Marion Downs Hearing Center

​The Marion Downs Hearing Center is recognized worldwide for unique leadership, stellar service provision and progressive innovations in the realm of hearing, and deafness. The MDHC promotes and provides an inter-disciplinary collaborative approach of working with infant hearing programs, early intervention programs, family-centered support programs, and geriatric hearing concerns in order to meet the needs of individuals with hearing loss.

Marion Downs Hearing Center Programs

Our programs fill service gaps in the community, and connect families with critical resources. Our patients can access programs ranging from infant hearing programs to family-centered support programs. Some of these programs include: Hearing assessments, Speech and language testing, Telehealth services and therapy, and Medical otology services.

Marion Downs Hearing Center Research

The Marion Downs Hearing Center is actively involved in the development and dissemination of research for the purpose of better understanding the implications of hearing loss, balance and dizziness issues, language and communication delays related to hearing loss, implantable hearing devices, and other topics related to hearing sciences. Our research involves all ages, from the speech perception of infants with hearing aids to the viability of implantable microphones in adults. Researchers are affiliated with the University of Colorado, Boulder and University of Colorado, School of Medicine.

Current Research Topics in Adult and Pediatric Populations Include:

  • Determining FM needs using varying noise levels to aid in setting FM gain
  • Assessment of infant speech perception (discrimination) in typical and hard of hearing listeners
  • Examining the relationship of the development of the brain's auditory cortex and speech perception
  • Hierarchical ranking of speech perception for adults and children in order to optimize outcomes
  • Clinical trials examining the safety and efficacy of active middle ear prosthesis
  • Longitudinal study of infant speech perception in young cochlear implant candidates
  • Tinnitus management
  • Identifying a valid screening tool for Autism in the deaf and hard of hearing pediatric population
  • Study of Carina™ Microphone and Signal Processing with Freedom™ Cochlear Implants via the Perc Plug
  • A comparison of the efficacy and tolerability of two home exercises, the Epley maneuver and the Half Somersault, in the treatment of benign positional vertigo

Marion Downs Hearing Center Education & Outreach

As a Center of Excellence, the Marion Downs Hearing Center provides conferences and workshops to educate professionals and patients on the best strategies for managing the effects of hearing loss.


Herman Jenkins, MD
Barbara Bell-Lehmkuhler, MA, AuD
Stephen Cass, MD, MPH
Stacy Claycomb, AuD
Shannon Elam, MA, AuD
Tammy Fredrickson, PhD
Ronald Olson, MS, AuD
Cory Portnuff, AuD, PhD
Darcy Strong, AuD
Kristin Uhler, PhD
Kathleen Zaccaro, MA