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Perkins named director of Pediatric Neurotology

Aug. 26, 2021, 9:17 AM

Elizabeth Perkins, MD

by Jessica Pasley

Elizabeth Perkins, MD, assistant professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, has been named director of Pediatric Neurotology at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Perkins, who recently completed her neurotology fellowship at Vanderbilt, will work with colleagues to build a multidisciplinary, coordinated team focused on hearing loss in children. Ronald Eavey, MD, Christopher Wootten, MD, Frank Virgin, MD, and David Haynes, MD, have collaborated to establish a solid pediatric hearing loss program in an effort to prevent speech delays and other disabilities that can impact learning and performance in schools. As Perkins joins their team, they will continue to expand the already existing center of excellence.

“It’s very important that children with hearing loss have access to the care they need,” said Perkins. “We will coordinate their care across multiple disciplines, including audiology, ophthalmology, genetics, social services, pediatrics and speech therapy, so that their appointments are aligned for their convenience.

“And as their care team, we too will begin having group meetings to discuss a head-to-toe approach for treatment plans and implement universal care protocols.”

Perkins hopes the new treatment methodology will help the team refine the already existing top-notch care that Children’s Hospital offers, including both the diagnosis and management process.

“Over the past two years during my time here as a fellow, a portion of my training included learning about resource utilization and work flow. This can allow me to apply the same principles to pediatric hearing loss,” she said. “Our overall goal is to build Vanderbilt as a destination center for pediatric hearing loss nationwide, beyond the state of Tennessee.

“As we refine the referral process, we want more children to have access to our services, including children with syndromic, acquired and congenital hearing loss. Providing early access to diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation is incredibly important.”

Perkins earned her undergraduate degree at Albion College in 2010 followed by her medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in 2014. She completed her residency at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, followed by a fellowship at Vanderbilt in neurotology and lateral skull base surgery.

“We will focus on both internal and external outreach that educates and updates parents and health care teams alike about hearing loss and the indications for cochlear implantations and other complex ear surgeries. We are treating the entire child, not just the hearing loss.”

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