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Better Hearing and Speech Month

meagan_allen.jpgMeet Meagan Allen, MS, CCC-SLP


 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 2013. Initially I worked at URC, providing inpatient rehabilitation services to adults. I transitioned to Batson in December 2013 where I focused on inpatient rehabilitation for children of all ages with a variety of diagnoses. Now I work in pediatric acute care and have shared inpatient rehab caseload with some amazing colleagues. I love medical speech pathology and the variety of services I get to provide on a daily basis. Whether it’s an infant feeding/swallowing evaluation, cognitive evaluation/treatment after a brain injury, or helping a patient learn how to wear and use a speaking valve after a tracheostomy, I get to be a part of seeing improvements and hopefully making an impact on someone’s quality of life each day. This is a rewarding job that I’m passionate about and I love what I do." 

What is one thing you wish your patients knew about speech?
"Speech pathology is a profession that covers a wide range of services. Every SLP has a different area of focus primarily. If you’re concerned about a loved one’s speech, language, voice, swallowing or feeding skills, I would seek an SLP that specializes and has experience in that particular area." 

What is one thing you wish your patients knew about the importance of ENT health/early testing as it pertains to speech?
"SLP’s are often consulted or referred to when there are feeding issues after birth. During that assessment, an SLP may notice something that warrants an ENT consult for further evaluation of intra-oral structures or the airway. It’s important to notify your pediatrician if you are having difficulty feeding your baby whether it’s from the breast or bottle. Some concerns to look for would be noisy, loud or congested breathing that interferes with or worsens with feeding, a poor latch to the breast or nipple, difficulty extracting liquid, and prolonged feeding times."

Where did you get you education/degree from?
"I graduated from USM with my BS in 2008 and then from MUW with my MS in 2010."

Is there anything you would like for your patients to know about yourself?
"Some of my favorite memories and most rewarding times of this profession are when patients and families come back to visit to show how much progress they’ve made or when you get to see them come back for their outpatient therapy and watch their progress along the way."