The Speech-Language Institute (SLI) of Salus University recently celebrated its one year anniversary since opening its doors for client care in July 2015. SLI’s success has been guided by strong University leadership, dedicated faculty, staff, and clinical educators, and is defined by passionate students who believe that speech-language pathology plays a fundamental role in meeting the needs of those with communication disorders.

The Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) program in the University’s College of Education and Rehabilitation was awarded Candidacy status by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA) for its master’s degree program in July 2015. Shortly after candidacy was awarded, 25 SLP students were admitted to the Class of 2017. Keeping in line with the University’s hands-on approach to direct patient care and early clinical exposure, the Salus Department of Speech-Language Pathology understood the importance of creating an on-campus clinical facility for the education of its SLP students. From there, SLI was conceptualized and established.

Speech-Language Institute - First Year in Review
SLI addresses client delays and disorders by combining evidence-based practice with state-of-the-art technology. Clinical expertise and client preferences drive each specific plan of care, while an electronic medical record is used for documenting and reporting all client interactions. Close bonds have been formed among faculty and students in order to collaboratively treat pediatric and adult clients with difficulties related to speech, language, feeding and swallowing, voice, stuttering, accent modification, social communication and interaction, and assistive technology. Individual and group intervention sessions and support groups for clients, parents, and caregivers serve as the hallmark of the facility.  “SLI has provided hands-on educational opportunities, and has given me invaluable real-life professional experience,” said Alex Kistner, ‘SLP17. “In addition, having my supervisors present to provide constructive, immediate feedback has allowed me to reflect on my practices and grow as a professional.”  

SLI One Year Annivesary
L-R: Patricia Martin Mayro, MA, CCC-SLP; Robert Serianni, MS, CCC-SLP; Barbara Schwartz-Bechet, MS, EdD and Fabiana Perla, EdD, COMS, CLVR.

From the beginning, SLI has made landmark contributions to the community through screening offerings, educational partnerships, and local event participation. “This first year has exceeded my expectations, and our students and faculty have helped countless individuals with communication and swallowing disorders,” said Patricia Martin Mayro, MA, CCC-SLP, interim director of SLI.  “The expertise of our clinical educators is truly inspiring and beneficial in shaping our students into both strong and caring clinicians,” commented Mrs. Mayro.  SLI coordinator, Taylor Guy, is thrilled to see how the facility has flourished in its inaugural year. “This year has brought so much excitement to SLI, which allows us to raise the bar and form high expectations for the years to come,” noted Ms. Guy.

Since opening for client care, SLI has seen a total of 1,630 appointments - over half were pediatric clients. Top diagnoses include: accent modification, aphasia, apraxia, feeding and swallowing disorders, fluency, pediatric language delay, and speech-sound disorder. Robert Serianni, MS, CCC-SLP, interim chair and director of the Department of Speech-Language Pathology, is overwhelmed by the support from local organizations as well as the Salus community, and is more than impressed by the exceptional care provided within the facility. “Our remarkable clinical educators not only provide students with outstanding supervision and guidance, but offer our clients exceptional services to improve communication deficits and delays,” said Mr. Serianni. “The variety of clients we’re able to evaluate and treat provides our students with real-life experiences to develop their knowledge and skills as emerging professionals in the field of speech-language pathology.”  

SLI looks forward to evaluating and treating current and future clients in the years to come. For more information or to make an appointment, please call 215.780.3150 or email SLInstitute@salus.edu.