Meet the Team
Better hearing and a better quality of life can be yours for many years with the help of the right hearing professional. At Hearing Assessment Center, LLC, we pride ourselves on developing long-term relationships with our patients. Relationships based on unsurpassed personal service that begins the first time you walk through our doors and continues long after your initial appointment.
Rory Cernik, Au.D.
CEO/President, Doctor of Audiology
Dr. Rory D. Cernik is our Director of Clinical Services at the Hearing Assessment Center. He has received extensive training from some of the brightest minds in audiology. During his doctoral training, he focused his research on the auditory system’s response to stimulation and deprivation. He was able to document that short-term deprivation, similar to hearing loss, altered the effectiveness of the auditory system. These studies serve as the foundation for what we now know today; that hearing loss, if left untreated, increases the likelihood of cognitive atrophy and decline. Dr. Cernik uses his research background and extensive training to properly diagnose and treat hearing loss in his community. Often, patients will drive quite a few hours to spend time with Dr. Cernik. His passion is to properly educate his patients and rehabilitate the cognitive aspects of their hearing loss. He also practices general audiology. Dr. Cernik is currently seeing patients in our Lutherville location.
Expertise and Experiences
- Founder of Hearing Assessment Center in Maryland, a multi-location, multi-audiologist private practice that SERVES patients in Baltimore and surrounding areas
- His practice specializes in: the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss, the brain’s auditory processing capability, tinnitus origins, and assessment of your cognitive load (meaning how hard your brain works to separate speech from background noise)
- Mentoring and training of doctoral students from local universities
- Interviewed on WBAL and WCBM; weekly Baltimore Hears You segments
- TV commercial, WBAL
- Mentored by world renowned tinnitus researchers and continually is recognized nationally by his peers
- Specializes in industrial audiology and worker’s compensation claims. He has examined hundreds of local fireman and police officers
- He has seen and impacted over 5000 lives in our community
- Specializes in pain free cerumen (ear wax) removal and maintenance
Donald A. Guillen, Au.D.
Doctor of Audiology
Dr. Donald A. Guillen earned his doctorate from Towson University and completed his clinical fellowship at the Hearing Assessment Center under the tutelage of Dr. Rory Cernik. During his doctoral studies, his research focused heavily on the effect of degraded listening conditions (background noise and reverberation) on cochlear filtering as well as auditory brainstem encoding in normal and hearing impaired individuals. In particular, he was interested in understanding why hearing impaired individuals have a difficult time understanding speech in noisy environments while normal hearing individuals do not. He utilizes this in-depth understanding to properly treat hearing impairment clinically, as the applicability of this research is integral to the recommendations he makes on a daily basis. He now dedicates much of his time to the thorough evaluation and treatment of individuals with chronic tinnitus and hyperacusis. He has established himself in the community as a caring and well-versed tinnitus professional who has treated and assisted many of these individuals.
Dr. Guillen also thoroughly enjoys educating patients on the dangers of untreated hearing loss and serves as a Community Ambassador. He is passionate about the importance of addressing hearing loss. He frequently performs talks and provides hearing screenings at senior centers, local military retiree centers, hunting clubs, and other local organizations. Under this role, he has also had the privilege of assisting the international community through his work with the St. Clare Medical Outreach program, a Baltimore based program, which looks to lessen healthcare disparities between immigrants/refugees and the general population. Dr. Guillen has demonstrated a strong commitment to serving our local veterans and has taken on a leadership role in this area. Currently, Dr. Guillen is seeing patients in our Lutherville location.
Expertise and Experiences
- Spanish-proficiency certification from the University of Alcalá de Henares in Madrid. Dr. Guillen is the only bilingual audiologist in the Baltimore Metro Area.
- Highly specialized in cerumen (ear wax) removal utilizing only non-abrasive methods to ensure a pain free experience.
- Specializes in industrial audiology and worker’s compensation claims. Has worked with numerous firefighters and police officers in the area, providing rehabilitative treatment to many of these individuals.
- Accredited provider for the Hear Now Foundation program.
- His professional interests and expertise include: tinnitus evaluation, tinnitus retraining therapy, the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss, geriatric audiology, and cognitive hearing deficits and processing disorders.
Katelyn Leitner, Au.D., F-AAA, CCC-A
Doctor of Audiology
Dr. Katelyn “Katie” Leitner is the friendly faced audiologist you encounter if you venture to our offices in Bel Air or Perry Hall/Nottingham. She takes pride in getting to know each of her patients to form a lasting doctor-patient relationship built on trust. By both listening to a patient’s individual needs and through evidence-based practice, Dr. Leitner works in partnership with her patient to create a treatment plan and set realistic expectations in order to achieve favorable outcomes. Dr. Leitner has undergone extensive training across various clinical environments while enrolled in graduate school and has a passion for pediatric audiology. She stays current on the latest research and technology in order to best serve her patients in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss.
Expertise and Experiences
- Certification of Clinical Competence (CCC-A) through the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA)
- 2018 Academy Scholar from the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) for earning more than 50 credit hours in continuing education credits over a two-year period.
- Maryland Academy of Audiology (MAA), Board Member at Large
- Serves as a clinical preceptor mentoring Towson University audiology graduate students
- Maryland Academy of Audiology – Board Member at Large
Nikki Butler, Au.D.
Doctor of Audiology
Dr. Nicolette “Nikki” Butler is the audiologist at our Warrenton, Virginia office. Dr. Nikki received her doctorate at East Tennessee State University. She completed her residency at the Alaska Hearing and Tinnitus Center in Anchorage, Alaska. She has done extensive research in the area of auditory Working Memory. Working Memory is how the brain stores input from the ears. Her team focused on the relationship between speech comprehension and Working Memory. She has presented her research and some of the biggest events in the audiology world.
Dr. Nikki is certified by the American Board of Audiology. This certification demonstrates a commitment to professional standards, ethical practices, and continued professional development. Only 15% of audiologist have this distinction. She also holds a certificate in Tinnitus Management. Only a select few doctors have this qualification. People who suffer from tinnitus actively seek out Dr. Nikki’s care; often times, patients will drive several hours for her treatment and care.
Dr. Nikki is the most passionate audiologist you will find. She has dedicated her life to helping those in her community who suffer from hearing loss and tinnitus. She understands how important hearing is to everyone’s cognitive health and overall quality of life. Her main goal is to educate every single patient and, if necessary, treat these individuals with the highest level of care. Since moving to VA from Alaska, Dr. Nikki has developed a very strong reputation in the community.
When she is not serving her community, Dr. Nikki enjoys cooking, drinking copious amounts of coffee and exploring Virginia with her husband and two dogs.
Dawn Jeckell, BC-HIS
Hearing Instrument Specialist
Dawn Jeckell, BC-HIS is Board Certified by the National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences. This designation distinguishes her outstanding skills and professional expertise representing her initiative to excel beyond the standard requirements for hearing instrument specialists. She has been practicing as a hearing instrument specialist serving Fauquier County, VA for the last seven years.
Dawn is a certified associate of the Tinnitus Practitioners Association specializing in advanced diagnostics and treatment for tinnitus.
She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from George Mason University, Fairfax VA.
Dawn is sensitive and compassionate towards the needs of her patients and their families. She loves the close, personal relationships that she develops through helping her patients hear their best. She stays up to date with the newest hearing technology to provide her patients with the best opportunity to lead an active life through effortless hearing and communication.