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Our Staff

Dr. John Coleman, Doctor of Audiology

Dr. John Coleman, Doctor of Audiology
Owner, Clinical Audiologist, and Clinical Supervisor

Dr. Coleman established Orange County Physicians' Hearing Services (OCPHS) in 2000 and manages all five office locations. He received his Masters Degree from California State University, Fullerton and received his training during his clinical fellowship year at House Ear Clinic in Los Angeles. Dr. Coleman later obtained his clinical doctorate degree in audiology from the University of Florida in 2000.

Prior to opening the doors to OCPHS, he worked at the House Ear Clinic for 20 years were he acted as supervisor, researcher and clinical audiologist. Dr. Coleman was also the audiologist for President Ronald Reagan for 14 years. He has over 35 years of experience in the field of audiology.

He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) and holds certifications through the American Board of Audiology (ABA) and the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). He is licensed in the State of California as a clinical and dispensing audiologist.

Dr. Coleman has made important contributions to the field of Audiology through mentoring, publications and presentations at professional meetings. He has given much back to the field of audiology over his years of practice. Dr. Coleman demonstrates the same level of dedication when addressing his patients' communication needs and concerns.

He has a special interest in amplifications systems and hearing aid fittings and verification. Dr. Coleman currently sees patients on a limited basis in our Mission Viejo and Laguna Hills offices.

Dr. Stephen Sanders, Doctor of Audiology

Dr. Stephen Sanders, Doctor of Audiology
Senior Clinical Audiologist

Dr. Sanders has been at Orange County Physicians' Hearing Services/Head and Neck Associates of Orange County since 1988. He received his Bachelor's of Science degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California Irvine in 1976, his Master's degree in Audiology from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1986, and his Doctorate of Audiology from the University of Florida in 2004. His clinical fellowship was performed at the House Ear Clinic in the late 1980s, where he met Dr. Coleman.

Prior to becoming an audiologist, Dr. Sanders was involved in the seminal research of auditory brainstem potentials in newborns within the departments of Neurology and Perinatal Medicine at U.C. Irvine, and subsequently helped establish newborn hearing screening programs in three southland hospitals. He has a broad background in diagnostic electro-neurophysiology and has more than a dozen publications as well as national and international presentations on auditory brainstem responses.

Dr. Sanders is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) and holds certification through the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). He is currently on staff at Mission Regional Medical Center and Children's Hospital of Orange County at Mission Hospital (CHOC). Dr. Sanders is licensed in the State of California as a clinical and dispensing audiologist.

Dr. Sanders interests include the fitting and verification of amplification and electrophysiologic assessment of balance disorders and hearing loss. Dr. Sanders sees patients in both the San Clemente and Mission Viejo offices.

Dr. Erica Higgins, Doctor of Audiology

Dr. Erica Higgins, Doctor of Audiology
Clinical Audiologist and Supervisor

Dr. Higgins joined Orange County Physicians' Hearing Services (OCPHS) in June 2006. She graduated with her Bachelor's degree in Communications Sciences, and Disorders from Western Illinois University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and was the recipient of the Departmental Scholar Award. Dr. Higgins received her clinical doctorate in audiology from Missouri State University. She completed her one-year clinical externship at OCPHS in 2007 and then joined the practice as a full time audiologist.

Dr. Higgins provides expertise in the areas of infant, pediatric and adult behavioral and electro-acoustic diagnostic testing including Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) testing, Otoacoustic Emission (OAE) and Videonystagmography (ENG/VNG) assessments. She provides in-depth evaluations for diagnosing and treating hearing loss. Dr. Higgins counsels, fits, and verifies hearing aids and amplification devices, including assistive listening devices for all ages. In addition, assessments and fittings for implantable or nontraditional amplification devices (Lyric, Envoy-Esteem, bone anchored BAHA) are included in her scope of interest.

Dr. Higgins practices at the Mission Viejo location.

Dr. Pirayeh Niavarany, Doctor of Audiology

Dr. Pirayeh Niavarany, Doctor of Audiology
Clinical Audiologist

Dr. Niavarany received her Master's degree in Audiology from the University of Southampton in England. She obtained her Doctorate in Audiology from University of Florida. She joined O.C. Physicians' Hearing Services (OCPHS) from 2009 to 2011 where she completed her clinical fellowship. Dr. Niavarany returned to OCPHS in 2013.

Prior to her return to OCPHS, Dr. Niavarany gained clinical experience at House Ear Clinic as a diagnostic Audiologist. Her work experience there included performing comprehensive audiological evaluations, vestibular (balance) assessments, and retrocochlear assessments including Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR). She also provided services for their satellite clinics providing hearing aid consultations, evaluations, fittings and repair.

Dr. Niavarany is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA). She is licensed in the State of California as a clinical and dispensing audiologist.

Dr. Niavarany enjoys the field of audiology as it gives her the opportunity to help her patients improve their quality of life and functionality. Her clinical interests include vestibular assessments, hearing aid fittings and verification.

Dr. Niavarany practices at our Mission Viejo and Irvine locations, and she is fluent in Farsi.

Dr. Shrutee Das, Doctor of Audiology

Dr. Shrutee Das, Doctor of Audiology
Clinical Audiologist

Dr. Shrutee Das obtained her Bachelor's of Science degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California Irvine in 2006, her Graduate Diploma in Bioethics from University of Sydney, Australia in 2007, and her Doctorate in Audiology from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) in 2013. She completed her 4th year clinical externship at the Veterans Hospital in New Orleans, LA.

Dr. Das has been involved in several research projects since 2006. In 2007, she joined the Auditory Neuroscience research lab at the University of California Irvine. She worked closely with Auditory Neuropathy patients and specialized in Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) testing. Dr. Das has also made important contributions in research projects at LSUHSC regarding (Central) Auditory Processing Disorders. In 2011, Dr. Das was the recipient of the SPARC Research Award from the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). She has co-published several articles in reputable journals such as Brain and Clinical Neurophysiology.

Dr. Das is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) and holds certification through the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). She is licensed in the State of California as a clinical and dispensing audiologist. She has a special interest in electrophysiology, vestibular assessments, and hearing aid fittings.

Dr. Das currently sees patients at the Mission Viejo and Irvine office locations, and she is fluent in Hindi and Gujarati.

Dr. Kristi Panek, Doctor of Audiology

Dr. Kristi Panek, Doctor of Audiology
Clinical Audiologist

Dr. Kristi Panek joined Orange County Physicians' Hearing Services (OCPHS) in August 2013. She received her Bachelor's degree in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences from San Diego State University, and her Doctorate in Audiology from A. T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona.

Dr. Panek completed a six-month clinical externship at John Tracy Clinic in Los Angeles, where she gained experience in pediatric behavioral evaluations, Auditory Brainstem Response testing on infants, and newborn hearing screening. She also participated in monthly child-parent panel meetings at John Tracy Clinic to share experiences and offer counseling to parents with children recently diagnosed with hearing loss. She completed her 4th year clinical externship at House Ear Clinic in Los Angeles, where she performed comprehensive audiological evaluations, vestibular (balance) assessments, retrocochlear assessments including Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR), and cochlear implant and hearing aid evaluations.

Dr. Panek is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA). She is licensed in the state of California as a clinical and dispensing audiologist. Her clinical interests include hearing aid fittings and verification, diagnostic hearing assessment, vestibular (balance) assessment, and cochlear implants.

Dr. Panek practices at Mission Viejo and San Clemente locations.

Dr. Josh Gilbert, Doctor of Audiology

Dr. Josh Gilbert, Doctor of Audiology
Clinical Audiologist

Dr. Gilbert joined Orange County Physicians' Hearing Services in 2014, where he completed his fourth year clinical externship for licensure in the state of California. He graduated with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Biology from Baylor University in 2011. He graduated with his Doctorate in Audiology from University of Florida.

Dr. Gilbert has made contributions to the field of Audiology through experimental research and as a co-presenter at professional meetings. His professional interests include pediatic and adult diagnostics, hearing aid fittings and verification, vestibular assessment, and cochlear implants.

Dr. Gilbert practices at Mission Viejo and Laguna Hills locations.

Dr. Kent Weaver, Doctor of Audiology

Dr. Kent Weaver, Doctor of Audiology
Clinical Audiologist

Dr. Weaver has been with Orange County Physicians' Hearing Services since 2015. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in General Science from Grand View College (University), Iowa in 1993, his Master of Communication Disorders degree from LSU Medical Center, Louisiana in 1997, and his Doctor of Audiology degree from the University of Florida in 2001. His clinical fellowship was performed at the Des Moines Hearing & Speech Center in the late 1990's. Prior to becoming an audiologist, Dr. Weaver conducted research as a research associate at LSU Medical Center's Kresge Hearing Research Laboratory and worked at Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA) as the organ transplant/placement coordinator and Iowa Methodist Medical Center as an emergency/trauma technician.

Dr. Weaver has over 20 years of experience in the field of audiology. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) and holds certification through the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). He is licensed in the State of California as a clinical and dispensing audiologist. Dr. Weaver has made important contributions to the field of Audiology through laboratory and clinical research, teaching graduate level courses, and consulting to various multidisciplinary facilities on auditory brainstem responses, and evoked potentials.

Dr. Weaver's routine clinical procedures include diagnostic audiological evaluations, infant screenings, hearing aid dispensing and maintenance, disability determination evaluations, and industrial hearing screenings. His special interest involves auditory physiology and interaction with electrophysiological testing.

Dr. Weaver currently sees patients at our Mission Viejo and Laguna Hills office locations.

Dr. Deanna Gende, Doctor of Audiology

Dr. Deanna Gende, Doctor of Audiology
Clinical Audiologist

Dr. Deanna Gende joined Orange County Physicians' Hearing Services in August 2021.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Portland State University and her Doctorate of Audiology from Idaho State University. Dr. Gende completed her fourth-year clinical externship at Shohet Ear Associates in 2016.
 
Prior to joining our clinic, Dr. Gende gained audiological experience at Shohet Ear Associates (2016-2020) and San Jose Ear and Sinus Medical Center (2020-2021).  She has co-published several articles in reputable journals such as The Laryngoscope and Otology & Neurotology. In addition, has given back to the field of audiology through volunteer work in Cusco, Peru with the Idaho Condor Humanitarian Group.
 
Dr. Gende is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) and is certified by the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA).  She is licensed in the State of California as a clinical and dispensing audiologist. Dr. Gende is experienced in both adult and pediatric diagnostic hearing evaluations, hearing aid fitting and verification, vestibular assessment, and cochlear implants.
 
Dr. Gende currently practices in our Mission Viejo location.

Dr. Gabriela Rubalcava, Doctor of Audiology

Dr. Gabriela Rubalcava, Doctor of Audiology
Clinical Audiologist

Dr. Gabriela Rubalcava joined Orange County Physicians' Hearing Services in May of 2021. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Language Pathology in 2018 from California State University, Long Beach. Dr. Rubalcava received her Doctorate of Audiology from California State University, Los Angeles after completing her fourth year clinical externship at Orange County Physicians' Hearing Services in 2022.

Prior to joining our clinic, Dr. Rubalcava gained clinical experience at Keck Medicine of USC- USC Caruso Family Center for Childhood Communication, CSULA Speech and Hearing Clinic, and at a private practice focused on vestibular (balance) diagnostics. She is experienced in adult and pediatric diagnostic hearing evaluations, hearing aid fitting and verification, and cochlear implants.

Dr. Rubalcava currently practices in our Mission Viejo office, and she is fluent in Spanish.

Miguel Liquidano, MD

Miguel Liquidano, MD
Fourth Year Doctoral Extern

Born and raised in Guatemala City, I decided to go into Med School from which I got my Doctoral Degree in Medicine in La Havana Cuba in 2010 and then in Guatemala in 2012. After working many years in the public and private healthcare system back in Guatemala I ended up working for the Committee for the Deaf and Blind, and realized the incredible need for hearing professionals in the country. In 2018  decided to come to the U.S. to get my Au.D., from Auburn University in Alabama with the goal in mind to go back to Guatemala and help all the people in need, specially infants and young children with severe to profound hearing loses, that are not able to get proper access to any type of healthcare. My dream is to provide them with first world hearing healthcare services, in hand with the latest technology and most updated evidence-based practices. My goal is to be the first medical doctor with an Au.D degree in Guatemala, and implement an Early Hearing Detection and Intervention program in a country that lacks a proper hearing screening, detection, and intervention program that can allow this children to be able to develop language and communication skills, so much needed for them to have a normal life and thrive in school like any other kid.  

Skylar Abbott, B.S.

Skylar Abbott, B.S.
Fourth Year Doctoral Extern

Skylar Abbott is completing his doctoral externship with Orange County Physician’s Hearing Services, and is expected to graduate in May of 2023. Skylar completed his bachelor's degree at the University of Nevada in 2019 with a major in Speech Pathology & Audiology with minors in Spanish and Public Health. He is completing his doctorate of audiology at a joint program between San Diego State University and University of California San Diego.

Before joining OCPHS, Skylar’s clinical experiences include internships at California Head and Neck Associates, UCSD Pearlman Medical Center, and the Veteran’s Administration of San Diego. Skylar’s clinical interests include electrophysiologic testing, vestibular assessment, and implantable hearing solutions.

Skylar sees patients in our San Clemente and Mission Viejo offices, he is fluent in Spanish and has working proficiency in Portuguese.

Cita Bianca Alcala, B.A.

Cita Bianca Alcala, B.A.
Fourth Year Doctoral Extern

Bianca Alcala started her externship at Orange County Physicians’ Hearing Services in June of 2022. She is currently completing her Doctorate of Audiology degree at the University of the Pacific in San Francisco, CA, and is expected to graduate in May of 2023. Bianca received her bachelor of arts degree in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences with a minor in Music Education from San Diego State University in 2020.

Bianca's clinical experience prior to joining OCPHS includes rotations at the University of the Pacific Audiology clinic, Precision Hearing, and Kaiser Permanente Redwood City. Her current clinical interests include adult diagnostic assessment, amplification, aural rehabilitation, and vestibular function testing.

Bianca currently sees patients at our Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, and Newport Beach locations, and she is fluent in Tagalog (Filipino).

Tatiana Al-Hajj, B.S.

Tatiana Al-Hajj, B.S.
Fourth Year Doctoral Extern

Tatiana Al-Hajj began her fourth-year externship at Orange County Physicians' Hearing Services in June of 2022. She is completing her Doctorate of Audiology degree at Nova Southeastern University, Florida and is expected to graduate in August 2023. Tatiana graduated with her Bachelors of Science degree in Medical Audiology Sciences in 2019 from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.

Tatiana's previous clinical experiences include rotations at Mercy Hospital Miami, ENT and Allergy Associates of Florida and a private practice in Boca Raton. Her current clinical interests are in pediatric assessments, hearing aid fittings and cochlear implants. 

Tatiana currently sees patients at our Mission Viejo, San Clemente, Laguna Hills and Irvine office locations. She is fluent in French and Arabic. 

Connor Bunting, B.S.

Connor Bunting, B.S.
Fourth Year Doctoral Extern

Connor Bunting began his externship at Orange County Physicians' Hearing Services in June of 2022. He is completing his Doctorate of Audiology degree at Pacific University in Hillsboro, Oregon and is expected to graduate in August 2023. Connor graduated with his Bachelor of Science degree in Speech and Hearing Science in 2017 from Portland State University, Oregon.

Connor's previous clinical experiences include rotations at Sound Start, a pediatric clinic specializing in diagnostic audiometry, hearing aids and cochlear implants. He additionally completed a rotation with California Head and Neck Specialists, focusing on adult diagnostic audiometry, hearing aids and cochlear implants. His current clinical interests are in pediatric and adult hearing assessments, hearing aid fittings and cochlear implants. 

Connor currently sees patients at our Mission Viejo, Newport Beach and Irvine office locations.

Paulina Rak, B.S.

Paulina Rak, B.S.
Fourth Year Doctoral Extern

Paulina Rak started at Orange County Physicians’ Hearing Services in June 2022 as part of her doctoral program externship. She is currently completing her Doctorate in Audiology at Pacific University in Hillsboro, Oregon, and is anticipated to graduate in August of 2023. She graduated from Sacramento State University with a Bachelors of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders, and a minor in Musical Theater in 2019.

Paulina’s previous clinical experiences include a wide range of hospital and private practice placements, including HearingLife, and The Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities internship training at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon. Her clinical interests include pediatric and adult diagnostic audiometry, cochlear implants and electrophysiologic measures. 

Paulina is fluent in Polish and sees patients at our Mission Viejo, Irvine, Laguna Hills, and Newport offices.

Jessie Rinaldi, B.S.

Jessie Rinaldi, B.S.
Fourth Year Doctoral Extern

Jessie Rinaldi started at Orange County Physicians’ Hearing Services in May 2022 as part of her doctoral program externship. She is currently a fourth-year Doctor of Audiology student at Rush University in Chicago, Illinois with an anticipated graduation date in April 2023. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelors of Science in Acoustics in 2018.

Jessie’s previous clinical experiences include a wide range of hospital and private practice placements, including Rush University Medical Center, Hearing Health Center, UIC Eye & Ear Infirmary, and Gottlieb Memorial Hospital. Her clinical interests include pediatric and adult diagnostic audiometry, electrophysiologic measures, and vestibular assessment. She strives to create an approachable and compassionate environment for all of her future patients.

Jessie sees patients at our Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, and San Clemente offices.