The Perkins Clinic at Earlens has one of the best team of hearing experts, composed of expert physicians and audiologists, led by Dr. Rodney Perkins. This multi-disciplinary team performs a thorough physiological and anatomical examination of your ears and hearing, to determine the right solution for your specific hearing needs.
Meet The Expert Hearing Team
Dr. Rodney Perkins is the founder of The Perkins Clinic at Earlens. He also serves as a Professor Emeritus of Surgery at The Stanford University School of Medicine, where he started The California Ear Institute.
Dr. Perkins has had a long history as a pioneer in the field of otolarynghology. He has been credited with developing surgical procedures for middle ear reconstruction, ear-drum transplantation and for use of lasers in high-precision surgeries, many of which are widely recognized today as standard-of-care. He is also the pioneer behind “Project Hear”, the ear tissue bank.
After four decades as a surgeon, Dr. Perkins realized that there existed an opportunity to do more for patients with hearing impairment who could not be treated surgically. It was then that he became interested in inventing digital solutions to help patients improve their hearing performance. Over the years, as a physician entrepreneur, he has founded over 13 successful companies, including ReSound Corporation, Sound ID, and most recently, Earlens Corporation.
He strives to make the Perkins Clinic at Earlens a model for patient care with the Earlens® Contact Hearing Solution.
Dr. Rodney Perkins received his medical degree from The Indiana University and completed his surgical residency at The Stanford University School of Medicine.
Awards and Recognition:
- Phoenix Hall of Fame Innovators Award
- Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Santa Clara County Medical Society
- Distinguished Medical Alumnus Award from Indiana University.
Patents and Innovation:
Dr. Perkins holds 18 issued patents with more than 37 patents pending approval.
Dr. Michelle Inserra currently works as an otologist at Perkins Clinic at Earlens.
Originally from New York, Dr. Inserra completed her degree in biomedical engineering from the Brown University and her research from the Rockefeller University.
She then embarked on her medical journey, where she completed her training and residency in Otolaryngology / Head & Neck Surgery from the Stanford University and a fellowship in Neurotology from the California Ear Institute, where she worked with Dr. Perkins
Post her medical training, Dr Inserra then started her medical career with the ENT Department at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara, where she practiced Otology for over 10 years, before joining the Perkins Clinic. Outside of the clinic, she also has her private practice in Otology and Neurotology.
When she is not devoting her time to care for patients, she spends her time with her husband, step-sons, and 2 dachshunds. In addition to English, she speaks fluent Spanish.
Dr. Elizabeth Eskridge-Mitchell is an expert audiologist at the Perkins Clinic, with over 8 years of experience in Clinical Audiology and Audiology Research.
She completed her Doctorate in Audiology from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, after completing her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Prior to joining the Perkins Clinic, Elizabeth held research positions at the Veteran’s Administration and House Research Institute, where she provided diagnostic and dispensing audiology services in Southern California. She has also served as an audiologist with other hearing aid companies in the past.
Growing up with a mother with hearing loss exposed her to the challenges hearing loss can result in and the effects it can have on one’s quality of life, which made her realise at a young age that serving people with hearing loss was her calling. She finds joy in providing patients with exceptional service, enhanced hearing and a better quality of life.
Dr. Therese Velde is an audiologist with diverse experience in clinical audiology and all aspects of the hearing instrument industry from development and execution to market delivery, local implementation, training and support. She has worked across disciplines converging marketing, sales and audiology interests at two major hearing device manufacturers. Her primary emphasis in training has been content development and delivery where she has brought out the patient-centered audiologic focus, in addition to technical information. She holds a Ph.D. from Northwestern University and a Specialist in Speech Pathology and Audiology, MS and BS from the University of Arizona.
Dr. Suzanne Carr Levy, PhD, was born in Perth, Australia and grew up in California. She was born with single-sided hearing impairment as a result of congenital atresia. She obtained her Bachelors in Science studying bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego. Because of her personal experience with monaural hearing, she went on to study binaural hearing at Professor Steve Colburn’s lab at Boston University, where she graduated with a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering. Her thesis focused on the effects of pitch, spatial separation, and reverberation on speech understanding in normal and hearing-impaired listeners. She started working at Earlens Corporation in 2010, first as a research audiologist conducting the first feasibility trial and moving up to manage the clinical trials on subsequent generations of the Earlens device, including the one used to gain FDA clearance for marketing. As the Director of Clinical Research at Earlens her research interests include everything about a direct-drive hearing aid that differentiates it from and acoustic aid, and continuous learning and understanding about this unique technology. When she is not at Earlens, she spends her time with her husband and 2 adorable daughters.
Dr. Pragati R. Mandikal Vasuki has a broad range of hearing research and clinical experience, holding research positions across leading hearing aid companies and academic institutions prior to joining Perkins Clinic at Earlens. She is passionate about translating cutting-edge research into clinical outcomes in the fields of hearing and cognition. She enjoys interacting with her patients and improving their listening experience using innovative hearing technologies. She completed her PhD from Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia and has a Masters in Audiology from University of Mysore, India.
Cheryl knew at a young age she would always be in some form of innovative technology or medical research. She became a certified medical assistant in 2004 and began her career at the California Ear Institute where she dedicated a decade to assisting in the care of families of all ages. Over the span of her career she has observed the rapid improvements in ear and hearing related technologies such as cochlear implants and treatments for atresia and microtia.
Cheryl’s passion in fulfilling the needs of others did not stop there. She continued to focus on her education and received a license in Vocational Nursing the winter of 2013.
After being introduced to Earlens and the Perkins Clinic, the best of both worlds combined with innovative technology and the amazing world of research. She is currently pursuing her Bachelors degree in Nursing
Bruna is a medical professional with over 45 years of experience in radiologic technology and medical assistance at the California Ear Institute and in the healthcare industry. She is highly experienced in patient care, communications, and assisting physicians in ear-related procedures. Bruna has experience working with children, adolescents, adults, and the geriatric population. Bruna began working with Dr. Perkins in 1978 and worked with Dr. Inserra during her fellowship training at the California Ear Institute. Dr. Perkins recruited her to join the Perkins Clinic at Earlens based on her high level of performance, high level of care, attention to detail, and wonderful interpersonal skills.
Starting her career at a young age, Jazlyn Samaniego joined Abbott Vascular in 2015 and realized how instrumental the medical device industry is in impacting patients’ lives. In order to help patients more directly, she decided to enroll at Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts in 2015 and graduated as a Medical Assistant and a Phlebotomist in 2016. She worked as a phlebotomist part time in San Francisco and was also working as a medical assistant at a podiatrist clinic when she learned of the groundbreaking Earlens technology.
In 2017 she joined the Perkins Clinic at Earlens and has enjoyed gaining clinical, medical and audiology assisting experience while simultaneously learning the administrative side of the medical device industry. Jazlyn strives to be able to help as many people as possible and strives to go above and beyond her job duties to make a positive impact in others’ lives.