FARMINGTON – Franklin Memorial Hospital is pleased to announce that Taylor Harris, MA, CCC-SLP, a speech-language pathologist, recently earned three certifications: one as a modified barium swallow impairment profile clinician, another as a certified dementia practitioner and last, as a Speak Out! clinician through the Parkinson’s Voice Project.
Speech Language Pathology is the evaluation and treatment of speech fluency, expressive language, voice, and understanding as it relates to language use and swallowing.
Harris first became interested in a health-related career after attending the hospital’s summer health careers camp—Scrub Club—while in high school. She then majored in community health education at the University of Maine at Farmington and completed a hands-on-learning internship at Franklin Memorial Hospital. “That internship exposed me to a variety of health care careers,” said Harris. “But it wasn’t until I shadowed a speech therapist that I realized that’s what I wanted to pursue.” She subsequently completed a master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders at the University of Maine before starting her new career.
These additional certifications increase Harris’ ability to provide specialty care to her patients. The MBSImP training, which takes 25-30 hours to complete, is a standardized approach to instruction, assessment and reporting of physiologic swallowing impairment based on observations obtained from the Modified Barium Swallow study.
As a certified CDP clinician, Harris uses the latest methods, theories and tools related to Alzheimer’s and Dementia care best practices, including key aspects of dementia care such as communication techniques, disruptive behavior interventions, and tools for addressing other concerns such as wandering.
Harris refined her skills through the Speak OUT! program to work with individuals with Parkinson’s to teach them to speak with intent—to avoid developing a weak voice that can lead to serious speech and swallowing difficulties.
Harris has worked at Franklin since 2018. She provides patient care in the hospital’s Medical/Surgical inpatient unit and the Physical Rehabilitation outpatient unit in the Stanley Health Center on the Franklin Memorial Hospital campus.