Meet the Cochlear Implant Team

  • Ostrower Samuel T
    • Samuel Ostrower, MD
    • Medical Co-Director, Pediatric Cochlear Implant Center
      Medical Director, Pediatric Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery
    • Dr. Ostrower is the medical co-director of the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Center. He is a board-certified otolaryngologist and fellowship trained pediatric otolaryngologist. He received his Bachelor of Science from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX and went on to complete his medical degree from Texas Tech University School of Medicine.  After he completed his residency in Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, he received advanced Pediatric Otolaryngology fellowship training at Harvard University - Boston Children’s Hospital. His clinical and research interests include cochlear implantation and airway surgery.

  • Brietzke Scott E
    • Scott E Brietzke, MD
    • Pediatric Otolaryngologist

    • Dr. Brietzke is an otolaryngologist and sleep specialist who treats pediatric patients with ear infections, hearing loss (including cochlear implants), cleft palates, congenital syndromes, voice problems, and other ear, nose and throat concerns. As a board-certified sleep medicine specialist and surgeon, he also works with the sleep medicine team to help treat children with sleep apnea, snoring and other concerns that impede sleep quality. Before joining Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Dr. Brietzke served in the U.S. Army for more than 20 years, caring for soldiers and their families. His special interests include cochlear implantation and sleep medicine.

  • Sweeti Shah
    • Sweeti Shah, DO
    • Pediatric Otolaryngologist
    • Dr. Shah is a pediatric cochlear implant surgeon and is a board-certified otolaryngologist and fellowship trained pediatric otolaryngologist. She received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Georgia and went on to complete her medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Georgia. She completed her residency in Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery at Detroit Medical Center. She received advance Pediatric Otolaryngology fellowship training at Mercy Children’s Hospital in Kansas City, MO. Her clinical and research interests include cochlear implantation and laryngomalacia.

  • Grobman Lawrence R
    • Lawrence Grobman, MD
    • Medical Co-Director, Pediatric Cochlear Implant Center
    • Dr. Grobman is the medical co-director of the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Center and is a board-certified neurotologist and otolaryngologist.  He received his Bachelor of Science from Haverford College and went on to receive his medical degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine. He completed his Neurotology fellowship at the University of Zurich in Switzerland where he trained under Professor Ugo Fisch. His clinical interests include cochlear implantation and treating diseases of the external, middle and inner ear.

  • Julie Verhoff
    • Julie Verhoff, AuD, PhD
    • Director of Pediatric Audiology and Cochlear Implant Audiologist
      Cochlear Implant Center Coordinator
    • Dr. Verhoff is the director of Audiology at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital and a pediatric cochlear implant audiologist. She received her Bachelor of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of New Mexico and her Doctor of Audiology (AuD) from the University of Texas at Dallas. She completed her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from Gallaudet University in Washington, DC and holds a certificate of clinical competency from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. Before joining Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, she was the director of Audiology at the River School and Chattering Children. Her clinical and research interests include speech perception of young children with hearing loss, pediatric diagnostic assessment, hearing aid and cochlear implants, and pediatric aural habilitation.

  • Bianca Castro
    • Bianca Castro, AuD
    • Cochlear Implant Audiologist
    • Bianca Castro is the coordinator for the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Center. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Florida and her Doctor of Audiology (AuD) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a certificate of clinical competency from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. She completed an externship in pediatric audiology at the University of Miami Mailman Center for Child Development and her interests include pediatric diagnostic assessment, cochlear implants and osseo-integrated hearing devices.

  • Ania Reyes
    • Ania Reyes, AuD
    • Cochlear Implant Audiologist
    • Ania Reyes is a pediatric cochlear implant audiologist. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Florida and her Doctor of Audiology (AuD) from Nova Southeastern University in Davie, FL.  She holds a certificate of clinical competency from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association.  Her areas of interest include pediatric diagnostic assessment, cochlear implants and auditory processing disorders.

    • Leonor "Leo" Roach, AuD
    • Pediatric Audiologist
    • Leonor "Leo" Roach is a pediatric audiologist. She received her Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Florida State University and her Doctorate in Audiology from Nova Southeastern University. Her clinical externship was completed at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, she holds a certificate of clinical competency from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. Prior to joining Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in 2017, she worked as assistant professor of Audiology at the University of Miami Ear Institute. Her areas of interest include pediatric diagnostic assessment and pediatric amplification.

  • Lauren Rothstein, SLP-a
    • Lauren Rothstein, SLP-a
    • Auditory Verbal Therapist
    • Lauren Rothstein is a pediatric auditory verbal therapist. She received her Bachelor of Science in Behavior Science with a focus in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She has a background in teaching special education and is a licensed speech language pathology assistant. She worked at the University of Miami Ear Institute Cochlear Implant Program before coming to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. She is proficient in American Sign Language, and her clinical interest is pediatric aural habilitation.

  • Debra Stanley
    • Debra Stanley, LCSW
    • Social Worker
    • Debra Stanley is a pediatric licensed clinical social worker. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the Illinois State University. She completed her master’s in Social Work from Barry University in Miami, FL. She has many years of experience working with medically complex children and her main interest is helping patients and families to overcome obstacles in healthcare to facilitate timely access to quality medical and psychosocial care.

  • NataliaWiech
    • Natalia Wiech, SLP
    • Speech-Language Pathologist
    • Natalia Wiech is a speech-language pathologist focusing on children with hearing loss and cochlear implants. She received her Bachelor f Arts in Linguistics from the University of Florida, a Post-Baccalaureate in Communication Science Disorders from the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, and her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of South Florida. While obtaining her master’s, Natalia was awarded the Listening and Spoken Language in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations Grant. With the grant, Natalia took specialized coursework in auditory-verbal therapy, hearing loss and bilingualism. She also completed clinical work at the Bolesta Center in Tampa, working solely with children with hearing loss under the supervision of a licensed auditory-verbal therapist. She holds a certificate of clinical competency from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. Her interests include aural habilitation, early intervention and bilingualism.