MRHC Welcomes Carrie Scharfenkamp, New Speech Therapist

Carrie Scharfenkamp

Carrie ScharfenkampThe therapy department at MRHC is excited to welcome Carrie Scharfenkamp, M.A. CF-SLP, a new speech therapist offering services for adults and children.

Speech therapy services include evaluation and treatment in the areas of speech, language, swallowing, voice, cognition, and augmentative communication. Scharfenkamp can address issues with speaking, reading, listening, writing, thinking, and swallowing. While she has a pediatric background, Scharfenkamp will provide services for all age groups from birth to geriatrics.

“After working with children with disabilities at ChildServe I realized how much I enjoyed helping them communicate and complete tasks in their daily life,” shared Scharfenkamp. “Many of the children I worked with had communication difficulties and would see a Speech-Language Pathologist. I became interested in the field, began to do some job-shadowing, and instantly loved it. While studying speech-language pathology, I realized my passion was much more than just working with children. I love helping all populations with their deficits and disorders. Nothing is more rewarding than helping patients reach their goals, no matter how small.”

Common deficit areas Scharfenkamp works with are apraxia, aphasia, articulation, augmentative communication, dysarthria, expressive/receptive language disorders, oral motor disorders, fluency, swallowing, voice disorders, and pragmatic disorders. She also works with a wide range of diagnoses such as MS, dementia, autism, developmental delays, stroke, Parkinson’s, cancer, ALS, TBI, cerebral palsy, speech/language delay, and more.

“Speech therapy services will look different for everyone depending on their deficits and diagnoses,” said Scharfenkamp. “For adults, some common service areas would be communication, voice, dysphagia, and cognitive deficits. Common service areas for children include communication, speech, language, social skills, and behavior. Regardless of the person’s age or deficit, it is extremely important to find out what their needs and goals are to make functional improvements in their everyday lives.”

Some warning signs that someone may need speech therapy services would be unintelligible speech, delays in speech/overall development, issues answering questions, difficulties with fluency (stuttering), coughing or choking while eating, or problems with any aspect of communication.

“I am excited to begin offering services that are needed in the area, individualized to the population’s needs, and trying new things that the hospital has not been able to offer in the recent past,” said Scharfenkamp. “I would love to offer co-treatment sessions with occupational or physical therapy if appropriate and expand services to a wider variety of populations like adults and inpatients. Manning has a great, supportive community with an expanding hospital, and I look forward to being part of its continued growth and excellent services.”

Scharfenkamp grew up in the Carroll area and received an associate degree from DMACC in Liberal Arts and bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from Iowa State University. She attended the University of South Dakota for her Master of Arts in speech-language pathology while completing clinical work in various settings for clients including an elementary school, Scottish Rite Children’s Clinic, SESDAC, and University Clinic. After graduating college, she began working at Northwest Area Education Agency as a speech-language pathologist where she currently works with children from birth to five years old.

“Although I will continue to work in the schools, I chose to work at MRHC as a PRN because I am passionate about many aspects of the field of speech-language pathology,” shared Scharfenkamp. “I want to continue to work with a variety of patients with a range of deficits and learn more in the medical setting to expand the services that I can offer.”

To schedule a speech therapy appointment with Scharfenkamp, call (712) 655-8298.