Skip to main content

HCE Leadership

Col Lakeisha r. henry, mc, fs

Division Chief, Hearing Center of Excellence

Colonel LaKeisha Henry, MD, United States Air Force, serves as Division Chief, Department of Defense Hearing Center of Excellence (HCE), Defense Health Agency, a collaborative effort with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Stationed at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, she leads the HCE as it executes the Congressionally-directed mission to optimize operational effectiveness, heighten medical readiness, and enhance quality of life for Service members and Veterans through collaborative leadership and advocacy for hearing and balanced health initiatives. She also serves as the Otolaryngology Consultant to the Air Force Surgeon General.

Colonel Henry is an otolaryngologist within the San Antonio Military Health System and is actively involved as teaching faculty member for the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium (SAUSHEC), ensuring a cooperative relationship with the Joint Service Graduate Medical Education program. She is an Advance Trauma Life Support Instructor and a Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery. Colonel Henry most recently served as the 59th Medical Group’s Otolaryngology Master Clinician and has previously served as a Squadron Commander in addition to other leadership roles during her numerous clinical assignments both in the U.S. and overseas.

Colonel Henry earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Management from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1992 and a Medical Doctorate from USUHS in 1998.  She completed a residency in Otolaryngology in 2005 at SAUSHEC in San Antonio, Texas. Colonel Henry additionally serves on several advisory committees for the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

Lynn W. Henselman, PhD

Deputy Division Chief, Hearing Center of Excellence

Dr. Lynn Henselman is the Deputy Division Chief for the Hearing Center of Excellence. As a Department of Veterans Affairs senior audiologist, she also provides consultative support to the Rehabilitation and Prosthetics Service, VA Central Office, Veterans Health Administration.

Dr. Henselman has more than 30 years of combined senior executive and staff experience as a Department of Veterans Affairs congressional and legislative affairs official, business leader in the private sector, 20-year U.S. Army officer, licensed clinical and research audiologist, and congressional committee Professional Staff Member. Dr. Henselman has experience and expertise in Veteran and military health care and personnel programs including providing organizational leadership, program oversight, performing and overseeing research, formulating policies, developing budgets, writing/coordinating legislation, conducting investigations, and developing and executing communications strategies.

Dr. Henselman earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Audiology from the University of Buffalo, State University of New York; Master of Science in Audiology from Vanderbilt University; and Bachelor of Arts in Communication Disorders from the University of Oklahoma. Additionally, she received Master Certificates in Government Contract Management and Project Management from Villanova University.

Prior to joining the VA, Dr. Henselman held several senior executive leadership positions for two Washington DC-area government relations firms and served as a Professional Staff Member for the House Armed Services Committee (Personnel Subcommittee), U.S. House of Representatives. Dr. Henselman is a retired U.S. Army Medical Service Corps officer who served in positions such as the chief of several U.S. Army clinical and research audiology programs, a U.S. Army Congressional Liaison Officer for the Secretary of the Army, Congressional Liaison Officer for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, and Senior Investigator and Team Leader for the Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology, Past President, Military Audiology Association; and Past Chair, Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Industry Group.

LTC John "Andy" Merkley, AuD, CCC-A

ARMY LIAISON

LTC John ‘Andy’ Merkley currently serves as the Army Liaison to the Defense Defense Hearing Center of Excellence, at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Responsibilities include supporting and advising HCE staff in areas of prevention, research, clinical care, and informatics, and ensuring that HCE initiatives, programs, products, best practices, etc. are in the best interests of, and communicated to, the Army.

Prior duty assignments include: Chief, Audiology and Hearing Conservation, Fort Drum, NY; Chief, Audiology and Hearing Conservation, Wuerzburg Army Medical Activity, Wuerzburg, Germany; Audiologist, 28th Combat Support Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq; Army Hearing Program Manager, U.S. Army Public Health Command – Europe, Landstuhl, Germany; Installation Hearing Program Manager, Fort Carson, Colorado; Western Region 72C Consultant; and Regional Health Command – Central Audiology Consultant.

LTC Merkley holds a double Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences and Communication Disorders from Utah State University, a Master of Science in Audiology from Utah State University, and a Doctor of Audiology from Central Michigan University. LTC Merkley serves as one of the Military Audiology Association representatives to the Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation (CAOHC), where he serves as Chairman of the Occupational Hearing Conservationist and Course Director Committee and Vice Chair of Education on the CAOHC Executive Committee. He is a member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, National Hearing Conservation Association, and Military Audiology Association. He holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A), and is a CAOHC Certified Course Director, and CAOHC Certified Professional Supervisor of the Audiometric Monitoring Program (CPS/A).

Maj shannon hunt, AuD,

Air Force Liaison

Maj Shannon Hunt serves as the Air Force Audiology Liaison to the Defense Hearing Center of Excellence at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas and as the military and audiology consultant to the Clinical Care, Rehabilitation, and Restoration Branch. She also works with the other HCE branches on outreach activities and initiatives, and is a member of several DoD working groups dedicated to hearing-related issues.  Additionally, she is the current Military Audiology Association President and Joint Defense Veterans Affairs Association Vice President. 

Prior to her assignment to HCE, Maj Hunt was stationed at Offutt Air Force Base, where she was the Surgical Services Flight Commander, Medical Group Infection Preventionist, Deputy Squadron Commander and had regional oversight of the Hearing Conservation Program for 15 Air Force Bases.  Other past assignments include Squadron Operations Officer, Joint Base Elmendorf-Fort Richardson, Alaska; Audiology Flight Commander, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas; Chief of Audiology Services, Yokota Air Base, Japan; and Audiology Clinical Fellow, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

Maj Hunt earned her Doctoral degree in Audiology from the University of Florida-Gainsville, as well as a Master of Science degree from Lamar University, and Bachelor of Science degree from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.  She is a member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A).

CDR paula johnston, aud, ccc-a

Navy Liaison

CDR Paula Johnston serves as the Navy Liaison to the Defense Hearing Center of Excellence at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. She serves as the military and audiology consultant to the Informatics Branch, which is tasked with developing a hearing loss registry for service members. In addition, CDR Johnston is a member of the HCE Science and Technology Advisory Council, and serves as the HCE Continuing Education Administrator for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). She also works with the Prevention Directorate on outreach activities and initiatives, and is a member of several DoD working groups dedicated to hearing-related issues.

Prior to her assignment to HCE, CDR Johnston was stationed at Naval Medical Center San Diego, where she managed the Hearing Conservation Program for a population of over 50,000 personnel in the San Diego region.  Other past assignments include Naval Hospital Okinawa, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, and Naval Hospital Sigonella.

CDR Johnston earned her Doctoral degree in Audiology from A.T. Still University, as well as a Master of Arts degree from George Washington University, and Master and Bachelor of Science degrees from Brigham Young University.

maj elizabeth a. mckenna, aud, cps/a

IMA TO THE DIRECTOR

Maj (Dr.) Elizabeth McKenna serves as the Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) to the Division Chief of the Hearing Center of Excellence, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland AFB, Texas.  Maj McKenna leads projects on behalf of the Division Chief, and supports the goals and mission of the each Branch, as needed.  She also provides direct on-call hearing conservation management and operational support to Air Reserve Components during select Unit Training Assemblies.

Maj McKenna previously served as the IMA to the Chief of the Epidemiology Consult Division at the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine (USAFSAM), Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.  As an active duty member, she served as the Hearing Conservation Program Manager at USAFSAM and as the Flight Commander of Audiology Services at Sheppard AFB, Texas.  Maj McKenna started her career as a Staff Clinical Audiologist at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland AFB, Texas. 

As a civilian, Dr. McKenna serves as a Public Health/Hearing Conservation Consultant at the Operations Support Branch, Epidemiology Consult Division, Preventive Medicine and Public Health Department, USAFSAM, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.  Dr. McKenna conducts surveillance and research activities in occupational health/hearing conservation and audiology, serves as consultant for hearing conservation program management and operations, and is a faculty member for the Community College of the Air Force for various course and workshops at the schoolhouse.

Maj McKenna is an executive board member of the Military Audiology Association and the Ohio Academy of Audiology, and a fellow at the American Academy of Audiology.  She is certified by the Council of Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation (CAOHC) as a Course Director (CD) and as a Professional Supervisor of the Audiometric Monitoring Program (CPS/A).  Maj McKenna holds a Doctorate in Audiology from the Northeast Ohio AuD Consortium and a Bachelor in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences from Ohio University.

Quick Fact

#16

Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is often the first sign of hearing loss.

About Us

The Hearing Center of Excellence fosters and promotes the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, rehabilitation and research of hearing loss and auditory injury. It supports the development, exchange and adoption of best practices, research, measures of effectiveness and clinical care guidelines to reduce the prevalence and cost of hearing loss and tinnitus among Warriors and Veterans. Read more

Hearing Health Challenge For Change

Take the challenge, pledge your commitment, and share your story in the prevention of hearing loss in America today.

The Hearing Center of Excellence is committed to promoting Hearing Loss Programs and Hearing Loss Prevention Initiatives across the DoD. Take the pledge to implement the Comprehensive Hearing Health Program (CHHP) at your local clinic and share with us how it's going for you!

Pledge on Facebook Pledge on Twitter
Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.