About Us

Executive Committee

Michael McKee, MD, MPH
President
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Michael McKee, MD, MPH
President
Marketing & Outreach Team
mike.mckee@amphl.org

Michael McKee is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan, and board-certified in Family Medicine. Dr. McKee has personal, clinical, and research expertise in Deaf populations, including American Sign Language users, in Florida, South Carolina, New York, and Michigan. He is a Deaf physician who has provided medical care for more than a thousand Deaf patients in a variety of health care settings over the past 13 years. Due to existing health disparities, he has conducted research and published on health care access, health literacy, health communication and health disparities in the Deaf community. He is also very active in medical and community health education involving Deaf populations, including the ongoing Deaf Health Talks. During his spare time, he enjoys outdoor activities, including kayaking and hiking. He has a bilateral profound sensorineural hearing loss and uses a combination of a behind the ear hearing aid and a cochlear implant.

Marcie Johnson, MPA, PA-C
Vice President
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Marcie Johnson, MPA, PA-C
Vice President
Digital Strategy co-Chair
Financial Plan Team
Organization Restructure Project Team
Physician Assistant Representative
marcie.johnson@amphl.org

Marcie Johnson has been on the board of directors for AMPHL since beginning graduate school in 2011 to become a physician assistant. Marcie is originally from Chico, California, and is a UCLA graduate, with a B.S. in Psychobiology. She received her Masters from Samuel Merritt University, in Oakland, California. She was awarded a grant to complete a rural track program for her clinical rotations in her hometown. In addition, she did a wilderness medicine rotation in Yellowstone National Park. Marcie’s university awarded her Outstanding Physician Assistant Student, the highest honor bestowed at graduation. She has congenital bilateral profound hearing loss, and wore bilateral hearing aids prior to obtaining cochlear implants in 2016. Marcie primarily uses spoken English, but also uses ASL. She used designated interpreters while in graduate school. Her first job was in family practice & urgent care; she now works in otolaryngology.

Marcie enjoys an active lifestyle: backpacking, hiking, kayaking, camping, biking, snow-skiing, Nordic skiing, windsurfing, and the flying trapeze. She also loves stories. In the six years between undergrad at UCLA and starting graduate school, Marcie did extensive world travel while living and working in many places around the world, including Yosemite National Park; Edinburgh, Scotland; a ski resort in Sun Valley, Idaho; and Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand. She lives with her husband in Portland, Oregon.

Megan Jack, MD
Secretary
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Megan Jack, MD
Secretary
Digital Strategy co-Chair
megan.jack@amphl.org

Megan Jack is a proud representative from Canada, specifically Winnipeg, Manitoba. She obtained her M.D. in 2013 and completed her Urban Family Medicine Residency in June 2015, both through the University of Manitoba. She loves the variety and continuity of care that comes with family medicine and looks forward to working out of a community health centre in Winnipeg and incorporating hospital work into her practice. Besides family medicine, her interests include visual stethoscopes and ultrasound. Having decided early on to focus only on visual options for stethoscopes, she has tried several and supplemented her stethoscope with echocardiography via a handheld ultrasound. Along with figuring out auscultation, her only other challenge was putting up with her fantastic entourage of four interpreters throughout medical school and residency! She enjoys adventures, although she mostly experiences them vicariously through novels but does try to get out exploring the world and enjoying nature.

Chad Ruffin, MD
Treasurer
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Chad Ruffin, MD
Treasurer
Financial Plan Chair
chad.ruffin@amphl.org

Chad Ruffin is among the very first individuals deafened in very early childhood to become a surgeon. He graduated from Centenary College of Louisiana and Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and is now a resident physician in Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery at Indiana University. He has completed research fellowships in both the psychophysics of and speech processing with cochlear implants. He is a funded scientist and his research program is driven by his own experience with profound hearing loss and bilateral cochlear implants. On completion of his residency program, a large part of his clinical practice will focus on the treatment of hearing loss. He is originally from Louisiana and enjoys outdoor activities and flying airplanes for fun.

Board of Directors

Wendy Eastman, MD
Immediate Past President
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Wendy Eastman, MD
Immediate Past President
Organizational Restructure Project Team
Marketing & Outreach Team
Financial Plan Team
wendy.eastman@amphl.org

Wendy Eastman was born deaf, wore bilateral hearing aids, and grew up in the Boston suburbs. She went to an oral deaf program through 3rd grade, then mainstreamed fulltime in fourth grade. She graduated from Dartmouth College, served two years in the Peace Corps in Ecuador, South America speaking and lip-reading Spanish, worked at Harvard Medical School Channing Laboratory as a microbiology lab technician, then went back to Dartmouth for Medical School. While doing a Family Medicine rotation on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Tuba City, AZ, she fell in love with the Southwest and went west for her training. She completed her Pediatric Residency and Child Neurology Fellowship at Primary Children’s Medical Center at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. She used CART and sign language interpreters through medical school and had a team of interpreters through her residency and fellowship training. During her training she got bilateral cochlear implants. She thought she would go back east afterwards but ended up going further west. She is a Child Neurologist at Providence Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital in Spokane, Washington. “I love my job here. It is the perfect combination of outpatient clinic care and inpatient consultations. I see so many interesting cases on a daily basis.”

In her free time, she loves to cycle, run, ski, and play with her husband and two young children. Wendy joined the AMPHL board in 2013 after being a member for many years and attending AMPHL conferences. “I have met so many inspiring people through AMPHL that have given me great ideas and motivation of how to maneuver through the daily hurdles of a hearing loss in school, training, and on the job.” She is excited to be on the board and to transform AMPHL for the next decade.


Julia Selezneva, MD, MS
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Julia Selezneva, MD, MS
Marketing & Outreach Co-Chair
Digital Strategy Team
julia.selezneva@amphl.org

Julia Selezneva is currently doing her residency in pediatrics at Stanford. She graduated from the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program where she earned her MS from UC Berkeley and her MD from UCSF. It was a humbling journey full of learning and hard work. Her hearing loss was discovered when she was six years old, fully deaf in one ear with partial hearing loss in the other year. She wore a hearing aid all the way up to college. In college, her hearing started fluctuating and declining. She eventually received one cochlear implant prior to medical school and a second one during medical school. Julia communicates orally, although she did pick up a basic level of ASL while living in DC. She uses an electronic stethoscope which she plugs into her cochlear implants (check out the stethoscope comparison page!). She had wonderful support and mentorship during the process of figuring out if medicine is for her, how to apply as a hard-of-hearing student, and how to best communicate in clinical encounters. She hopes to now do the same for others aspiring to a career in health. She encourages everyone to browse the AMPHL website, Facebook page, join the AMPHL Facebook group and, if interested, join the mentorship program. Feel free to contact her as well at the email provided!


Scott Smith, MD, MPH
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Scott Smith, MD, MPH
Conference Co-Chair, Rochester 2017
scott.smith@amphl.org

Scott R. Smith is a board-certified Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician, who hails from North Carolina, where he obtained his M.D. from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University in 1996. He remained in Greenville, North Carolina to complete a residency in General Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern North Carolina. In 1999, Scott relocated to Boston to complete a postdoctoral fellowship in General Academic Pediatrics at the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children. He obtained a Master’s degree in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2001. Subsequently, he completed a clinical fellowship in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts-New England Medical Center.

Scott then relocated to Rochester, New York in 2004 and became an Attending Pediatrician at the Behavioral Pediatrics Program at the Rochester General Hospital, where he engaged in full-time clinical practice using visual stethoscopes and sign language interpreters to care for children with ADHD and other problems. After 4.5 years of clinical practice, Scott moved to the University of Rochester to join the National Center for Deaf Health Research (NCDHR) where he obtained an early career mentored research development grant to study health literacy of deaf adolescents. In 2010, he became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at University of Rochester Medical Center. Scott is profoundly deaf from birth and relies on sign language and written English to communicate with others. Scott is looking forward to working with AMPHL to strengthen and disseminate resources for visual access technologies and sign language interpreters in the medical and life science fields, including research and funding opportunities as well as teaching, training, mentoring, consulting, and future conference planning.

Amber Kimball, BSN, RN
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Amber Kimball, BSN, RN
Marketing & Outreach Team
Digital Strategy Team
amber.kimball@amphl.org

Amber Kimball was diagnosed as profoundly deaf at 3 years old and was implanted with a unilateral cochlear implant in the summer of 1994. She primarily communicates using spoken language but is also a Cued Speech user and advocate. She is currently learning sign language and hopes to become fluent soon. Amber graduated from Guilford Technical Community College with her Associate Degree in Nursing in May 2014. She then completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Winston-Salem State University in December 2015. Amber has two years of acute care experience specializing in orthopedics, cardiology and surgical oncology.

One of Amber’s biggest passions is researching the improvement of communication between health care professionals and hard of hearing patients. She is currently conducting research at Wake Forest Baptist that focuses on overcoming communication barriers between health care professionals and patients with hearing loss. Amber is well aware of the challenges endured by hard of hearing patients every day related to obtaining and consolidating health information in acute care settings. She has been accepted into UNC Chapel Hill’s Nursing PhD program for the fall of 2016 and was awarded the Robert Wood Johnson Future of Nursing Scholar Fellowship. Amber is excited about continuing her education in research with a focus on improving communication in healthcare settings and access for people with disabilities.

Amber also enjoys hiking, writing and spending time with her dog Ruby.


Melody Fico, RID CI & CT, UT Professional
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Melody Fico, RID CI & CT, UT Professional
Interpreter Section Chair
melody.fico@amphl.org

Melody Fico has been an interpreter for the past eleven years. She studied ASL/Deaf Studies and ASL-English Interpreting at Ohlone College in Fremont, CA. She then went on to complete a B.S. degree in Audiology & Speech Language Pathology. Melody has spent her entire career interpreting for d/Deaf and hard of hearing individuals in medical and mental health fields. Her experiences span a dozen different specialties at every level of training, ranging from undergraduate classes to internships and doctoral studies. She also has worked as a designated interpreter in a fellowship program.

Melody currently resides in Salt Lake City, UT and is serving as president of the Utah Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (UTRID) for the 2014-2016 term. Melody’s passion is improving accommodation services for d/Deaf and hard of hearing individuals working and training in the STEM, medical, allied health, public health, and mental health fields. In her spare time, Melody enjoys hiking and primitive camping in deserts as well as dabbling in fashion design, particularly traditional hand-embellishment work.


Thomas McKnight, MS, ATC
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Thomas McKnight, MS, ATC
Marketing & Outreach Team
thomas.mcknight@amphl.org

Tom McKnight is an assistant athletic trainer entering his third season working for the Gallaudet University football, women’s volleyball, men’s basketball, and baseball teams. He is also an adjunct professor for biology and physical education departments where he taught a couple of classes each semester for last two years that included Human Anatomy & Physiology, Nutrition, and Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries.

Born deaf and a fluent American Sign Language user, McKnight graduated from Gallaudet University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education and biology along with University honors. He then attended Shenandoah University where he received a Master of Science degree in Athletic Training in 2013.

In Summer 2013, he had an opportunity to gain international experience going to Sofia, Bulgaria work to as an athletic trainer for the USA men’s basketball team for Summer Deaflympic Games. He is already scheduled to travel to Samsun, Turkey for 2017 Games to work in the same capacity. The Shirley, Mass. native graduated from The Learning Center for the Deaf, now Marie Philip School, in Framingham, Massachusetts in 2006. Tom loves traveling, playing sports, working out to stay in shape, and hanging out with friends in his spare time. He currently resides in Washington, D.C.

Christopher Moreland, MD, MPH
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Christopher Moreland, MD, MPH
Organization Restructure Project Chair
Physician Representative
christopher.moreland@amphl.org

Christopher (Chris) Moreland originally hails from Texas, where he obtained an M.D. in 2005 from the University of Texas (UT) at Houston Medical School. At the University of California, Davis, he completed his Internal Medicine residency in 2008 and his postdoctoral General Internal Medicine fellowship in 2010. He and his wife (an emergency medicine physician) now live in Texas, where he practices as an academic hospitalist, assistant clinical professor, and associate program director of the internal medicine residency at UTHSC San Antonio.

Among his interests are health communication, the reduction of health disparities relating to the deaf and limited English proficient communities, and medical education (including that of deaf and hard of hearing health professionals and interpreters). He enjoys a variety of approaches to communication with patients and colleagues, including American Sign Language and spoken English, and works closely with designated interpreters in the work setting.


Michael Argenyi, MD, MSW
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Michael Argenyi, MD, MSW
Organizational Restructure Project Team
Financial Plan Team
Interpreter Section Team
michael.argenyi@amphl.org

Michael Argenyi has been a member of AMPHL since 2007 when he was a pre-medicine student. He was diagnosed in infancy with bilateral severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss. Beginning with hearing aids, SEE, and spoken English, Michael transitioned to Cued Speech before kindergarten, added CART in 8th grade, cochlear implants in college, and learned ASL during medical school. He uses multiple forms of accommodations depending on the environment, including working alongside designated interpreters and the ThinkLabs One stethoscope with his CIs.

Michael completed his MD at Creighton University School of Medicine, following his undergraduate at Seattle University. He has also acquired his Masters of Social Work from Boston University and co-authored research in clinical sensory physiology under Michael Gorga at Boys Town National Research Hospital. In his free time, he enjoys social activism, traveling, kayaking, and a good book. He currently resides in Chicago where he is completing residency in Family Medicine at Northwestern University at Erie Family Health – Humboldt Park.


Jaime Wilson, Ph.D.
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Jaime Wilson, Ph.D.
Digital Strategy Team
Clinical Psychology and Mental Health Representative
jaime.wilson@amphl.org

Jaime A.B. Wilson is a licensed psychologist in private practice. Wilson Clinical Services, PLLC. provides an array of psychological health care services to deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, and blind individuals across the State of Washington. Born with a profound hearing loss, he grew up wearing bilateral hearing aids. Although Jaime primarily communicated using spoken language growing up, he is also an American Sign Language user.

Jaime received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Brigham Young University, Provo, UT and completed a predoctoral internship at the University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship residency at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, WA. Jaime resides in Olympia, WA with his wife (a registered nurse who is also deaf), and two kids.


Sarah Hein, MS, BSN, RN
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Sarah Hein, MS, BSN, RN
Marketing & Outreach Co-Chair
sarah.hein@amphl.org

Sarah Hein graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy in 2015 with her BSN. She is currently a registered nurse at Beaumont Health System in the Metro Detroit area. She plans to advance the ranks to become a nurse practitioner. Her other career goals include working with Doctors without Borders and setting up a local nonprofit organization to encourage more deaf and hard of hearing kids/teens to pursue the medical and science degrees. Previously, she attended the University of Michigan where she was awarded a bachelor’s in Brain, Behavior and Cognitive Sciences. While attending Loyola University of Chicago, she finished with a Masters in Neuroscience.

She has a severe-profound hearing loss and wears bilateral hearing aids. She lost her hearing at a young age due to illness. Sarah knows American Sign Language and is proud to be part of the deaf culture. Sarah believes that AMPHL is a rewarding organization that has helped and taught her many things over the years. She hopes that more people reach out to AMPHL for networking and/or help in their careers.


Profession Representatives

Christopher Moreland, MD, MPH
Physician Representative
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Christopher Moreland, MD, MPH
Physician Representative
christopher.moreland@amphl.org

Christopher (Chris) Moreland originally hails from Texas, where he obtained an M.D. in 2005 from the University of Texas (UT) at Houston Medical School. At the University of California, Davis, he completed his Internal Medicine residency in 2008 and his postdoctoral General Internal Medicine fellowship in 2010. Having returned home to Texas with his wife (an emergency medicine physician), he now practices as an academic hospitalist, assistant clinical professor, and associate program director of the internal medicine residency program at UTHSC San Antonio. Among his interests are health communication, the reduction of health disparities relating to the deaf and limited English proficient communities, and medical education (including that of deaf and hard of hearing health professionals and interpreters).


Jaime Wilson, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology and Mental Health Representative
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Jaime Wilson, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology and Mental Health Representative
Digital Strategy Team
jaime.wilson@amphl.org

Jaime A.B. Wilson is a licensed psychologist in private practice. Wilson Clinical Services, PLLC. provides an array of psychological health care services to deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, and blind individuals across the State of Washington. Born with a profound hearing loss, he grew up wearing bilateral hearing aids. Although Jaime primarily communicated using spoken language growing up, he is also an American Sign Language user.

Jaime received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Brigham Young University, Provo, UT and completed a predoctoral internship at the University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship residency at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, WA. Jaime resides in Olympia, WA with his wife (a registered nurse who is also deaf), and two kids.

Danielle Rastetter, DVM
Veterinarian Representative
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Danielle Rastetter, DVM
Veterinarian Representative
danielle.rastetter@amphl.org

Danielle graduated from Hiram College and The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Danielle owns a spay and neuter veterinary clinic for dogs, cats, and rabbits and also has a working relationship with a mobile low-cost vaccination clinic regularly visiting the Dayton area. A progressive sensorineural hearing loss has culminated into a severe to profound deafness that is compensated for with two cochlear implants, speech reading, and other assistive listening devices such as amplified stethoscopes and telephones. Danielle was raised oral and mainstreamed for her education.

Danielle founded the electronic listserver NOISE in 1997 as she became more aware of the need for a communication modality between health professionals with hearing losses and those interested in health professions. Contacts made through NOISE led to the collaboration to establish AMPHL. She keenly remembers her high school years as she wrestled with the question many of us have-“Can I do it?” Thanks to the guidance of several other veterinarians with hearing losses, Danielle determined she could and now wants to return the favor to others. AMPHL is an extension of her dream to assist in such goals.

Samuel Atcherson, PhD, CCC-A
Audiologist Representative
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Samuel Atcherson, PhD, CCC-A
Audiologist Representative
Registry Chair
samuel.atcherson@amphl.org
Registry Co-chair

Samuel R. Atcherson, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology and adjunct Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences/University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He is an educator, clinical audiologist, scientist, author, and speaker with over 90 publications and 150 presentations on a variety of hearing related topics, including hearing assistive technology.

Sam has large vestibular aqueduct syndrome (LVAS) that resulted in progressive hearing loss. He wore hearing aids for about 34 years, but now wears bilateral cochlear implants. Although Sam primarily communicates using spoken language, he is also an American Sign Language user. Sam has been a longtime affiliate of AMPHL since 2001 serving on the board in various capacities, including President. He currently serves as AMPHL Audiology Profession Leader and Registry Co-Chair.

Marcie Johnson, MPA, PA-C
Physician Assistant Representative
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Marcie Johnson, MPA, PA-C
Physician Assistant Representative
Digital Strategy co-Chair
Financial Plan Team
Organization Restructure Project Team
Physician Assistant Representative
marcie.johnson@amphl.org

Marcie Johnson has been on the board of directors for AMPHL since beginning graduate school in 2011 to become a physician assistant. Marcie is originally from Chico, California, and is a UCLA graduate, with a B.S. in Psychobiology. She received her Masters from Samuel Merritt University, in Oakland, California. She was awarded a grant to complete a rural track program for her clinical rotations in her hometown. In addition, she did a wilderness medicine rotation in Yellowstone National Park. Marcie’s university awarded her Outstanding Physician Assistant Student, the highest honor bestowed at graduation. She has congenital bilateral profound hearing loss, and wore bilateral hearing aids prior to obtaining cochlear implants in 2016. Marcie primarily uses spoken English, but also uses ASL. She used designated interpreters while in graduate school. She currently works in urgent care & family practice, and uses a visual display stethoscope from Thinklabs.

Marcie enjoys an active lifestyle: backpacking, hiking, kayaking, camping, biking, snow-skiing, Nordic skiing, windsurfing, and the flying trapeze. She also loves stories. In the six years between undergrad at UCLA and starting graduate school, Marcie did extensive world travel while living and working in many places around the world, including Yosemite National Park; Edinburgh, Scotland; a ski resort in Sun Valley, Idaho; and Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand. She currently lives with her husband in Portland, Oregon.