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Speech Therapy

Mary Lanning Healthcare’s Speech Therapy Department provides individualized therapy programs for both inpatient and outpatients.

Utilizing comprehensive assessments and therapy materials, the Speech Therapy Department’s team of specialized health care professionals identifies and treats a variety of speech conditions and disorders for inpatients, outpatients and home health. Services provided include:

  • evaluations for level of function;
  • improvement of oral motor control;
  • improvement of speech quality and production;
  • improvement of cognition;
  • improvement in swallowing ability;
  • improvement of communication effectiveness and voice production;
  • improvement of speech disturbances/fluency;
  • augmentative/alternative communication;
  • modified Barium swallow evaluations.

Depending upon each patient’s physician order, speech, language and/or swallowing evaluations are conducted, with results of the evaluation(s) determining the patient’s individualized plan of care. When speech conditions are identified, an appropriate plan is developed, with treatment – including aspiration precautions, swallowing strategies, therapeutic exercise, and cognitive and communication retraining – provided in a comprehensive manner.

Mary Lanning Healthcare’s speech-language pathologists are specially trained to identify, evaluate and treat a variety of conditions and disorders. The Hospital’s speech-language pathologists are licensed and certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) – the most respected voice for communication sciences and disorders professionals in the world.

Speech therapy involves many different components, including:

Communication, which is essential for expressing daily needs and exchanging thoughts and ideas with others.

Language expression and comprehension, which involves the ability to convey and understand messages either orally, in written form or through gestures or facial expressions. Speech rate, volume, precision and phrasing all contribute to speech clarity.

Cognition, which refers to thinking skills and includes awareness of one’s surroundings, sustained attention to tasks, memory recall and the ability to solve problems during daily activities.

When speech, language expression/comprehension and cognitive skills work cohesively together, they produce effective communication. However, a variety of medical conditions, including stroke, Parkinson’s disease and head/neck cancer can affect all or a portion of these areas of communication.


Swallowing is as necessary to life as breathing. Patients experiencing difficulties swallowing have a condition called dysphagia, which affects an estimated 15 million Americans. Types of dysphagia are; oral, which involves difficulty chewing, and preparing food for swallowing; pharyngeal, which involves difficulty with protection of the airway from aspiration; and esophageal, food passing through the esophagus.

Signs of a swallowing disorder may include:

  • coughing or choking when eating;
  • excessive throat clearing;
  • changes in one’s voice;
  • inadequate chewing or holding food in the mouth;
  • pneumonia or respiratory changes.

Patients who have suffered a stroke or have been diagnosed with neurological diseases such as, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cardiac and/or lung disease, head and neck cancer, and dementia are all at risk of developing dysphagia. When swallowing becomes weakened or compromised due to illness, Mary Lanning Healthcare’s speech-language pathologists can assist patients through a variety of individual exercise and management techniques.

Our therapist are certified and trained in the following therapy modalities:

Swallowing/Voice/Speech Disturbances/Head and Neck Cancer:

  • Vital Stim/E-Stim Therapy
  • Deep Pharyngeal Musculature Stimulation (DPNS)
  • McNeill Dysphagia Program
  • Beckman Oral Motor Technique
  • Myofascial Release

Cognition/language disorders/Speech disturbances/Fluency:

  • Interactive Metronome

Mary Lanning Healthcare’s Speech Language Pathologist have advanced education and training in Modified Barium Swallow analysis, anatomy/physiology, aging, neurological disorders, swallowing disorders, and adult and pediatric populations.

Outpatient Therapy Services

Outpatient speech therapy services are available weekdays by appointment at Mary Lanning Healthcare in the Medical Services building on the first floor. For additional information or to schedule speech therapy services, please call 402-461-5256.