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Wed, Feb 21, 2024 at 08:32 PM

Marshall Medical announces the latest addition to growing rehab services – Adult Speech Therapy

In an ongoing effort to expand medical services, Marshall Medical Centers announces the latest addition to the lineup – Adult Outpatient Speech Therapy. Marshall Therapy & Sports Rehab North in Guntersville is now accepting appointments for adult speech therapy five days a week.

Dori Elliott, Speech-Language Pathologist, is available to provide therapy for a wide scope of conditions from improving communication to helping with swallowing impairments.

“The field is very broad,” she says. “Speech pathologists are trained to treat everything from the effects of stroke and cancers to helping children pronounce ‘Rs’ correctly as well as neuroprogressive diseases like MS or ALS that lead to difficulty speaking and swallowing.”

The field also includes treatment of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease along with other conditions that can lead to dysphagia or difficulty swallowing and speaking.

“We are very excited about offering this new service to better help our patients and to better serve our community,” says Scott Saylor, director of physical therapy services. “Dori will be a great asset to our team.”

Adult patients who already get PT and occupational therapy can now also receive speech therapy on the Marshall North campus instead of having to travel for it.

Also, Saylor adds, previously the Marshall Therapy & Sports Rehab Parkinson’s program – which encompasses PT and OT - did not have the speech component.

“Now we’re more in line with the Huntsville Hospital Parkinson’s program.”

Elliott earned a bachelor’s degree in counseling in 2002 at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida. She started her career working in geriatrics at Mountain Lakes Behavioral Healthcare stationed at Barfield Health Care where she worked closely with a team of therapists. She then moved into a social service role.

“I learned a whole lot there,” she recalls.

Elliott was very happy with her work. Then she had children. Her first child was a delayed talker. Her second had dysphagia when he was born. He was very sick and spent six weeks in the NICU. That’s when Elliott met a neonatal speech pathologist for the first time and realized the therapy is used for even the youngest patients.

Her daughter did eventually start talking and her son grew out of the dysphagia. In fact, she says he’s now a healthy little boy who loves to eat. But those two experiences led Elliott to redirect her career path and go back to school for speech pathology. Her husband - also a counselor – encouraged her.

“Sometimes going through difficult things can lead to something good,” she says. Elliott earned a master’s degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders in May 2020 at Alabama A&M University.

The couple lives in Arab with their two children, who are now 8 and 9 years old.

Elliott grew up in Dothan. After college, she moved back to North Alabama to be closer to her dad and stepmother. She met her husband and they’ve been in the area since 2006. She is delighted to have found her dream position on the Marshall North campus.

“I knew this was the right job for me,” she says. “There’s absolutely a demand. Now patients can get ongoing treatment here and they won’t have to travel to a large regional center.”

To schedule an appointment, call Marshall Therapy & Sports Rehab at (256)571.8857.