I went into audiology to do one thing: Help improve the lives of our clients. Finding the right hearing aids for you is about more than restoring your hearing. It’s about empowering you to enjoy your ideal lifestyle. Whether you’re a swimmer or a theater-goer, I’ll work with you to find a hearing aid that gets you back into the life you want to live.
Jason Wigand, Au.D., CCC-A
Owner, Board Certified in Audiology
Jason P. Wigand, Au.D., is Chief Audiologist and owner of Beach Audiology Hearing & Balance Center.
He is board-certified in Audiology and has held positions in various private practice and nonprofit settings, including serving as faculty, clinical director of the cochlear implant program, and clinical preceptor for the graduate program at the University of South Carolina in the Arnold School of Public Health in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. He currently serves on South Carolina’s licensure Board of Examiners for Speech Pathology and Audiology. He is past president and continuing board member for the South Carolina Academy of Audiology and serves as treasurer for the South Carolina chapter of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired.
Dr. Wigand completed undergraduate work at the University of Kentucky and received his clinical doctorate in Audiology from The Ohio State University. His research and clinical expertise include cochlear and Auditory implants, speech perception and psychoacoustics, early intervention in hearing loss, hearing aids and amplification treatment options, and aural rehabilitation and communication strategies.
As a researcher, clinical audiologist, and late-deafened adult and bilateral cochlear implant recipient, Dr. Wigand is passionate about serving both adult and pediatric populations challenged by hearing loss. He is continually engaged in contributing to the professional and consumer education and collaboration needed to forward the practice and profession of Audiology as the primary provider of care for individuals with hearing and communication challenges.
I was diagnosed with moderate hearing loss in 1994, during the end of my sophomore year in college. I was an Army ROTC cadet at Tulane University in New Orleans. I had been nominated for airborne training at Fort Benning, GA. Prior to beginning training, I was required to take another complete physical. Being a young healthy college student and cadet, I did not believe I had anything to worry about. I was wrong. I failed the hearing test and was disqualified. Now, I had played saxophone and trombone in the band throughout school. I had served as drum major for two years and still played music in college. How could I have failed the hearing test?
I began to see an array of otolaryngologists and neurologists and was finally diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss due to an autoimmune disorder (I had rubella at 18 months of age...I was born in 1974 and that vaccine was not developed until 1979...and they believed that high frequency hearing loss had begun earlier in life and really accelerated after puberty). I did not believe, at the time, that it was interfering with my social or educational communications or interactions. However, it seemed it was enough to throw up the red flag to the US Army. My commanding officer informed me that soldiers do not wear hearing aids. I received a medical discharge shortly thereafter.
I finished school in my home state at the University of Kentucky. The avoidance of addressing my hearing loss and personal conviction that “I would be fine” lasted until the spring of 1999. That is when I began working for FedEx as a dispatcher and transferred to Chicago. I was working nights and spent much of my shift on the phone and radio. I began having a difficult time hearing through both communication platforms, I went to my otolaryngologist at the time and was fitted for a hearing aid. This was the beginning of a six-year struggle with an array of different models, brands, sizes, and types of hearing aids. My hearing continued to rapidly deteriorate to the point I had lost all hearing in my left ear and all but the low frequency access in my right.
The succeeding five years were a whirlwind, both professionally and personally. I was promoted to divisional projects manager, married a wonderful woman, and had two beautiful children. We had relocated to the northeast and settled in Connecticut. Until that Thursday evening in January, I did not realize how fortunate I was to be a patient of the ENT Medical and Surgical Group in New Haven, CT. After a number of more tests and two consultations, they noted my candidacy for cochlear implantation. I underwent surgery in August of 2005 and received my implant. I was mapped and fitted four weeks later. As a late-deafened, post-lingual adult, I thought I knew exactly how much acoustic information I was missing and how much my personal connections were suffering. I found that I had severely underestimated that. I became fascinated by what I “regained” and after another two years of searching for a way to further engage myself in helping others understand what hearing loss can do to someone, applied, and was accepted to The Ohio State University to complete graduate work in Audiology and hearing sciences, graduating with my doctorate in Audiology (Au.D.).
Michele Kocent, HAS-0661
Hearing Instrument Specialist
Born in Vermont but raised on the beaches of Florida, Michele makes home in the beautiful Market Commons area of Myrtle Beach with her husband and three fur babies.
Most of all, Michele enjoys time with her amazing family the most. With 3 grown children of her own, you can usually find Michele out with one of her 5 grandchildren.
Michele grew up singing in her dad’s band and loves all kinds of music. She’s always whistling a tune or humming a note.
Michele has been in the hearing industry for almost 15 years. Michele wears hearing devices herself to help manage her tinnitus. She finds it rewarding to help people in their journey towards better hearing to improve their overall quality of life
Victoria Price is an Audiology Extern at Beach Audiology Hearing & Balance Center. She is completing the last year of her graduate work at The Northeast Ohio Audiology Consortium.
Before entering graduate school, Victoria attended Kent State University and received her bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology. Victoria is originally from northeast Ohio and was ready to move out and explore the state of South Carolina.
Victoria decided to complete her clinical education at Beach Audiology Hearing & Balance Center due to her interests in comprehensive balance and hearing examinations, auditory implant solutions, and hearing aid consultations.
Before moving to Myrtle Beach, Victoria worked as a chiropractor assistant for two years where she learned the importance of patient-centric care. Additionally, she worked at a local chocolate store where she developed her sweet tooth. Her hobbies include attending farmers markets, working out, and painting
Originally from the Charlotte area, Kara has lived in various states throughout the country, allowing her the opportunity to meet many interesting people and make many friends along the way.
She made her way back home to the Carolinas, settling in Myrtle Beach, where she enjoys spending free time on the beach searching for beautiful shells, shark teeth and other magical ocean treasures.
Kara has over 23 years of combined experience in medical office, billing & administration. A hearing aid user herself, with a sibling who also uses hearing aids, and a deaf family member, audiology and hearing care are a critical part of her life!
Patient Care Coordinator
Heather Reamy is our Patient Care Coordinator at Beach Audiology Hearing & Balance Center.
She enjoys helping patients with device counseling, listening tips and tricks to hearing aid repairs.
Before becoming employed at Beach Audiology, Heather worked for 6 years as a daycare center director. She attended Coastal Carolina University where she obtained her certificate in Child Development.
Originally born in Lewisville, Texas, Heather came to the Carolina coast when she was 16 and has been a local ever since
She has a passion for the sciences. Particularly in Meteorology.
Leslie Armstrong joined Beach Audiology Hearing & Balance Center as the practice liaison.
She serves as the face of the practice, providing education on our services to the community and marketing to area physicians and allied health providers.
Originally from the Greenville/ Spartanburg area Leslie has lived in the Myrtle Beach area since 2014. She is a mother of three and mom to three fur babies. She enjoys spending her free time walking on the beach, exercising, and tap dancing.
Leslie has over 20 plus years combined in the medical and dental administration field. She graduated from The Medical University of South Carolina in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in Health Information. Her passion is to help and serve others!
Insurance Administrative Specialist
Nicole was born and raised in Vermont alongside her many siblings and large family.
Growing up, she enjoyed playing sports, hunting, fishing, and pageantry. She was an honor student and athlete, playing varsity soccer and basketball in high school.
She went on to attend Northern Vermont University-Lyndon where she studied applied psychology, criminal justice, and business. Now having been married four years, life has brought her to South Carolina by way of Florida.
Nicole and her husband have a two-year-old daughter and two dogs. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors, and volunteering in the children's ministry at her church.
Nicole has worked with insurance in the hearing industry for many years. She loves making a difference in the hearing health of people every day.
Hearing Loss Affects Your Health
Don't wait to get help.