Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Since 1907
Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Speech pathology program expands to off-campus clinic
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Although the speech pathology program at Calvin College is not its own department yet, it has rapidly grown over the last 15 years — rapidly enough to expand its clinic to a new off-campus building located on the corner of the East Beltline and Lake Street. It will be open and available for use by clients, students and therapists by mid-August.

Because the speech pathology program has doubled in enrollment, the clinic needed to expand to this new 5,000-square-foot building. Depending on the day, the speech pathology and audiology (SPAUD) clinic sees about 150 children and adults for therapy in Calvin’s on-campus clinic, located in the CAS department.

Expanding the program’s services to a greater target clientele in the Grand Rapids community will give the SPAUD students more opportunities to gain experience and also benefit the community.

Judith Vander Woude, a SPAUD professor, played a large role in expanding the clinic and explained that a “lovely benefactor” had made the building available to Calvin’s SPAUD program. This new building, recently named Calvin’s Integrative Rehabilitation Services (CIRS), will belong to this donor.

The expanded clinic and new building will be self-sustained by billing patients, private pay and reimbursements.

“That is key,” says Vander Woude in regards to the self-sustainability. The new clinic’s target clientele will be neuro patients for post-concussion rehab and car accident victims, as well as executives who have suffered strokes and want to enter the workforce again.

The clinic also wants to be available for young persons who, for example, have been in a car accident out of state. While their insurance only covers a few sessions of therapy per year, Calvin’s expanded clinic wants to reach out to these patients and make sure they have the opportunity for proper therapy. Although they are expanding their clientele, the regular clients that attend therapy currently at Calvin will not move to the new building.

Clientele who need a wide array of rehabilitation also require a wide array of therapists. Because the expanded clinic is multidisciplinary, occupational therapists and physical therapists, in addition to speech pathologists and audiologists, will be used in the CIRS building.

Therapists from Grand Valley State University, Western Michigan University, Calvin’s SPAUD program and Mary Freebed’s clinics will all be a part of one floor in the new building.

The next steps in the process of moving into the expanded clinic are finishing up the architectural plans and hiring people for the clinic. The program is currently looking for one audiologist, two speech pathologists and one director.

Looking to the future, Vander Woude’s dream for this clinic is to see it being a life center and to serve Calvin and the people in the community. She wants to see Calvin reaching out to the community, no matter what the clients’ needs are. In addition to this, Vander Woude would also love to see therapy for clients expand from the early childhood age group to geriatrics.

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