We celebrated Better Hearing and Speech Month in May! In honor of our amazing team of speech-language pathologists, we asked employees to nominate an SLP who excels at their job.
We call these team members SLP heroes. Thank you for your outstanding work!
Allison Blauhorn-Cooper, Mid2
She is an amazing SLP, she knows her stuff, and she goes above and beyond for our region! She covers five buildings on a regular basis! And patients love her!
Submitted by Analia Krone
Diane Webster, Avamere Rehabilitation of Eugene, Avamere Rehabilitation of Junction City, and more
Diane consistently demonstrates a professional demeanor while also interacting with staff, patients, and families with a positive and uplifting personality. Diane also is a valuable resource and support not only for other therapists, but also for the nursing staff in the facility.
Submitted by Eric Schumm
Diane never fails to stop and assist any resident at any time. Even if she is on her way out the door, she will stop. I have seen her many times hear a resident cough while eating and go assess them to make sure they are swallowing correctly and their food is not causing them issues. She is always willing to help out the aids when they come to her with concerns or needing more understanding of why the resident is having issue. She always makes the time no matter what.
Submitted by Michele Bradley
Diane goes above and beyond to ensure smooth, effective communication with dietary staff while helping residents achieve their highest level of function. She is very good at communicating needs and expectations, making it much easier for dietary and floor staff to raise the bar for person-centered care.
Submitted by Sean Jewett
Grace, Beaverton
She was the best SLP I had the opportunity to work with. Quiet but dedicated to improving the lives of the patients she provided care to. Keep up the great work!
Submitted by Wade Bennett
Jamie Swartz, The Oaks at Timberline
Jamie truly loves her job and has a passion for improving people’s lives. She goes above and beyond for every single patient and wants to make a positive impact in their lives. One patient in particular was non-verbal, and Jamie worked with her on using her personal iPad in order for this resident to be able to communicate with staff and email her husband who lived eight hours away.
Jamie has nothing but positive reviews from patients, patients’ families, and staff. She frequently works up to three buildings a day in the Vancouver area. She is always looking to expand her knowledge and skills as a clinician. She has taken training for IDDSI and is working on starting the first PSFP program at Brookfield.
Submitted by McKayla Whitmire
Jennifer Nelson, Westchester Gardens
Jenni goes above and beyond for her patients. One of her patients had received a PEG tube and lost his ability to vocalize due to a stroke. Through her hard work and perseverance, he was able to have the PEG removed and speak well enough to return home alone. His neurologist was so amazed with what had been accomplished that he fought with the insurance company to have him return to her as an outpatient. There are many cases in which Jenni performs miracles, and that is why she is an SLP Hero!
Submitted by Frances Skinner
Jessie Moss, Good Samaritan Society – Spokane Valley
Jessie Moss
Jessie is an amazing SLP! Her calm and relaxed nature allows immediate patient engagement. She is extremely skilled in identifying the functional components of a treatment plan to support optimal outcomes for her patients. Jessie is an active team member and always available if needed. We are lucky to have her as an SLP!
Submitted by Angie
Kimberly Bittner, Molalla Manor Care Center
Kimberly is a new member of our therapy team at Molalla Manor, and she has brought such great knowledge on the SLP profession and great care for our patients. She has been available at a moment’s notice to help when anyone has SLP-related questions when we cannot understand a patient with aphasia or when someone starts coughing in the dining room. I can even call her when she is not at the building for help making decisions on how to help our residents when an urgent issue comes up.
Submitted by Brandy Hoffert
Laura Harper, North Central Care Center, Rockwood South Hill, Hawthorne
Laura is the primary SLP for three sites in Spokane and is now also covering as back-up director of rehab for her North Central Care Center site. In addition, when other Spokane sites are in a bind, she goes above and beyond to help them as best she can, including one day covering four sites to get needs met on a holiday! She also has helped cover OT by being a last-minute babysitter for her nieces to allow her sister cover an OT eval!
She also mentors students and is a L2 Clinical Champion, applying for L3! She is very dedicated to her clients and to her therapy team peers and other DORs to help all our patients and sites get the coverage and care that they need!  And it’s always with a smile and positive attitude too! I really appreciate you, Laura!
Submitted by Mags Shaffer
Lynn Zaharia, Copper Health Oro Valley
Lynn comes to Copper Health with over 30 years of experience and is the most compassionate professional I have ever met in my 25 years of practice. She tirelessly ensures her patients have everything they need before she goes home. She will stay late to complete a new ST eval and has never turned down a new request. She has a huge passion for her profession and it shines through every day. Lynn deserves this recognition.
Submitted by Karen Beale
Meagan Kearney, Missoula, Montana
Meagan Kearney
Meagan went above and beyond to help a long-term resident with expressive language impairments obtain a communication device. After getting the device, this patient was able to write emails, surf the web, communicate with others in the building, and participate in activities.
Meagan also worked with the local SLP university program students to train them on using the device with this patient. This gave these students the opportunity to access a wonderful learning opportunity and gave this patient a variety of social communication opportunities, which she is so excited about.
Meagan has persevered through many obstacles to make this happen, including insurance limitations, facility policies, and staff training. This story speaks to Meagan’s dedication to helping people achieve the highest quality of life possible, no matter their limitations.
Submitted by Megan Berg
Molly, Clackamas
Molly is great at working with the residents to get them to the highest safe level. Great bedside manner. The residents really like her.
Submitted by Betty Clemmer
Molly Gainer, Avamere Rehabilitation of Oregon City
It is so evident that Molly is passionate about the well-being of her patients. She provides highly skilled, meaningful interventions that engage the patient and produces results. We are so thankful for Molly’s kindness and collaboration!
Submitted by Brianne Salvati
Olivia Ferguson, Prestige Care – Clarkston
Olivia Ferguson
This SLP was described by patients and staff as “a ray of sunshine” with a “positive attitude that is contagious.” They also remarked about her “innovative thinking” in order to find a constructive solution to problems encountered. She has taken a role as mentor and counselor (within the SLP scope of practice, of course) to ensure all patients have a full understanding of their current deficits and a clear path to reach their goals. She is never seen without a smile and places her patients at the center of everything she does. We are so lucky to have her!
Submitted anonymously
Patrice Weible, Avamere Rehabilitation of Cascade Park
Patrice is a very dedicated and attentive SLP who brings to the table a quiet and gentle demeanor. She wears many hats in our department, including acting DOR when ours is away and overseeing new SLPs. She deserves this nomination today as she is a wonderful SLP! We are lucky to have her.
Submitted by Jennifer Simerly
Stacey Turner, Home Office
I don’t know how Stacey stays on top of all the emails, management, and day-to-day stuff going on. Let alone, does it with fantastic suggestions, advice, and guidance! I am in awe and proud to say I work with Stacey. We’re lucky to have her as our VP.
Submitted by Lindsay Lillie
Tim Lanz, Creswell/Coast Fork
Tim is an excellent mentor for new students, demonstrating excellent knowledge of his craft and patience when teaching. He is a great team member and a pleasure to work with.
Submitted anonymously

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