Manhattan SLP helps bring new procedure to hospital, 2021 recipient of the Jackie Rawlings award

Someone You Should Know

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT)– A Manhattan speech-language pathologist is bringing a new kind of technology to the city’s hospital, evaluating if patients are swallowing and even communicating on their own.

Jenny Linville is the main speech-language pathologist at Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan. Her job helps patients get back on their feet after being hospitalized doing things on their own again.

“Always, the goal is to get them home as independent as they can be,” Linville said. “Communicating, swallowing, thinking, looking at their memory, those sorts of things.”

Now, she’s adding a new procedure to her workload, one that includes evaluating swallowing looking through a fiberscope that goes through the nose.

“It’s a long name Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing, FEES for short,” she said. “It actually uses a scope that goes in through the nose and down and looks posteriorly onto the swallow mechanisms so we can see kind of on the inside of the throat as to what’s happening.”

With the help of green dye, Linville is able to see how a patient’s throat is functioning while eating, drinking and speaking.

Linville learned about FEES from the doctor who developed it. She then recognized the Manhattan hospital needed the procedure, so she got to work to bring the machine there. But, because the tale as old as time, she couldn’t use it just yet.

“Got the equipment almost exactly one year ago,” she said. “Then COVID hit. So everything basically stopped for about six months.”

Linville is on her way to using this machine on actual patients once she is done with evaluations, making sure every patient she and her team sees can leave the hospital with full independence.

Linville wasn’t this week’s Someone You Should Know just because of her dedication to getting FEES to the hospital. She received the Jackie Rawlings Award of Excellence for 2021. This is an award named after the hospital’s previous rehab director, Jackie Rawlings. Rawlings served as director for 42 years. The award is voted on by co-workers in the rehab department. They pick someone each year who has made an impact on patients. Linville has worked at the hospital for 13 years.

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