Skiff Medical Center announced the recent addition of Emily Meier, a speech-language pathologist, to its Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation department.
Meier was hired to the position as a result of the growth Skiff's speech therapy services has seen under the direction of Ashley Panno, SLP, since she arrived at Skiff two years ago.
"Ashley has grown the outpatient business tremendously," said Matt Scotton, director of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. "As busy as she has been with that patient population and with the growing demand for speech therapy in home health and Skiff Swing Bed Program, we had to expand our staff to accommodate."
The Swing Bed Program at Skiff Medical Center is for patients not ready to go home after hospitalization, but still in need of professional nursing or therapy services. A qualified patient can "swing" from acute inpatient status to a transitional status or rehab level of care at the hospital.
Meier is an Iowa native who majored in communication sciences and disorders at the University of Iowa and received her master's degree at St. Ambrose University in Davenport.
She said said she was interested in the position at Skiff because of wide area of services she will be able to provide.
"It's such a broad field," Meier said. "From swallowing to cognition, stroke patients, brain injuries, developmental delays; there are so many ways to help people. I was drawn to working in a hospital setting where I could work with a variety of patient types and disorders."
Panno, who is serving in a mentorship role to Meier as she settles into the position, agreed that Skiff is an ideal setting for a therapist with varied interests.
"Not many jobs can provide the full spectrum for this career," Panno said. "But everything a speech language pathologist can do, we provide here in Newton."
A resident of Williamsburg, Meier learned about Skiff through the Internet.
"I did a Google search of all the hospitals within about a 60-mile radius of where I lived," she said. "I found Skiff's web site and saw that they had a part-time speech therapy position open. I was looking for full-time, but I really liked what I read about Skiff, so I decided to pursue it anyway."
During the interview process, Scotton and Panno were impressed with Meier's skill set and personal qualities and decided to expand the position to 40 hours a week.