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Our Board

Gabrielle Cager, Au.D.

Gabrielle Cager, A.u.D. is a clinical audiologist at the UI Health. She specializes in pediatric and adult diagnostic evaluations, auditory implants (cochlear implants and osseointegrated implants), hearing aids, auditory evoked potentials, and auditory processing. Dr. Cager is a member of the cochlear implant and craniofacial teams as well as the community and global outreach coordinator in the Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Division of Audiology. Dr. Cager has been working with the Ethio-American Hearing Project for 2 years and she is the director of the Ethiopian audiology technician training program and Master training 2 year program.

She has been an audiologist for over 25 years and enjoys traveling as well as staying at home with her dog and two cats.

Miriam I. Redleaf, M.D.


Miriam I. Redleaf, M.D, is Louis J. Mayer Professor of Otology/Neurotology and heads the Otology/Neurotology Program and Audiology Division in the University of Illinois Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.  She specializes in the ear, the facial nerve, and the nerves and canals leading to the ear. Dr. Redleaf is extensively published, having authored or coauthored more than 70 scholarly articles.  She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Otolaryngology, and holds a Certificate of Added Qualification in Neurotology.


Since 2012 she has been traveling to Ethiopia and teaching ENT residents and graduates (doctors) how to manage ear disease and operate on ears. Since 2014 she has been organizing Visual Amharic workshops twice a year for Deaf children, their parents and their teachers. She is currently training ENT residents at Addis Ababa University, St. Paul’s Hospital and Millennium Medical College, and soon at Mekelle University. She is coordinating and the country’s first 2-year Otology (Ear Surgery) Fellowship and will soon be supervising the country’s first 2-year Audiology (Hearing Services) training program. Finally, she is introducing the field of Auditory Rehabilitation to the few Speech Language Pathologists there.

Rakhi Thambi, M.D.



Rakhi Thambi, M.D. is Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery and Director of the Head & Neck Surgery Center at the University of Illinois Hospital. Board-certified in General Otolaryngology, her clinical work is extensive across adult and pediatric patients, with her specialties in general ENT, allergy, deviated septum, goiters, masses in the thyroid and neck, salivary gland tumors, sinus diseases, and sleep apnea/snoring.


She is an avid runner and has raised funds for University of Illinois charitable functions, for laryngectomy patients and hearing impaired children

Sophia Abdi Haile, RN


Ms. Sophia Abdi Haile is a native of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and grew up in Ethiopia, and Zambia. She immigrated first to the United Kingdom in 1987, then to the United States in 1992 where she makes her home in the Chicago area. Her training was originally as an accountant but she has now retrained in the Chicago area, earning a registered nurse license in 2014. She is very active raising her 3 young children and in 2017 started collaborating with Dr. Redleaf in establishing infrastructure for the Hearing Programs in Ethiopia.

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