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Speech Pathology Clinical Fellowship

Positions begin: Summer or Early Fall 2022 Deadline for applications: 2/13/2023 The Speech-Language Pathology Service at Cincinnati VA Medical Center offers one-year Clinical Fellowship opportunities in Speech-Language Pathology. Clinical fellows are full-time, funded employees who have the opportunity to achieve their clinical learning goals, including development of advanced practice skills, while being mentored by experienced clinicians.

Fellows work and learn in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings within the Medical Center, and engage in interprofessional practice with specialty services including Neurology, Otolaryngology, Medicine, Oncology, TBI/Polytrauma, Nutrition, Nursing, and other rehabilitation therapies.  Thorough, hands-on clinical teaching and supervision allow Fellows to develop the skills and abilities needed to manage a full time, complex patient caseload. They also engage in a variety of didactic and academic learning opportunities, including participation in interdisciplinary and community SLP journal clubs, attendance at College of Medicine Grand Rounds, onsite training in flexible endoscopy, and opportunities for postgraduate learning through in-person and virtual courses and conferences.  In addition, Fellows have the opportunity to participate in clinical research and/or quality improvement programs that can train skills necessary for a future career incorporating clinical research. 

 

The Speech Pathology Section serves inpatients, outpatients, and residents of a Community Living Center.  Fellows will gain experience and provide services in all general areas of medical speech pathology, including evaluation/treatment of individuals with dysphagia, speech and language disorders, cognitive disorders, voice disorders, and tracheostomy.  They will also gain specialized experience in subspecialty areas of speech language pathology, which may vary according to the specific professional goals and interests of the selected Fellows.  Overall, we are seeking candidates with a strong interest in medical speech pathology and a desire to grow and develop professionally in a fast-paced, learning-oriented medical setting. 

 

Program Goals

  • Provide a foundation of clinical training that allows Clinical Fellows to become advanced-practice practitioners of Speech-Language Pathology.
  • Provide didactic experiences throughout the fellowship that support academic learning in Speech Pathology beyond the graduate degree and general medical/healthcare knowledge as it relates to application of SLP assessment and intervention.
  • Serve as a resource within regional and national professional and academic communities.
  • Train speech pathologists who demonstrate professional excellence and who are prepared to pursue advanced practice careers in a variety of settings, including acute-care hospital systems, voice and swallowing centers, neurorehabilitation and cancer care centers, and VA facilities across the nation. 
  • Adhere to supervisory, mentorship, employment, and licensure regulations needed to support CF requirements for licensure and Certification of Clinical Competence by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. 

Clinical Fellowship Specialty Care Experiences

Clinical fellows will have the opportunity to gain experience in several specialty areas of speech-language pathology under the supervision of an experienced clinician.  These experiences will differ according to the professional learning goals of the Fellow.  Areas of SLP specialty care offered at Cincinnati VA Medical Center include:

  • Acute Care/ICU patient care including: tracheostomy/ventilator dependence/noninvasive ventilatory support, postsurgical inpatient care, care of critically ill patients, multidisciplinary patient management (Critical Care, multiple Surgery subspecialties, Respiratory Therapy, Nutrition, Internal Medicine, Rehabilitation therapies, Palliative/Hospice Care)
  • ALS Clinic: This is a multidisciplinary clinic providing services for Veterans with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; participating services include Neurology, Physiatry, Rehabilitation therapies, Respiratory Therapy, and Nutrition.  SLP provides services including dysphagia and voice assessment and treatment, voice banking, and provision of augmentative/alternative communication systems including eye gaze technologies. 
  • Voice care including: videostroboscopy (with flexible or rigid endoscopy) and interpretation, acoustic/aerodynamic/perceptual evaluation of voice using standardized measures, voice therapies including gender-affirming voice intervention, standardized voice interventions for individuals with Parkinson’s disease, and perioperative voice care
  • Head and neck cancer care including: endoscopic/videofluoroscopic assessment, proactive dysphagia intervention during and after treatment, multidisciplinary patient management (Oncology, Otolaryngology, Nutrition, Nursing, Psychology, Rehabilitation), lymphedema therapy, alaryngeal speech rehabilitation including tracheoesophageal voice prosthesis management
  • Dysphagia intervention including: formal onsite training and experience in fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing, standardized and validated videofluoroscopic swallowing assessment using the Modified Barium Swallow Study Impairment Profile, pharyngeal manometry (in process), device facilitated intervention such as expiratory muscle strength training, lingual strength training, and surface EMG biofeedback
  • Intensive Dysphagia Treatment Program: This is a multisite, national VA program supported by the Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care and the Office of Rural Health which aims to provide intensive dysphagia treatment to veterans with dysphagia using principles of progressive isometric exercise.  Veterans are enrolled in a variety of evidence-based treatment arms according to their specific, objectively measured swallowing impairments, provided close case management and frequent visits during treatment, and re-evaluated after treatment to measure outcomes. 
  • TBI / Polytrauma care including: SLP evaluation of cognitive function, cognitive/linguistic rehabilitation, multidisciplinary patient management (Physiatry, Neuropsychology, Mental Health, Rehabilitation

Clinical Fellowship Experience Outcomes / Deliverables

  • Completion of all requirements for professional licensure and ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence
  • Completion of Personal Development Plan
  • 4 formal supervisory conferences with completion of Graduated Levels of Responsibility, ASHA CF Skills Assessment, Observational Experiences Checklist
  • Patient Education Project / Presentation
  • Research or Quality Improvement Project participation and Synopsis/Reflection
  • Interdisciplinary Observational Experiences Synopsis/Reflection (3 experiences minimum)
  • Inservice Project / Presentation
  • Workflow Improvement Project
  • 2 Journal Club presentations (interdisciplinary and community SLP)
  • Professional Experience Log with self-reflection
  • Professional presentation – grand rounds, team rounds, regional or national conference)
  • Completion of all program requirements within a 12-month time frame

Benefits

  • $40,987 stipend
  • Eligibility to enroll in Federal Health Benefits Plan
  • Paid leave days: 13 vacation, 13 sick, 12 Federal holidays
  • Personal workspace / laptop
  • Medical Library access
  • VA health professions trainees are considered a priority applicant pool in consideration for permanent employment positions, locally and nationally
  • Hiring flexibility for VA health professions trainees can allow appointment to VA positions

Application and Employment Requirements

  • U.S. citizenship
  • English language proficiency
  • Commitment to 12 months of federal employment at Cincinnati VA Medical Center
  • Graduation from a fully accredited Speech-Language Pathology graduate program (M.A. or M.S.)
  • Eligibility for licensure in speech-language pathology and application for conditional licensure
  • Strong academic performance and interest in neuroscience, neurogenic cognitive/communication disorders, voice, and dysphagia, as evidenced by academic transcripts
  • Interview with selection team for top candidates, in person or via videoconference (dates TBD)

Instructions for Applying

Items listed below must be incorporated into a single PDF file, in the order listed, and sent via email to kathy.welden@va.gov and laura.klug@va.gov.  All application packets must be received by midnight of the specified date (TBD).  Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.  Application packets that do not conform with these instructions will not be considered.

  • Resume or CV
  • Letter of interest describing your background, professional interests, and goals
  • Graduate program transcripts (can be unofficial or copies)
  • 2 letters of recommendation from faculty or clinical supervisors (include these in your single PDF file, do not send separately)

Please contact Dr. Kathy Welden, Speech Pathology Education Coordinator, with any questions as you move through the application process. 

 

All application packets must be emailed by Monday, 2/13/2023. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications that do not conform with these instructions will not be considered.

 

Please email applications to: kathy.welden@va.gov and laura.klug@va.gov

 

Please contact us with questions:

Kathy Welden, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S

kathy.welden@va.gov  -  513-861-3100, ext. 5226

 

Laura Klug, MA, CCC-SLP, CBIS

laura.klug@va.gov  -  513-861-3100, ext. 5293