Southwestern Hearing Center has served the hearing health needs of Santa Fe and the communities of northern New Mexico since 1986. We provide exceptional audiology services in a modern facility in Santa Fe. Our experienced and trusted audiologists are Dr. Kathleen Weidner, Dr. Kaya Peterson and Dr. Jen Hurst.
We provide diagnostic testing for hearing issues and dispense hearing aids from the top manufactures in the industry.
The practice has assembled an exceptional, customer focused staff working in a team-oriented environment.
Kathleen Weidner, Au.D.
Director of Audiology
Dr. Weidner is our Director of Audiology. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is a state-licensed dispensing audiologist. Dr. Weidner began her more than 24 year audiology career as a student at Southwestern Hearing Center after completing her clinical fellowship year.
Dr. Weidner completed her bachelor’s degree in communication disorders from the University of New Mexico and earned her Master of Science in audiology from the University of New Mexico in 1996. In 2005, she was awarded her Doctor of Audiology from A.T. Still University.
As the Director of Audiology, Dr. Weidner instills her team with the philosophy that the patient comes first. She explains, “Our patients are the reason we are here. We need to care for our patients with the utmost respect, professionalism and, above all, we need to be empathetic to the situations our patients face.”
Dr. Weidner finds audiology to be a rewarding field. “It is inspiring to watch a patient evolve as they reconnect with family and community. Their confidence and their quality of life and work also continue to improve during rehabilitation of their hearing loss.” She also enjoys the opportunity to train and mentor students as they become future leaders in the field of audiology. She finds the role of mentor to be symbiotic – she learns as much from the students’ fresh perspectives as they learn from her experience.
As a part of Southwestern Hearing Center, Dr. Weidner still enjoys the comprehensive team approach as she works with like-minded physicians committed to serve northern New Mexico with accountability, integrity and respect for all of our patients.
Dr. Weidner is a native New Mexican currently living in El Dorado. She enjoys spending time with her granddaughter, swimming, playing water volleyball, gardening and dancing.
Kaya Peterson, Au.D.
Doctor of Audiology
Dr. Kaya Peterson, Au.D., CCC-A, F-AAA, joined Southwestern hearing Center in July 2016. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in speech pathology from the University of Nevada at Reno. Dr. Peterson received her Doctor of Audiology from Pacific University in Oregon. She is a licensed audiologist in the state of New Mexico and is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and American Academy of Audiology.
Dr. Peterson is passionate about working with the diagnostic audiology department and supervising graduate students in addition to dispensing hearing aids to both the adult and pediatric populations.
In her free time, Dr. Peterson enjoys cooking, traveling, skiing and spending time with family and her puppy, Kona. She is originally from Northern California but loves everything the beautiful Southwest has to offer. Dr. Peterson is fluent in German and speaks some Spanish.
Jen Hurst, Au.D.
Doctor of Audiology
Dr. Jennifer Hurst, Au.D, F-AAA, joined the team at Southwest Hearing Center in August 2018. She is a native of Southeastern Utah and received her master’s degree in audiology from Utah State University and her Doctor of Audiology from AT Still University.
Dr. Hurst has worked as an educational audiologist and a clinical audiologist in a hospital setting. She has experience with adult diagnostics, hearing aid fitting and adjustment, pediatric diagnostics and amplification, and educational audiology. She loves helping her patients hear better to improve their communication and quality of life.
Dr. Hurst moved to Santa Fe in August of 2018 with her partner, Haz, and her dog and sidekick, Atticus Finch. She has two boys in college and enjoys spending her free time playing tennis, mushroom hunting, hiking, and riding her bike around Santa Fe.
Colleen Feldewert, AuD
Doctor of Audiology
Dr. Colleen Feldewert joined Southwest Hearing Center in May 2018 She received her Bachelor of Arts in communication sciences and disorders from St. Louis University and completed her Doctor of Audiology at Gallaudet University.
Dr. Feldewert was diagnosed with bilateral moderate-severe sensorineural hearing loss at the age of three and was subsequently fit with her first set of BTE hearing aids. She knows firsthand how big of an impact hearing loss can have on someone’s life and understands how important a support system and developing strategies are to live a fulfilled life.
Audiology has allowed Dr. Feldewert to combine her personal experience, passion for helping those in need and capacity to perform audiological tasks to make a real and impactful change. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, playing soccer, dancing and eating delicious food. Dr. Feldewert is fluent in English, Spanish and American Sign Language.
Clinical Operations Manager
Melanie Gallegos joined Southwestern Hearing Center in January 2013 as part of the audiology administrative staff. She graduated from New Mexico Highlands University at Las Vegas with her bachelor degree in business administration.
Melanie previously worked as the Tax Department Lead for a wholly owned subsidiary of a Fortune 500 company in the cigarette and tobacco industry. She gained an extensive amount of business experience in the 12 years she was with the company. She enjoys working with a great team to provide superior patient care. She looks forward to a successful, enlightening future with Southwestern Hearing.
Melanie was born in Southern California but has been in New Mexico for more than 20 years and is happy to call it home. She enjoys spending time with her family and is very active in her children’s many extracurricular activities.
Jennifer Sandoval began working at Southwestern Hearing Center in 2002 as the audiology coordinator. In 2008 she received her Certification of Audiology Tech from the Audiologist’s Assistant Program at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.
The patients at Southwestern Hearing Center know Jennifer for her smile and sense of humor. They appreciate that she knows them by name and they rely on her support and service in relation to their hearing device care. She prides herself in treating every patient with the utmost respect, dignity and kindness.
Jennifer enjoys meeting and working with new people every day. She gets satisfaction from making a positive difference in the lives of patients and their families. She states that “seeing the look on an individual’s face after they have been taken care of is such a rewarding experience.”
For Jennifer, working at Southwestern Hearing Center is like working with family. Everyone is always supportive of one other. She is very appreciative of the opportunities she has been given to learn and grow in audiology.
Jennifer is a native New Mexican. She has three children and six grandchildren. In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys cooking, going to Zumba, rescuing orchids and caring for her indoor plants.
Patient Care Representative
Melanie Rael was born and raised in Santa Fe, NM. Prior to joining the team at Southwestern Hearing Center, Melanie worked in banking for 26 years. Most recently, she worked in private banking with First National Bank of Santa Fe.
Melanie enjoys working with the patients at Southwestern Hearing Center and assisting them with their needs.
When she’s not working, Melanie spends quality time with her 13-year-old daughter and 7-month-old great niece. Her hobbies include walking her dog on the trails around Santa Fe, cooking and gardening.
Patient Care Representative
Gail Tischendorf was born and raised in Wisconsin. She earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 1992 and moved to Santa Fe with her daughter soon afterwards. Gail has worked in professional offices her entire career, including a veterinary practice and optometrist offices. She has worked in medical offices for the past 10 years. She joined Southwestern Hearing Center as a patient care representative in 2017.
In her free time, Gail enjoys crafting, reading, researching her family history and spoiling her two cats.