Professional Advisors

Joseph Montano

Dr. Joseph Montano is Chief of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center. He received his MA degree from New York University, his Ed.D. in Audiology from Teacher’s College Columbia University, and is certified in Audiology (CCC-A) through the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA). He serves on the New York State Licensure Board and is a member of the ASHA Legislative Council.
Prior to coming to Weill Cornell, Dr. Montano was an Associate Professor at Long Island University/C.W. Post, and for 17 years was Director of the Department of Communication Disorders at Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital. Dr. Montano’s clinical expertise is audiologic rehabilitation with particular interest in adjustment to adult onset hearing loss, hearing assistive technology systems and hearing aids. He is the current coordinator of the ASHA Special Interest Division on Aural Rehabilitation. 
Dr. Montano holds memberships in: ASHA, the American Academy of Audiology, Academy of Rehabilitative Audiology, American Society on Aging and the New York State Speech language and Hearing Association. He was named Fellow of the American Speech Language Hearing Association, and holds Honors of the New York State Speech Language Hearing Association( NYSSLHA). He is the recipient of the ASHA New York State Clinical Achievement Award, the NYSSLHA Distinguished Service Award, and the Nitchie Award for Adult Aural Rehabilitation from the League for the Hard of Hearing.

Dr. Katrina Stidham is Chief of Neurology and Director of the Balance Center & Cochlear Implant Program at Westchester Medical Center. Dr. Stidham is a neurotologist and surgeon, and professor at New York Medical College, the academic affiliate of WMC. Dr. Stidham received her medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine and completed her surgical residency at Stanford University. Prior to joining the WMC team, she was medical director of the Cochlear Implant Program at the renowned Children’s Hospital of Oakland, California.  

Dr. Donna S. Wayner is the former President and CEO of Hear Again, Inc. and the former Director of The Hearing Center at the Albany Medical Center Hospital, Albany, New York. She has served as an Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery at the Albany Medical College, Adjunct Professor at The College of Saint Rose and consultant to the Deafness Research Foundation and various organizations and agencies. Recognized in the field of hearing impairment and rehabilitation, Dr. Wayner has made numerous presentations at national and international conferences.  
A published author, she has written several books, book chapters and articles.  Her books include Learning to Hear Again: An Audiologic Rehabilitation Guide, Hear What You’ve Been Missing: Coping with Hearing Loss, Learning to Hear Again with a Cochlear Implant: Clinician’s Manual,  A User’s Guide and A Personal Journal, Better Communication  and Hearing Aids:  Guide to Hearing Aid Use, Hearing and Learning:  A Guide to Helping Children and Voices from a Quieter Land: Insights Into the Impact of Hearing Impairment.
Dr. Wayner is the founder and professional advisor of Hearing Loss Association of America – Albany Chapter (formerly  H.E.A.R., Hearing Endeavor for the Albany Region) a self-help group for people with hearing impairment in the Capital District.  In addition, she has served as  Professional Adviser to the New York State Association of Hearing Loss Association of America. Dr. Wayner and her husband, Peter, are the parents of three children and six grandchildren.

Joe Zesski portrait


Joe Zesski is the Program Manager of the Northeast ADA Center and has served as the New Jersey affiliate of the Northeast ADA through Resources for Independent Living since 2009. He has a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University and a Bachelors in English Communications from Cabrini University. Mr. Zesski’s focus has been on assistive technology, accessible web design, the transition of students with disabilities from high school, and accommodations in the postsecondary education environment. He is the Community Education Coordinator at Resources for Independent Living; the independent living center serving Burlington County New Jersey. Joe also chairs the Burlington County Disability Issues Committee.