TUBA CITY, Ariz. —May is Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) and the Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation (TCRHCC) would like to present information about their audiology and speech therapy departments. TCRHCC offers speech and language services in its Physical Rehabilitation Center (PRC), which is located in the southeast corner of the TCRHCC campus. TCRHCC employs two full-time speech-language pathologists, Valerie Yazzie, MA, CCC-SLP and Cheryl Saganitso, MA, CCC-SLP.
Valerie is currently the PRC’s speech therapy/occupational therapy manager. She has been a speech-language pathologist for 18 years, with experience in both hospital and school settings. She has been employed with TCRHCC for 11 years. She received her bachelor of science degree in speech and hearing sciences with a minor in psychology from the University of Arizona in Tucson and her master of science degree in clinical speech-language pathology from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.
Cheryl has been a speech-language pathologist for 14 years, with primary experience in school settings. She has been employed with TCRHCC for eight months. She received her bachelor of science degree from Arizona State University in speech and hearing sciences in Tempe and received her master of Arts degree from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas in clinical speech-language pathology.
Both speech-language pathologists are full Navajo and graduated from Tuba City High School.
What is a speech-language pathologist?
They don’t only ‘help people speak better,’ a speech-language pathologist (SLPs) works to prevent, assess, diagnose and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults. Speech-language pathologists who work in healthcare settings are certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
“ASHA-certified SLPs are the only health care professionals specifically educated and prepared to evaluate and treat children and adults with speech, language, and swallowing problems. ASHA-certified SLPs are the only health care professionals who possess either a master’s or doctoral degree from an accredited program, complete a postgraduate clinical fellowship, and pass a national examination to receive their professional credential: the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.”
Speech is a person’s ability to say sounds and words, which includes making speech sounds with the mouth, lips and tongue (articulation), how the voice is used (voice) and the rhythm of speech (fluency).
Language is a person’s ability to use words and manipulate those words to communicate. These include word meanings (semantics), manipulating words to change their meanings (semantics), putting words in order correctly (syntax), and determining how to say words in different settings (pragmatics). Delays or difficulties in any of these areas, or combination of areas, can result in speech and/or language disorders. With a referral obtained from a physician, a speech-language pathologist evaluates a patient, determines diagnosis, and treats the identified disorder (speech, language, cognitive-communication, voice, and swallowing disorders), if there is one.
Information provided by Tuba City Regional Heath Care Corporation