|Speech Pathologist Joins SLVRMC|
Patricia Miller's light southern accent comes through her smile as she speaks about her move west from her native Kentucky. "My husband and I vacationed here and we fell in love with the area," she says. "So that was the draw for me to begin to look for a position in Colorado."
Ready to Serve All Ages
A speech pathologist since 1994, Patricia has spent her career working with children through young adults. She looks forward to expanding her practice to include all ages. "I love to talk so it brings me great joy to help others talk and communicate," she says. "Communication is one of the most important life skills a person has; don't believe me – try not talking, writing or texting for one hour go out into the community and try to get your needs met without your voice. It's frustrating to know what you want to say and not being able to express that to someone else."
Speech pathologists, officially called speech-language pathologists, SLPs and sometimes called speech therapists, work with people who have a variety of speech-related disorders. These include speech sounds, language, social communication, voice, fluency, also called stuttering, cognitive-communication, feeding and swallowing, and augmentative communication. SLP's can also work with people who sound differently because of accent, dialect or because they are learning a second language.
Patricia's Journey to Speech Pathology
As a young child, Patricia remembers having appointments with a speech pathologist and how it helped her. Later in high school she began looking into career choices. "One day in the library I was researching jobs and I saw speech pathologist and did a little research and felt like that was something I would be good at," she says. She earned her masters from Eastern Kentucky University and then worked in pediatric facilities in Kentucky and Tennessee over the next 18 years.
"It's just pretty amazing when you have a child that you have worked with on a particular thing for so long and they get it," she says. "Every day is different, every hour is different."
Away from work, Patricia says she and her husband enjoy being outside and spending time with their animals, which includes three cats and a dog. They'd like to find a farm and get horses someday as well. Prior to their move, they served as weekend handlers for a program that trains dogs to be used as service/mobility dog and therapy dogs and she says she'd like to get back to that. "I had a therapy dog in one of the offices where I worked and it was an awesome thing to see kids and how they relate to the dog," she says, adding that she'd like to look into doing that here.
In the meantime, she is settling into her office within the PRO Therapy department and seeing new patients.