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SLP Clinical Success Award Winners Announced

Evanston, IL (Vocus) [March 3, 2012]– Lingua Health LLC announced the winners of its 2012 SLP Clinical Success Awards, granting the winning university affiliated speech-language pathology (SLP) clinics and students a $3,500 award in each of two categories: monolingual and bilingual speech-pathology success.

Taline Ashekian, a graduate student from California State University-North Ridge, won in the monolingual category while Carolina Zuniga Solarte, a graduate student from Marquette University, won in the bilingual category. They each received $500 while earning their university affiliated SLP clinic a $3,000 donation.

Ashekian’s winning entry – Small Device, BIG Impact – highlighted her ability to help a 12 year old drowning victim react, understand, and respond to various stimuli and become more vocal over a two month period than she had been in over a decade. The client was one of the first clients benefiting from Alternative Assistive Communication Devices (AAC) services at the newly opened AAC clinic of California State University-North Ridge’s Language, Speech and Hearing Center.

“I entered the competition to help bring awareness to the work SLPs do and the difference we make in people’s lives,” said Ashekian. “This has been an extremely fulfilling experience and is even more so now knowing that the Speech and Language Pathology Clinic at CSUN will be benefiting from the award and will continue to bring outstanding support to its clients.”

Ashekian plans to donate her personal prize money to a non-profit organization that provides free surgery to children with cleft lip and palate.

Solarte’s entry – Spreading the Seeds of Bilingualism – told the story of how her 23-year-old client and fellow bilingual speech-language pathologist was told that she would never be able to produce the Spanish /r/ trill sound. Yet, within just a month of innovative therapy, hard work and practice, Solarte’s client was able to produce the trill sound for the first time in her life. Solarte attributes this success in a large part to her client’s motivation to succeed and Solarte’s consistent encouragement.

“This case and having the opportunity to tell my story through the competition is a reminder of what being a bilingual speech-language pathologist is all about – building upon our resources, valuing and enhancing the culture we serve, providing a quality service to those who often don’t have access to high quality resources, and believing anything is possible.”

Solarte plans to use her prize money to fulfill her dream of creating a bilingual library for Latino children in the Milwaukee area.

Contest entries were posted on Lingua Health’s Facebook page and winners were determined by public vote. A total of 12,525 votes were cast, and there were over 18,500 visits to the Clinical Success Award page during the contest. Participating schools represented some of the top speech-language pathology programs and university clinics in the country, including: California State University-North Ridge, Marquette University, San Jose State University, Truman University, University of Northern Colorado, University of South Dakota, University of Utah, University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Texas at Dallas.

“I hope that these stories will inspire and encourage other graduate level clinicians to enjoy their clinical practicums and university clinic experiences,” said John Consalvi, Lingua Health Founder and CEO. “Every clinical success a SLP achieves is a life-changing event and I congratulate all of the entrants for their hard work and dedication to our profession. I am confident that all of the entrants will become exceptional ASHA certified clinicians.”

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