SASS and Providence Health Care Initiative for SLP Students’ Clinical Learning

In January 2023, the School partnered with the Providence Health Care speech-language pathology department to enhance students’ experiences in working with adults with dementia. As part of their AUDI 586/572/516C course, 36 second year SLP students connected with people living with dementia in Providence Health Care’s long-term care homes. Small groups of students, supported by registered speech-language pathologists, completed two visits with a person with dementia. Following the visits, the students developed individualized communication interventions for the residents.

Along with valuable experiential learning, this initiative offered students greater awareness of clinical practice realities, particularly in long-term care settings, and exposure to the needs and benefits of working as an SLP with this population alongside other health care team members.

The School wishes to acknowledge speech-language pathologists, Tara Chen, Kate Davies, Gail Gumprich, Allison Haas, and Vicki Tsui, for their support for this initiative; as well as Jamie Nagy, SASS’s senior clinical program and finance assistant, for helping to make the arrangements.

We hope this was the first of many future opportunities for the next generations of SLPs to gain direct clinical mentoring and experience working with older adults in this underserved area of practice.