Balance disorders, Tinnitus, Ear infections, Hearing loss, Meniere's disease, Usher Syndrome, and Otosclerosis.
Many ear conditions are especially common in children, who may require special care for their condition. Pediatric otologists specialize in the the treatment of ear disorders of children.
Other Ailments Treated by Pediatric Otolaryngologists
Otolaryngologists are trained to care for a variety of medical conditions in their youngest patients. They are also trained to perform complex surgeries of the ears, nose, throat, and neck in children. Pediatric conditions that may require evaluation and treatment by an otolaryngologist include the following:
Ear infections, hearing loss
Nose and sinus problems
Tonsils and adenoid infections or inflammations
Speech and language disorders
Congenital abnormalities of the ear, nose, sinuses, tongue
Head and neck tumors
Craniofacial abnormalities, including cleft lip, cleft palate
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD
Interested in learning more about our Ear, Nose & Throat Services?
Head and neck cancers affect the mouth, nose, throat and surrounding areas. They can cause facial and neck disfigurement; impair speech and vision; and affect the sense of smell and the ability to swallow. Each year, more than 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with head and neck cancers, which account for 3 to 5 percent of all cancers. Highly treatable, many head and neck cancers can be prevented through lifestyle changes alone.
Types of Head and Neck Cancers
Cancers of the head and neck are usually categorized by the areas in which they originate. Areas that may be affected include:
Pharynx (including nasopharynx, oropharynx and hypopharynx)
Most head and neck cancers begin in the linings of the moist, mucosal surfaces of the mouth, nose and throat. The cells in the linings are squamous cells, which are vulnerable to carcinomas. Like other types of cancers, head and neck cancers can spread to other areas of the body, leading to serious complications. Prompt, thorough treatment is essential to either eradicate the cancer or keep it in check.
Causes of Head and Neck Cancers
Head and neck cancers, especially cancers of the oral cavity and larynx, are most often caused by tobacco and alcohol use. When tobacco and alcohol are used in combination, they are linked to 75 percent of head and neck cancers. The exception is salivary gland cancer, which is not linked to their use. Many risk factors can be reduced or eliminated through simple lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and abstaining from alcohol. Other risk factors may include:
Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV)
Exposure to radiation
Childhood consumption of certain salted/preserved foods
Poor oral hygiene and/or missing teeth
Ingestion of paan (betel quid)
Drinking maté (tealike beverage)
Occupational exposure to harmful substances
Previous infection with Epstein-Barr virus
Asian ancestry (elevated risk of nasopharyngeal cancer)
Those at increased risk for developing head and neck cancers should be screened regularly. Early detection can significantly improve the effectiveness of treatment.
Symptoms of Head and Neck Cancers
Head-and-neck-cancer symptoms often manifest themselves early, and vary depending on the type of cancer. Symptoms may include:
Lump in the neck
Hoarseness or trouble speaking
Swelling and/or white/red patches on the gums, tongue or mouth
Blood in saliva
Swelling under the chin and around the jawline
New or changed growths on skin
Although these symptoms can be caused by a wide range of nonserious conditions, medical attention should be sought as soon as they appear.
Diagnosis of Head and Neck Cancers
Patients experiencing head-and-neck-cancer symptoms will have their medical histories taken and be given complete physical examinations. Various diagnostic tests, including endoscopy, biopsy, and blood, urine and imaging tests, will be performed. A definitive diagnosis of cancer will be given only after a tissue sample has been biopsied.
If cancer is diagnosed, it is important to determine the stage (severity) of the disease, which includes whether or not it has spread to other areas of the body. To determine a cancer's stage, imaging tests are usually performed. Until the stage has been determined, an effective treatment plan cannot be devised.
Treatment of Head and Neck Cancers
Treatment for head and neck cancer depends on the type and location of the tumor, as well as the patient's age and overall health. Treatment often includes surgery to remove the cancer, as well as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Surgery involves the removal of the cancerous tissue and some surrounding healthy tissue to ensure thorough eradication of the disease. Surgery may cause swelling and bruising, and affect the patient's ability to chew, swallow or talk.
Chemotherapy is often administered after surgery; it uses medication to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy, on the other hand, uses targeted high-energy X-rays to destroy cancer cells.
It is important to discuss treatment options with a doctor, because certain treatment methods may have long-term effects on the way the patient looks, talks, eats or breathes. Making healthy lifestyle changes will help prevent a head and neck cancer from recurring, as well as reduce the risk for other diseases.
Interested in learning more about our Ear, Nose & Throat Services?
Hearing loss. One of the most common health issues in the world is also one of the most treatable.
48 million Americans—or nearly one in five, age 12 and older—experience hearing loss severe enough to hinder communication. If you think you or someone you know has hearing loss, the next step is an easy one - confirm it by seeing a hearing aid professional.
Did you know hearing loss treatment is shown to improve communication, earning power, intimacy and connections in family relationships, emotional stability, physical health and ease of communication? 9 out of 10 hearing aid users report improvements in their quality of life!
Like computers, smartphones and most other high-tech devices, hearing aids have advanced significantly in the past several years. Thanks to more detailed research, faster processing speeds, new features and smarter designs, today's hearing aids are definitely not your father's hearing aids. Which is why there is no reason to "just put up" with hearing loss any longer.
The physicians and audiologists at Florida E. N. T. & Allergy have the experience and technology needed to precisely diagnose and measure your degree of hearing loss. If you do have hearing loss that can be helped with hearing aids, our experts will guide you to the best hearing aid choices for your lifestyle and your budget.
Causes of Hearing Loss
Chronic exposure to loud noises, such as loud music or machinery
Wax buildup in one or both ears
Fluid buildup due to ear infection
Foreign object stuck in the ear canal
Perforation of the eardrum from illness or injury
Damage to the tiny bones, or ossicles, of the ear
Types of Hearing Loss
Results from a structural abnormality or blockage of the outer or middle ear.
Results from damage to the inner ear or to the auditory nerve.
Mixed Hearing Loss
Result of both neural and conductive loss affecting both the outer or middle and the inner ear.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss
While hearing loss may affect social interaction and other aspects of daily life, people are often unaware that they have a loss of hearing until others point it out to them. Common signs and symptoms of hearing loss may include:
Speech is perceived to be muffled
Inability to understand or decipher conversation
Sensation that one or both ears are plugged
Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears
Increased volume on radio or television
Diagnosis of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is diagnosed through a physical examination and various hearing tests may be performed. Tuning fork tests can help to diagnose whether the vibrating parts of the middle ear, including the eardrum, are working properly and whether there is damage to the sensors or nerves of the inner ear. Audiometer tests are used to determine the limits of the individual's hearing.
Treatment of Hearing Loss
Treatment of hearing loss depends in the cause of the problem. For temporary loss of hearing due to wax buildup, a thorough cleaning of the ear canal, also known as an irrigation or lavage, may be helpful. Hearing loss caused by an ear infection may be treated with antibiotics and decongestants to rid mucus from the ears. For more permanent types of hearing loss resulting from aging, or damage to the inner ear, hearing aids may be helpful, although adjusting to them may take a few weeks.
When the eardrum has been torn or perforated, a surgical procedure known as tympanoplasty, may be necessary to repair the eardrum. Individuals with more profound hearing loss as a result of a congenital defect, injury or disease, may benefit from the surgical implantation of a cochlear implant, a small electronic device that helps to provide a sense of sound. Individuals coping with severe hearing loss may also learn to pay careful attention to gestures and facial expressions, to read lips, or to use sign language in order to improve their communication skills.
Do you or someone you know suffer from constant “ringing in the ears”?
Maybe it’s not ringing exactly. Some people describe it as hissing, buzzing, whistling, roaring and even chirping. Whatever noise it is, the real issue is something called tinnitus. Tinnitus (“TIN-a-tus” or “Tin-EYE-tus”) is the medical term for the sensation of hearing sound in your ears or head when no external sound is present.
The important thing to know is that tinnitus is not a condition or a disease. Instead, it’s a symptom — typically of something bigger, like an ear infection, high blood pressure or, most common, hearing loss.
Many tinnitus sufferers have been pleasantly surprised at how relieved they felt after getting a tinnitus hearing aid. Besides having an appropriate device, it is also very important that your tinnitus hearing aid be properly programmed and adjusted to you and your tinnitus. Our patient education and comprehensive tinnitus information are additional valuable tools in helping patients to find relief.
Interested in learning more about our Ear, Nose & Throat Services?
The Florida Center for Voice & Swallowing was established in in order to offer state-of-the-art diagnosis, treatment and management of voice problems. Our clinical staff has specialized training in the care of the professional and non-professional voice, and is dedicated to helping patients and interested persons understand more about voice function and health. Founding director Daniel A. Vincent, Jr., M.D. is a fellowship trained Laryngologist and board certified Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) surgeon with expertise and experience in the treatment of a wide variety of problems that can affect the voice and the upper airway.
Tampa Speech Pathologists
Florida E.N.T. & Allergy's Speech and Language Pathologists offer the latest technology speech therapy and diagnosis of voice disorders. In addition to providing speech therapy in Tampa, We also offer evaluation and treatment of swallowing disorders. Our Tampa speech-language pathologists have earned certifications of clinical competence in speech-pathology through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Laryngology is a subspecialty within otolaryngology. Laryngologists specialize in the treatment of disorders of the throat and larynx (voice box), including communication and swallowing disorders.
Who Would need treatment from a laryngologist?
Patients who require the care of a laryngologist are often individuals who use their voices professionally, such as singers, actors, public speakers or teachers.
Other patients who seek laryngological treatment are individuals troubled by perpetual hoarseness, chronic cough or sore throat, difficulty swallowing or problems with voice projection.
Causes of Laryngological Disorders?
Laryngologists are trained to diagnose and treat the underlying causes of throat and voice problems. These causes may include:
Overuse or abuse of the voice
Polyps, nodules or cysts of the vocal cords
Cancer of the larynx
Most frequently, a laryngoscopy is necessary for accurate diagnosis, but this procedure can often take place during a short period of time right in the doctor's office. This diagnostic test may be done a number of ways, but always involves the insertion of some type of endoscope into the mouth or nose and down the back of the throat.
Depending on the nature of the problem, a flexible or rigid tube may be used. The laryngoscope will always be fitted with a miniature camera so that the targeted area can be visualized and photographed for later analysis. At times, a tiny video camera, a miniature mirror or a pulsating strobe light may also be used during the examination. The laryngoscope, in addition to being a diagnostic tool, provides treatment options since the doctor can insert tiny surgical instruments through the scope in order to remove tissue for biopsy.
In certain cases, other diagnostic testing is necessary. When the patient is troubled by difficulty swallowing, for example, the laryngologist may administer a barium swallowing study.
In addition to surgical excisions performed during laryngoscopies, doctors have several other methods for treating disorders of the throat and larynx. At times, simple noninvasive treatments, such as breathing exercises, voice therapy, or medication for acid reflux may be all that is necessary to relieve symptoms. At other times, surgery may be necessary.
It is possible that a tonsillectomy will be required to alleviate pressure and inflammation in the throat or that a thyroplasty, during which a patch of synthetic mesh is placed on the vocal cords, will be recommended. Frequently injection laryngoplasty (vocal cord injections) are of help, although the iarnjections may have to be repeated. In more serious cases of injury or disease, particularly when there is a malignancy present, a full or partial removal of the larynx (laryngectomy) may be performed. The type of surgery performed depends on the nature and severity of the patient's condition.
Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing
An endoscopic evaluation of swallowing is a test that may be performed to diagnose swallowing difficulties. Patients who suffer from dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, may undergo an endoscopy to determine the cause of their swallowing problem.
The endoscopic evaluation of swallowing test is performed with a thin, lighted tube known as an endoscope. Prior to the procedure, a topical anesthetic may be sprayed in the patient's nose and throat. The endoscope is then placed into the throat. Food coloring is then placed onto a variety of foods, and fed to the patient. The food coloring makes it easier for the doctor to see how the food travels down the throat. The doctor will then be able to view the throat and swallowing process on a computer screen.
After the test, the speech pathologist will review the results with the requesting physician, and a customized therapy plan will be created to address the individual patient's condition and treatment.
The Florida Center for Voice & Swallowing is seeing patients in the following locations
The Doctors of Audiology at Florida E.N.T. & Allergy specialize in the prevention, identification, and management of hearing loss. They work in conjunction with the ENT physicians to discuss with you the potential causes and the treatment options for your hearing loss.
The importance of having a Physician – Audiologist partnership is that it allows you to have the utmost comfort and confidence that we have your best interests at heart and the knowledge to address your concerns. We communicate with each other to ensure that you are constantly receiving the best treatment for your hearing needs.
Click on a name below for our audiologists bios.
Jordan L. Ericksen, Au.D.
Dr. Ericksen holds a Doctor of Audiology degree from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. She received her Bachelors of Science degree in Communicative Disorders and Deaf Educations from Utah State University in Logan, Utah. She completed her fourth-year clinical externship at Mountain West ENT. It was her experience there that lead her to stay in the ENT field. Dr. Ericksen's special interests include working with patients of all ages, comprehensive audiological evaluations, hearing aid fittings and follow up hearing aid care. During her downtime, Dr. Ericksen and her husband enjoy going to the beach and spending time with family.
Sophia H. Escobar, Au.D., CCC-A
Dr. Escobar holds a Doctor of Audiology degree from the University of South Florida. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of South Florida. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association. In 2012, she was awarded Best of 2012 Hearing Healthcare Professionals. Dr. Escobar's special interests include vestibular testing and treatment, hearing aid prescription and follow up, and community outreach. Dr. Escobar enjoys and has experience working with all age groups. She married her wonderful husband, Nelson, in 2009. They have two children who are the light of their lives. When she’s not caring for her patients, Dr. Escobar enjoys family time, exercise and the beach.
Calli Fodor, Au.D.
Dr. Fodor graduated with a dual degree in Hearing and Speech Sciences and Neurobiology and Physiology from the University of Maryland, College Park. She went on to earn her Doctor of Audiology and receive the excellence in Audiology award for her class at the University of Maryland, College Park as well. Dr. Fodor completed internships at the National Institutes of Health, Fort Meade Military Base, Potomac Audiology, and St Agnes Healthcare. She completed her residency at Davis Family Hearing. Dr. Fodor is licensed by the Florida Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. She specializes in comprehensive audiological evaluations, vestibular evaluations, and amplification including hearing aid fittings and follow up care. When she is not caring for patients, Dr. Fodor enjoys skiing, biking, playing the flute, and spending time with her two cats.
Bruce P. Gosche, AU.D., CCC-A, F-AAA
Dr. Gosche received a Master’s degree from the University of South Florida before going on to receive his Doctor of Audiology degree from Arizona School of Health Sciences. He holds his Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association, and he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. He believes in an individualized and patient-centered approach to helping others with their communication needs. When not in clinic, Dr. Gosche enjoys kayaking and traveling with his wife of over thirty years and spending time with his two sons. He is an avid Florida Gator fan and a lover of all dogs, especially Beagles.
Heather A. Hall, Au.D., CCC-A, CH-AP
Dr. Hall received her Doctor of Audiology degree from the University of Akron through a joint program with Kent State University and The Cleveland Clinic known as the Northeast Ohio Au.D. Consortium. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from West Liberty State College in West Virginia where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in interdisciplinary studies focusing on speech language pathology and audiology. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association. Dr. Hall is a Certificate Holder - Audiology Preceptor. Her special interests include mentoring Audiology Doctoral students, diagnostic hearing evaluations, hearing aid fittings, follow up hearing aid care and vestibular testing. Dr. Hall is happily married and has a son and daughter who she calls her “pride and joy”. During her free time, she enjoys spending time doing local family friendly activities, camping and traveling.
Kelly Murphy, Au.D., CCC-A, F-AAA, CH-TM
Dr. Murphy received a Bachelors in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Florida, before going on to receive her Doctor of Audiology degree from the University of Arizona. She specializes in diagnostic evaluations and hearing amplification, aural rehabilitation, tinnitus treatment, and vestibular evaluations. Dr. Murphy strongly believes in patient-centered care. Her passion lies in properly educating and counseling each patient to tailor their treatment plan to their specific needs. She is Board Certified in Audiology, and is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. In addition, she holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology, and is a qualified interpreter of American Sign Language.
Kayla J. Peace, Au.D., F-AAA
Dr. Peace holds a Doctor of Audiology degree from Ball State University in Indiana. She received her Bachelor of Science dual degree in Deaf Education(P-12)/Middle Grade English (5-9) from Eastern Kentucky University. She completed her clinical residency serving the pediatric population at Children's E.N.T. Specialists in Knoxville, TN. Dr. Peace is licensed by the Florida Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (F-AAA). Dr. Peace's audiology interests include pediatric and adult comprehensive audiological evaluations, advanced amplification technology for pediatrics and adults (hearing aids), and electrophysiology. In her personal time, Dr. Peace enjoys going to church, going to Disney, being outdoors, golfing, having fun with her two Dalmatians (Millie and Rosko), and spending time with her family and friends.
Skye D. Quamina, Au.D., CCC-A, F-AAA
Dr. Quamina graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro before going on to earn her Doctorate in Audiology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Quamina completed her externship at Vitale ENT in Wesley Chapel, FL. She specializes in pediatric and adult comprehensive audiological evaluations, hearing aid selection and counseling, and community outreach. Dr. Quamina was a trainee in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This interdisciplinary leadership training program focuses on improving the health of infants, children, and adolescents with disabilities. Dr. Quamina is passionate about individualized and patient-centered care. Her career as a teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing led her to Audiology and a passion for helping those with hearing loss to communicate effectively. When she is not caring for patients, Dr. Quamina enjoys social dancing, playing sports, volunteering, and exploring new places with her husband.
Arielle Shashaty, Au.D., CCC-A, F-AAA
Dr. Shashaty graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Communications Science and Disorders before going on to earn her Doctorate in Audiology from Northeastern University. She completed her residency at Davis Family Hearing and internships at Boston VA Medical Center, Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary, and Harvard Vanguard. She specializes in comprehensive audiological evaluations, amplification, vestibular evaluation, electrophysiology, and patient education. Dr. Shashaty is board certified by the American Board of Audiology and is a member of the American Academy of Audiology and American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She is also the Clinical Director of Healthy Hearing for the Special Olympics. Dr. Shashaty speaks English and American Sign Language. When she is not caring for patients, Dr. Shashaty enjoys running, cooking, traveling and spending time with her two cats.
Caroline Sosa, AU.D., CCC-A
Dr. Sosa received a Bachelors of Science in Psychology from the University of Florida, before going on to receive her Doctor of Audiology degree from Nova Southeastern University. She completed her residency at the Silverstein Institute and internships at ENT Associates of South Florida, University of Miami and HearCare. She specializes in comprehensive audiological exams, vestibular testing, electrophysiology, hearing aid fittings and follow ups, tinnitus management and rehabilitative care. Dr. Sosa is certified by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association and licensed by the Florida Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. She also speaks both English and Spanish. Dr. Sosa is a Tampa native who enjoys exercising, spending time at the beach, cooking and playing with her dog.
Danielle M. Stephens, Au.D.
Dr. Stephens received her Bachelor of Science in Communication Science and Disorders from Florida State University with magna cum laude honors. She went on to earn her graduate degree at the University of South Florida as a Doctor of Audiology, with an externship at the Central Florida Speech and Hearing Center. Dr. Stephens specializes in pediatric diagnostics and treatment, and electrophysiology. In addition to helping patients, she enjoys spending time with family, visiting the zoo, the aquarium and Walt Disney World®. Dr. Stephens is looking forward to caring for residents of the Tampa Bay area.
Vjolka Zaka, AU.D., CCC-A, F-AAA
Dr. Zaka graduated Cum Laude from the University of Tampa with a Bachelor of Science, before going on to earn her Doctor of Audiology degree from Nova Southeastern University with honors. She completed her residency at South Florida ENT Associates and internships at Cleveland Clinic Florida, Bethesda Hospital East, St. Mary’s Hospital, North Broward Memorial Hospital and Pediatric ENT of the Palm Beaches. She specializes in vestibular evaluations and treatment, comprehensive audiological testing for geriatric and pediatric populations, aural rehab counseling, hearing aid prescription and follow-up care. Dr. Zaka is certified by the American Board of Audiology with a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology and is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. She also received the Chancellor’s Award for demonstrating characteristics of scholarship, leadership integrity, humanity and loyalty to the profession from NSU College of Health Care Sciences. Dr. Zaka speaks both English and Albanian. She enjoys gardening, traveling, spending time with her dog and participating in hearing care mission trips during her free time.
At Florida E.N.T. & Allergy, all of our professionals are Board Certified and experienced to provide you with the best healthcare related to your ear, nose, and throat issues. We want you to trust that you are getting the highest quality care each time you come to see us. If you experience ear, nose, or throat problems, you need an otolaryngologist who is experienced, understanding, and supportive.