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Pediatric speech therapy program providing quality services to our community


Janet Pennington, MS, CCC, speech-language pathologist, rehabilitation services, Mount Nittany Medical Center

According to the National Institutes of Health, about 1 in 12 children, ages 3 to 17, in the United States has had a disorder related to speech, voice, language or swallowing. Speech and language disorders are communication impairments that can adversely affect one’s ability to speak, understand, read and write. Such disorders include stuttering, difficulty forming words or sounds and difficulty understanding or using words in context. The challenges that come with speech and language disorders may make it difficult for a child to succeed in school.

Children with speech and language problems often need extra help and instruction. Children may receive speech and language services at school, however, these services may not be available during the summer, which could halt or impede progress. In addition, some insurances do not cover speech and language services, making it financially challenging for some to pay for the costs of these services.

To help address this gap in service, Lance Shaner provided Mount Nittany Health Foundation with a philanthropic gift to support our pediatric speech therapy program.

“I am pleased to participate in this needed service,” says Shaner. “I have experienced and witnessed children having issues with their speech having a hard time in school fitting in due to a diagnosed speech impairment. We have supported programs to assist with these types of therapies in the past in this community and know that this can do a tremendous amount of good. It just made good sense fitting in with our support and commitment to children and healthcare in this community. My hope is that it will generate additional philanthropic interest to the program in this very generous community.”

"We remain grateful for the generosity and vision of the Shaner family in supporting our pediatric speech therapy program helping children to find their voice," states Simon Corby, executive director, Mount Nittany Health. Mount Nittany Health’s pediatric speech therapy program began in 2015 and is led by Janet Pennington, MS, CCC/L, speech-language pathologist. Outpatient services offered through the pediatric speech therapy program include childhood speech and language delays, disorders of voice, fluency (stuttering) and swallowing.

“Treatment for speech and language disorders depends on the nature and severity of the problem, the age of the person and their awareness of the problem,” shares Pennington. “As a licensed outpatient speech-language pathologist, I select intervention approaches based on the highest quality of scientific evidence available in order to help individuals of all ages with speech and language disorders.”

At Mount Nittany Health, our speech-language pathologists are specially trained healthcare professionals who work directly with children and their parents, caregivers and teachers, to assess, prevent, diagnose and treat such disorders.

“With early treatment, many of these disorders can be reversed or even prevented,” shares Pennington. “In the case of children, parents should not delay seeking an assessment if they have any questions about their child’s communication skills.”

For more information about speech-language pathology services available at Mount Nittany Health, visit or call 814.278.4662.

Mount Nittany Health Foundation donors make a difference. Our donors' generosity enables the growth of expertise, advances in lifesaving technology, program improvements, and facility upgrades that meet the unique needs of the communities we serve. Gifts directly support Mount Nittany Health's mission to make people healthier. To learn more about the Mount Nittany Health Foundation, visit or call 814.234.6777.

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