Meet Our Team

Our team includes three audiologists with over fifty years of combined experience and a support staff of knowledgeable audiology assistants and patient care coordinators.

Catherine Nelson Grange, Au.D.

Doctor of Audiology

Dr. Grange graduated with honors from the University of Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in both speech and hearing science and Spanish. She earned her doctorate in audiology from the Arizona School of Health Sciences in Mesa, Arizona. Her postgraduate training included a year in the Otolaryngology Department at the University of Iowa’s Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, where she focused on diagnostics, hearing aids, cochlear implants and tinnitus management. She is a fellow of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology, a member of the Iowa Hearing Association and a member of the Tinnitus Practitioners Association.

Dr. Grange returned to Northwest Iowa to join her father, Dr. R. David Nelson, at his audiology practice. She now works alongside her brother, Dr. Paul Nelson. As part of her practice, Dr. Grange sees both adult and pediatric patients for hearing evaluations and hearing aid fittings. She is an expert in earwax removal. She also specializes in helping patients manage their tinnitus (ringing in the ears). She started Nelson Hearing Clinics’ Tinnitus Management Program nearly two decades ago. There are few tinnitus specialists in the rural Midwest, and Dr. Grange is proud to be able to care for these patients. She sees patients in our Spencer clinic.

Dr. Grange lives in Spencer with her husband, Chris, and three children, Miles, Amelia and Henry. Their family enjoys watching Hawkeye football games and family movie nights spent snuggling on the couch. She loves learning new songs to play on the piano. She often hosts big family get-togethers where her family ends up around the piano, enjoying music and singing.

Hometown: Ruthven, Iowa
Favorite sports team: Hawkeyes
Favorite snack: Popcorn and M&M’s
First job: Dishwasher
First concert: The Judds at the Clay County Fair
Favorite show to binge-watch: “The Office”
Instruments played: Piano and flute
Least favorite Food: Water chestnuts
How do you take your coffee: As sugary as possible!
Bucket list item: Traveling to New Zealand with my husband to see where Lord of the Rings was filmed.
Tell us something we don’t know about you: I spent a semester studying in Alcalá de Henares, Spain, which is the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, author of the famous “Don Quixote.”
Favorite sound: My kids’ laughter!

Paul D. Nelson, Au.D.

Doctor of Audiology

Dr. Nelson graduated with distinction from the University of Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in both speech and hearing science and linguistics. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, an honor society for exceptional academic achievement. He earned his doctoral degree in audiology from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. His internship was spent at the Advanced Hearing Center in Dallas, Texas, and focused on diagnostic testing, hearing aids and aural rehabilitation. He is a fellow of the Minnesota Academy of Audiology, the Academy of Doctors of Audiology and a member of the Iowa Hearing Association.

Dr. Nelson specializes in diagnostic hearing evaluations, hearing aid fittings and cerumen (wax) removal. His technical expertise in hearing aids and computers set him apart from most in his field. His patients report his compassion and thoroughness when tending to their needs as the top reasons they choose to come to Nelson Hearing Clinics. Dr. Nelson enjoys taking time to get to know patients personally, which helps him better understand their needs and how to best help. He joined his sister, Dr. Catherine Nelson Grange, at their father’s audiology practice after his father’s retirement. Dr. Nelson sees patients in our Fairmont and Estherville clinics.

Dr. Nelson and his wife, Heather, have three children: Cameron, Harper and Emma. He loves spending time on the lake with his family, reading and listening to music. He is a talented musician, playing the guitar, french horn, piano and trumpet. He enjoys playing guitar and singing in his church’s ministry band.

Hometown: Ruthven, Iowa
Favorite sports team: Iowa Hawkeyes
Favorite snack: Kettle corn
Least favorite food: Anything pickled
First job: Picking rocks and detasseling corn
Favorite place to eat: My mom’s kitchen
How do you take your coffee: Strong, no cream or sugar
Something we don’t know about you: I played trumpet in the Iowa Hawkeye Marching Band in college.
Bucket list item: Visit the Holy Land (Israel)
Favorite sound: Leaves rustling in the wind

Tracy Sullivan,

Licensed Audiologist

Tracy received both her Bachelor of Arts in Communicative Sciences and Disorders and her Master of Arts in Audiology from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. Her clinical fellowship year was spent at Nelson Hearing Aid Service with our clinic’s founder, Dr. R. David Nelson. Her fellowship focused on diagnostic testing, hearing aid fittings and hearing aid repairs. Tracy holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is a member of the Iowa Hearing Association.

Tracy Sullivan has more than two decades of experience in the field and is our clinic’s most experienced audiologist. She specializes in adult diagnostic hearing testing and hearing aid fittings. Tracy’s patients appreciate her detailed care and easygoing nature. Tracy enjoys getting to know her patients on a personal level. “Keeping up with all the latest hearing aid technology is really interesting, but my favorite part of my work is really my patients. Helping them brings me a lot of joy.” She was recently voted as Iowa’s “Hearing Aid Specialist of the Year” by a group of her peers. Tracy was honored to receive this award, which recognizes that service and patient care is what separates her from many others in the hearing care industry. Tracy sees patients in our Le Mars and Sheldon clinics.

Tracy has lived in Le Mars for over 20 years with her husband, Toby, and two daughters, Anna and Mary. Her favorite part of the day is her quiet time in the morning, watching the sunrise and drinking coffee. Tracy loves riding motorcycles and is an avid gardener.

Hometown: Radcliffe, Iowa
Favorite sports team: Chicago Cubs and Iowa State Cyclones
Favorite snack: Peanut M&M’s
First job: Riding beans as a kid
First concert: Alabama at the Iowa State Fair
Favorite show to binge-watch: “Downton Abbey”
Favorite book: “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah
Favorite way to spend time outside work: Playing golf
How do you take your coffee: With French vanilla creamer
Bucket list item: Traveling to all the National Parks
Something we don’t know about you: I was a varsity golfer all four years in high school!
Favorite sound: A crackling fire

R. David Nelson, Au.D.

Founder, Emeritus

Dr. Nelson grew up in Milford, IA. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Augustana, his master’s degree from The University of Iowa and his Doctor of Audiology from the Arizona School of Health Sciences. He began his career more than 50 years ago helping patients with communicative disorders as a teacher of the deaf. He founded Nelson Hearing Aid Service in 1976, which has since grown to include five different clinics in three states.

Dr. Nelson has served as president of the Iowa Association of Hearing Health Professionals, was a founding member of Hearing Aid Management Systems and was a longtime member of the Academy of Doctors of Audiology.

Even though Dr. Nelson is now retired, he enjoys stopping by the office to see and visit with his former patients. He devoted more than 50 years of his life to working with the deaf and hard of hearing.

Dr. Nelson lives with his wife, Julie in Ruthven, Iowa. He has four adult children and many grandchildren. His large garden, apple orchard and guitar keep him busy.

Tina Carter

Business Manager

Tina has worked on both the clinical and administrative sides of the healthcare system for over 20 years. She got her start as a medical assistant working at MercyOne. Her clinIIrience includes spinal surgery, neurology and dental. She crossed over to the administrative side of healthcare to manage a busy chiropractic clinic. She has taught diagnostic and procedural coding as well as medical office management classes at the local college.

At Nelson Hearing Clinics, Tina pushes staff to stay on the cutting edge of clinical care and management. She implemented electronic health records in all our clinics and started our veteran’s program, where we provide local audiological care for veterans through the Veteran’s Administration and their Community Cares Program.

Tina lives in Spencer with her husband, Tyler, and their son, Maddox. They love spending time together in their pool or at the lake, playing cards (Hand and Foot and 500 are some of their favorites!) and building Legos as a family.

Hometown: Spencer, Iowa
Favorite sports team: Bears, Braves and Hawkeyes
Favorite snack: Peanut M&M’s
First job: Cleaning rooms at Cutty’s of Okoboji
Favorite show to binge-watch: Parks and Rec
Least favorite Food: Olives, any dessert that gets ruined with nuts
Favorite concert: Green Day or Toby Keith
Favorite book: Anything written by Janet Evanovich or Jodi Picoult
Bucket list item: Visit all the Major League Baseball stadiums
How do you take your coffee: Vanilla latte—hot, no whip
Tell us something we don’t know about you: I have a motorcycle license, but I’m not sure I can drive a motorcycle.
Favorite sound: My son shuffling through his Lego bin

Donna Dickman

Patient Care Coordinator

Donna is our most experienced patient care coordinator. She has decades of experience in patient care, including her time spent working registration in the emergency department at St. Luke’s Hospital. She works out of the Le Mars clinic and manages patient care for both our Le Mars and Sheldon clinics. She keeps the clinic running smoothly while scheduling patients and answering phone calls. Our patients immediately feel welcome when they see Donna’s big smile, warm personality and infectious giggle. Her personal motto is to “treat people like you want them to treat you.”

Donna and her husband, Stu, are longtime residents of Le Mars. They have three grown children and enjoy traveling around the country to visit them. Donna loves going to the movies (especially scary ones), shopping with friends and decorating her home.

Hometown: Danbury, Iowa
Favorite sports team: Iowa State Cyclones!
Favorite snack: Popcorn
First job: Pizza Hut
Favorite show to binge-watch: “Friends”
First concert: Bob Seger
Favorite place to eat: Table 32
Least favorite food: Coconut anything
Bucket list item: Alaskan cruise
Something we don’t know about you: I used to unwrap and rewrap all my Christmas presents!
Favorite sound: My phone ringing with a call from one of my children

Sam Steele

Patient Care Coordinator

Sam is the bubbly voice you will hear on the other end of the phone when you call our Fairmont and Estherville clinics. Sam has a lot ofIce working with the public (she once interned for the Mayor of Mankato!) and caring for patients. In fact, she first learned about our clinic while working with one of our patients in a memory care unit. She wants our patients to know they are not just a number to us—she takes time to get to know each patient and often their families too! According to Sam, “our patients know we stand by our work and our word.” Her attention to detail and her dedication to learning about the field of audiology keeps our clinics running Smoothly.

Sam lives in Fairmont, Minnesota, with her fiancé, Paul, and their son, Waylon. She enjoys walking the family dog (Miss Mabel), playing sports (hockey, soccer and lacrosse, to mention a few!) and is an avid cook! Her family enjoys time spent at the family cabin around the campfire, listening to the loons and simply being outdoors.

Hometown: Ohio transplant
Favorite sports team: Minnesota Wild and Green Bay Packers
Favorite snack: Cheese—ALL kinds, ALL forms
First job: Jake’s Pizza of Mankato
Favorite show to binge-watch: “Top Chef”
Bucket list item: Trip up the East Coast to see the fall foliage
Least favorite food: Goulash
First concert: N’sync
How do you take your coffee: Like a lumberjack—strong, bold and woodsy
Something we don’t know about you: I’m terrified of bridges. Climbing trees, standing near the edge of a cliff—I’m fine. But even thinking about bridges makes me panic!
Favorite sound: Crackling of a campfire, loons and my son Waylon’s laugh

Brenda Koenig

Patient Care Coordinator

Brenda has spent over 40 years in the healthcare field. She has assisted in patient care in a variety of settings. Her time spent at the Spencer Hospital, Avera Medical Clinic and at a local oral surgeon’s clinic helped her hone her skills at keeping a clinic running smoothly while wearing many “hats”! While managing a busy schedule at our Spencer clinic, she has also become an expert on hearing aid cleaning, repairs and troubleshooting issues that patients may come across. Our patients appreciate being able to walk in and have their hearing aids checked without having to wait for an appointment.

Brenda lives in Spencer, Iowa, with her husband, Ed. She is happiest when spending time with her family, which includes her daughter, Kayla and son-in-law, Josh. Brenda is an animal lover at heart. Besides caring for her own “fur babies,” she often fosters animals in need while they wait to find their forever homes.

Hometown: Spencer, Iowa
Favorite sports team: Iowa Hawkeyes
Favorite snack: Doritos
First job: Babysitting
Bucket list item: Travel, travel, travel!
Favorite show to binge-watch: “Friends”
Least favorite food: Brussel Sprouts
Favorite book: Anything written by Heather Grudenkauf
Tell us something we don’t know about you: I’m a great cake Iator!
Where is your favorite place to eat: Olive Garden or The Range (Des Moines)
First concert you attended: Lynyrd Skynyrd
Favorite sound: Thunderstorms