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Better Hearing and Speech Month


Meet Mallory Upchurch, MS


 How long have you been employed at UMMC; what is your sub-specialty and why did you choose this area to focus on?
"I’ve been at UMMC since 2015. I completed my last semester of graduate school at Batson Children’s Hospital and it was then I realized where I would like my forever job to be. My clinical interest consists of inpatient rehabilitation for infants and children of all ages with a variety of diagnosis as well as feeding/swallowing in the NICU. I am most thankful for a profession that allows me to serve others on a daily basis whether it is performing a feeding/swallowing evaluation or offering services to address speech/language/cognitive disorders. I enjoy the team approach in healthcare and working along some great colleagues. I feel when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved. One of the best parts of this job is doing for others."

What is one thing you wish your patients knew about speech?
"We, as speech-language pathologists, provide a diverse and wide range of services. SLPs often specialize in a certain area and I feel that experience will guide your choice of specialty. I wish patients knew that the most important part in communication is to hear what is being spoke or said"

What is one thing you wish your patients knew about the importance of ENT health/early testing as it pertains to speech?
"The structures and functions of newborn babies and young infants' mouths can affect the life-long processes of feeding and speech. Many people believe that eating is completely instinctual and that no matter what happens, a child will eat. Actually, instincts only start the process, and that is if you are lucky enough to avoid interference by prematurity, a phyical disorder, or other disruptive procedures. In reality, eating is a learned behavior. If anatomical structures or beathing difficulties are thought to be impacting feeding or the development of feeding, then and ENT consult may be warranted to assess oral structures and airways.

Where did you get you education/degree from?
"I received both my undergarduate and MS degrees in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Mississippi.

Is there anything you would like for your patients to know about yourself?
"I really enjoy heling others and working with the pediatric population as well as their families during a difficult time. A career in speech-language pathology challenges you to use yoru intellect in combiation with humanity to do meaningful work".