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Our Staff


At Virgin Islands Ear, Nose & Throat, every staff member has been trained as a professional to ensure you receive the best possible quality care. We take pride in our capability to serve you and we look forward to a mutually satisfactory relationship.

Adam M. Shapiro, MD, F.A.C.S. is a board certified (Otolaryngology and Sleep Medicine) and fellowship trained Otolaryngologist specializing in the treatment of disorders of the Ears, Nose, Throat & Sinuses, as well as allergy and sleep disorders. He has specialized expertise in facial plastic & reconstructive surgery, endoscopic sinus surgery as well as microlaryngeal and otologic procedures. Dr. Shapiro has over 13 years of experience in practice and is a clinical assistant professor of Surgery at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Joseph R. Smolarz, MD, F.A.C.S. is a board-certified otolaryngologist. He completed his residency in July of 2010 from the University of Texas – Houston Health Science Center. During his training, he had clinical affiliations at Memorial Hermann Hospital, a Level I trauma center, Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, a large pediatric hospital, and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, one of the nation's leading cancer treatment centers.

Gavin M. Gassen, MD is a board-certified otolaryngologist. He completed his residency in 1999 at Louisiana State University as well as the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, Tulane University School of Medicine and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Gassen served with the US Navy Medical Corps from 2002 to 2005 both stateside and in Japan.

Eric J. Stelnicki, MD is a pediatric plastic surgeon and craniomaxillofacial surgeon who has been helping kids with craniofacial deformities and many other congenital anomalies for 15 years. He is the founding director of the Cleft and Craniofacial program at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in South Florida. He has performed thousands of surgeries on children with acquired, congenital, and traumatic physical deformities.

Kelli H. Smolarz, PA-C is a certified physician assistant. Before joining the team at VI ENT, Kelli spent over 5 years at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas in the Department of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, alongside the most well-respected surgeons in their field. She has extensive experience in both the outpatient clinical setting as well as the operating room.

Judith Hirsch, M.A., CCC-A is a clinical audiologist who has been in practice in New York as well as St. Croix and St. Thomas. She performs hearing tests for both children and adults as well as electrical testing for inner ear and balance disorders. We are able to fit and service a variety of hearing aids and tinnitus maskers in our hearing aid center.

Sharon M. Berry, Au.D., CCC-A, joined the Virgin Islands Ear, Nose & Throat team as a certified audiologist in January 2008. A native Virgin Islander, Sharon returned to St. Thomas after a successful career at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Sharon works primarily within the Virgin Islands Hearing and Balance Center, specializing in diagnosing, treating and managing the care of infants, children and adults with hearing and/or balance issues.

Jana Blake is the Practice Manager of Virgin Islands Ear, Nose & Throat and St. Thomas Sleep Center. In this role, Jana is responsible for patient and insurance billing administration, accounts receivable management, insurance provider relations and external communication for the two healthcare practices.

Pamela B. Berkowsky has been the Practice Administrator at Virgin Islands Ear Nose & Throat since 2002, managing the growth of the practice and ensuring the continued provision of the highest quality, state-of-the-art otolaryngic care to the people of the Virgin Islands.

Marilyn Frazer-Corbett is the billing specialist at Virgin Islands Ear, Nose & Throat. She is responsible for managing the electronic submission of claims to our patients’ health insurance companies. She ensures that claims are filed on a timely basis and with proper coding. Marilyn is also a seasoned customer service advocate who responds to billing inquiries and works with patients to resolve billing issues and discuss payment options.

Loren Ficca is a patient representative with Virgin Islands Ear, Nose & Throat. Loren handles a variety of administrative tasks including responding to patient and physician office inquiries, meeting/greeting patients, scheduling appointments and entering electronic patient information.

Cheryl Petsche is a patient representative at Virgin Islands Ear, Nose & Throat.   Her duties include billing, checking out patients as they leave the office, scheduling appointments, verifying patients' insurance benefits and routine communication with insurance companies.

Paula Barry has been a Patient Representative with Virgin Islands Ear, Nose and Throat since we opened the St. Croix office in 2010.  Paula is knowledgeable about the day-to-day operations of our St. Croix office; she is an expert in front desk operations, assisting patients with appointments, insurance verifications and billing.  Paula is a great asset to our practice and we are pleased to have her as part of our team.