Elizabeth Perkins, MD, assistant professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, joined the surgical faculty in the Department of Otolaryngology in August 2021, and she is serving as co-director of Pediatric Neurotology at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
“We’re very fortunate to have someone with Elizabeth’s qualifications to add to our Pediatric Neurotology program,” said Eben Rosenthal, MD, professor and chair of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. “She will most certainly be a leader in our field — as a clinician, program builder and educator.
“In addition, it is vital to have a coordinated point of access for patients and their families to simplify and demystify the experience. Already, we’re seeing great progress under Elizabeth’s leadership.”
Perkins earned an 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.
She treats a variety of disorders in children and adults including acoustic neuromas, cochlear implants, and chronic ear disease.
Perkins is working with colleagues to build a multidisciplinary, coordinated team focused on hearing loss in children. Her colleagues include Christopher Wootten, MD, Frank Virgin, MD, and David Haynes, MD, who 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.
“It’s very important that children with hearing loss have access to the care they need,” said Perkins. “We are coordinating their care across multiple disciplines, including audiology, ophthalmology, genetics, social services, pediatrics and speech therapy, so that their appointments are aligned for their convenience.”
The Pediatric Neurotology group is focusing on internal and external outreach that educates and updates parents and health care teams about hearing loss and the indications for cochlear implantations and other complex ear surgeries.
“Our overall goal is to build Vanderbilt as a destination center for pediatric hearing loss nationwide, beyond the state of Tennessee,” Perkins said. “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. We are treating the entire child, not just the hearing loss.”