Laryngectomy Rehabilitation, Speech & Language Disorders, Swallowing & Voice Disorders
Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio
Master of Science in Communication Disorders - Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
Lauren is the 2009 recipient of the Recognition of Service Award from the Nebraska Speech–Language–Hearing Association (NSLHA). The Recognition of Service Award is given to an individual in recognition of exemplary commitment and contribution to the field, with an emphasis on specific contributions within the last six years.
What made you choose a medical career?
My most meaningful and rewarding externship during my Master’s Degree program at Boston University was at the Boston Veteran’s Administration Medical Center. Most of my patients were residents in the Aphasia Unit, but I also gained experience working with head and neck cancer patients. Working in a hospital, with adults, was where I felt my “calling," that continues to this day.
What are your clinical areas of interest?
Language, speech, voice and swallowing disorders. One of my areas of expertise is working with head and neck cancer patients, including those who have undergone a total laryngectomy.
What is your philosophy of patient care?
I started out following the Golden Rule, but over the years, I have modified my philosophy of patient care to: “Do unto others as they would have done unto them.” I believe that every patient should be treated as they want to be treated. This may be different than how I would like to be treated. So my goal is to get to know each patient well enough to be able to provide him or her with the type of care that is relevant and meaningful. Obviously, a big part of that is involving the patient in goal-setting for therapy as well as in ongoing assessment of how he or she feels that therapy is going.
How do you spend your free time? (family, hobbies, interests, volunteer activities, etc.)
I love to read and have been part of the “I’d Rather Be Reading” Book Club with 13 women friends for the past 13 years. I also like to bicycle, cook, and go to movies, especially at the Dundee movie theater and Film Streams. I volunteer with the Dundee/Memorial Park Neighborhood Association, and have also volunteered in my two children’s schools, including serving as PTA President at Dundee Elementary School, and more recently at Central High School. My husband, daughter and I have recently signed up to be SeniorHelp volunteers through the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging.
Provide an interesting anecdote about you.
Something many people may not know about me is that I lived in Pakistan for three years in elementary school, and spent my senior year in high school in Mbabane, Swaziland in southern Africa. Those experiences contributed to my love of travel and living in new places. I grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan, went to college in Oberlin, Ohio, and graduate school in Boston, Massachusetts. My first Speech/Language Pathology job was in Berkeley, California; this was followed by jobs in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Memphis, Tennessee, before moving to Omaha in 1995.