HERMISTON, OR – A love for adventure, the great outdoors, and an exceptional career opportunity is what attracted Heidii Roberts, SLP, to Good Shepherd Health Care System (GSHCS). As an experienced Speech-Language Pathologist, Roberts has been practicing for 23 years with the past 10 years owning her own practice in the Portland metro area. But she was ready for a change of scenery.
As manager of the Speech-Language Pathology department, Roberts is excited to work with an enthusiastic team of professionals – all who all have unique skills which enhance the services available for the community. “I was impressed that our team is actively practicing barium swallow studies,” expressed Roberts, “I am impressed by our team’s knowledge of barium swallow and am excited to perform them myself.”
In regards to the practice itself, Roberts shared, “This is an environment where I can collaborate more with other professionals and learn from them. And as for me, I am passionate about caring for kids with autism. There is nothing more rewarding for me than getting silly and teaching them about social skills and how to be flexible. I also care for individuals with tongue thrust and lisping articulation, and I plan to contribute my experience with Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT).”
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, OMT is used to treat orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs). These disorders may interfere with the normal growth and development of the muscles and bones of the face and mouth. OMDs may also interfere with how the muscles of the face and mouth are used for eating, talking, and breathing. People who have an OMD may also have problems with talking, swallowing, and breathing through their nose. Some children push out their tongue when they talk, drink, or eat. This is called tongue thrusting or fronting, and it is one type of OMD.
Roberts plans to work closely with pediatricians, primary care providers, orthodontists, dentists, hygienists, Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) doctors, and lactation consultants – to effectively manage and help care for OMDs. “When dealing with OMDs, it is literally all in your head. But we know that they can be related to issues in the rest of the body. Working collaboratively with health care professionals from other specialties – who are literally looking in the patient’s mouth, nose, and ears – we will have the most success in treating OMDs; and the results for patients – life changing!”
For Roberts, living in Eastern Oregon has been a great experience. “Everyone is so friendly here, there’s not much traffic and I’m actively looking for ways to get involved and give back to the community.” Roberts and her husband have two grown daughters, who have both chosen careers in the medical field.
Speech-Language Therapy is located at Good Shepherd Health Care System, at 600 NW 11th Street, Suite E-25, and is accepting referrals. For more information please call 541.667.3635.