Community Hospital

Speech Therapy

Speech Therapy includes assessment, identification and treatment/rehabilitation of individuals who have difficulties with communication and/or swallowing by a professional trained in these areas.  Speech Therapy serves individuals to facilitate functional communication skills and/or to achieve the least restrictive diet possible in those patients with swallowing difficulties.  If an individual is not able to achieve independence in communication, speech therapy can offer education, counseling and strategies for both the individual and his/her family for the most effective method of communication.

Community Hospital Speech Therapy Services are available Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A physician prescription is required for speech therapy. You will be scheduled for a private evaluation with a therapist and a treatment plan will be developed with your input. Treatment sessions are provided on an individual basis. If more than one service is needed appointments are coordinated by our office staff. To schedule an appointment, or for more information, call us at 219-836-4527.

Speech Pathologists at Community Hospital offer specialized services and a variety of adult therapies as listed below:

Speech Therapy Specialized Services

Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT)
This program enhances the ability to communicate in individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. Years of research support its effectiveness with the Parkinson’s population as well as other neurological disorders. This approach builds confidence, improves the ability to communicate and enhances the quality of life for patients living with neurological disorders. Community Hospital employs (2) LSVT Certified Speech Pathologists

VitalStim Therapy
This therapy is the only neuromuscular electrical stimulation that is FDA approved to treat Dysphagia, a condition that causes discomfort or difficulty swallowing. Specially-designed electrodes deliver a small, carefully calibrated current of electricity stimulating the motor nerves in the throat. This therapy re-educates the muscles responsible for swallowing through repeated sessions, with the end result of improved swallowing function.

Digital Swallowing Workstation
Using Kay Pentax’s Digital Video System for Swallowing (DVSS) our speech pathologists record videofluorographic swallow exams. This allows for instantaneous exam review, play back of two examinations side by side for comparative analysis and immediate results to the patient and medical staff. It has additional features for unique therapeutic interventions for Dysphagia.


Oral-motor and clinical swallow assessments determine the risk of aspiration and if a Modified Barium Swallow Study is necessitated.  The Modified Barium Swallow Study allows assessment of the anatomy and physiology of the oral and pharyngeal swallow and determination of proper diet and compensatory swallow techniques. 
Diagnoses evaluated include, but are not exclusive to:

  • Neurological (stroke, progressive degenerative diseases)
  • Oncology (head and neck cancers)
  • Pulmonary (COPD, tracheotomies)
  • Otolaryngology (vocal fold paralysis, laryngectomies)
  • Pediatric (prematurity, cerebral palsy, craniofacial)


Deficits in language modalities, candidacy for treatment and development of individualized treatment plans.


Quality of patient’s speech, nature and severity of the abnormalities, candidacy for treatment and potential direction of treatment.


Hyperfunctional (nodules, edema, vocal abuse/misuse). Hypofunctional (vocal fold paresis/paralysis, Parkinson’s Disease).


Attention, orientation, memory, problem solving, reasoning.

Meet the Speech Therapy Staff

Jill Westerfield M.A.
Supervisor of Speech Pathology

  • Master of Arts in Speech Pathology from Indiana University in 1990
  • Bachelor of Arts in Communications Arts and Sciences, from Michigan State University in 1987
  • Over 24 years of experience
  • Worked at Community Hospital since 1995
  • Certified VitalStim Therapy Clinician
  • Certified Lee Silverman Voice Therapy Clinician
  • Specializes in Dysphagia; proficient in neonatal through adult videoflouroscopic swallow studies

Mary Bond M.S. CCC-SLP
Clinical Specialist-Adult Outpatient

  • Master of Science & Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders from Governors State University in 1997
  • Bachelor of Science in Special Education from Southern Illinois University
  • Certificate of Clinical Competency from American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Worked as special education teacher for 14 years
  • Worked at Community Hospital since 1997
  • Certified VitalStim Therapy Clinician
  • Certified Lee Silverman Voice Therapy Clinician
  • Enjoys working with the adult outpatient population with speech, language, voice, swallowing and cognitive disorders