Mayo Clinic Health System in St. James welcomes Shayna Baker, speech/language pathologist, to its team of specialized care providers. As a speech/language pathologist, she evaluates, diagnoses and treats children and adults who face difficulties with speech, language and swallowing. With the addition of Baker, the medical center now offers speech/language therapy services five days per week.
“I am excited to work with patients in St. James and the surrounding communities,” says Baker. “Speech/language therapy presents the opportunity to care for patients of all ages, each with unique needs. I truly enjoy that about my role as a health care provider.”
Speech/language pathologists assist patients in improving their speech through lessons in making sounds, voice control and improving oral language skills. Non-verbal patients learn to communicate through methods including sign language or by using automated devices. For patients with swallowing disorders, speech-language pathologists teach them to strengthen muscles or use alternate techniques to avoid choking or aspirating food and liquids.
“Providing this care in St. James on a consistent basis is extremely beneficial for our local patients,” says Ryan Smith, Mayo Clinic Health System in St. James administrator. “This offers patients access to a trained speech/therapy specialist, as well as the resources of Mayo Clinic, right here in the community.”
Baker graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato in May 2012 with a master’s degree in speech/language pathology. She completed internships with Waterville-Elysian-Morristown schools and with an independent speech/language pathologist providing consultations to patients in various health care settings.
A referral from a primary care provider is required to schedule an appointment with the speech/language therapy department. For more information, please call 507-723-7723 or visit mayoclinichealthsystem.org.