Team

Cochlear Implant Coordinators

Sarah Narofsky, Cochlear Implant Program Coordinator
Sarah joined Rady Children’s in August 2017 as the cochlear implant program coordinator and educational liaison. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in early childhood education and special education in 2008 from Northern Illinois University. She worked as a teacher for nine years before joining the audiology team.

Keri Colio, Au.D., CCC-A, FAAA, Cochlear Implant Clinical Coordinator
Keri received her doctorate in audiology from East Tennessee State University in 2013 following completion of a four-year residency program. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in audiology from the University of Tennessee. Keri maintains an audiologist license from the state of California, is certified by the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. She provides services and support to hearing aid, cochlear implant and bone-conduction device patients. Keri joined Rady Children’s in 2013 and works at our Main Campus location.

 

Cochlear Implant Surgeons

Daniela Carvalho, M.D., F.A.A.P., M.M.M.,Director, Rady Children’s Hearing Program, Pediatric Otolaryngologist and Cochlear Implant Surgeon; Professor, Department of Surgery, UC San Diego
Dr. Carvalho has been a pediatric otolaryngologist at Rady Children’s Hospital since 2003 and is a professor in the Department of Surgery at UC San Diego. She is the director of the Rady Children’s Hearing Program the medical director of Surgical Services at Rady Children’s, where more than 20,000 procedures are done each year. Working with the Cochlear Implant (CI) team, she has helped grow our CI Program and is committed to bringing the best outcomes for each child with a robust and family- centered program. She cares for more than 400 cochlear implant patients and was the first surgeon in San Diego to perform a pediatric BAHA surgery. She continues to bring innovative procedures to the Hospital, such as endoscopic ear surgery, a minimally invasive procedure that improves the surgical results and expedites the recovery of children with various ear problems. She speaks five languages (including Portuguese, Spanish, German and French) and is often invited as a guest speaker at international conferences. Dr. Carvalho is also an active clinical researcher with several publications and presentations at national and international meetings. She is a member of multiple otolaryngology societies, including international ones, and is one of the few Chapter Champions in California representing Early Hearing and Infant Screening with the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is also active in improving California state laws regarding pediatric hearing loss.

Elina Kari, M.D., Neurotologist/Otologist
Dr. Kari is a leading otology, neurotology and skull base surgeon, with a focus on pediatric hearing loss treatment and research. After completing her undergraduate education at UC Berkeley, she spent several months researching malaria in the Peruvian Amazon. Her deep commitment to service and education led her to a career as a physician. After completing medical school at the University of Michigan, Dr. Kari’s passion for problem-solving and anatomy further led her to become an otolaryngology-head and neck surgeon. She completed residency training in surgery at Emory University, followed by a neurotology fellowship at the world-renowned House Ear Institute. Prior to coming to UC San Diego, she was the principal surgeon of the pediatric cochlear implant program at Keck University of Southern California and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, one of the busiest centers in the country for pediatric hearing loss. She was also the lead neurotologist at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and performed several complex neurotologic surgeries on children as young as 7 months old.  Dr. Kari is particularly interested in hearing disorders, hearing restoration surgery, pediatric hearing loss, development of novel neuroimaging of auditory pathways and clinical outcomes research. She is widely published, has presented her research at several national and international conferences, and has been an invited speaker around the world. Dr. Kari holds passports from the U.S., Brazil and Finland, and speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese fluently.

 

Clinical Psychologist

Meet Our Team - ImageAyala Ben-Tall, Ph.D.
Ayala is a clinical psychologist specializing in evaluation of development and behavior in children. She has been with the Developmental Services Department, including the Cochlear Implant team, since 2000. Ayala received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She completed a pre-doctoral child psychology internship at Kennedy Krieger Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a child psychology post-doctoral fellowship at Bradley Hospital through Brown University School of Medicine. She is a licensed psychologist in the state of California.

Juanita Vaquero, Ph.D.
Juanita has been a licensed psychologist since 2016 and has worked at Rady Children’s Hospital since 2016. She specializes in developmental assessments of infants and young children with a wide range of developmental and behavioral concerns, including autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, trauma symptoms and emotional/behavioral regulation concerns. Juanita received her doctorate degree in school psychology from Texas A&M University in 2014 and received training in conducting psychological and psychoeducation evaluations for school-age children, adolescents and college students. She completed her predoctoral and postdoctoral training at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, specializing in infant and early childhood mental health and trauma-informed care. Juanita’s Spanish-English bilingual skills and training in bilingual assessment enables her to serve our diverse Spanish-speaking and bilingual population.

 

Cochlear Implant Audiologists

kristen-audiology-teamKristen Baisley, Au.D.
Kristen received her doctorate in audiology from Indiana University, where she also completed a Bachelor of Music in trumpet performance. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. Kristen is part of the Cochlear Implant and Hearing Aid Managements teams. She works primarily at the Main Campus location.

Megan Butcher, Au.D.
Megan received her doctorate in audiology from James Madison University, where she also completed a Bachelor of Science in communication sciences and disorders. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. Megan is part of the Cochlear Implant team, and works at our new Murrieta location.

Keri Colio, Au.D., CCC-A, FAAA, Cochlear Implant Clinical Coordinator
Keri received her doctorate in audiology from East Tennessee State University in 2013 following completion of a four-year residency program. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in audiology from the University of Tennessee. Keri maintains an audiologist license from the state of California, is certified by the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. She provides services and support to hearing aid, cochlear implant and bone-conduction device patients. Keri joined Rady Children’s in 2013 and works at our Main Campus location.

Hu-AudiologyMichelle Hu, Au.D., CCC-A
Michelle joined the Diagnostic Audiology team in 2009 following completion of her doctorate of audiology from the Northeast Ohio Audiology Consortium at the University of Akron. She graduated from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland with Bachelor of Arts in sociology and chemistry in 2005. Michelle is part of the Cochlear Implant and Hearing Aid Management teams. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and holds a certificate of clinical competency from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Michelle grew up with a progressive hearing loss and has worn hearing aids since the age of 3. She now has bilateral cochlear implants.

Erin M. Levy, Au.D., CCC-A
Erin has been an audiologist since 2002 and has a passion for working with children and implantable devices. She received her doctorate in audiology in 2006 from the University of Florida, her Master of Science in audiology from Washington University (Central Institute for the Deaf) in St. Louis in 2002, and her Bachelor of Science in 2000 from St. Louis University. She holds a certificate of clinical competency from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology, and is licensed by the state of California for audiology and hearing instrument dispensing. She is also a member of AG Bell Assocation and the American Cochlear Implant Alliance. She works at our both the Oceanside and Main Campus locations.

 

Cochlear Implant Speech Pathologists

Team - ImageCatherine Dabasinskas, M.A., CCC-SLP
Catherine has been a speech-language pathologist and has worked at Rady Children’s since 2001. She specializes in working with children with hearing loss, cochlear implants, articulation difficulties, multiple disabilities, autism and dyspraxia. Catherine uses American Sign Language and augmentative/alternative communication with children to enhance their communication skills. She received her master’s degree in speech, language, and hearing sciences from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Catherine is licensed by the state of California, holds a certificate of clinical competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and is a current member of ASHA.

Team - ImageChristiana David, M.A., CCC-SLP
Christiana joined Rady Children’s in 2011 as a speech-language pathologist. She has special interests in aural (re)habilitation, autism, augmentative/alternative communication, acquired/traumatic brain injury, childhood apraxia of speech, cognitive rehabilitation, early-childhood language, and feeding disorders. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in speech, language and hearing sciences from San Diego State University in 2009 and 2011. She is licensed by the state of California, holds a certificate of clinical competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and is a current member of ASHA. Christiana is trained in PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) and is conversationally fluent in American Sign Language. She is a member of the Cochlear Implant, Inpatient Rehabilitation, and Feeding teams. She provides speech and language therapy at our Main Campus and the Helen Bernardy Center for Medically Fragile Children.

Christina Dorchinsky, M.S., CCC-SLP
Christina has been working as a speech-language pathologist since 2014 and has worked for Rady Children’s since 2017. Christina is trained in visual phonics and PECS (picture exchange communication system). She attended Southern Connecticut State University and received her bachelor’s degrees in communication disorders, elementary education/special education collaborative and Spanish, along with her master’s degree in communication disorders with a concentration in speech-language pathology. Prior to working at Rady Children’s, Christina worked at Children’s Hospital Colorado. She also has experience working with children in schools and private practice. Her special interests include bilingual language development in Spanish and ASL, aural rehabilitation, early intervention, articulation/phonology and literacy. She is licensed by the state of California, holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and is a current member of the ASHA. She is also a licensed teacher in Elementary Education (K-6) and Special Education (K-12)

Team - ImageValerie Dorfman, M.S., CCC-SLP
Valerie joined Rady Children’s in 2008 and has been a speech-language pathologist since 2005. Originally from Peru, Valerie is a native Spanish speaker who specializes in working with bilingual/bicultural populations. She has experience working with children with a variety of communication impairments, including those with speech and language delays, hearing loss, cochlear implants, cleft lip and palate, autism spectrum disorders, apraxia of speech, traumatic brain injuries, and Down syndrome. Valerie received her master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Boston University. She is licensed by the state of California, holds a certificate of clinical competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and is a current member of ASHA.

Yvette Fraire, M.S., CCC-SLP
Yvette has been a speech-language pathologist since 2009. She has worked at Rady Children’s Hospital since July 2014 and previously worked in home health, school and clinical settings to provide early intervention in Dallas. Yvette is a bilingual therapist (Spanish) and uses her multilingual expertise to provide treatment to children with a variety of diagnoses, including children with cochlear implants/ hearing loss, childhood apraxia of speech, autism spectrum disorders, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, language disorders, articulation disorders and traumatic brain injury. Yvette is PROMPT-trained at the Bridging Level. She has experience integrating Social Thinking principals into her treatment. Yvette received her master’s degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Texas at Dallas. She is licensed by the State of California, holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and is a current member of ASHA.

Therese Kanda, M.S., CCC-SLP
Therese has been a speech-language pathologist since 2013 and has worked at Rady Children’s since that time, graduating from Northwestern University and obtaining licensure. She has special expertise in the area of cochlear implants and hearing loss and is working toward the Listening and Spoken Language Specialist certification. She has additional training and expertise in the areas of cleft palate and autism spectrum disorders and provides therapy in both English and Spanish. Therese is a current member of the American Speech-Language- Hearing Association. Her goals are to help each child, no matter the special need, to better communicate and to empower parents to engage and teach their children. Therese serves as the cochlear implant facilitator for the Speech team.

Melissa Sartori, M.S., CCC-SLP
Melissa has been a speech-language pathologist since 2009 and has worked at Rady Children’s since 2011. Her special interests include early intervention, childhood speech and language development, articulation/phonology, social skills, augmentative-alternative communication and autism spectrum disorders. She is a member of the Rady Children’s Feeding Team and also facilitates the Mommy, Daddy & Me (Spanish) and Gateways language programs. Melissa received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in speech-language pathology from University of the Pacific. She has previously worked in schools, outpatient clinics and hospital settings. She is licensed by the state of California, holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and is a current member of the ASHA and the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Andrea Vargas, M.S., CCC-SLP
Andrea is originally from Costa Rica and received master’s degrees in early intervention in deaf education in 2010 and in speech-language pathology in 2014 from Fontbonne University in St. Louis. Prior to beginning working at Rady Children’s in 2018, she worked in as a speech-language pathologist at Mama Lere Hearing School and participated in bilingual language intervention research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Currently, she is providing services to bilingual-multicultural children with diverse communication disorders, including autism and hearing loss. She is licensed by the state of California and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), of which she is also a member.

Audiology Manager

Purdy_25R low resJulie Purdy, Ph.D., CCC-A
Julie has been a part of the Diagnostic Audiology team since 2007 and became the manager of audiology in 2014. She earned her doctorate in philosophy at the University of Utah in 1990, specializing in multicultural audiology and aging. Julie received her Master of Science in 1985 and her Bachelor of Arts in 1983, both in communication disorders from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She holds a certificate of clinical competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and is licensed by the state of California. She primarily works at our Main Campus location.

 

Speech Pathology Manager

Shari Garrett sizedShari Garrett, M.S., CCC-SLP, CHTP
Shari has been a speech-language pathologist since 1983 and began working at Rady Children’s in 1985. She is the manager of the Speech-Language Pathology Department and specializes in the areas of voice, autism, vocal cord dysfunction, oral motor and phonology. In the treatment of voice disorders and vocal cord dysfunction, she incorporates integrative medicine. Shari received her master’s degree in speech-language pathology at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. She is a certified speech-language pathologist and is a current member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the California Speech Language and Hearing Association and the San Diego Early Childhood Mental Health Leader Collaborative. Shari is Hanen certified as well as a certified healing touch practitioner. Her goal in working at Rady Children’s is to continue to implement and create innovative therapy to help children and families communicate at their highest potential.