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Family Hearing Care Audiology Staff

Here at Family Hearing Care, family defines our business. We know communication is key to any relationship, so we include the most significant people in every patient’s life during their journey to better hearing. This way, our patients can listen, laugh, and live better together.

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Meet Our Audiologists

Dr. Paul Hanrahan, AuD

Dr. Paul Hanrahan has over 38 years of experience as an Audiologist. He graduated from Utah State University in 1983 with his Masters in Audiology and received his AuD in 2004 from Arizona School of Health Sciences. Dr. Paul brings unrivaled experience as a founding owner of Family Hearing Care.

“As a practicing Audiologist in Northern Michigan for over 38 years, I have had the pleasure of helping many families deal with the challenges of hearing loss. I would like to personally invite you to visit us at Family Hearing Care.”

Dr. Hillary Toennies, AuD

Dr. Hillary Toennies graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences and a minor in Disability Studies. She earned her Doctorate Degree in Audiology from the University of Akron. Her goal is to help individuals with hearing loss achieve improved quality of life through better communication and hearing.

“Our patient’s hearing healthcare needs is our number one priority, from the moment you walk through our doors to the moment you leave, we want you to feel like you are part of our family.”

Meet Our Staff

jenny from fhc

Jenny Hanrahan

Business Manager

Jenny brings her extensive background in office management to FHC as Jenny has served in many diverse and impactful roles within the Traverse City community. Retirement in the fall of 2020 from Northwest Education Services and her role as school secretary for the Life Skills Center has allowed Jenny to recommit her focus towards Family Hearing Care.

“It truly is about family! We hope that patients along with their loved ones feel that sense of support and understanding when they walk through our doors. Hearing Care can be overwhelming and confusing at times. Our hope is to create an environment that eases any worries with thoughtful and considerate service.”

eva from fhc

Eva S

Patient Care Coordinator

Eva’s passion for working with people is very apparent when she greets you at the door or on the phone. Her service driven skills are a proven asset whether helping to assess a patient’s needs or troubleshoot a technical issue. Eva is your go-to contact when you have a question or concern regarding your hearing services.

“I was drawn to Family Hearing Care because of their warm and friendly office environment and their focus on serving patients’ needs. It has allowed me to do what I love to do best – work with people to help them to overcome any obstacles or issues they may be having with their hearing journey.”

Deborah Hale, MA, CCC-A


Whether you call her Deb, Debbie, or Deborah, you will appreciate the expertise of this Audiologist! Deb works with Family Hearing Care one day of week to help support the demand for our services, specifically for our TruHearing patients. Deb graduated from the University of Colorado obtaining her Masters degree in Audiology in 1994. While Deb wears many hats as an Audiologist, she spends most of her time serving the hearing-impaired students for Northwest Educational Services, our regional school district as an Educational Audiologist. You may also find Deb working in a completely different environment at Brys winery in Traverse City during the summers.

Meghan Merkey

Business Support & Insurance Billing

While you may not see Meghan physically in the Family Hearing Care office, she is none-the-less, a very important asset to Family Hearing Care. Meghan has the unenviable position of dealing with the Insurance Providers, submitting, and following up on our patient’s claims. Meghan’s patience and tenacity in navigating the puzzle called Health Insurance is her superpower. If you have questions regarding submitting your hearing services to insurance, please contact our office so that we can better serve you.


Family Care History

Family Hearing Care was established in 2014 by the Smith Family – Ed, Barb and son Peter along with Dr. Paul Hanrahan and his wife, Jenny. Ed Smith and Dr. Paul brought “decades of experience” with them to their new venture in Traverse City; Ed from his many years as Director of the Munson Medical Center, William and Leni Carls Hearing Clinic, as well as managing the Constance Brown Hearing Clinic in Kalamazoo, Michigan and Dr. Paul with his years at Munson Medical Center as well as his time as a Manufacturer Representative with Unitron Hearing Aids. As a private practice Audiology and Hearing Clinic, Family Hearing Care was welcomed by former patients, area physicians and health care providers as well as supporting referral sources. In 2017, Ed Smith along with his wife, Barb retired from the daily functions of the business. Shortly after the Smith’s retirement, Dr. Hillary Toennies joined the practice to serve the growing needs of the business and community. As of April, 2022 we are pleased to announce that Jenny Hanrahan has rejoined her husband as partner and Office Manager while Peter Smith has left the practice to pursue new interests.

Family Hearing Care has long been respected as an Audiology Clinic that focuses on finding appropriate solutions for our hearing challenged community. With a family centered focus, you will find that the Family Hearing Care staff works with each individual to fit their specific hearing needs and challenges. Our clinic does not depend on the support of any specific hearing aid manufacturer, instead focusing on the individual needs of each patient. The clinic introduced the FLEX program to help those individuals searching for the right fit to “test drive” their hearing aids with the support of an experienced and qualified Doctor of Audiology. While this small family practice may not have the buying power or leverage of “Big Box” stores, you will find that our experience and customer service have far greater value and impact to those we serve, and we are proud of the testimonials that support this claim.

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