We are focused on making the complex topics of therapy more understandable and applicable for the busy clinician. 

Dr. Sara MacDowell, PT, DPT

Dr. MacDowell, PT, DPT has many years of specialized clinical experience with patients who have vestibular and/or facial nerve disorders. She practices at the Our Lady of the Lake Hearing and Balance Center, which is a comprehensive neurotology clinic alongside audiologists and neurotologists.¬† Her practice consists of patients with vestibular and facial nerve disorders of various etiologies. Alongside her colleague, Dr. Laura Hetzler, she is also one of the founding practitioners of the ‚ÄúCenter for Facial Nerve Disorders.‚Ä̬†

She is an adjunct professor at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans and assists with vestibular and facial education. She serves as a board member and course instructor for vestibular lecture and lab at Franciscan University Physical Therapy Program in Baton Rouge. She also participates in instruction through the otolaryngology residency program to educate medical residents about vestibular rehabilitation. Additionally, she facilitates research through LSUHSC and Franciscan University with current research areas of activity levels in patients with vestibular dysfunction, the use of virtual reality in patients with vestibular dysfunction, telehealth, and normative data for this population.   

Dr. MacDowell graduated with a doctorate in physical therapy from Washington University in St. Louis in 2008 and has since completed the competency certification in ‚ÄúVestibular Rehabilitation‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúVestibular Function Tests: Interpretation and Application to Rehabilitation.‚ÄĚ She has volunteered for many years for the APTA Vestibular Special Interest Group and has been featured on several podcasts through this organization. She recently served as the chairperson for the dissemination of the 2016 clinical practice guideline ‚ÄúVestibular Rehabilitation for Peripheral Vestibular Hypofunction: An Evidence-Based Clinical Practice.‚ÄĚ

She and her husband, Adam, have been married for 15 years and have 2 kids, a dog and several chickens. 

Dr. Sydney Duhe, PT, DPT

Dr. Sydney Duhe, PT, DPT has seven years of clinical experience with patients who have vestibular disorders. She practices at the Our Lady of the Lake Hearing and Balance Center, which is a comprehensive neurotology clinic alongside audiologists and neurotologists. She also practices at Baton Rouge Orthopedic Clinic with a focus on orthopedics. Her practice consists of patients with vestibular disorders of various etiologies with a special interest in orthopedic involvement in dizziness, headaches, and otalgia.

She is an adjunct professor at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) in New Orleans and is involved in instruction of the vestibular portions of the physical therapy curriculum. She serves as a course instructor for the vestibular lecture and lab at Franciscan University (FranU)  Physical Therapy Program in Baton Rouge. Additionally, she facilitates research through LSUHSC and FranU with current research areas of activity levels in patients with vestibular dysfunction, the use of virtual reality in patients with vestibular dysfunction, telehealth, normative data for this population, and prevalence of cervical spine disability in the vestibular population.  

Dr. Duhe graduated with a doctorate in physical therapy from LSUHSC in New Orleans in 2016 and has since completed the competency certification in ‚ÄúVestibular Rehabilitation‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúCervicogenic Dizziness.‚ÄĚ She is also certified in functional dry needling. She has been a member of the APTA and the Vestibular Special Interest Group throughout her career.

She and her husband, Steven, have been married for 8 years and have 3 young children. 

Research

Wellons RD, Duhe SE, MacDowell SG, Oxborough S, Madhav KC. Investigating health disparities in vestibular rehabilitation. J Vestib Res. 2024 May 11. doi: 10.3233/VES-240002. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38759079.

Neville C, Beurskens C, Diels J, MacDowell S, Rankin S. Consensus Among International Facial Therapy Experts for the Management of Adults with Unilateral Facial Palsy: A Two-Stage Nominal Group and Delphi Study. Facial Plast Surg Aesthet Med. 2023 Nov 3. doi: 10.1089/fpsam.2023.0101. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37922418.

Hetzler L, MacDowell S, Diels J, Vandewater T, Azzizadeh B. Chemodenervation Algorithm: functional and aesthetic considerations for facial harmony in patients with post-facial paralysis synkinesis. Facial Plast Surg Aesthed Med. 2023. Online ahead of print. 

Hetzler L, Hershey M, Lambert T, Mussell J, McDaniel L, MacDowell S. Anatomic Considerations of Perinasal Musculature for Improved Dental Show During Smile in Facial Synkinesis. Facial Plast Surg Aesthet Med. 2022;24:89-94.

Warrington S, MacDowell S, Hetzler L. Facial Nerve Consultation. Chapter in Management of Post-Facial Paralysis Synkinesis. Elsevier. 2022; 25-31.

Wellons R, Duhe S, MacDowell S, Diaz G, Poche C, Johnson M, Steen B. Validation of the StepWatch activity monitor in individuals with vestibular disorders. Physiother Theory Pract. 2021;37:1060-1066.

Erbele I, MacDowell S, Arriaga M. Can Dizziness Handicap Inventory and Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scores Assess Vestibular Loss After Vestibular Schwannoma Excision? Otol Neurotol. 2020; 41(10).

Erbele I, MacDowell S, Arriaga M. Preoperative Caloric Testing is a Poor Predictor of Postoperative Dizziness. Virtual poster presentation at Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meeting. May 2020.

Wellons R, Duhe S, MacDowell S, Diaz G, Poche C, Johnson M, Steen M. Validation of the StepWatch activity monitor in individuals with Vestibular Disorders. Physiother Theor Pr. 2019.

Hetzler L, MacDowell S, Trahan J, Arriaga M, McDaniel LS. Facial Nerve Translocation for Low Tension Neurorrhaphy to Masseteric Nerve. Otol Neurotol. 2019; 40(5).

Wellons R, MacDowell S, Duhe S. Impact of Vestibular Rehabilitation on Physical Activity of Individuals with Vestibular Disorders. Poster presentation at Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association January 2019.

Martinez C, MacDowell S, Dannenbaum L, D’Silva L, Farrell L, Roth H, Skop K, Howard, R, Tilson J. Implementing the APTA Clinical Practice Guidelines for Peripheral Vestibular Hypofunction: Preliminary Results of Multicenter Mixed Methods Case Series.  Poster presentation at Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association January 2019.

Tilson J, MacDowell S, Dannenbaum L, D’Silva L, Farrell L, Roth H, Skop K. A Model for Active Dissemination and Implementation of Clinical Practice Guidelines Published by Academies and Sections of the APTA. Poster presentation at Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association February 2018.

MacDowell S, Wellons R, Bissell A, Knecht L, Naquin C, Karpinski A. The Impact of Symptoms of anxiety and depression on subjective and objective outcome measures in individuals with vestibular disorders. J Vestib Res. 2018; 27(5-6):295-303.

MacDowell S, Trommelen R, Karpinski A, Bissell A, Knecht L, Naquin C. The Impact of Anxiety and Depression on Subjective and Objective Outcome Measures on Patients with Vestibular Dysfunction. Poster presented at Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association February 2016.

 MacDowel S, Arriaga MA. The Negative Effect of Unsupervised Exercises on Patients with Facial Paresis. Poster presented at American Academy of Otolaryngology September 2014.

MacDowell S, Trommelen R, Allen S, Sehrt E, Stancliffe T. The effect of an Optokinetic Stimulation DVD with educational material on symptoms experienced by individuals with visual vertigo: A case series. 2013.