Speech Therapist Joins NARH Rehabilitation Services

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Jane Kingsley Apkin of Sarasota, Fla., a speech-language pathologist, has joined the Rehabilitation Services department of North Adams Regional Hospital. Apkin will be treating inpatients and outpatients at NARH.

Apkin earned her master’s degree in Hearing and Speech Sciences from Ohio University and has since worked in a variety of positions including as a speech pathology clinical supervisor, speech-language pathology consultant for the state of Georgia, and speech-language pathologist in a rehab hospital and long-term acute care hospital. Most recently she was Vice President of Operations and Southern Regional Director for Health Connections Rehabilitation Services in Tallahassee, Fla.

“Swallowing and speaking come so naturally to us that we take these skills for granted,” said Apkin. “But after a stroke or other illness, swallowing and communication issues often have a major impact on overall health and quality of life.”

Apkin said most people with speech and language problems can be helped. Speech-language pathologists (or speech therapists) have a wide variety of assessment and treatment tools to provide customized interventions for every client and age group.  

“An especially helpful assessment tool is the modified barium swallow (MBS) study, which is a motion-picture X-ray of the swallow as it happens so that we are able to determine whether food and liquid are going to the stomach or spilling toward the lungs,” said Apkin. “With this brief, non-invasive test, we can formulate a treatment plan to restore the client to their maximum level of swallowing safety. This test may be performed on an inpatient or outpatient basis.”

Some common speech, language, and swallowing disorders include aphasia (receptive or expressive language), dysarthria (slurred speech), verbal apraxia (knowing what word you want to say, but unable to say it), voice disorders (hoarse, harsh, or breathy voice), and speech and language development issues. Speech therapists work with people of all ages to treat these disorders.

North Adams Regional Hospital offers all speech therapy services on an inpatient and outpatient basis. For more Information, contact NARH Rehab Services at 413-664-5448.

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