Our friendly audiologists and office staff are happy to assist you in improving your hearing healthcare. Scroll down to meet our team!
- Dr. Kurt Walker, AuD
- Dr. Courtney Thayer, AuD, CCC-A
- Dr. Elizabeth Frans, AuD, CCC-A
- Dr. Andrew Keiner, AuD
- Dr. Molly VanGorp, AuD
Meet Our Providers!
Dr. Kurt Walker, AuD
Jupiter, FL – Monday – Friday
Dr. Kurt Walker is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology, the Florida Academy of Audiology, is a member of the American Balance Society and is board certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from the University of Northern Iowa and earned his Doctorate of Audiology from the University of Iowa. He joined Merit Hearing in 2022.
While at the University of Iowa, Dr. Walker worked as a research assistant in the tinnitus clinic of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Prior to receiving his doctorate, Dr. Walker completed a clinical fellowship at the Mayo School of Health Sciences in the Florida Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL. While at the Florida Mayo Clinic, he treated patients in the Audiology Clinic of the Department of Otolaryngology and assisted with audiological and vestibular research and later presented the findings at national conferences and meetings.
Dr. Walker’s areas of expertise include:
- Diagnostic and rehabilitative audiology for the adult population
- Comprehensive vestibular evaluations and rehabilitation
- Counseling and aural rehabilitation
- Selection and fitting of amplification (hearing aids)
- Assistive listening devices
Dr. Courtney Thayer, AuD, CCC-A
West Des Moines, IA – Tuesday – Friday
Jefferson, IA – Monday
Courtney Thayer graduated from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln with her Masters in Science and Doctorate in Audiology in 2017. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Nebraska – Kearney, earning a Bachelors in Communication Disorders. Her externship was completed at Iowa Head and Neck, working under an ENT in Des Moines, IA.
Dr. Thayer is a Nebraska native and a Husker fan but loves calling Iowa home. On the weekends, you can find her spending time with her husband and keeping their dog, Rocket, entertained. She enjoys experimenting with recipes, sharing them with friends, and a good book recommendation.
Dr. Elizabeth Frans, AuD, CCC-A
Omaha, NE – Monday-Friday
Elizabeth Frans graduated from University of South Dakota with her Doctorate of Audiology in 2021. She completed her undergraduate degree at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri. Elizabeth completed her externship experience and began her audiology degree practicing in Salt Lake City, UT. There, she obtained experience in hearing evaluations and hearing aid fittings, cochlear implant fittings and mappings, auditory processing evaluations, aural rehabilitation, and vestibular diagnostics.
Dr. Frans is originally from Omaha, NE. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and being active.
Dr. Andrew Keiner, AuD
Omaha, NE – By appointment
West Des Moines, IA – By appointment
Andrew Keiner holds a Doctorate of Audiology degree from the University of Iowa. He also has a Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University. He completed his audiology externship at the Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa.
In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Keiner has worked as a research assistant at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in the area of tinnitus research. He also worked in Piacenza, Italy, at a research hospital, studying the effects of cochlear implantation on tinnitus. Dr. Keiner specializes in the fitting of hearing aids and the treatment and management of tinnitus.
He has been published in many scientific journals and presented on tinnitus research nationally and internationally.
Dr. Keiner is originally from Treynor, Iowa and enjoys gardening, camping, and watching sports.
Dr. Molly Vangorp, AuD
West Des Moines, IA – By appointment
Molly Vangorp holds a Doctorate of Audiology degree from the University of Iowa. She also has her Bachelors of Arts in Speech and Hearing Science with a Psychology minor. She completed her doctoral externship at the University of Miami Mailman Center for Child Development. Dr. Vangorp has held positions in a variety of settings and has 10 years of experience working with patients of all ages. She specializes in the evaluation and fitting of amplification, including Bluetooth accessories and FM hearing systems.
Dr. Vangorp is originally from Clive and enjoys traveling, fitness, and spending time with her Great Dane, Hank.
Meet Our Support Staff!
Media Manager / Health Tech
Betsy holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Iowa State University. She strongly believes in the mission of expanding the reach of hearing healthcare to her community. Betsy has a vast array of technical skills which compliment her creative tools. She also brings a sincere and dedicated attitude toward patient care. When outside the clinic, Betsy enjoys knitting, gardening, printmaking, and spending time with her fiancé Jesse and two cats, Lou and Flanny.
Dr. Kristin Keiner, PharmD
Business Manager & Pharmacist
Kristin Keiner is our business manager and pharmacist consultant. She holds a Doctorate of Pharmacy degree from The University of Iowa where she graduated with high honors. Dr. Keiner has worked as a clinical and compounding pharmacist since 2014. She is an expert on the ototoxic effects of medication. She manages Merit Hearing’s Ototoxicity Monitoring Program.
Dr. Keiner is originally from Clive, Iowa and in her free time she enjoys her Bernese mountain dog, water-skiing, and anything Harry Potter.
You can find Matt at the front desk of our Omaha, Nebraska office. He brings a unique perspective to Merit Hearing because he has worn hearing aids for most of his life. He wants to use his own experiences to help others who have hearing loss.
In his free time, Matt enjoys creative pursuits with art and music. He recently graduated from the University of Nebraska – Omaha with a Bachelors degree in Multidisciplinary Studies. He is considering graduate school in the future, possibly to become an audiologist.
Health Tech / Operations
Amelia brings her exceptional aptitude and ingenuity along with a personal drive to help others to the field of hearing health. Amelia is originally from Southwest Iowa and a graduate of Iowa State University. She has loved calling Des Moines home for the last 8 years. She enjoys running, volunteering and traveling and has been able to visit 32 countries and more than 30 states.
Contact us to schedule an appointment and meet our team in person! Our team of hearing health experts look forward to meeting you!