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Dr. Karen Jacobs
Audiologist & Founder

Education: AuD – Salus University 2005
MA -Central Michigan University
BS – Central Michigan University

Karen Jacobs is the owner and founder of AVA Hearing Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She established the practice in 1998 following 14 years as a clinical audiologist in an ENT practice. She has served on many professional committees and boards including Central Michigan University College of Health Professions Advisory Board, American Academy of Audiology Executive Board, President of the Michigan Academy of Audiology, and State of Michigan Licensure Board.


Dr. Carol Byrne

I've worked at AVA Hearing Center for thirteen years and have been practicing Audiology for twenty-nine years. I attended Michigan State University for my undergraduate degree in Speech & Hearing Sciences and Western Michigan University for my masters degree in Audiology. After fourteen years of working in the field at an ENT office & hearing clinic, I returned to school and obtained my doctorate degree from Salus University. I enjoy working and helping those with hearing loss. I've been married for twenty-five years & have two grown children. When I'm not working, you'll find me on one of the beautiful Lake Michigan beaches reading a good book.


Amanda McGregor
Hearing Instrument Specialist

I grew up on the east side of the state, in Plymouth, and moved to Allendale to attend Grand Valley State University. I am in the process of finishing up my last few classes at Grand Valley to receive my degree in Allied Health Sciences with a minor in Business and a certificate in Medical and Health Humanities. My previous work experience includes an Ear, Nose, and Throat Clinic/Hearing Center in Dearborn Michigan, and an assisted living facility in Allendale Michigan. These past jobs have given me the experience and knowledge required to be successful here at AVA.


Barbara LaPonsie
Billing & Office Manager

I am the office manager at AVA Hearing Center. I have resided in the Grand Rapids area my entire life. I graduated from Davenport University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Information Management. My areas of expertise are medical billing and customer service. While understanding health insurance can be very frustrating for many, I enjoy taking the extra steps in helping patients understand their insurance coverage and giving them the best possible experience when coming into our office. I enjoy the everyday interaction with patients and seeing the difference AVA Hearing can make in their lives. I have three children and one grandson (who has stolen my heart). I enjoy spending time with my family and look forward to the many adventures that the future holds.


Lauren Hendricks
Receptionist & Director of Social Media

I’m originally from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I moved to West Michigan to attend Grand Valley State University after graduating high school and have lived here ever since. I graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science. I am the Receptionist/Director of Social Media here at AVA Hearing Center and I thoroughly enjoying being a part of the team. In my past time I enjoy hiking and spending time in nature, practicing yoga, & caring for my cat.