People Basic


Clark A. Rosen, MD is Director of the UPMC Voice Center and a professor of otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Rosen received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and earned his medical degree at Rush Medical College in Chicago. He received his otolaryngology training at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Ore., and completed a fellowship in Laryngology and Care of the Professional Voice at the University of Tennessee, Memphis, and the University of Tennessee Voice Institute. A board-certified otolaryngologist and member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Voice Foundation, Dr. Rosen specializes in the care of the performing voice and the treatment and research of voice disorders. Dr. Rosen enjoys yoga, scuba and soccer.

Jackie Gartner-Schmidt, PhD, CCC-SLP is Associate Director of the University of Pittsburgh Voice Center, Director of Speech-Language Pathology – Voice Division, and Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, specializing in care of the professional voice and clinical effectiveness of voice therapy. Dr. Gartner-Schmidt is also a singing voice specialist and performs with the Pittsburgh Concert Chorale. She presents frequently at both national and international voice conferences, as well as directs many conferences dedicated to the training of speech-language pathologists and otolaryngologists in contemporary voice care. . Her research interests include clinical effectiveness of voice therapy and psycho-social aspects of voice disorders. In her free time she enjoys time with her son and husband, hiking, kayaking, and singing.

Libby J. Smith, DO, FAOCO is an Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh Voice Center. Dr. Smith received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She earned her medical degree from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. She completed her otolaryngology training at Grandview-Kettering Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio. Her fellowship in Laryngology and Care of the Professional Voice was in Philadelphia. A board-certified otolaryngologist, Dr. Smith specializes in the care of the professional voice and the treatment of voice disorders. Her current research activities are in vocal fold paralysis, laryngeal electromyography, and ergonomics of microlaryngeal surgery. Her background in music and love of the larynx led her to a career in Voice. Dr. Smith is an avid sports fan (Go Buccos! Go Pitt!) and loves going to musical theater performances with her family.

​VyVy Young, MD, is an Assistant Professor and Associate Residency Program Director in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Young received her undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Louisville, in Louisville, Kentucky, where she also pursued her Otolaryngology training. Drawn to taking care of patients with voice difficulties due to her own talkative nature, she completed a fellowship in Laryngology and Care of the Professional Voice at the University of Pittsburgh Voice Center. Her clinical practice covers all aspects of laryngology including disorders affecting voice, breathing, coughing, swallowing, and other throat symptoms, although her current research efforts focus on the aging voice, vocal fold paralysis, and voice outcomes research. In her spare time, she enjoys playing tennis, visiting her baby niece, and cheering on her beloved Cards (as well as Pitt’s Panthers). She also volunteers with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and serves on the organizing committee for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s in honor of her grandmother and great-grandmother.

Amanda Gillespie, PhD, CCC-SLP is the Director of Clinical Research at the Voice Center and an Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine. Dr. Gillespie received her undergraduate degree in speech-language pathology and audiology at New York University and a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Pittsburgh. Following her clinical fellowship year at UPMC, she worked at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. She later returned to the University of Pittsburgh to complete her PhD in Communication Science and Disorders. Dr. Gillespie specializes in the evaluation and treatment of voice and breathing problems. Her research interests are in the relationship between voice and breathing, particularly how the respiratory and voice systems interact in the development, and then treatment, of voice disorders. In her spare time she enjoys running slowly, cooking, binge-watching shows on Netflix, and having home dance parties with her family.

Speech-Language Pathologists

Christina A Dastolfo M.S. CCC-SLP is a Speech-Language Pathologist, specializing in voice disorders at the University of Pittsburgh Voice Center. She received her master’s degree in Communication Science and Disorders from the University of Pittsburgh and her bachelor’s degree in Music from Allegheny College. Her vocal training background is primarily classical; however, she enjoyed the opportunity to be a regular soloist with the Allegheny College Jazz Band. She actively participates in the evaluation and treatment of singing and speaking voice disorders, research in the singing and speaking voice, and sings as an avocation. Her clinical specialties are rehabilitation of the singing voice, and tele-voice therapy. She is currently conducting voice therapy for the Bedford, PA area through the UPMC telemedicine program. She became interested in the treatment of voice disorders from her experience as a collegiate singer, and learning about voice science from excellent vocal professors. In her spare time, she enjoys playing piano, cooking, and spending time with family.

Robert Fire, BFA, MM, AGMA, AEA is a sought - after voice teacher, therapist, and coach who specializes in building solid vocal technique and analyzing and correcting impediments to vibrant, healthy singing. His clients perform in theaters and concert halls across America and around the world, and his students have been accepted to many of the nation’s most prestigious programs for voice, theater, and musical theater. An honors graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Robert has taught and performed in western Pennsylvania for over twenty-five years. He is a versatile singing actor and has extensive experience in opera, oratorio, musical theater, sacred music, and concertizing.

Leah Helou, PhD, CCC-SLP is a voice-specialized speech-language pathologist at the University of Pittsburgh Voice Center. She entered the field as an amateur singer with vocal fold nodules, and earned her Bachelor of Science in Communication Science & Disorders from East Carolina University. Since obtaining her master’s degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences at the George Washington University, she has followed two clinical passions: treatment of “functional” voice disorders (e.g., muscle tension dysphonia), and voice and communication training for people who identify as transgender. In 2011, Dr. Helou founded the Transgender Voice & Communication Training Program at the UPMC Voice Center. Dr. Helou completed her doctoral studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Her broad areas of research interest involve “mind-voice” pathways, vocal motor control, and how psychological states and traits impact the voice and vocal behaviors. In addition to her role as a clinician, Dr. Helou is a postdoctoral scholar at the Systems Neuroscience Institute, where she investigates the neuroanatomical circuitry underlying volitional control of breathing muscles in the context of vocalization. In her free time, Dr. Helou does distance trail running which she theoretically enjoys, reads more than is good for her eyes, and spends ten minutes eating homemade dishes that have taken her ten hours to prepare.

Rita Hersan, MS, CCC-SLP received her undergraduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology and a master's degree in Communication Science and Disorders from the Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo in Brazil. Ms. Hersan is a master clinician and her work has inspired a special interest in assisting the young and the elderly population with voice disorders. She is a certified clinician for Lee Silverman Voice Treatment, an innovative and clinically-proven method for improving voice and speech in individuals with Parkinson disease. Ms. Hersan is also the co-author of Adventures in Voice, a specific program for children with voice disorders. She has worked at the University of Pittsburgh Voice Center since its inception in 1995, and has presented nationally and internationally. Ms. Hersan loves to listen to Bossa Nova music and occasionally she sings, too. She enjoys cooking Portuguese-Brazilian dishes, and learning about different cultures.

Tracey Thomas, MS, CCC-SLP is a senior clinician who has been a member of the UPMC Voice Center team for 17 years. Prior to specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of voice disorders, she worked in adult brain injury rehabilitation. Tracey earned both her B.S. in Speech and Hearing Science and her Master of Science degree in Speech- Language Pathology from Clarion University of Pennsylvania where she was honored for academic excellence. She first discovered her passion for the science of communication while studying voice and diction in a theater program. She currently provides therapy services at The UPMC Voice Center- Mercy, as well as with University ENT Specialists at the Cranberry, PA satellite office. She is a trained clinician in tele-voice therapy and delivers telemedicine services to the Hermitage, PA UPMC facility. Her clinical areas of interest are respiratory re-training, telemedicine, and preventive voice care. Tracey has instructed graduate level courses, spoken at national conferences, directed collegiate singers, and led children’s singing groups. Outside of work, she spends time with her husband, two teenagers, and feisty cock-a-poo.


Heather Enright is the surgery scheduler for all of ENT Mercy and ENT East. When not at work she enjoys reading, horror movies, and planning her future animal sanctuary.


Ashley Goodhart is the Voice Center scribe. She has worked at the Voice Center since 2011. She enjoys going to the beach, fishing, and spending time with family, friends, her Pekapoo puppy, Ace, and goldfish, Big Ben and Larry Foote.


Tina Harrison, BS, is the Voice Center research coordinator. She received her degree in Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh. She has over 15 years of experience in research involving otolaryngology as well as spinal cord injury and brain injury. Mrs. Harrison was born and raised in Pittsburgh and is a fan of all the local sports teams, especially the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Elaine Morgenstern is a patient information coordinator and has worked for University Ear Nose and Throat since 2001. She enjoys reading, movies, walking and visiting with family.


Michael Primm is a patient information coordinator and has worked for UPMC since 2002. He enjoys golfing and vacationing with his wife and step-daughter to the Outer Banks.


Susan Rusyn is a Surgical Technician II at UPMC since 1988 and at the Voice Center since 1997. Her job is diverse and includes patient interaction in the clinic, talking with insurance companies, filling out disability forms, scheduling exams and appointments for patients and surgery. She is actively involved in her Grandchildren’s lives. She is an avid Pittsburgh Steeler fan, enjoys the beach and Ahi tuna.


Donna Smorey is a Surgical Technician /Medical Assistant. She has worked for UPMC System for over 20 years. She believes all patients should be treated like family. When not working, she spends time with her three children and new puppy named Sophie.