Our Care Team
Stephanie Misono, M.D., M.P.H. graduated cum laude from Harvard Medical School and earned a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology from the University of Washington School of Public Health. She completed her residency training in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, then subspecialty fellowship training in Laryngology and Care of the Professional Voice at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee. She is board-certified through the American Board of Otolaryngology.Her clinical and academic interests in laryngology include voice and airway problems, as well as early laryngeal cancer. She has been named a Top Doctor by Minneapolis St Paul Magazine and Minnesota Monthly. Her research is focused on optimizing treatment outcomes in patients with laryngeal disorders.Dr. Misono is an Associate Professor with tenure in the Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and adjunct faculty of the Department of Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts. She is a recent member of the Voice Committee and current member of the Geriatric Otolaryngology Committee of the American Academy of Otolaryngology. Her research on voice disorders is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH K23DC016335) and the American College of Surgery.
Dr. D.D. Michael is Assistant Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology in the University of Minnesota Medical School, and is Co-Director of the Lions Voice Clinic. She has a B.A. in music and psychology from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, as well as a master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology and a doctorate in Voice Science from the University of Minnesota.Dr. Michael has been a singer all of her life, a voice and piano teacher for over 40 years, and therefore has expertise in treating voice problems in professional voice users such as singers, actors, and teachers. A common part of her practice is returning injured singers to the stage. She also has expertise in functional breathing problems, particularly in athletes, and draws on her experience as a runner in treating these disorders. She is a member of the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA), the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), and National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC) and their local affiliates. She was founder of the MNVoice, a professional organization for voice-specialty speech-language pathologists in Minnesota, and moderated the group for nearly two decades. For the National Association of Teachers of Singing, she has just finished her tenure as Chairman of the Voice Science Advisory Committee, and director of the NATS-sponsored website Vocapedia.info, which provides information about the voice that is vetted by a committee of voice scientists. She was instrumental in the movement that founded the Pan American Vocology Association (PAVA) in 2014, and now serves on the conference committee, co-directing the international online conference in 2020 and the directing the 2021 conference in Minneapolis, at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Michael is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences for voice and singing science as well as voice treatment. She also lectures regularly at colleges around the state, where she presents seminars in vocal health and voice science for singers. Her areas of research and publication include perceptual characteristics of voice, acoustic measures of voice quality, and various aspects of normal and abnormal singing and speech production. As an educator, Dr. Michael's goal is to make voice science accessible to singers and singing teachers, having written a series of articles explaining the workings of the singing voice for the Journal of Singing. She also trains graduate clinicians in voice disorders and the special needs of singers. In her work on the faculty of the Department of Otolaryngology, she often provides independent study opportunities for students in other departments, particularly in the School of Music, and clinical practicum opportunities for Master's in Speech-Language-Pathology students from the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences. She maintains an active private voice and piano studio, and continues to perform in a variety of musical styles.
Raluca Gray, MD is a voice, swallow and airway specialist. She graduated cum laude from Georgetown University with a Bachelor of Science in Science, Technology and International affairs. She then completed her medical training at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington DC and her otolaryngology residency training at Montefiore Medical Center – Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York, NY. She completed her subspecialty training in laryngology at the University of California Los Angeles.
Jesse Hoffmeister, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is an Assistant Professor and Speech-Language Pathologist in the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Minnesota, where he specializes in the assessment and treatment of voice, swallowing, and upper airway disorders. He completed his doctoral degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is certified by the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association.Dr. Hoffmeister's research focuses on the relationships between cranial sensorimotor function and cognitive/psychological state , with a particular emphasis on defining the neurobiological underpinnings that govern these relationships. In speech-language pathology, there exist obvious, but poorly-understood interactions among successful cranial sensorimotor behaviors (vocalizing, swallowing, coordination of breathing) and cognitive/psychological state. Understanding these relationships and their neurobiological underpinnings would significantly advance our ability to treat patients with voice, swallowing, and airway disorders. Thus, the ultimate goal of Dr. Hoffmeister's research is to develop methods of optimizing cognitive/psychological state to improve motor learning and performance. This can improve clinical outcomes for patients with diverse etiologies of dysphonia and dysphagia. Dr. Hoffmeister's lab is currently focused on refining methods of objectively measuring changes in vocal function while examining degree of sympathetic nervous system activation through a novel use of high-resolution manometry (HRM) and online biomonitoring.
Lisa Butcher (she/her), M.M. (Voice), M.A. CCC-SLP, NCVS Certified Vocologist has worked at the Lions Voice Clinic at the University of Minnesota – M Health/ Fairview since 2009. Clinical, scholarly, and presenting interests include the evaluation and treatment of all aspects of voice and upper airway with special expertise in the professional speaking and singing voice, gender and identity affirmation voice, neurogenic voice disorders and irritable larynx. She is a member of multiple groups, including ASHA SIG 3, 14 & 18, NATS, PAVA, The Voice Foundation and NBASLH. Ms. Butcher is excited to begin the Doctor of Speech-Language Pathology program at MGH Institute of Health Professions in 2022.
Ms. Butcher (soprano), a native of Minnesota, has been involved in many performance opportunities in the Twin Cities area, including ensemble for Anonymous Lover and Carmen as a part of MN Opera’s 2021-2022 season, Stella in the Minnesota Opera’s 2006-2007 season production of Les Contes d’Hoffmann, and the title role in Treemonisha with the North Star Opera Company (Skylark Opera). She continues to sing professionally in the Twin Cities area. Ms. Butcher also held the position of Teaching Artist with the Minnesota Opera during the 2006-2007 season.
Dan Weinstein is a Speech-Language Pathologist at the Lions Voice Clinic, focusing on the care and treatment of the human voice and other disorders affecting the upper airway. Having trained as a classical singer at the University of Iowa, and later at the University of Wisconsin Madison, he sang professionally for several years around the Midwest before discovering Speech Language Pathology: a perfect outlet for his love of education, helping others, and the science behind the human voice.
Dan attended the University of Minnesota, earning a Masters of Arts in Speech Language Pathology. His training was further refined by participation in the National Center for Voice and Speech’s Summer Vocology Institute, where he gained a certificate in Vocology. Upon graduation, Dan completed a voice-specific clinical fellowship at the prestigious Emory Voice Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Since joining the Lions Voice Clinic team in the fall of 2016, he has been able to draw on his diverse background in the treatment of speaking and singing voice, voice therapy for gender affirmation, functional breathing disorders, chronic cough and laryngeal hypersensitivity.
Always eager to develop the best care for his patients, Dan's research interests center on attention, awareness, and understanding the mechanisms behind therapeutic techniques. He has been invited to teach as faculty at the Emory Voice Center Laryngeal Imaging Course, and he recently presented at the American Speech Language Hearing Sciences National Convention in Boston.
Sarah Zach is a Speech-Language Pathologist at the Lions Voice Clinic, focusing on the care and treatment of voice disorders and upper airway disorders, including shortness of breath, chronic cough and throat clearing, abnormal throat sensations such as pain, discomfort, or a lump in the throat (globus), and difficulty swallowing related to excessive muscle tension in the throat (muscle tension dysphagia).
Sarah trained as a classical singer and attended Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wisconsin, earning a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance. She taught voice lessons as an adjunct voice faculty member and private studio instructor prior to earning a Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. She specialized in treating voice and upper airway disorders and served as the Content Expert in Voice and Upper Airway Disorders for Allina Health, where she presented current treatment and assessment practices in voice and upper airway disorders to system speech pathologists and physicians, prior to joining the Lions Voice Clinic in 2021.
In addition to treating voice and upper airway disorders at the Lions Voice Clinic, Sarah is passionate about providing education to occupational voice users regarding vocal health and sustainability, as growing numbers of professions require daily voice use. She empathizes with patients struggling to regain normal voice quality and comfortable voice use, having had a bilateral thyroidectomy at the age of nineteen and experienced a shift from coloratura soprano to mezzo. She personally understands the tremendous impact that voice and upper airway disorders can have on an individual’s sense of identity and strives to help each patient meet their personal voice and upper airway goals.
She is a member of the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA), the Minnesota Voice Colloquium, and the Pan-American Vocology Association (PAVA).