Multidisciplinary Team


The Facial Nerve Center is staffed by surgeons, physical therapists, physicians assistants, and other medical specialists skilled in the evaluation and treatment of facial paralysis. This combination of medical expertise allows us to help patients improve their appearance, facial function, non-verbal communication, and overall well-being.

“There has to be truth behind the idea of a smile having the power to change a life. This new smile has changed mine. The entire team in the Facial Nerve Center has been helpful and supportive through the entire journey: pre-surgery, post-op, and recovery."

-Edith G., Facial Nerve Center patient


Tessa A. Hadlock, M.D.

Tessa Hadlock, Director of the Facial Nerve Center

An innovative clinician-scientist with more than 20 years of experience in managing facial nerve disorders, Dr. Hadlock has been the Director of the Facial Nerve Center since 2002. Under her leadership, she has overseen the Center’s growth to include a robust team of subspecialty physicians, two dedicated physical therapists, and a specialized facial paralysis nurse, among others. Since 2002, the volume of patients coming for treatment from around the globe has significantly increased and the number and extent of services offered has steadily risen. She has embraced the condition of facial paralysis as her concentrated focus, and is continuously accepting opportunities to study, speak about, and advocate for patients with this condition.

Michael J. McKenna, M.D.

Michael McKenna

Dr. McKenna brings more than 25 years of neuro-otologic experience to the Center and is an expert in tumors of the facial nerve and skull base. A pioneer of the team approach to the management of facial paralysis, he has spent the past several decades forging relationships with facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons, oculoplastic and cornea specialists, and head and neck oncologists. He brings both a historic perspective as well as a modern approach to individualized management of complex facial nerve problems.


Nate Jowett, M.D.

Nate Jowett

Dr. Jowett is a fellowship-trained head and neck surgeon specializing in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. His focus centers on the management of patients with acute and chronic facial paralysis who visit the Facial Nerve Center. Dr. Jowett is devoted to improving therapeutic treatments for patients experiencing facial paralysis and offers the complete spectrum of medical and surgical procedures for facial nerve disorders to his patients. 

Caroline A. Banks, M.D.

Caroline Banks

Working out of the Mass. Eye and Ear Facial Nerve Center in Longwood, Dr. Banks specializes in the treatment of facial nerve disorders, aesthetic facial surgery, and facial reconstruction. She focuses on the treatment of facial paralysis and Bell’s palsy, offering the complete spectrum of medical and surgical procedures for facial nerve disorders. Dr. Banks is experienced in aesthetic procedures including cosmetic injectables, facelifts, blepharoplasty, rhinoplasty, and browlifts. Her practice also includes reconstructive surgery of the head and neck after skin cancer (Moh’s) surgery, trauma, and birth deformities.



The Center draws upon the expertise of qualified Boston-area ophthalmologists, including Mass. Eye and Ear General Ophthalmologist Dr. Carolyn Kloek, to handle specific ocular issues that may arise in patients with facial paralysis. The Center also involves specialists in strabismus correction and neuro-ophthalmologic conditions when these issues arise.

Physical Therapists

Mara Wernick Robinson, PT, MS, NCS

Mara Robinson

Mara Robinson is a neurological clinical specialist with more than 25 years of clinical experience as a physical therapist. Joining the Facial Nerve Center as a physical therapist in 2006, her passion involves helping patients achieve their functional, cosmetic, and social-emotional goals following facial paralysis. Mara strives to educate patients about the anatomy of the facial muscles and to guide them on an individualized exercise program aimed at optimizing function and appearance, and minimizing associated pain. This involves an evidence-based approach, including neuromuscular re-education, soft tissue massage and biofeedback, with the goal of improving each patient’s quality of life.


Jennifer Baiungo, PT, MS

Jennifer Baiungo

Jennifer Baiungo has spent a majority of her clinical career focused on the inpatient rehabilitation setting, treating a wide variety of neurological and orthopedic diagnoses. She joined the Facial Nerve Center in 2009 and has since been involved in the treatment of patients with facial nerve injuries, with a special focus on patients with bilateral facial paralysis. She provides patients with extensive education regarding the facial nerve and associated musculature, which improves their understanding of the recovery process and enhances their ability to participate in the facial rehabilitation program.


Physician Assistant  
Kerry Shanley

Kerry Shanley

Kerry Shanley, MMSc, PA-C, is a board-certified and state licensed physician assistant and expert in facial nerve and facial movement disorders. In addition to providing excellent preoperative and postoperative care for patients here at the Facial Nerve Center, Kerry also specializes in Bell’s palsy education, chemodenervation therapy with Botox, Dysport, and Myobloc, and functional injectable filler therapy. She works side-by-side with Dr. Hadlock and is here to answer and address all of your questions and concerns.

Patient Care Coordinator
Emily Fortier

Emily Fortier

Emily Fortier recently joined the Facial Nerve Center team as a medical and administrative assistant. A graduate of Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, Emily holds a degree in biochemistry, which enables her to work closely with the medical staff to ensure all patient needs are properly addressed. Emily is here to assist patients through each step of their visit—from scheduling appointments or surgeries to rooming patients and assisting the physicians as needed.

Patient Care Coordinator
Julie Arria

Julie Arria

A graduate of the John F. Welch College of Business at Sacred Heart University, Julie Arria is a medical and administrative assistant for the Facial Nerve Center at Mass. Eye and Ear. She holds a business degree in accounting and has a keen interest in healthcare. With a background that encompasses working in medical settings, Julie is skilled in working with medical staff to enhance the overall patient experience. She is available to help patients with every aspect of their visit and to answer any questions you may have.