Patient Success Story- Harper

PATIENT SUCCESS STORY-

All therapists want to make a difference! With pediatric patients we not only receive the immense joy of seeing the progress in our patients, but on the faces of their parents as well. Approximately one year ago, I began working with an adorable little girl named Harper. She was born at 25 weeks with Chronic Lung Disease, and multiple other diagnoses that come with being a micro preemie. When I started treating Harper, she was 14 months old and still only taking liquids from a bottle. Harper demonstrated a severe oral aversion to foods, her suck/ swallow/breathe pattern was disorganized, and she exhibited multiple signs of aspiration. Harper would gag and retch, so we started slowly with the introduction of purees from a gloved finger. We slowly built her response while simultaneously using techniques to decrease oral aversion. Within six months, Harper was able to eat purees from a spoon and had integrated her suck/swallow/breathe pattern successfully.

During her modified barium swallow study, Harper demonstrated some aspiration and penetration due to muscle fatigue and was recommended to begin NMES (Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation). In the beginning, Harper did not enjoy NMES and required multiple verbal cues throughout the session, but soon began demonstrating an increased chewing pattern while expanding her variety of food and textures. Our goal was to maintain Harper’s calorie intake without supplementing with Pediasure, so Harper’s mother was encouraged to talk to her gastroenterologist about medications for reflux and a diet plan. Harper is now successfully taking all liquids via sippy cup and eating a variety of food such as broccoli, cauliflower, cheese and crackers, and many more. Harper continues to demonstrate some difficulty with coarse meats and requires extra chewing during these times.

Since she began speech therapy, Harper has decreased upper respiratory infections, pneumonia, and has had no hospitalizations. She has come leaps and bounds and continues to make progress. I couldn’t be any prouder of how hard she has worked to get here. Harper is a little ROCK STAR!!!

-Courtni Marshall, Advanced Clinical Feeding Specialist THERAPY 2000

THERAPY 2000’s Karen H. Dowling, Honored with the Prestigious Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) Status

Congratulations are in order for THERAPY 2000’s Karen H. Dowling, MCD, CCC-SLP, MBA, FACHE on recently becoming a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the nation’s leading professional society for healthcare leaders. Fellow status represents achievement of the highest standard of professional development. In fact, only 7,500 healthcare executives hold this distinction.

Karen Dowling is responsible for overall operations at THERAPY 2000 and strategic initiatives for the North Texas Region, East Texas, Amarillo, Austin and San Antonio areas of Texas. Karen holds a bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology and a master’s degree in communication disorders from Louisiana State University. She also holds a master’s degree in business administration from Texas Woman’s University.

To obtain Fellow status, candidates must fulfill multiple requirements, including passing a comprehensive examination, meeting academic and experiential criteria, earning continuing education credits and demonstrating professional/community involvement. Fellows are also committed to ongoing professional development and undergo recertification every three years.

“Because healthcare management ultimately affects the people in our communities, it is critically important to have a standard of excellence promoted by a professional organization,” says Thomas C. Dolan, PhD, FACHE, CAE, president and chief executive officer of ACHE. “By becoming an ACHE Fellow and simultaneously earning board certification from ACHE, healthcare leaders can show that they are committed to providing high-quality service to their patients and community.”

The American College of Healthcare Executives is an international professional society of more than 30,000 healthcare executives who lead our nation’s hospitals, healthcare systems and other healthcare organizations. ACHE is known for its prestigious credentialing and educational programs and its annual Congress on Healthcare Leadership, which draws more than 4,500 participants each year. ACHE is also known for its journal, the Journal of Healthcare Management, and magazine, Healthcare Executive, as well as ground-breaking research and career development and public policy programs. ACHE’s publishing division, Health Administration Press, is one of the largest publishers of books and journals on all aspects of health services management in addition to textbooks for use in college and university courses. Through such efforts, ACHE works toward its goal of being the premier professional society for healthcare leaders by providing exceptional value to its members.

Dowling is privileged to use the FACHE credential, which signifies board certification in healthcare management and ACHE Fellow status. THERAPY 2000 is proud to have her as a leader within the company.