Come Meet Our Audiologists at Hearing Assessment Center, LLC

At Hearing Assessment Center, LLC, we’re committed to helping our patients restore their hearing and improve their quality of life. Armed with the latest hearing loss treatments, we’ll help you get back to doing what you love. Meet our team of highly qualified audiologists and hearing experts.

Rory Cernik, Au.D., CEO/President, Doctor of Audiology

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.

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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

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.

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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 and Bel Air locations.

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

Katelyn Leitner, Au.D., F-AAA, CCC-A

Doctor of Audiology

Dr. Katelyn “Katie” Leitner is the audiologist who heads our Perry Hall/Nottingham office. She previously worked in our Lutherville and Bel Air offices.

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Dr. Leitner takes pride in getting to know each of her patients, to form a longstanding 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 an effective treatment plan while setting realistic expectations. Dr. Leitner underwent extensive training across various clinical environments while enrolled in graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh 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 and tinnitus. When not in the office, she and her husband are avidly collecting passport stamps and hiking trails as they venture to as many of the U.S. National Parks as they can.

Expertise and Experiences

  • Certification of Clinical Competence (CCC-A) through the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA)
  • Certificate Holder-Tinnitus Management-CH-TM™ through the American Board of Audiology (ABA), 2020
  • 2018 and 2019 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.
  • Board Member at Large, Maryland Academy of Audiology (MAA)
  • Serves as a clinical preceptor mentoring 2nd and 3rd year Towson University audiology graduate students
Nikki Butler, Au.D., Doctor of Audiology

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.

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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

Hearing Instrument Specialist

Dawn Jeckell, BC-HIS is Board Certified by the National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences.

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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.

Karson Sacca, Audiology Doctorate Student

Karson Sacca

Audiology Doctorate Student

Karson Sacca received her Bachelor’s degree in Speech Language Pathology, Audiology, and Deaf Studies in 2017. She is currently a fourth-year audiology doctorate student at Towson University, completing her clinical residency at the Hearing Assessment Center, under the supervision of Dr. Rory Cernik.

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During her doctoral studies, her research titled “Assessing Auditory Processing Abilities in Neuro-Typical Older Adults” highlighted that efficiently processing auditory information may be hindered even in a healthy aging adult. Karson uses her research and clinical training to assess, diagnose, and treat hearing loss in patients of all ages. She believes patient education is one of the most important aspects of having successful hearing treatment. She enjoys making connections with each patient and is passionate about giving patients the necessary tools to be successful in various listening environments.

Jennifer Borja, Audiology Doctorate Student

Jennifer Borja

Audiology Doctorate Student

Jennifer Borja earned her Bachelor’s degree in Hearing and Speech Sciences from the University of Maryland in 2018. She is currently a fourth-year audiology doctorate student at the University of Maryland, completing her clinical residency at the Hearing Assessment Center, under the supervision of Dr. Rory Cernik.

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During her doctoral studies, she researched the neurophysiological mechanisms of tinnitus, trying to better understand the pathological sources of tinnitus in an effort to improve tinnitus treatment. She is becoming quite efficient in helping our patients with tinnitus.

Jennifer has a passion for helping others which is why she chose Audiology. She enjoys being able to help patients improve their quality of life and communicate with their loved ones. Since she is bilingual, Jennifer is able to effectively communicate with many of her patients, including those who are affiliated with St. Claire’s outreach program. St. Clare Medical Outreach provides free preventive and audiology services to individuals with no access to healthcare.

She strives to provide the best patient care during every appointment. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and trying new restaurants.

Our Story and Mission

We take pride in helping our patients improve their quality of life.

Patient Testimonial

One of our loyal and devoted patients speaks about her experiences with hearing loss. See more reviews.