The mission of the USC Voice Center is to improve the quality of life for individuals with voice, swallowing and airway disorders.

The center achieves this goal through a true interdisciplinary approach to promoting health, preventing and curing disease, advancing biomedical research and educating health care providers. Our expertise extends to many areas of laryngology, including treating the aging voice, spasmodic dysphonia and performing in-office, unsedated laryngeal procedures.

Meet the team

We are proud of our deep and robust team of fellowship-trained laryngologists composed of Michael M. Johns III, Karla O’Dell, Lindsay Reder and Uttam K. Sinha. The USC Voice Center also provides a team of speech pathologists who
 are trained in laryngeal disorders, led by Edie Hapner, PhD, CCC-SLP. The diverse training backgrounds and expertise of the team members ensure that the USC Voice Center has multiple perspectives and techniques on which to draw for comprehensive patient care.

Patients are treated by an interdisciplinary team that works to provide individualized care and better outcomes. Almost all conditions that alter the voice can be cared for effectively. Any vocal change lasting longer than two weeks needs to be evaluated by an otolaryngologist.

Recognizing the changes

  • Common age-related vocal changes:
  • Reduced projection and volume
  • Pitch change
  • Loss of vocal stability
  • Loss of resonance
  • Reduced vocal endurance

In some situations, the vocal change can be an iatrogenic complication of non-laryngeal surgery. Initial evidence compiled at the USC Voice Center shows that early intervention after the iatrogenic complication can improve the patient’s outcome in the long-term.

Patient care

When patients are seen at the USC Voice Center, they receive assessments by an otolaryngologist and a speech pathologist in the same visit.
 At this clinic visit, we will perform a variety of measures including an acoustic and aerodynamic assessment of the patient’s vocal production. During the same visit, we will have the patient perform trial vocal or swallowing therapies to determine if the therapies could be effective in the long run. Our experts ensure there is continued involvement of referring physicians in the patient’s care with regular and thorough two-way communication.

Recognized leaders

The physicians and speech pathologists at the USC Voice Center are recognized as leaders
 in their field who have important clinical and scientific accomplishments, including teaching courses at national medical meetings of the American Laryngological Association and the
 Fall Voice Conference. Dr. Johns is Chair of the Advisory Board of the Voice Foundation and was recently named one of top 20 throat doctors in U.S. by Billboard magazine. Dr. Reder recently launched the Southern California chapter of the Voice Foundation. Dr. Hapner serves on the board of the American Speech and Hearing Association.

Physicians of the USC Voice Center currently see patients at Keck Medical Center in Los Angeles and at an office in Glendale and downtown Los Angeles. A new location will be opening soon in Beverly Hills to provide patients with multiple locations in Southern California that are convenient to their work or home.