Emily gives mountain residents their voice and helps them speak, think, and even swallow foods and liquids. “I am proud to help our mountain community in a variety of ways. Speech therapists have many roles outside of speech and language: educating families on disease processes, strengthening swallow function, and teaching memory strategies. My goal is always to put the needs of the resident and their family first.”
Q: Why did you want to work at Mount Evans Home Health Care & Hospice? What makes Mount Evans special?
A: I wanted to work at Mount Evans because I believe in our mission of serving the entire mountain community. I love that there is only one Mount Evans…we can tailor our mission to meet the unique needs of our neighbors. This is what makes Mount Evans special and different from other home health agencies.
Q: What do you do as a speech-language pathologist?
A: I see patients from all three “lines of care” (Home Health Care, Palliative Care, and Hospice) to address changes in swallow, cognition, voice, speech, and language (both understanding and expressing). As a therapist, this isn’t just time in treatment sessions, but also calling doctors, educating family members, and researching new treatment practices. I feel that a big part of my job is getting to know patients and families and creating a treatment plan that enables them to best meet their goals.
Q: What do you find rewarding about your work?
A: Communication with others is so essential to our well-being, and losing that ability can be devastating. I will never tire of helping someone find their voice whether that be through speaking, signing, writing, singing, or gestures.
Q: Do you feel like you make a difference in the lives of patients?
A: I hope I make a difference in patients’ lives! My main focus as a therapist is to develop goals that are meaningful and functional to the patient and their family. I love working with the clinical, therapy, and office teams to help the patient achieve these goals. Oftentimes it’s figuring out how to keep patients living safely in their home. For example, what strategies do they need to remember to take their medications on time?
Q: Describe a moment from your job that touched your heart?
Recently I worked with a patient who experienced a stroke that mainly affected their expressive communication. They needed assistance setting up insurance and social security. The social worker and I were able to turn filling out medical forms and making phone calls into therapy tasks, something that was meaningful and beneficial to the patient. I’m happy to report that this patient is now doing these tasks independently.