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Donor Spotlight: Dr. Matthew Carfrae

Positively impacting patients’ lives through high-quality, sophisticated care and philanthropy is important to physician, Matthew Carfrae, M.D.

Dr. Carfrae is a neuro-otologic surgeon who exclusively focuses on disorders of the ear, hearing and balance and tumors which affect the skull base. He started the Iowa Ear Center, a subspecialty clinic focused on otology, neurotology and audiology, around the same time MercyOne West Des Moines Medical Center opened. Since the start of his practice, he has worked in partnership with MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center and Children’s Hospital. Dr. Carfrae also works to raise awareness of otologic disease within our state and community.

“From newborns with multiple congenital conditions to industrial workers to baby boomers and elderly, anybody can be affected by hearing loss which hinders occupational productivity and causes tremendous withdrawal from one’s community,” said Dr. Carfrae. “It’s important to recognize that treatments for hearing loss are a critical component to global well-being, and it’s been a privilege to help all patients with this essential indicator of quality of life.”

Dr. Carfrae participated in our 2019 Giving Tuesday and Annual Campaigns, designating his gift to the Children’s Hospital and Neurosciences. His hope is that his gift will support the sophisticated care and medical and surgical specialists providing that care to our community.

“It’s important to think of other ways we can support the programs at MercyOne Des Moines that go beyond what we as physicians can personally do,” said Dr. Carfrae. “There is always potential to continue growing and strengthening programs that already help so many people.”

Dr. Carfrae has a long history of collaboration with MercyOne Des Moines neurosurgeons for hearing and skull base surgeries. Iowa Ear also collaborates with MercyOne Children’s Hospital on pediatric hearing loss.

“We can’t do the things we do at Iowa Ear Center with healing children and adults with hearing lose without MercyOne Des Moines,” said Dr. Carfrae. “As my practice has grown, MercyOne Des Moines has grown right beside it and it has been a great relationship.”

Recently, Dr. Carfrae and his team have been working with Cochlear implants, which are small, complex electronic device that can help provide a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard-of-hearing. Iowa Ear recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary with its 300th Cochlear implant. Dr. Carfrae expressed his excitement to continue this work with the Children’s Hospital and develop new, innovative programs for patients.

“When taking care of patients, all of what we do takes a team approach, communicating to make sure children and adult patients get the most timely care possible, and that takes people working together,” said Dr. Carfrae. “I am thankful for the great work and care MercyOne Des Moines provides to their patients.”

Dr. Carfrae is excited about new potential areas of collaboration and partnership between the Iowa Ear Center and MercyOne Des Moines and Children’s Hospital and continuing to positively contribute to patients’ lives.

For more information on the Iowa Ear Center, visit

If you are interested in supporting the programs offered through MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center and Children’s Hospital, please contact MercyOne Des Moines Foundation Senior Director of Development, Sophia Ahmad at or 515-643-8035.

1 Comment

  1. Jim Miller on January 15, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    Very good article! Dr. Carfrae performed a CI surgery on me August 23, 2019. I received the device September 25th. I can’t say enough good things about Iowa Ear Center-I got my life back! While I still have more to learn about using my CI, it has really made a difference. All of the staff at Iowa Center is very helpful-THANKS!

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