Jose Acebal started working with Dr. Julio Torres and South Florida ENT Associates, P.A. in 2002. His medical career started in Cuba where he received his Medical Degree from the University of Santiago of Cuba in 1992. After moving to Florida, he enrolled at Florida International University and completed his Bachelors and Masters Degree in Nursing. He is also certified as Family Nurse Practitioner. He is professionally affiliated with the American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioner.
Hospital Affiliations: Palmetto General Hospital
In 1992 Maria Virginia Alvarez graduated with a degree in Speech Therapy from the IVAL institute in her native country Venezuela. As soon as she finished she started working providing Speech Therapy to small children as well as private lessons teaching English. It wasn’t long before she realized that Audiology was her passion. In 1993 she started working as an Audiologist with ENT’s doing diagnostic testing. She worked in private as well as public clinics. During that time she received a degree in Spanish/English translation in the Berlitz Institute. It was in 2003 she moved to the United States. In November of that same year she began doing observations and shadowing the Audiologists at Miami Hearing and Speech Center, Natalie Fernandez-Roque and Constance Cabeza. In 2004, Maria applied for the Audiology Assistant license in the State of Florida and began working performing audiologic testing and working with hearing aids. With constant trainings, seminars and day to day work, her passion and knowledge for Audiology increases every day. Today she is the practice manager of the Miami office ensuring a standard of excellence in patient care.
In 2009 Miami Hearing and Speech Center became HEARFLORIDA under new management and in 2012 she became licensed as a Hearing Aid Specialist. In 2013 HEARFLORIDA was sold again and became ALL AMERICAN HEARING. Maria Virginia resigned and went to pursue her other passion, she spent 3 months in L.A. getting her certification as a Bikram Hot Yoga Instructor, career she still practices today. In July of 2013 she started working with Dr. Jane O’Brien at UM until 2018 as a Hearing Aid Specialist and practice manager. In 2018 she started working at Care Center 2 at Mercy Hospital and became part of SOUTH FLORIDA ENT, doing diagnostic evaluations for the ENT’s, in Oct of 2020 she was moved to Care Center 6 and is working as a Hearing Aid Specialist.
James Bernath was born and raised in Ontario, Canada and has been a resident of south Florida since 1994.
James is a Nationally Board Certified Hearing Instruments Specialist who graduated from both Sheridan and Spokane Falls Community Colleges specializing in Hearing Instrument Sciences. James was exposed at an early age to the needs of the hearing impaired at his family’s Hearing Aid Practice. Both he and his sister went on to become second generation Hearing Instrument Practitioners who develop successful careers assisting the hearing impaired by focusing on patient care and advocacy.
Since 1999 James has been actively providing diagnostic services and dispensing hearing aids with Dr. Daniel Morse and later as member of South Florida ENT’s Allied Professionals in the Pembroke Pines location. . In addition to his 32 + years of experience, James is a Hearing Aid user himself. He is able to share his expertise as a professional, and as a Hearing Aid user. The two combined give James an added advantage over most.
James continues to demonstrate his expertise in fitting state of the art Digital Hearing Aids and Assistive Listening Devices. Continuing education allows him to stay current with the latest hearing aid technologies; which in turn is passed along to our valued patients.
In addition to serving as the past President of the Association of Hearing Instrument Practitioners of Ontario, James currently holds memberships with the following professional associations:
- Florida Society of Hearing Healthcare Professionals
- National Board for Certifications in Hearing Instrument Sciences
- International Hearing Society
Monica Brador is a board certified Physician Assistant who has been part of South Florida ENT Associates since 2013. Born and raised in Miami, Florida, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Florida International University. She completed her training at NOVA Southeastern University where she earned her Master’s degree in Medical Science. She is fluent in both English and Spanish. She is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, as well as the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants. Monica is committed to providing patients with the highest quality medical care and strives to give them personalized attention while focusing on wellness, prevention, and education.
Dr. Cabeza practiced Audiology at Miami Hearing and Speech Center for over 25 years. She graduated with a Master’s of Arts in Audiology from the University of Tennessee and received her doctorate degree from the University of Florida. She has been dispensing hearing aids since the law allowed audiologists to dispense hearing aids in the early 1980’s. This was a significant change for audiologists, which allowed them to have long term relationships with their patients.
Her expertise lies not only with fitting amplification, but evaluating and treating patients with tinnitus and hyperacusis. Through counseling and sometimes sound devices, patients are able to return to a normal life. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology, has a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is involved in the American Tinnitus Association.
Dr. Aina Calimano was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology from University of Puerto Rico. She continued on to obtain her Master’s degree in Public Health with a minor of Epidemiology from the Public Health School, University of Puerto Rico. In 2012 she completed her Doctoral degree in Audiology from University of Puerto Rico, Medical Science Campus, where she was awarded Magna Cum Laude. She moved to Florida in 2011 and worked as an intern at South Florida ENT Associates in Miami. Since then, she has been working as a clinical audiologist with South Florida ENT Associates, conducting hearing and balance assessments and dispensing hearing aids.
Dr. Calimano has been an author of multiple audiology and public health articles. She is fluent in both English and Spanish.
Sharon Cam is a board certified Physician Assistant who has been working in the field of ENT since 2012. She was born and raised in Southern California, moving to South Florida after graduating high school. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from Florida International University. She completed her training at Nova Southeastern University where she obtained her Masters of Medical Science. She is dedicated to her patients by providing them the best medical care available. She has also served as a clinical preceptor for Physician Assistant students from Nova Southeastern University and undergraduate students. She is fluent in both English and Spanish.
Karilin Campos is a board-certified Physician Assistant fluent in both Spanish and English. She was born in Caracas Venezuela and was raised in South Florida. She received her Bachelors degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of South Florida. Karilin then obtained her Masters in Medical Science from Nova Southeastern University. She is committed to providing exceptional care to her patients while keeping up to date with the latest innovations in medicine.
Dr. Daniela Cardona, Au.D, graduated Summa Cum Laude from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education. She completed her doctoral degree in Audiology at Nova Southeastern University, graduating with honors in April 2020.
During her clinical rotations, Dr. Cardona completed extensive training in the pediatric population (newborns to 18-year-olds), as well as adult and geriatric populations. She holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) from the American Speech-Language- Hearing Association.
As a member of the South Florida ENT Associates group for over a decade, she has grown with the team, starting as an administrative assistant in 2008, continuing to an audiology assistant, and even serving in the team responsible for implementing the audiology department as part of the ENT practice.
Dr. Cardona performs electrophysiology, vestibular evaluations (balance/vertigo), hearing, tinnitus, and pediatric evaluations, as well as services hearing aids and cochlear implants.
Melissa Grassia-Chisholm is a Speech- Language Pathologist specializing in voice and swallowing disorders. She studied vocal performance at Berklee College of music in Boston, MA and later received her bachelor’s degree at Adelphi University in Garden City, NY. Music has always been her passion and sings locally today. She continued to pursue the medical side of voice management and received her Master’s Degree at Nova Southeastern University in Ft Lauderdale, FL.
Melissa feels blessed to have served the South Florida community for the past 10 years providing voice therapy to singers and individuals with voice disorders. During her professional career she has practiced in multiple settings including hospitals, acute rehab, nursing homes, outpatient, and has taught multiple voice courses at multiple Universities. She enjoys giving back to the community and has been seen at a variety of venues providing education workshops to families, caregivers, and people living with Parkinson’s disease.
Melissa is ASHA certified and performs specialized diagnostic assessments including Videostroboscopy, Laryngeal Function Studies, and Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallow (FEES). She is a provider of the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) for Parkinson’s disease.
Melissa is committed to providing the most current evidence-based practice for the highest quality of care for her patients. She believes that “Every voice deserves to be heard’.
With 30 years experience in the field Ana T. Dausa received her Doctorate in Audiology from the University of Florida in 2000. She completed her undergraduate coursework and received her Master’s degree from Florida State University in 1985.
Dr. Dausa was at the University of Miami Department of Pediatrics for a period of 16 years as an adjunct assistant professor in Audiology. Another of her impressive involvement is that she took on the Infant Hearing Impairment Program at Jackson Memorial Hospital as the coordinator giving her a vast experience working with infants and minors.
She was a Distributor and established Widex Dominicana and Widex Panama in 2003 , under the Auspice of Widex Denmark, which are still operating under new management.
Dr. Dausa many years of experience gave her the necessary tools to be able to give back to the community co-funding and presiding Nu- Balance Audiology & Vestibular Rehabilitation Center from 2008 to 2011.
Dr. Dausa special area of expertise includes; Diagnostic and Rehabilitative Audiology for adult and pediatric patients, Vestibular/ Balance Assessment and Rehabilitation , Selection and Fitting of Hearing Aids, including infants and pediatric.
Dr. Dausa goal for South Florida ENT Associates , is to build and grow the practice accurately identifying and managing Vestibular patients.
Dr. Danielle de la Fuente, Au.D. earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Central Florida in 2016. She then went on to obtain her Doctorate of Audiology degree from Louisiana Tech University in 2021. As part of her training, Dr. de la Fuente has practiced in a variety of different clinical settings including VA Hospitals, private practices, ENT practices, and schools. Dr. de la Fuente completed her 4th year externship with South Florida ENT Associates in the Mercy Hospital office. There, she obtained a well-rounded clinical experience in Audiology. She gained a surplus of experience in the areas of vestibular (balance), electrophysiological, tinnitus assessment and treatment, implant evaluations and mappings, hearing aid programming and dispensing, and diagnostic testing in pediatric, adult, and geriatric patient populations. Dr. de la Fuente is a licensed Audiologist in the state of Florida and holds her Certificate of Clinical Competency in Audiology (CCC-A).
In her spare time, Dr. de la Fuente enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her dog. She also has a passion for spending time outdoors, diving and fishing. Dr. de la Fuente is eager to apply her knowledge and training in the areas of Audiology and Communication Sciences and Disorders to help patients maximize their communication abilities.
Dr. Dedos graduated from the University of Puerto Rico Sciences Medical Campus in 2014 with a Doctorate degree of Audiology. She was born and raised in Ponce, Puerto Rico. She has been employed by South Florida ENT since 2013 and is conducting basic audiological evaluations for adults and children, evaluations of the vestibular system, and auditory brainstem response studies. She also provides amplification and other assistive listening devices for the hearing impaired. Dr. Dedos is licensed to practice Audiology in the State of Florida. She is fluent in English and Spanish.
Monica Escobedo is a board certified Physician Assistant who joined South Florida ENT Associates in January 2016. Born and raised in Santa Clara, Cuba, she immigrated to the United States with her family at the age of thirteen. Since then, she has called Miami her home. Monica attended Florida International University where she received her Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Chemistry. She then went on to complete her training at Barry University, where she earned her Master of Clinical Medical Science. She is an active member of the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants as well as the American Academy of Physician Assistants. Monica is fluent in both English and Spanish.
Dr. Melissa Gonzalez Sirven graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Biological Science. In 2017, she graduated with highest honors from Nova Southeastern University where she earned her doctorate in audiology. She completed her residency at South Florida ENT Associates and joined the practice following graduation. She performs diagnostic electrophysiologic, audiometric, and vestibular evaluations for pediatric and adult patients, as well as evaluations for and programming of implantable devices and hearing aids. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. Dr. Gonzalez Sirven is fluent in both English and Spanish.
Erica Hope is a Speech Language Pathologist who specializes in aural rehabilitation in addition to treating voice and swallowing disorders. Erica completed both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Florida State University, relocating back to South Florida to do a clinical rotation with Cleveland Clinic Florida before beginning her career. Erica has a passion for working with those who have cochlear implants and hearing aids to assist them in achieving the best possible outcomes for speech and listening. This is backed by years of experience through Florida State University’s Hearing Impaired Clinic, where Erica received training and guidance from a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist.
Erica is committed to providing an all-encompassing and patient-centered approach to aural rehabilitation which includes improving auditory skills and cognition, the use of assistive listening devices, and personalized at-home auditory practice.
Dr. Irizarry is a licensed audiologist in the state of Florida and a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a major in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Puerto Rico in Aguadilla and a Doctorate degree in Audiology from the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus (Suma Cum Laude).
As part of her training, Dr. Irizarry practiced in different clinical settings, such as hospitals, ENT practices, and audiology private practices. During her residency in Labyrinth Audiology, Boca Raton, Florida, she was trained to evaluate and treat sounds disorders such as tinnitus and hyperacusis. As a doctoral student, Dr. Irizarry was distinguished for her leadership, advocacy, and empathetic character. She was elected as Member at Large for the Student Academy of Audiology Board of Directors, where she served as the Humanitarian Committee chair for two terms. Additionally, she was one of two audiology students selected nationwide to complete an internship in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 2018. Upon her graduation, she was recognized with the “Leadership Award” for her notorious efforts in the profession and the community. Dr. Irizarry has a strong interest in balance system, research, tinnitus, and hearing conservation.
At SFENTA, Dr. Irizarry performs vestibular evaluations, electrophysiology testing (ABRs, ECochGs), comprehensive audiologic evaluations, hearing aid fitting and dispensing, and tinnitus sound therapy.
Dr Brenda Lasky has been a practicing Audiologist for over 25 years. Her past professional experiences include clinical positions in hospital and private practice settings. She has also been Adjunct Professor in the Department of Communication Disorders at SUNY Buffalo, Director of the Department of Audiology at the Buffalo Hearing and Speech Center, and the Florida Regional trainer for a large hearing aid manufacturer, where she trained fellow professionals on new hearing aid technology. Dr. Lasky is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology, a member of the American Speech Language Hearing Association, and holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC-A) in Audiology. She received her Bachelor’s degree from The University of Buffalo, Master’s degree in Audiology from Hunter College and Doctor of Audiology degree from Salus University. As an audiologist in Miami, she is available to help you with any audiology issues you may be experiencing.
Dr. Sari Levine graduated Cum Laude from the University of Florida in 2009; receiving dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Linguistics. In 2012, Dr. Levine earned her Doctorate in Audiology from the prestigious, Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. She was a recipient of the Academic Excellence Hugh Knowles Scholarship from 2009-2012. While at Northwestern, she conducted her capstone doctoral research on the hearing in noise abilities of normal hearing listeners with combat experience. With her educational background and prior research, Dr. Levine is very interested in the connection between the brain (cognition) and hearing. She strives to educate each and every patient on the relationship between hearing loss and brain function.
Dr. Levine’s vast clinical experience includes ENT practices, hospitals, Veterans Administration health system, and non-profit organizations. Additionally, she has provided guidance as a clinical supervisor to graduate students and audiology assistants in training.
Dr. Levine’s areas of expertise include diagnostic and rehabilitative audiology for adult and pediatric populations, selection and fitting of amplification and assistive listening devices (including Bluetooth capable devices) and vestibular assessment and treatment. Dr. Levine prides herself on keeping up with cutting edge hearing technology to enhance the lives of her patients. Dr. Levine holds a Clinical Certificate of Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) from the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA), and she is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology.
Dr. Levine actively volunteers with Jewish Community Services (JCS), and previously served a 3 year commitment as JCS Alliance Co-Chair of the JCS Alliance board. In her free time, Dr. Levine enjoys traveling with her family, cooking, and attending exercise classes. Dr. Levine sees patients in Dr. Jadrien Young’s Aventura office.
Dr. Caryn Lockspeiser earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees from Queens College of the City University of New York. She worked in a hospital setting for 15 years in the New York area prior to moving to Miami, FL. Academically, she taught an undergraduate course at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, NY. She has been working as a clinical audiologist with South Florida ENT Associates since 2003, conducting hearing and balance assessments and fitting hearing aids. She completed her Doctor of Audiology degree in 2009 from Salus University (a.k.a. Pennsylvania College of Optometry School of Audiology). Dr. Lockspeiser is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology, and holds an active Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) from the American Speech Language Hearing Association. She is also the proud recipient of the 1998 Oticon Focus on People Award, awarded for helping to improve the lives of hearing impaired people. In addition to being a wife and busy mother of 3, she is an active member of her local Jewish community.
Dr. Viviana Martinez, Board Certified in Audiology, received her Doctorate in Audiology with Honors from Nova Southeastern University and completed her externship with Cleveland Clinic Florida. She is licensed to practice in the State of Florida. She joined our practice right after graduation. Dr. Martinez performs hearing and balance evaluations (VNGs), cochlear implant evaluations and programming, hearing aid dispensing/programming and electrophysiological assessment.
Dr. Martinez also obtained her Bachelors in Biology and Chemistry from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Martinez has a true passion in the hearing and balance health care field. She believes in providing her patients with the upmost care. She enjoys helping people overcome the obstacle of hearing loss to improve the quality of their lives. Doctor Martinez is originally from Colombia and is fluent in both English and Spanish.
Yanelys Medina is a family nurse practitioner, board certified by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, specializing in Otolaryngology. She graduaated from Kaplan University in 2016. Her professional career started in Cuba in 1999 when she received her Bachellor degree in medicine from the Higher Institute of Medical Sciences of Havana, Cuba. She moved to Miami in 2005 and graduated as a Registered Nurse in Miami in 2008 where she spent 10 years working as an allergy nurse in SFENTA. She is fluent in both English and Spanish. Yanelys is committed to providing compassionate and exceptional care to patients.
Dr. Adam Norris worked for 12 years at the University of Miami Ear Institute. He began as a diagnostic audiologist working with various age groups (ages 9 months to over 90). He initially specialized in hearing aids moving toward cochlear implants over the past 9 years. This includes determining candidacy, programming the device, and most importantly counseling the patient and family. His philosophy is to approach each case individually as every person has different needs and expectations, therefore all aspects should be considered. He has also participated and taken the lead position teaching children at the annual Children’s Brain Fair presented at the Miami Science Museum. Dr. Norris came to Miami at the age of 12 and has lived in various areas of the state, Key West, Daytona, and Tampa. He has also lived abroad in South Korea for 2 years teaching English as a second language.
Undergraduate degree received from University of South Florida.
Masters degree recieved from Lamar University
Doctorate of Audiology recieved from University of Florida
Carmen Cecilia Orta, Au.D earned her speech pathologist degree in Caracas, Venezuela in July 1989, Cum Laude. Since graduation she specialized in the audiology field. In 1997, she obtained her hearing aid dispenser license in Florida. She owned a hearing aid practice for four years in Kissimmee, Fla. In April, 2010 Dr. Orta graduated with honors, obtaining her degree of Doctor of Audiology from Nova Southeastern University.
Dr. Orta holds professional memberships with FLAA and AAA. She joined our practice right after graduation. Dr. Orta performs hearing and balance evaluations, tinnitus assessment and treatment, cochlear implant evaluations and programming and hearing aid dispensing.
Dr. Yadira I. Pagan is a licensed Audiologist. She received her Doctorate degree in Audiology with honors from the University of Puerto Rico. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, also with honors, from the University of Puerto Rico. During her years of study she has shown dedication, empathy and a desire to keep learning every day to help people with hearing and vestibular problems. She has special interests in Vestibular Testing and Amplification Systems. She did her externship at South Florida ENT Associates. Her priorities are the patient care and patient satisfaction while performing hearing tests for adults and children, vestibular assessments, and fitting hearing aids. Dr. Pagan is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and is fluent in Spanish and English.
Angeli Patel received her advanced practice registered nursing degree at the University of Miami. Angeli is credentialed by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She became interested in Otolaryngology during her clinicals where she learned about all the variability within the speciality. She could see something as simple as a cerumen impaction, followed by a patient with nasopharyngeal cancer. In her free time, Angeli enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.
A resident of South Florida, Christy joined South Florida ENT as an Audiology Assistant in 2012. Her experiences working with the hearing impaired compelled her to complete her training as a Licensed Hearing Aid Specialist in order to better serve her patients. In addition to being licensed in the state of Florida, Christy holds membership with the following associations:
- Florida Society of Hearing Healthcare Professionals
- International Hearing Society
Providing compassionate care with integrity is the goal which drives Christy to provide the best service to her patients. Listening with sincerity, product knowledge, and a gentle manner are her keys to guide the patient through the process resulting a successful hearing aid fitting.
Ongoing continuing education allows Christy the ability to best meet the needs of her patients by keeping her updated on the latest hearing aid technologies and accessories. Quality compassionate care to the hearing impaired and the commitment to providing the best possible patient care is her intent.
Christy moved to South Florida in 2005 from Dallas, Texas. She is married to her best friend Darrin, proud mom of son Daniel and has two dogs named Tater and Skrappy. In her free time Christy enjoys the wonderful life that south Florida has to offer. She and her husband Darrin are active divers who explore many of the fine reefs in our area.
Raul Plasencia is a board certified Hearing Instruments Specialist with 20 + years of experience. He has joined Dr. Shapiro & Dr. Joorabchi’s practice & Clear Tone Hearing Center to provide diagnostic services, hearing & ear protection and dispense hearing aids.
Raul Plasencia was born in Havana, Cuba where he received his Doctor Degree in Medicine from School of Medicine in Havana in 1982. Raul’s experience in the ear & hearing field include the achievement of the Ear-Nose and Throat Specialist Degree in 1986.
Raul worked as an ENT Physician and surgeon until he moved to Miami in 1994. Raul does not practice Medicine in the United States, but in 1998 he became a Licensed Hearing Healthcare Specialist and was Board Certified by the National Board Certification in Hearing Instrument Science the same year.
Raul has been practicing successfully as a Hearing HealthCare Professional, he works closely with the physicians to ensure patient satisfaction. Having worked in the industry and his shared experience as a hearing aid user with patients, makes Raul a very unique professional who works daily to give the best care to his patients and improve the quality of their life. To Raul, it is an honor to help patients to continue enjoying the beautiful sounds of life.
In addition to be a bilingual hearing professional, Raul Plasencia holds memberships with the following professional associations:
. Florida Society of Hearing Health Professionals
. National Board for Certifications in Hearing Instruments Sciences
. International Hearing Society
Giselle Quan Vie is a board certified Physician Assistant that has been working with Dr. Scott Goldberg at South Florida ENT since 2021. Born and raised in Miami, Florida, she completed her Bachelors of Health Science Degree at the University of Miami and then proceeded to go to Gainesville, Florida to complete her Masters of Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Florida. Giselle is committed to give her patients the best quality medical care that they deserve and strives to educate them about their health and overall well-being. She has been a Physician Assistant for over 8 years with experience in the adult and pediatric population.
Janine Ramirez is a Hearing Aid Specialist, working with Dr. Clifford Foster, Dr. Paul Foster and Dr. Jorge Helo in their Aventura and Miami Beach offices. Having recently joined our practice this year she is originally from New Jersey. She moved to South Florida where she pursued her career in helping the hearing impaired. She attended Keiser College for nursing. She later discovered her true love of helping the hearing impaired community. She is a member of the Florida Society of Hearing Healthcare professionals Inc.
Janine has been in the hearing healthcare field for over 22 years. She works closely with the doctors to ensure patient satisfaction. Having worked in the industry Janine is confident in her ability to improve the quality of life for her patients. In addition she is devoted in providing the best patient care possible.
Karen Riepe, MSN, APRN, FNP-C is a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and licensed to practice in the state of Florida. Karen graduated summa cum laude from Florida Atlantic University with a Bachelor’s degree in nursing. Karen was driven to continue to provide quality medical care to the community. While practicing in the field of emergency nursing for 15 years, Karen obtained her Masters of Science degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner from Florida Atlantic University.
Karen was born Philadelphia, PA and raised in Port Saint Lucie, FL. She has provided excellent quality nursing care since in the emergency and/or trauma setting since 2004 achieving the DAISY award for her extraordinary compassionate care she provided to her patients and their families every day.
Karen joined Dr. Mark Agrama and South Florida ENT Associates in August of 2019. With an extensive history in emergency medicine, Karen now specializes in treatment of ears, nose, throat and related structures of the head and neck. Karen also is specially trained, through internship with Dr. Mark Agrama, in the diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. Karen provides quality health care services to patients both in the office and hospital setting.
She is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, the national nurse’s honor society Sigma Theta Tau Iota Xi, and was given the Leadership Excellence Award, from FAU Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. Karen is committed to providing excellence in all aspects of care, training and treatment in the field of Otolaryngology.
Mr. Johan Garcia Rodriguez is a board certified family nurse practitioner ( FNP) specializing in Otolaryngology and aesthetic procedures. He provides independent medical treatment of ear, nose and throat conditions as well as collaborative care with a wide variety of specialists in areas like neurotology and pediatrics. Mr. Garcia Rodriguez values educating patients about their diagnosis in an effort to improve understanding and promote better outcome.
He obtained his Bachelor and Master degrees at Florida International University where he was inducted in the prestigious honor society Phi Kappa Phi and graduated Magna Cum Laude. While pursuing his graduate education, he complete an internship in Acute Care at Jackson Memorial Hospital and worked in the emergency department. After graduating in 2015, he moved to central Florida to join the Otorhinolaryngology and Aesthetics Department of Watson clinic. During this time, he participated in numerous courses and training to improve his abilities in aesthetic procedures ( laser, fillers, and neuromodulators).
Mr. Garcia Rodriguez’s passion for medicine started at a young age motivating him to pursue a degree in this field. He graduated as a General Practitioner in 2002 from the Higher Institute of Medical Sciences of Havana, Cuba. In 2003, he obtained his degree in Family Medicine and practiced for many years in his native country and Venezuela.
Johan also contribute to the formation of the new generation of FNP. He served as clinical preceptor for Southeastern College and Miami Regional University. Currently , he works as an Adjunct Associated Professor and Clinical Faculty at Florida National University’s Family Nurse Practitioner Program.
Professional Affiliations: Society of Otorhinolaryngology and Head- Neck Nurses American Association of Nurse practitioners, American Nurses Association, and National League for Nursing. Member of the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy Association.
Hospital Affiliations: Hialeah Hospital.
Johan Sanchez is a Board Certified Physician Assistant who has been part of South Florida ENT Associates since 2019. Johan is a United States Navy Veteran where he proudly served until 2012. After he received an Honorable Discharge from the military, Johan attended Barry University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and received his Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Exercise Physiology. He completed his training at Methodist University in North Carolina where he earned his Master’s degree in Medical Science. He is an active member of the Society of Physician Assistants in Otorhinolaryngology / Head & Neck Surgery as well as the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants. Johan is committed to providing patients with the highest quality medical care and compassionate attention. He is fluent in both English and Spanish.
Dr. Santana Avazian received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Language Pathology from University of Mogi das Cruzes in Brazil. Subsequently, she received her Master’s degree in Audiology from Santa Casa Hospital in 2000, and went on to perform as an audiologist and researcher for 12 years in South America. A member of the Cranium and Oral-Maxillofacial team at University of Sao Paulo Brazil, she worked in audiological assessment and hearing research with cleft palate and Microtia patients. Dr. Santana Avazian relocated to Florida in 2012 and earned her Doctorate Degree in Audiology from Salus University Philadelphia in 2017. In addition, se has a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech Hearing Association (ASHA) and is licensed to practice in the state of Florida.
Dr. Santana Avazian earned a Cochlear Implant Advanced Audiology certification from the Institute for Cochlear Implant Training ICIT at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. She was also, an Audiologist Cochlear Implant fellow at Aured and National Hospital Medical Research Center in Mumbai – India. Dr. Santana Avazian has expertise with hearing diagnostic pediatric and adults, electrophysiological hearing evaluation, Cochlear Implants evaluation, programming, Vestibular assessment and Vestibular rehabilitation. Dr. Santana Avazian also has extensive knowledge and training fitting hearing aids for patients with most challenging conditions and fitting advanced levels of hearing technology from reputable hearing aids brands.
She’s fitted patients from several countries and is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French. Dr. Santana Avazian provides supportive communication to guide patients through to the best hearing device choice during the hearing aid fitting process and strives to ensure individuals leave with the optimum hearing experience.
A native to South Florida, Dr. Shapiro received a Masters of Science degree in 1988 from the University of South Florida in Tampa. She completed her fellowship in the Veteran’s Administration hospital in St. Petersburg and Tampa, Florida. In 2003, Dr. Shapiro completed her doctoral degree with honors from A.T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona. Dr. Shapiro specializes in hearing and balance disorders as well as the fitting of amplification for all ages. She has been affiliated with South Florida ENT Associates, P.A. since its inception. Dr. Shapiro is a certified Miami Audiologist who is a member of the American Speach and Hearing Associateion (ASHA), Florida Academy of Audiology, Florida Association of Speach-Language Pathologists and Auidiologists and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology.
Billie Silver is a licensed Audiologist with a Master of Science in Audiology from Boston University. She completed a fellowship year at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston and a second year in Miami. Billie opened the Framingham Hearing Center in 1984 where she specialized in hearing aid fitting. In 2007 she moved to Florida and now works with Dr. Kendall Hanft in Fort Lauderdale.
Billie is committed to improving her patients’ lives utilizing the latest hearing aid technology. Her extensive experience allows her to provide the highest quality audiology service and products so that her patients achieve the best possible hearing and communication skills.
Karol Toranzos Montenegro is a board-certified Physician Assistant who joined South Florida ENT Associates in April 2021. Born and raised in Cochabamba, Bolivia, she immigrated to the United States after graduating high school in 2006 and has called Miami her home ever since. Karol received her bachelor’s degrees in Health Science from the University of Miami and subsequently earned her master’s degree in Clinical Medical Science from Barry University. After completing her training as a physician assistant, Karol had the opportunity to acquire extensive experience in pulmonary medicine as well as burn and reconstructive surgery.
Karol is an active member of the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants and the American Academy of Physician Assistants. She is fluent in both English and Spanish.
Ivomny Valdes, MMS, PA-C joined South Florida ENT Associates in December 2015 with more than ten years of medical experience. Mrs. Valdes is board certified by the National Commission of Certification for Physician Assistants. She accomplished the Physician Assistant Program and received her Bachelor of Applied Science Physician Assistant degree from Miami Dade College. Mrs. Valdes also earned her Master’s degree in Medical Science from Saint Francis University, Pennsylvania. She is affiliated with Mercy Hospital.
Leda Valenciano, AuD., earned her Bachelors in Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders in May 1992, Cum Laude, and her Masters in Sciences in May 1994 from the University of South Florida. She has been working as a clinical audiologist for South Florida ENT Associates since 1995.
Presently, she is the head of the Audiology Department for Care Center 1. Her responsibilities include direct supervision of audiology staff, conducting hearing and balance assessments, as well as hearing aid dispensing and cochlear implantation evaluations and programming. She completed her Doctor of Audiology degree in 2009 from Salus University, previously known as Pennsylvania College of Optometry School of Audiology. Dr. Valenciano holds professional memberships with the American Academy of Audiology and the American Speech and Language Association.
Celia M. Velez earned her Doctorate of Clinical Audiology (Au.D.) in 2011 from University of Puerto Rico at the Medical Science Campus and graduated Magna Cum Laude. Celia received her Bachelor Degree in Education, Elementary School in June 2006, Magna Cum Laude, at the University of Puerto Rico, Aguadilla Campus. Worked for a private practice of an ENT in PR and from February 2012 to present she has been working as a clinical audiologist for South Florida ENT Associates.
Dr. Velez enjoys testing and treating patients with all types of hearing impairments and balance with special interests in evaluation and programming BAHA and hearing aid devices.