The Speech-Language Institute (SLI) of Salus University recently marked its fifth year anniversary.

SLI has served both adults and children with a wide variety of speech, language, communication, feeding and swallowing disorders at no cost since opening in July 2015. As the clinical facility for Salus University’s Department of Speech-Language Pathology (SLP), the staff, clinical educators and SLP students utilize the latest approaches and techniques to ensure disorders are addressed effectively.Speech Language Pathologist & patient with microphone

Robert Serianni, MS, CCC-SLP, FNAP, chair and program director, reflected upon the opening of the clinical facility. “Patricia Mayro, interim clinical director and I recently joked that we planned to open the clinic the summer before our first students arrived. We wanted to make sure that clients were available. We set up a few evaluations and when the clients arrived, we had to remember where we put all the materials we had purchased for the clinic – the tests were still in their shipping wrappers,” he said. “We found a few things we forgot to order. We were glad that students didn’t see us scrambling to find tongue depressors!” 

Bob Serriani with SLI keyToday, the SLP student performs assessments and treatment under the supervision of a professional, credentialed SLP with specialty in the field. The student reviews the case history and provides the evaluation to identify the clients’ needs. The student and clinical educator review what treatment options are available and explain how they may help. Each plan is tailored to the client’s individual needs and goals for school, home and the workplace. 

SLI has performed evaluations and intervention related to speech sound disorders, pediatric language delays, fluency, apraxia, aphasiadysphagia, voice disorders and dysarthria. They’ve registered more than 98% client satisfaction. Below is a breakdown of appointments from 2015 to present.
 

2015-2020

              Pediatric Totals

Adult Totals

Evaluations:        488                        270              218
Treatments:    10,733                     5.222           5.511
Total Appts:    11,221                    5.492          5,729
Building upon their individualized services, over the years, SLI has introduced several specialized support groups for clients, parents, and caregivers focusing on carrying over intervention and techniques to improve communication. SLI has also made landmark contributions to the community through screenings, educational partnerships, and increased participation in local events.Speech Language group meeting

“I am so humbled by the work our clinical educators and faculty have provided as a means to teach and mentor the next generation of SLPs,” he said. “SLI has continued to grow to meet the needs of our graduate students as well as the needs of the community.” 

In response to the pandemic, SLI has now started telepractice services to accommodate clients as well as afford students clinical experiences. Evidence has shown telepractice services across almost all areas of clinical practice are as effective as more traditional face-to-face services. All services are being offered via telepractice - speech, language, cognition, voice, swallowing, and augmentative communication, among others, still without charge to the client or their insurance.Bob Serriani at computer

A combination of strong leadership, passionate students, and a dedicated staff of clinical speech-language pathology educators have guided the success of the clinical facility. “I am so thankful for the administrators and mentors that helped to start the clinic and continue to support its mission. I am really excited to see how we continue to grow to address the needs of our region and our graduate students,” Serianni said.

SLI looks forward to evaluating and treating current and future clients in the years to come. For more information, please contact the Speech-Language Institute or call 215.780.3150.