NMMC-Pontotoc Offers SPEAK OUT® & The LOUD Crowd® for Parkinson’s Patients
PONTOTOC, Miss.--North Mississippi Medical Center-Pontotoc offers a two-part speech therapy program to help individuals with Parkinson’s Disease regain and maintain effective communication: SPEAK OUT!® followed by The LOUD Crowd®.
SPEAK OUT!® places emphasis on speaking with intent and converting speech from an automatic function to an intentional act. Together, patients and their speech-language pathologist work through a series of speech, voice and cognitive exercises outlined in a SPEAK OUT!® Workbook.
Upon completion of SPEAK OUT!®, patients transition to The LOUD Crowd®. This maintenance program consists of weekly group sessions led by a speech-language pathologist. The SPEAK OUT!® exercises are performed, and group members provide support, encouragement and accountability to one another.
NMMC-Pontotoc was the only facility in Mississippi to receive a grant from the Parkinson’s Voice Project, based out of Texas, and the first to host a LOUD Crowd®. NMMC-Pontotoc’s speech therapists were the first in Mississippi to be trained in the SPEAK OUT!® and LOUD Crowd® programs.
“Our group may be small, but they are faithful,” said Brittany Bevill, speech language pathologist at NMMC-Pontotoc. During the holidays, the group dressed up in Christmas attire and sang for NMMC-Pontotoc Long Term Care residents. Group participants chose the music and practiced in the weeks leading up to their performance.
Participation in The LOUD Crowd®, along with daily home practice and six-month re-evaluations, has been shown to help patients maintain their communication skills throughout the progression of Parkinson’s.
“Our group started as a way to better serve our patients, but it has wound up being the highlight of my Wednesdays,” Bevill said. “Our group is resilient, optimistic and incredible. I’m eternally grateful for them.”
For more information about SPEAK OUT!® and The LOUD Crowd® or to schedule a speech evaluation, please call (662) 488-7617.