For the second year in a row, the University of Mary has received a national grant benefiting students studying speech-language pathology and patients with Parkinson’s.
The nonprofit Parkinson Voice Project awarded the university’s speech-language pathology program its “SPEAK OUT! & LOUD Crowd Grant Program.”
The grant provides free training to faculty and graduate students to help with the communication skills of people with Parkinson’s, as well as providing students clinical experience.
Brittany Hernandez coordinates the on-campus clinic where the grant will be applied.
She says it’s served nearly 50 patients this past year ranging from pediatrics to adults.
“It gives our students a great opportunity to learn more about Parkinson’s disorder and voice disorders and how to treat that. Once students graduate, they can continue to be certified in that Speak Out and Loud Crowd so if they were working in an adult setting or population, they can use those skills that they obtained and practiced in graduate school in their work, as well,” Hernandez said.
The university’s speech-language pathology department graduated its first class last spring.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, North Dakota had the third highest concentration of jobs for speech-language pathologists in the country in 2015.