Board of Directors


Courtney Matyja
Arkansas Hearing and Audiology

Dr. Courtney Matyja is a clinical Audiologist and owner at Arkansas Hearing and Audiology in Conway.

 Courtney is originally from Marshall however went to school at Vilonia.  She attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock earning a degree in Speech Pathology/Audiology.  After finishing my Bachelor of Science degree in 2003, She was accepted into graduate school through the University of Arkansas of Medical Sciences/University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  While earning her Master’s Degree, she was able to do research on a hearing aid programmer that was published by the American Journal of Audiology in July of 2005.  After practicing for a year, Courtney decided to further her education by earning her Doctor of Audiology degree from the University of Florida in 2008.

 Courtney recently served as the VP of Education for the Arkansas Academy of Audiology and is the current President Elect.  She has also served as the Arkansas Representative for the Audiology Advisory Council through the American Speech Language and Hearing Association for 2009-11. 


Emily Earnest, M.A., CCC-A, FAAA
Family ENT & Sinus Center of Harrison

Emily joined Family ENT and Sinus Center in Harrison, AR in  March of 2011 from St. John's Mercy Mediccal Center in St. Louis, MO.  Emily relocated to Harrisson with her husband, RG Ernest, who is originally from Harrison.  The move also included their two sons.  Her particular professional interest is in pediatric amplification, however she happily provides diagnostic and hearing aid services to all ages of patients.  Emily earned her Bachelor's degree in Speech and Hearing Science from the University of Iowa in 1997 and her Master's Degree in Audiology from the University of Iowa in 1999.  She was a clinical audiologist Feb. 2007- March 2011, at St. John's Medical Center; August 2002-2007 as a pediatric audiologist at Coon Rapids Medical Center, in Coon Rapids, MN; October 2001 - August 2002 as a clinical audiologist at Health One Clinic Services, Denverr Head and Neck Surgery in Denver, CO.  She is a member of the American Academy of Audiology and Arkansas Academy of Audiology.   

Past President

Hope Gillison

Dr. R. Hope Gillison has been employed by The Department of Veterans' Affairs at the Veteran's Healthcare System of the Ozarks (VHSO) since 2004. She is currently the Assistant Chief of Audiology and Speech Pathology. Dr. Gillison implemented the cochlear implant program and is currently working on a teleaudiology program for the facility.  

Dr. Gillison currently serves on the education committee for the Joint Defense Veterans Audiology Conference (JDVAC) as the Executive Chair. She is the Past President of AVAA and current Vice President of JDVAA.

She served as an adjunct professor and clinical supervisor for the University of Arkansas from 2007-2010. Prior to moving to Northwest Arkansas, Dr. Gillison worked for a neuro-otologist in Germantown, TN where she was primarily involved in cochlear implants and intraoperative monitoring.

Vice President for Membership

Jason Johnson

After a 12 year career in Music Production (sound engineering), Jason Johnson, originally from Hackett, AR, returned to graduate school to study Audiology at UALR/UAMS Consortium Program in 2011. CLinical Placement include VA Hospital Audiology, LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities) multidisciplinary clinic,  AR Children's Hospital Audiology Clinic, The EARS Outreach Project (Educational Audiology/Speech Pathology Resources for Schools), and others.  Upon Graduation, Dr. Johnson served as Audiologist at Cooper Clinic ENT from May 2-15-November 2017 and at Mercy Audiology (Fort Smith) 2017 to present.  Dr. Johnson's clinic serves all ages and deals primarily with the needs associated with the ENT clinic (ear health, hearing issues, and balance issues).  Dr. Johnson currently resides in Fort Smith with his wife and three children. 


Tammy Dunn Vanover
A Plus Hearing Service, Inc.

Dr. Tammy Dunn Vanover has been a practicing audiologist in Arkansas since 1991.  She is a native Arkansan, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Disorders from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, AR.   She then attended Washington University in St. Louis, Central Institute for the Deaf, for a Master's degree in Audiology.  She received her Doctor of Audiology degree from The University of Florida in 2000.   She worked as a clinical audiologist for what is now called Arkanasas Otolaryngology Center.  She started her private practice clinic in Little Rock, AR in 1997.    Since that time, she has worked with both children and adults in her practice.  Although many years of practice she focused on adults and teens, she has more recently been in a position to provide pediatric outreach and diagnostic services for newborns across the state in need of both hearing screening and diagnostic hearing services.   On the other end of the spectrum, she also provides geriatric hearing services for nursing home patients and travels all over the state of Arkansas.    

She has served on the board for Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and has been on the planning committee for their national meeing in Little Rock, in 1997-1998.  She served two terms as Treasurer for the AR Speech Language Hearing Association, and is now Secretary for the 2018-2020 term for the AR Academy of Audiology.   She has been an adjunct professor for the UALR/UAMS Audiology program, and has been a clinical supervisor to numerous audiology students and now audiologists who practice not just in AR but all over the U.S.   She served on the Otoplastics Advisory Council, is board certified by the American Academy of Audiology, and has published articles on patient satisfcation with hearing aids.   She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and loves her cats and dogs and working in her flower gardens and crafting in her spare time.  


Steve Upson
Arkansas Children`s Hospital

Steve Upson has been an audiologist at Arkansas Children's Hospital for 28 years.  He is currently a member of the E.A.R.S. Team, providing audiological services to schools in the state.  He has been married to his wife Lori for 31 years.  They have four children, two dogs and a cat.