Feb. 11, 2020
The University Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic: A United Way agency (USLHC) is following the trend of other health care providers and branching out into the suburbs. Part of the UH Communication Sciences and Disorders department, its satellite clinic at UH at Sugar Land now offers services for persons with cochlear implants or hearing aids to help them manage their hearing loss more effectively.
“Every major hospital has adopted a community-based system, “said Frankie B. Sims, clinical educator with the department. “People expect health care to be available where they live, and our clinic has a lot of clients who live in Sugar Land.”
The Aural Rehabilitation clinic opened at UH at Sugar Land in September 2019 following a survey of current clients and area speech-pathologist. Its parent clinic on the UH main campus is a first of its kind, Sims said.
“Not many professionals have been trained to provide this very specific type of care,” she added.
Therapy sessions include listening activities to discriminate fine differences in words with increasing accuracy. Clients also learn new strategies to deal with hearing loss, and discuss hearing aids and use of cochlear implants.
“When I received my first cochlear implant, I was not comprehending speech very well. I went to UH central campus for many months for aural rehab to help me learn what I was hearing,” said Teri Wathen. “After I got my second implant, I continued with rehab. I am so glad to have this program so close to home now. Thank you to UH at Sugar Land!”
Wathen who lives in the Sugar Land area, said location was the primary factor in deciding to access the clinic. Prior to the opening of the clinic, she said she commuted almost an hour to the main campus for therapy sessions.
Experienced, licensed and certified speech-language pathologist-educators supervise graduate students pursuing studies in speech and language therapy. Each is required to complete a rotation in aural rehabilitation.
“As a clinical training program, students are learning the most current evidence-based practices from faculty who are experts and are contributing to our knowledge base through their research,” Sims said. “Clients are more likely to get state-of-the-art treatment through the UH clinics than in other places.”
Sims said the goal is to have the Sugar Land clinic booked four to five days a week serving clients with aural rehab, language and speech disorders.
For more information about the University Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic: A United Way agency, visit their website or email USLHC@uh.edu.