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Speech Pathology

What Is a Speech Pathologist?

A speech-language pathologist is a licensed, certified health care professional who evaluates and provides treatment for speech, voice, language, communication, swallowing, and related disabilities. Difficulty communicating and/or swallowing can occur for many reasons. Some common causes include voice abuse or overuse, neurological trauma or disease, surgery, cancer treatment, and even aging.

The Temple Head & Neck Institute offers a comprehensive speech pathology program including general speech pathology services as well as several specialty programs for unique, rare, or complex conditions.

Speech Pathology Patient Story: Deborah

Video: Voice and Swallowing Therapy

Barbara Ebersole, BFA, MA, CCC-SLP, Director of Speech Pathology at the Temple Head & Neck Institute, provides an overview of the speech language pathology services available at Temple and Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Conditions Treated

Our speech pathologists are available at all Temple Head & Neck Institute locations to help with voice conditions from the common to the complex. We frequently treat patients struggling with:

  • Dysphagia – difficulty swallowing
  • Dysphonia – abnormal voice quality
  • Dysarthria – abnormal articulation (distorted speech)
  • Aphasia – difficulty expressing or understanding language
  • Cognitive impairment – impaired thinking or recall

Advanced Testing

Our experienced clinicians perform a comprehensive office examination, and may also perform one of the following diagnostic tests:
  • Functional Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES)
  • Videofluoroscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (Modified Barium Swallow)
  • Computerized Speech Lab
  • Flexible endoscopy and stroboscopy
  • Various language and cognitive assessments

Specialized Speech Pathology Programs

Head & Neck Cancer Program
Located at Fox Chase Cancer Center
Difficulties with eating, swallowing, and speaking often occur during and/or after treatment for head and neck cancer. Speech therapy is the most effective way to improve or restore these important functions. Though you should begin working with a speech pathologist as early in your treatment journey as possible, it is never too late to start.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 215-728-2592.

Professional Voice Program
Located at Jeanes Hospital
Professional voice users such as actors, singers, performers, teachers, politicians, and public speakers are similar to “vocal athletes”. They require special care for their voices and are prone to voice injury. These “vocal athletes” have unique needs and require comprehensive care to address vocal injuries as well as reduce the risk of repeated injury.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 215-214-7873.

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) Program
Located at Fox Chase Cancer Center
Mild cognitive impairment is when a person has trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating, or making decisions. Mild cognitive impairment is often seen in patients following cancer treatment (e.g. “chemo brain”) or who have mild/early dementia. Therapy will help you develop new skills and strategies for managing daily life with this condition.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 215-728-2592.

Stroke Program
Located at Jeanes Hospital, Patient Care Pavilion
A person who has experienced a stroke may have trouble forming words, being understood, expressing thoughts, understanding what is spoken, reading, writing, and even swallowing. Therapy focuses on goals created by you and your speech pathologist to help improve quality of life.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 215-728-3946.