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A Brief History


ENT Specialists came into being in the late 1960s with the formation of a partnership between Dr. James Cleary and newly-minted Otolaryngologist James E. Hansen.

The practice was located in downtown Salt Lake City, in the Boston Building on Exchange Row. After Dr. Cleary’s death, Dr. Hansen relocated to a new medical complex at 90 South and 900 East. A long-term partnership was established in 1976 when Dr. Jerry W. Sonkens was invited into the practice. Two years later the duo purchased property at 4000 South 700 East, and with the assistance of developer Dick Prows, designed the Old Farm Professional Plaza to blend in nicely with Prowswood’s nearby Old Farm Condominium development.

ENT Specialists settled into suite 10 in the new complex where the group has remained for the past quarter of a century. The 6,000 square feet facility houses five physicians, eight examining rooms, a surgical suite, a laboratory, and a large waiting room. The eastern wing of the suite harbors the Audiology Department, a computer center, and the new XORAN Technologies Mini CAT scanner brought on board in 2005.

In the mid-1980s Dr. Randal W. Swenson joined doctors Hansen and Sonkens in the practice. Dr. Swenson’s focus, in addition to general ENT work, is Facial Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. David K. Palmer later joined the group, bringing an extensive background in allergies, to compliment his general ENT work. He ultimately established an Allergy Department in nearby suite 20, as well as a full time Allergy/ENT Clinic in Tooele, Utah 45 miles west of Salt Lake City. In 2000 a Care of the Professional Voice Division was created which employs two speech and language pathologists. This year also brought aboard Nancy J. Stevenson, a certified Physician Assistant.

In 2010, Dr. Joshua Yorgason joined the practice, after graduating from residency at the University of Utah and Primary Children’s Medical Center. He helped develop a center of excellence for treating hearing disorders, balance conditions, and together with Anne Lobdell, audiologist, has helped develop a cochlear implant program at St. Mark’s Hospital and at IMC. In that same year, Kristin Hoopes, a physician assistant with many years of ENT experience, also joined the group and sees patients at several of the locations.

In early 2011, a satellite clinic in Draper at the new Lone Peak Medical Campus was built, which offers the full range of ENT services including allergy and hearing testing. The Lone Peak Hearing and Balance Center is located at that location with Denise Arceneaux as the audiologist. At the end of 2011 Dr. Jerry Sonkens retired after providing over 30 years of dedicated and compassionate ENT care to the community. In 2012 and 2013 two additional audiolgoists, Tyler Sorenson and Stacey Snow, joined the practice. Later in 2013 Dr. Yorgason left the practice to attend an otology fellowship at Paparella Ear, Head and Neck Institute in Minnesota. Later that year Dr. Justin Hill, an Otolaryngologist, moved from Bend, OR back to Utah to join ENT Specialist. He is fellowship trained in head and neck microvascular and reconstructive surgery but also sees a full range of ENT conditions

Today ENT Specialists consists of five Otolaryngologists, two Physician Assistants, a medical allergist and vocologist, a speech and language pathologist, five audiologists, a billing department and many ENT and Allergy Department staff, totaling more than 30 dedicated employees.

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