Updated: Oct 19
Meet Clare, a FACES board member and a Speech Language Pathologist. After observing SPL clinicians at local Chattanooga clinics, she wanted to be a part of their impact, prompting Clare to consider a career change. “I recently made a career change to speech therapy after observing clinicians at local clinics and realizing the profound personal impact that speech therapists had on improving the lives of their patients; they were making the world a better place, and I wanted to do that too.”
“During my studies, I quickly realized that my passion was craniofacial differences, specifically in regard to pediatric dysphagia. I was blessed to have professors who supported me in my interests, and I developed research analyzing the feeding experiences of caregivers of infants born with cleft lip and/or palate. My research aimed to shed light on how the medical team, specifically speech therapists as swallowing specialists, can improve the feeding education offered to caregivers of infants born with cleft lip and or palate.”
One of the most valuable parts of Clare’s career as a speech therapist is making sure her patients feel important and advocated for. “I help my patients feel valued by working collaboratively with them to develop their treatment plan. I always want my patients to know that they have a voice and that their voice is powerful. They are the most important individual on their care team, and as a speech therapist, it is my goal to ensure they feel heard and validated.”
Clare credits her patients for giving her purpose each day. “My patients are the reason I get up and go to work each day. I know that I have a unique opportunity to really make a positive difference in their lives, and I feel honored to be able to serve as an advocate and helper on their journey.”
Clare has served for two years on the FACES Board and serves as secretary and on the fundraising committee. She is working on the silent auction for their fundraiser Fearlessly Different Art Show and Silent Auction on November 5.
We love learning from healthcare professionals and appreciate all the great work people like Clare do for the cleft and craniofacial communities!