Better Hearing And Speech

By Yolanda Miller
Interviewed by Melissa Moniz
Wednesday - April 28, 2010
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Yolanda Miller
Speech Pathologist

Where did you receive your schooling and training?

I graduated from The Ohio State University with a Master of Arts degree in speech pathology. I also earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Shaw University in speech pathology and audiology.

How long have you been practicing?

More than 20 years.

How long have you been with REHAB?

I worked with the developmentally challenged in a state agency for 11 years. Then my career transitioned to long-term care with geriatrics at REHAB. Currently, I’m employed with Sundance Rehabilitation.

Are the patients you see mostly outpatient or inpatient?

They are mostly inpatient. I provide services at Good Samaritan retirement community. Some patients reside in independent living, some assisted living and some are in skilled long-term care.

Can you talk about your role within the REHAB team?

My current position is therapy program manager, and I am also the speech/language pathologist. The REHAB team is composed of an occupational therapist, physical therapist and a speech/language pathologist. We provide services to patients who have a wide variety of diagnosis that are cardiac, pulmonary, medical, surgical, neurological and orthopedic in nature. Some cases are acute while others are chronic. More specifically, we promote development and/or enhancement as an effective functional means of communication. We address speech intelligibility, auditory comprehension, verbal expression, fluency, dysphagia, voice disorders, aural rehabilitation and cognitive-linguistic management. Treatment is determined following a comprehensive evaluation. My role is to coordinate, monitor, promote and provide appropriate service delivery to patients. Our goal is to facilitate an optimal quality of life that enables patients to function at their highest maximum potential.

Do you use equipment or tools to help with treatment?

Yes, sometimes I utilize an augmentative communication device that has a voice output system. These devices enable a patient to communicate with voiced messages when their verbalizations are not intelligible. The device emits an audible message for communication.

Are there special events happening to celebrate Better Hearing and Speech Month in May?

Yes, I’m so excited about all the things that we (Hawaii Speech Language Hearing Association) are planning. We have events scheduled throughout the month, beginning on Saturday, May 1. At 10:30 a.m. we are having story time at the Hawaii State Library. We’ll have two of our speech and language pathologists there providing the story time. They’ll incorporate interactive activities and other things to get the kids involved. The library also offers sign language or other special accommodations, if needed. Contact for that is Vicky Dworkin at 586-3510.

Then on Tuesday, May 4, at 11 a.m. the Stroke Club at REHAB is having its monthly meeting at the hospital. It’s a very good program and there’s no membership fee. Contact is Kate Church at 566-3791.

On Thursday, May 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. is a dinner and workshop on ethics on issues presented by HSHA. The guest speaker is Deputy Attorney General Christine Denton. The workshop will be at Central Union Church and those interested can RSVP with Joanne Oshiro at 737-3608.

On Saturday, May 29, we are having our HSHA picnic at Kakaako Park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for all area speech language pathologists and audiologists for networking, food and fun.

The American Speech Language Hearing Association is sponsoring a song and video contest. Song and video entries should be focused on protecting your hearing. The winner will receive a $250 prize. There is also a student drawing contest. The winner will receive a MP3 player and $125 worth of merchandise. For more information or to download the entry forms, visit

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