CPMC Speech Therapist Receives Certificate of Clinical Competence


Tori Hinther, M.S. CCC-SLP, in the Cabinet Peaks Medical Center Rehabilitative Services Department, recently received her Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).

ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 198,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students. This organization determines and enforces the SLP ethical standards and scope of practice.

All speech-language pathologists (SLP) must complete a Clinical Fellowship (CF) during their first year of employment. The CF involves a mentored professional experience that begins after the completion of academic coursework and clinical practicum. It is designed to: integrate and apply theoretical knowledge from academic training, evaluate strengths and identify limitations prior to full certification, develop and refine clinical skills consistent with the SLP Scope of Practice, and advance the individual from constant supervised practitioner to independent practitioner. During this time, SLPs are mentored and supervised by an SLP who has obtained their CCC's. Supervision consists of direct observation of treatment sessions, review of documentation, and feedback on performance and skill development. Once the minimum required 1,260 hours of CF work has been completed, the practitioner submits to the ASHA verification of supervision and proof of meeting satisfactory requirements for evaluation, treatment, management, and interaction skills.

"Obtaining CCC's allows me to work independently without taking time from another professional to supervise," said Hinther. "It also signifies competency within the SLP scope of practice and commitment to the application of high-quality evidenced-based evaluation and treatment of disorders affecting communication." Hinther added her appreciation to CPMC for their support as she finished her full certification. "I look forward to continuing to provide high-quality services to the communities of Libby and Troy."

Lori Benson, CPMC Rehab Manager stated, "We are very proud of Tori in receiving her Certificates of Clinical Competency for Speech Language Pathology. She is a dedicated speech therapist proving the latest evidence based practice for her patients. Obtaining her C's demonstrates her commitment to the profession, to Cabinet Peaks Medical Center, and most of all to her patients. We are fortunate to have the ability to provide the required mentorship to our incoming speech therapists to obtain their C's. "

Hinther has since continued her education. In April of 2018, she received her certification from the McNeil Dysphagia Therapy Program (MDTP). The program consists of training focused on an intensive treatment for individuals with moderate-to-severe dysphagia (disordered swallowing). MDTP is a systematic exercise-based approach to dysphagia therapy in adults. Rather than a specific technique, MDTP is a framework from which to provide individualized therapy to adult patients. The certification process included an 8.5 hour intermediate course which introduces participants to the conceptual basis of MDTP, provides the results of initial clinical studies documenting functional and physiologic benefits from MDTP intervention, describes in detail the components of MDTP, and provides step by step instruction for the evaluation and treatment of patients receiving the MDTP approach.

Hinther explained, "This certification allows us to provide a strong evidence-based tool to help improve the quality of life and swallowing abilities of individuals in Libby and Troy with dysphagia related to stroke, head and neck cancer, brain injury, and other neurological disorders."

For more information on this service, or other services provided by the Cabinet Peaks Medical Center Rehabilitative Service Department, call 283-7280.

Libby: Troy:
308 East Second Street 206 Callahan Road, Bldg B
(406) 283-7280 (406) 295-4154