Surgery Experts

Heather Starmer

Assistant Professor
Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery
Stanford University
United States of America


Heather Starmer is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Head and Neck Cancer Speech and Swallowing Rehabilitation Center. Prior to joining the faculty at Stanford University, Heather served as the lead of the head and neck cancer rehabilitation program at Johns Hopkins University. Heather graduated from California State University at Long Beach in 1998 with a BA in Communicative Disorders. She earned her MA from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. She completed her fellowship at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Pittsburgh with a focus in head and neck cancer and rehabilitation of swallowing disorders. Heather specializes in the rehabilitation of speech, voice, and swallowing in patients with head and neck cancer. She has particular interest in prevention of communication and swallowing disorders associated with radiation and chemotherapy. She has a strong interest in head and neck cancer survivorship and helping patients to accomplish their personal goals and to optimize their quality of life long term. She is a board certified specialist in swallowing disorders.

Research Interest

Investigation of strategies to enhance patient adherence to rehabilitation plans during head and neck cancer treatment, evaluation of communication and swallowing outcomes after Transoral Robotic Surgery (TORS), and assessment of voice outcomes after thyroid surgeries.

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