Baptist Health Paducah Speech and Language Pathologist nationally recognized

Baptist Health Paducah. February 07, 2023

John Park has more than has more than 29 years’ experience as a speech language pathologist

(PADUCAH, KY) February 6 - Baptist Health Home Care speech language pathologist, John Park, recently received national recognition as one of 10 Home Care Hero finalists in 2022 chosen to represent the best of the industry in the national HomeCare Magazine.

Park has more than has more than 29 years’ experience as a speech language pathologist and has worked with Baptist Health for 17 years.

Baptist Health Home Care director Tammy Sullivan nominated Park for this honor for his passion of always striving to improve his patient’s lives.

"John is exceptional every day," said Sullivan. "But in this particular case, he went above and beyond visualizing a better future for this patient because many people didn't think his goals were possible because of associated risks. John had to encourage the doctors and the patient to work with him to take a leap of faith - and it turned out to be very successful."

Sullivan’s nomination of Park was based on Park’s persistence and support he provided a 48-year-old patient who was told she likely would never eat or drink again and would live the rest of her life on feeding and tracheostomy tubes following the removal of a malignant tumor.

Park began working with the patient after she was referred by Baptist Health Medical Group Ear Nose & Throat specialist, Carl Nechtman, MD, for speech therapy services to attempt the use of a speaking valve. She had been unable to communicate vocally with her loved ones for more than 18 months because of her tracheostomy.

With hard work and persistence, the patient was able to speak with the valve and was swallowing solid foods, liquids and medications without difficulty after working with Park for a month and a half.

 “I love making a difference,” said Park. “She’s a five-star patient. We could not have achieved such success without the passionate motivation of the patient and the great support from Dr. Nechtman.”

According to Park, the patient has since been discharged from the speech therapy program, and next steps include the potential removal of the feeding tube and tracheostomy for a return to normal life.

Baptist Health Home Care is a hospital-affiliated agency licensed by the state, certified by Medicare and Medicaid, and accredited by The Joint Commission. The agency’s home-based medical care includes nursing, physical and occupational therapy, speech language pathology and infusion services, provided 24/7.