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. Kaya Peterson, Dr. Ron Miller, Dr. Colleen Feldewert and Dr. Robert Melton.
We provide diagnostic testing for hearing concerns 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.
Kaya Peterson, Au.D., CCC-A, FAAA, CH-AP
Doctor of Audiology
Dr. Kaya Peterson, Au.D., joined Southwestern hearing Center in July 2016. She graduated with a bachelor’s in speech pathology from the University of Nevada at Reno. Dr. Peterson received her doctorate in 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 enjoys caring for the adult and pediatric populations. She has experience in diagnosing and providing various options for those with all types of hearing loss and balance disorders. She works closely with the ear, nose and throat physicians on staff to provide each patient with evidence-based family-centered care. Dr. Peterson oversees the audiology doctoral student residency program at Southwestern Hearing Center. Teaching is something she is passionate about and includes in her daily clinical practice.
In her free time, Dr. Peterson enjoys traveling, skiing and spending time with family, friends and her dog Kona. She is originally from Santa Rosa, California but loves everything the beautiful Southwest has to offer. Dr. Peterson is fluent in German and speaks some Spanish.
Ron Miller, Au.D., FAAA, ABA
Doctor of Audiology
Dr. Ron Miller has been an audiologist for more than 30 years. While initially interested in deaf education, he focused his attention on audiology after taking a few undergraduate classes on the subject. Dr. Miller graduated with a Bachelor of Science in communicative disorders and a master’s in audiology from Brigham Young University. He received his Doctor of Audiology from Salus University.
Dr. Miller has worked in hospitals, medical clinics, educational and hearing aid manufacturer settings prior to becoming the director of his own hearing clinic in Arizona. In January 2020, Dr. Miller moved to Santa Fe to join the team at Southwestern Hearing Center. He loves the beauty of the area, the abundance of outdoor activities that are so close by and the variety of art and music available right in town.
Over the years he learned that the best hearing care comes when everyone works together. He has seen firsthand the quality of life improvements patients can experience when they finally treat their hearing loss. Knowing his patients can now connect with loved ones and participate in activities they once loved is the most rewarding part of Dr. Miller’s job.
Dr. Miller is incredibly proud of his four daughters and fifteen beautiful grandchildren. He enjoys hiking and gardening, as well as participating in community and church choirs.
Colleen Feldewert, Au.D., CCC-A, FAAA
Doctor of Audiology
Dr. Colleen Feldewert joined Southwestern 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.
Mikaela (Mika) Hernandez is our newest audiology resident. She graduated from Portland State University with a bachelor’s in speech and hearing sciences. Mika currently attends Idaho State University and plans to graduate with a doctorate in audiology in May 2023.
Nearly all of Mika’s clinical experience has been in private practice, and that is where she hopes to continue practicing. What Mika loves most about private practice is having the time and space to get to know her patients. She believes combining evidence-based practice with patient-centered care is key to helping patients improve their communication and quality of life. Mika aspires to be accredited by the American Academy of Audiology and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
In her free time, Mika enjoys exploring the Santa Fe area and trying out new foods. She also enjoys cooking, reading, hiking and playing video games.
Kathleen Weidner, Au.D.
Retired and loving life
After 25 years of outstanding patient care and team leadership, Dr. Weidner has retired. A native New Mexican, she began her 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 at 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. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
As the Director of Audiology, Dr. Weidner instilled 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 they face.”
We are grateful for her years of leadership and we look forward to continuing to care for our patients with her gold-standard legacy in mind.
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.
Patient Care Representative
Nikki Henan joined Southwestern Hearing Center as a patient care representative in early 2020. Originally from Santa Fe, Nikki spent the last decade working at optometrists’ offices. She enjoys establishing relationships with the patients and is excited to be working with the fun and welcoming team at Southwestern Hearing Center.
When not at work, Nikki loves to spend time with her two kids and two granddaughters. She enjoys hiking around New Mexico and working out.