About Ear, Nose & Throat Care Center
The mission of Ear, Nose and Throat Care Center is to provide the utmost quality of care to patients with ailments of the ears, nose, and throat.
Our practice emphasizes on patient education, compassionate care, clinical excellence, and the use of the most modern technology available to treat the medical and surgical problems within our specialty.
Our promise is to provide care that is responsive to the individual needs of each patient, creating a long-lasting relationship that is personal and not simply confined to the disease process.
Meet Our Staff
Dr. Cundiff is an Advocate Physician Safety Champion at Good Shepherd Hospital based on his commitment to safe surgery and patient care.
Jason Cundiff, M.D., FACS
Dr. Jason Cundiff is a Board-Certified Otolaryngologist. He completed his training at University of Illinois in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Facial Plastic Surgery. Dr. Cundiff is thoroughly trained in the medical and surgical treatment of disease of the ear, nose and throat and related structures of the head and neck.
Jason Cundiff, M.D., FACS has received several awards and honors for exceptional patient care during his career. He was nominated by his peers and served as the Chairman of Surgery at Good Shepherd Hospital from 2017-2018.
He received the Physician Excellence in Teamwork Award which is awarded to one physician in McHenry County on an annual basis and is awarded based on:
- Exemplifying excellence in physician collaboration
- Signifying a willingness to identify and utilize the teachable moments with others on the health care team
- Utilizing relationship-based care principles
- Exhibiting passion about medicine/health care
- Consistently delivering high levels of patient satisfaction
Gary Livingston, M.D., FACS
Dr. Gary Livingston is a Board Certified Otolaryngologist with degrees from The University of Illinois, Loyola Stritch School of Medicine and Indiana University. For the past thirty years, he has specialized in the surgical treatment of thyroid and parathyroid disorders, general otolaryngology, primary carcinoma of the head and neck, sinus disease and nasal surgery, as well as facial trauma and reconstruction.
Gary Livingston has been designated an Inspire Excellence Surgeon. The award is given to recognize excellence in 3 areas of Inspire: Expertise, Patient Experience, and Clinical outcomes. Only 50 surgeons out of the current 1000 eligible Inspire surgeons have been designated Physicians of Excellence, and Dr. Livingston has been the fastest Inspire surgeon to receive this honor.
Dr. Livingston has also been named one of the Top Doctors® of 2023 by Castle Connolly.
Jeffrey Petrusek, M.D.
Dr. Jeffrey Petrusek is a Board Certified Otolaryngologist. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University, Loyola Stritch school of medicine, and completed his residency training at Loyola University Medical Center. Dr. Petrusek practices general otolaryngology and is trained in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide breadth of diseases of the ear, nose, throat and related structures. He enjoys travel, sports and spending time with his wife and young son.
Preeti Vemuri, M.D.
Dr. Preeti Vemuri is Board Certified in Allergy and Immunology from Northwestern University. She tackles issues of allergies, asthma, dermatitis, immunodeficiencies, and hives. Dr. Vemuri exhibits a great passion for her work as well as her patients.
Ashley Ward, MSN, APRN, FNP-C
Ashley chose this profession so she could make a difference. She started as a nurse and decided to become a nurse practitioner so she could make a bigger impact in her patients’ lives. She became a Family Nurse Practitioner, so she could treat all ages and then specialized in Ear, Nose, and Throat to work as part of Dr. Cundiff’s team.
Nikki Roman, PA
Nikki obtained her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Practice at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. Physician assistant (PA) education is based on a comprehensive general medicine model. PAs are trained to be versatile healthcare professionals that provide thorough patient-centered care, and this is why Nikki chose to become a PA. Nikki specifically chose to specialize in ear, nose, and throat because of the variety of interesting conditions seen amongst patients of all ages. She enjoys doing procedures, and she loves working with the doctors at Ear, Nose & Throat Care Center.
Heather Carlson, PT
Heather received her physical therapy degree from Bradley University. She has over 25 years of experience in a variety of settings. She has always enjoyed working with older adults and has spent the last 8 years focusing on fall prevention. Heather is excited to Join The Ear, Nose, & Throat Center and be able to be part of a team that is providing a comprehensive approach to improving balance.
Cortney Fowles, DPT, MS, CSCS
Cortney received her doctorate degree in physical therapy at the University of St. Augustine. She has worked for 20 years as both a physical therapist and an athletic trainer. She has worked in the outpatient and home health for most of her career, specializing in both orthopedic and vestibular care. She is excited to be a part of the Ear, Nose + Throat Care Center, working along with an amazing team that will support you in your healing journey.
Pam Smekrud, Au.D.
Dr. Pam Smekrud is Clinical Audiologist and expert in hearing loss, hearing aids, and cochlear implants. At The Ear, Nose & Throat Care Center she performs audiological services including hearing evaluations, hearing aid services, as well as cochlear implant and Baha activations/follow up care.
Dr. Smekrud has worked with Dr. Jason Cundiff for over a decade. Dr. Smekrud knew she wanted to pursue a helping profession and found herself called to audiology. She became an audiologist because she understands hearing loss can cause a person to become isolated. Getting people back into their lives and providing patient-focused care is something Dr. Smekrud values greatly.
Dr. Smekrud earned her Clinical Doctorate in Audiology (Au.D.) from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, School of Audiology. She obtained a Master of Science in Audiology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and a Bachelor of Science in Communicative Disorders from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.
Shannon Vokac, Au.D.
Dr. Shannon Vokac is Clinical Audiologist and expert in hearing loss, hearing aids, and cochlear implants. At The Ear, Nose & Throat Care Center she performs audiological services including hearing evaluations, hearing aid services, as well as cochlear implant and Baha activations/follow up care.
Dr. Vokac specializes in treating patients with hearing loss. From a young age, Dr. Vokac was interested in working with people who need her help most. The younger sister of a sibling diagnosed with autism; she was inspired to work with a population with specific needs. She loves having the ability to develop individual relationships with every patient that she meets at The Ear, Nose & Throat Care Center.
Dr. Vokac earned her Doctorate of Audiology at Northern Illinois University and completed 4 externships including one at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Illinois Neurological Institute. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders through the University of Iowa.
Rachel Shanley, Au.D.
Dr. Rachel Shanley is Clinical Audiologist and expert in hearing loss, hearing aids, and cochlear implants. At The Ear, Nose & Throat Care Center she performs audiological services including hearing evaluations, hearing aid services, as well as cochlear implant and Baha activations/follow up care. Dr. Shanley specializes in treating patients with hearing loss. She values patient-centered care and is continuously looking for new solutions to improve one’s hearing. She understands the impact hearing loss can have on an individual’s quality of life and is devoted to ending the stigmas related to use of hearing devices. Dr. Shanley earned her Doctorate of Audiology at Northern Illinois University and has completed externships in a variety of different settings, working with pediatric through geriatric patients. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign.