May is recognized as Better Hearing and Speech Month and serves as an opportunity to recognize speech pathologists and audiologists who work to bring better hearing and speech to those individuals who are affected by communication disorders. Quincy Medical Group offers a wide variety of services ranging from pediatric to adult populations.

Audiologists specialize in the evaluation and treatment of adults, infants, and children with hearing loss.  Dr. Jong Kim, Au.D. and Gretchen Melvin, Clinical Audiologist,  specialize in hearing tests, hearing instruments, and hearing protection. Hearing loss can impact a person’s everyday life, said Melvin.  “People with hearing loss tend to withdraw from social situations and this can lead to social isolation, anxiety, depression and eventually to memory loss,” she explained.

Seeking treatment is key.  “Studies have shown that early detection of hearing impairment and intervention with appropriate treatment options can significantly improve their quality of life,” said Dr. Kim.

Speech Language Pathologists work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults.

Kristie Kemner-Schoen, Clinical Coordinator of Pediatric Speech Therapy, and Kelsey VonderHaar, Adult Speech Language Pathologist, both emphasize the importance of seeking therapy at the earliest sign of a problem or concern.

“The earlier, the better, do not use the ‘wait and see’ approach,” said Kemner-Schoen. “Speech therapy is an essential tool needed to build a solid foundation for language and communication.  These skills are crucial not only for academic learning but for social-emotional interactions such as making friends, problem-solving, and playing.”

VonderHaar said struggles with communication can impact an individual’s confidence in their everyday life. “Speech therapy helps patients regain some of the skills they lost,” she said.  “A patient’s emotional and mental state is huge for progress, and often their circumstance has made them feel very helpless. Therapy gives them back some control of their situation.”

Pictured from left to right: Kristie Kemner-Schoen, MS, CCC-SLP; Amanda Wagner, MS, CCC-SLP; Angela Frageman, MA, CCC-SLP; Leigh Harmer, SLP; Anne Zinn, MS, CCC-SLP; Kelsey VonderHaar, MA, CCC-SLP