Penny Welch-West has been working as a Speech-Language Pathologist since 1998 and enjoys a very varied practice ranging from Rehabilitation through Complex/Continuing and Palliative Care. This work includes teaching, assessment and treatment in the areas of dysphagia (swallowing), voice, articulation, language, cognitive-communication and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).
Penny has an interest in using technology options in clinical practice and at any time may be found engaging patients in tablet use, participating in Skype sessions, exploring various apps as intervention tools, encouraging and expanding SmartPhone use as a cognitive-communication/memory tool or presenting various AAC devices to patients to supplement or replace voice output or communication.
Penny is known for embracing a quote by Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, “Give more than is expected, love more than seems wise, serve more than seems necessary, and help more than is asked”. She believes in the importance of synergy within the teams she works and that this translates to the best patient outcomes. Injecting humour, honesty and ensuring transparency of goals (regardless of patient cognitive-communication level) are important aspects of her assessment and intervention sessions.
Along with her speech-language pathology colleagues, Penny developed a Return to School (RTS) Group treatment module of care in October 2012 to address the very specific needs of students attempting to resume their studies after a brain injury. There is a great deal of attention and resource paid to figuring out the best return to sports/play approach, less focus on return to school and life…this has to be in balance.
Penny is a 2013 recipient of the Sisters of St. Joseph Award for excellence, compassion and care. She is a co-author of the Dysphagia and Communication Chapters of the Evidence Based Review of Acquired Brain Injury (ERABI).