CENTA, the Center for Ear Nose Throat & Allergy, is the region's premier provider of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery and allergy services to people of all ages. Our team of highly trained and compassionate physicians and staff provides the highest quality ENT care available anywhere, and our national reputation attests to that. In fact, we serve as the tertiary referral group to other otolaryngologists in the region, who send us their most difficult, uncommon, or complex cases for treatment.
CENTA was founded in 1978 by Ronald Hamaker, MD, one of the country's foremost head and neck cancer surgeons. He was soon joined by Mark Singer, MD and world-renowned speech pathologist Eric Blom, PhD. The practice was known at that time as Head & Neck Surgery Associates, and HNSA quickly established itself as a worldwide leader in the treatment of head and neck cancer. Their innovative work led to a number of groundbreaking developments in our field, including the development of the Blom-Singer voice prosthesis. This revolutionary implant, now used around the world, allowed people whose voice boxes were lost to cancer to speak without an electronic device for the first time.
They also pioneered the use of intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) for head and neck cancer, and CENTA has the most extensive IORT experience in the world. We are also at the forefront of many other new technologies, including microvascular free flap reconstruction, da Vinci® robotic surgery, and laser microsurgery, allowing CENTA to maintain its reputation as the region's premier practice for head and neck surgery.
HNSA's cancer reputation continued to grow, despite Dr. Hamaker's death and Dr. Singer's departure. The legacy lives on with Dr. Blom and two of HNSA's past fellows, Drs. Stephen Freeman and Tod Huntley, who joined the group in the early 1990s, and with Drs. Edward Krowiak and Nick Rigas, who were added in 2003 and 2010, respectively. .They are assisted by an outstanding oncologic nurse practitioner, Karen Bunnell, who coordinates much of the inpatient and outpatient care. The group's social worker, Mary Jane Renner, is a cancer survivor whose work with head and neck cancer patients is recognized around the country.
Though still committed to its cancer care, HNSA has broadened its scope over the years and has evolved into the Center for Ear Nose Throat & Allergy. CENTA provides the highest quality general otolaryngology and allergy care to people of all ages.
Our history of being a referral group to other ENT specialists has led us to develop centers of excellence for patients with a variety of ENT disorders, including nasal and sinus disorders, snoring and sleep apnea, voice and swallowing dysfunction, and allergies.
Because we have our own comprehensive allergy department, supervised by Dr. Scott Phillips, you don't need to worry about choosing between a nasal surgeon, an allergist, or a medical specialist for your nose or sinus problems. We have a state-of-the-art hearing aid department, which is under the supervision of Dr. Vicki Shelton. One of our most recent additions is nurse practitioner Amanda Lucke, who brings considerable allergy experience and assists in the care of our general ENT patients.
CENTA's commitment to excellence pushes us to continue to evolve, and the group has been at the forefront of many new ENT developments. We were one of the first to treat head and neck cancer in the United States within a private practice multidisciplinary team setting with surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, prosthodontists, dentists, and others working in tandem in one location in a weekly clinic.
CENTA was also:
We believe it is this cutting-edge work in the treatment of complex problems referred from other specialists that also makes us the best choice for your family's more common general ear, nose, and throat problems. It is because we are comfortable taking on the toughest cases that we are best equipped to take care of the more "routine" ones and can offer the opportunity for the most successful outcomes. It makes sense to put your general ENT and allergy care in the hands of the area's most experienced experts.
Our experience with these new and innovative techniques doesn't just benefit our group's patients. CENTA's reach is worldwide through our commitment to education. We are active as teachers, invited lecturers, instructional course coordinators, and researchers in mentoring and educating other specialists. We are involved in far-ranging clinical research projects and FDA clinical trials, and our physicians have invented and patented a number of new medical products and devices. We have long sponsored one of the nation's premier fellowship training programs for surgeons who wish to sub-specialize in head and neck cancer and reconstructive surgery.
But our most important education mandate is to our patients. We feel our job is to not only treat their otolaryngology disorders, but is also to help educate them in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and in preventing future problems.
Problems in the ears, nose, sinuses, throat and voice box are sometimes treated surgically—sometimes medically. Sometimes, allergies are a part of the picture. Some cases are best treated with a combination of surgical and nonsurgical therapies. We look at the big picture to develop the best treatment plan. Whether it is a six-year-old who needs her tonsils removed, a young adult with longstanding allergies and recurrent sinus infections, a middle-aged person with a chronic cough, a tired 50-year-old businessman whose frustrated wife is ready to clobber him because of his annoying snoring, or a 6o-year-old with cancer of the voice box, CENTA is the one-stop shop that has the experience and resources to properly diagnose the problem and treat it.
CENTA does not strive to be the largest otolaryngology practice in the area. We strive to be the best. Our philosophy is not to have an office on every street corner but to focus our energies on providing the highest quality of care in a group setting that allows for collaboration, communication, and innovation.
So what sets us apart from other ENT practices? We listen. We care. We think. We innovate. We communicate.
And, most importantly, we don't treat just ear, nose, and throat problems. We treat PEOPLE who have ear, nose, and throat problems. And that is the CENTA difference.
The physicians and staff of the Center for Ear Nose Throat & Allergy strive to provide the highest quality care for patients with disorders of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures in a compassionate, caring, and cost-effective cooperative group setting. We realize that we are part of a team that includes the patient's other health care providers, and that the patient is the captain of that team. It is our job to thoroughly evaluate the patient's problem, explore all reasonable options for treatment, and to communicate those options to the patient and primary care physician. In addition to providing the best care possible, we also recognize the importance of mentoring other physicians, in clinical research and teaching, and in being a tertiary resource for other otolaryngologists in the region for their most challenging and difficult cases.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this online website is only intended to provide broad consumer information about CENTA. The information should not be considered complete nor used in place of a visit, telephone call, consultation or advice of a physician or other healthcare provider. CENTA and its healthcare providers do not recommend the self-management of health problems. Information obtained by using this website is not exhaustive and does not cover all diseases, ailments, and physical conditions or their treatment. If you have any health-related questions, please call or see your physician or other healthcare provider promptly. You should not disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.