Jennifer Dierenfeld, Speech-Language-Pathologist, celebrates 12 years with ESHC!

Speech-Language Pathologist, Jennifer Dierenfeld is celebrating 12 years with ESHC this year!

“I love getting to work with our amazing families and watch patient transformations with newly acquired communication skills. I love that when we are assigned to work with a patient, that we often get to work not only with the patient, but also with their parents, siblings, caregivers, and loved ones to teach them how to best support the patient’s communication needs and foster growth at home.”

Jennifer says she loves being a part of our ESHC team because we are constantly raising the bar for ourselves and our patients to make therapy be the best possible experience for everyone involved.

“From our staff continuing education, to our internship program and partnering with universities across the country, to our collaboration with physicians and other providers, our decisions are based on what is best for our patients and I love the challenge of assessing the many angles that impact communication and working with our team to arrive at solutions and truly provide best practices. Our team is like family and it makes the job so much more enjoyable to do what you love with people you admire”

When she is not at work, Jennifer gets to enjoy being a mom and spending time with her two children, son (age 4) and daughter (age 2). She loves to get out into nature with her family whether it’s in their backyard or their annual camping trips to Montana. Jennifer and her family are also active in their Co-Op Preschool Community.

Thank you Jennifer for your 12 years with ESHC!

Better Hearing and Speech Month

ESHC Celebrates BHSM with a Full Month of Events

May is the best month of the year! Founded in 1927 by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), Better Hearing and Speech Month aims to raise awareness about hearing and speech problems. The annual campaign encourages people to take action and seek treatment for a speech or hearing problem.

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), at least 20 percent of U.S. adults, at some point in their lives, experience significant difficulty in hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech, or language. To raise awareness about these common disorders, ESHC joins other organizations in observing BHSM each May.

EHSC celebrates BHSM with a series of events for our staff and a few special ones for patients, including a student forum with UW Audiology Students and a yoga workshop for our voice patients. 

ESHC Team at our annual earplug stuffing party at Zeeks Pizza in Redmond.

Hearing Patient Spotlight – Jan Kline

Jan first visited ESHC in 2018 but has known the founder/audiologist, Dr. Tom Norwood, and Clinic Director, Ruth Norwood, for many years.

Jan received her first pair of hearing devices from ESHC last year!

Have your new devices impacted your life in any way? 

My initial hearing test was done by Dr. Tom.  It is clear that Dr. Tom’s primary goal is well being of each of us in a personal way.  My sound proof booth time manifested results that my family had been predicting.  The biggest hole in life with those around me was significant hearing loss.  The devices I received have brought the words of my grandchildren back to life in each moment.  

Is there anything you think people should know about ESHC? 

ESHC follow up is personal and regular.  I have felt connected by
intentional plan and truly valued.  There is extraordinary effort made to augment services. 

What was the best thing about the treatment you received?  

Every staff member is a big picture person. Ruth and Tom have created a family of staff.  The mutual respect for all is apparent each time I am there. As administrators treat staff, so staff treats the clients. There is a demeanor of kindness combined with professionalism that has created the best of the best.  I am thankful.  

Jan with her grandson, James.

Speech Patient Spotlight – Rebecca S.

Rebecca “Becky” has been coming on and off to ESHC for more than 15 years starting from when she was in high school. Most of the time, Maryam Sadrzadeh, our Speech Program Director, has been Becky’s speech-language pathologist.

Special thanks to Nancy, Becky’s mother, for providing responses to these questions.

Is there an achievement of Rebecca’s that you are most proud of?

With Maryam’s help and coaching, Becky gave a speech to Kirkland City Council about supported employment, she gave a speech at her sister’s wedding,  and she was a featured speaker at a local fundraiser.  Becky was so very proud of herself as was her whole family!

Is there anything you think people should know about ESHC?

Becky has a disability and her speech disfluency has been one of her biggest challenges for most of her life.  ESHC has always been so supportive of Becky’s efforts and worked tirelessly to find ways to improve her communication skills.   

What was the best thing about the treatment you received?  

ESHC is very creative in its methods for improved speech.  Becky’s therapist works very hard to find methods that work best for Becky and that she responds to well.  Those methods have changed as Becky has aged.  I also appreciate that work can be modified so I can reinforce it at home.

Is there anything else you would like to share?  

I’d like to add that Becky and I are always welcomed so very warmly by the staff when we come to the office.  Becky loves saying hello to the front staff and really looks forward to their enthusiastic greeting to her.

Becky with Maryam, SLP and Speech Director, after a speech
session in our Redmond Clinic.

ESHC Turns 40!

“Our first year in practice (1979), located alone in the Totem Lake North Building, posed a burning uncertainty. That uncertainty questioned my sanity for being one of the few Audiologists in the State of Washington stubborn enough to embark on an adventure into the world of free enterprise, in a field with no financial track record, in a profession unknown to the public.”

These words, written in 1990 by Thomas Norwood, the founder of Evergreen Speech & Hearing Clinic, highlight the risk and uncertainty in starting an audiology practice during a time when there was no precedent for success. Dr. Norwood started the clinic with the help of his mother and has since worked with his sister, wife, father-in-law, daughter, and son. Soon after founding the clinic, he partnered with audiologist Dr. Terence Limb.  In 2002, speech-language pathologist Maryam Sadrzadeh joined the ownership team to lead the speech program. Forty years later, they now have a team of 27 working alongside them. What started out as a small clinic in one location in Kirkland has now grown into three locations across the Eastside. Four audiologists and one audiology technician form the hearing team, while a growing team of six make up the speech team – a team that was non-existent in 1979.

We would not have survived these 40 years without our dedicated ESHC team, but also not without our patients. We want to thank our loyal and supportive patients for choosing ESHC! This summer, we plan to host patient parties at each of our clinic locations to share our 40th-anniversary celebration with the ones who made it possible. Event dates and details to be announced!

Lisa Shockley, Speech Coordinator, celebrates 12 years with ESHC!

Our Speech Coordinator, Lisa Shockley is celebrating 12 years with ESHC this year! You may recognize her as the friendly face that greets you in our Redmond Clinic.

“I love seeing the journey that our patients go on at the clinic from the initial evaluation, starting out into therapy, meeting their goals at discharge and running through the bubble parade when they graduate! I also really enjoy getting to know the patients and their families as well as working with all of our team members. Everyone works together to provide the best patient experience – we all care about helping the families get the most out of their time at ESHC.”

Lisa says this job has been a dream come true because she enjoys working with the staff members and seeing all the cute kiddos that come to therapy every day. When she’s not welcoming patients, reworking our provider schedules, or kindly answering phone calls, Lisa loves to travel and experience new places with her family. Her daughter, Amelia (16) actually works at ESHC as well! Lisa also enjoys reading, creating cross-stitch projects, gardening and hunting for treasures in thrift shops. Also, she just received her American citizenship – we are so excited for you Lisa!

Thank you Lisa for your 12 years with ESHC! 

Katie Colburn, Accounts Coordinator, celebrates 22 years with ESHC!

Our Accounts Coordinator, Katie Colburn, is celebrating 22 years with ESHC this year!

“My favorite part about working at ESHC is watching patients take that 1st step in their “Journey of Hope” (see my poem) and the joy of being part of a very special “family”. At ESHC, everyone is welcome and we are here for them.”

When she’s not handling phone calls and working hard in our Redmond Clinic, Katie enjoys reading, writing poetry and short stories, walking, hiking, nature photography, and mindful meditation. Thanks for a great 22 years Katie! Read her poem “Journey of Hope” below.


Spring 2019 Communication Workshop Schedule

Our Spring schedule for Communication Workshops is set!

If you want to learn tips and tricks to enhance your listening skills in less than ideal listening environments like restaurants, meetings, or on the telephone, call our front desk today or ask about one of these workshops during your next visit to the clinic.
These sessions are free of charge to ESHC patients!

Dr. Cheryl Lokanis Au.D celebrates 22 years with ESHC!

Throughout our 40th year, we want to feature some of our long-time employees. First up is Dr. Cheryl Lokanis Au.D who is celebrating 22 years with ESHC this year!

“ESHC is such a positive working environment. You can feel the great energy around the clinic. This is such a dynamic and forward-moving culture. I’m motivated to get up every day because I love working with my patients and colleagues. I keep coming back every year because every day is challenging (in a good way) and keeps the momentum going. I learn something new every day!”

When she is not seeing patients and filling the clinic with her wonderful, infectious laughter, Dr. Lokanis enjoys being in the outdoors – hiking, cross country skiing, and camping. She loves to cook and travel. Her family recently purchased an RV and will be taking more road trips to explore National Parks. On any given day you can find Dr. Lokanis working out at the Bar Method, taking walks, and drinking good coffee.

Thank you Dr. Lokanis for your devotion to the clinic these last 22 years!


Tips for Managing Tinnitus at Home

Tinnitus is a multi-faceted system. People with tinnitus experience a perception of ringing, roaring, hissing, or clicking sounds. Over 50 million Americans (1 in 5 people) are affected by tinnitus.

Tinnitus can’t be cured, but there are treatments that make it less of a distraction. The approach taken depends on the underlying condition responsible for the ringing in your ears. Here are some tips for managing your tinnitus: 

Determine what worsens your tinnitus. For some people, drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages, eating salty or spicy foods, or taking various drugs like Aspirin may contribute to tinnitus symptoms. One way to figure out what causes your tinnitus is to keep a log of your activities, tracking when you experience symptoms and how severe they are. 

Stop smoking. Smoking affects blood flow to the sensitive nerve cells in your inner ear and acts as a stimulant in your body, which leads to tinnitus for many. 

Play relaxing or distracting sounds. While white noise machines can help distract from tinnitus, you don’t need to purchase an electronic device created solely for this purpose. Many people are able to find relief by playing music or using a fan, air conditioner or humidifier. If you do choose to use a noise generator, we suggest the selected sound is relaxing and played at a soft volume.

Get a good night’s sleep. Fatigue worsens tinnitus for many people. This problem can become cyclical if your tinnitus worsens to the point where it prevents you from falling asleep at night. Establish a regular nighttime routine and try to go to bed at the same time; this helps “train” your body into relaxing. 

Find relaxation or stress reduction techniques that work for you. Stress and anxiety can cause tinnitus as well as worsen existing tinnitus. Even 15 minutes a day of relaxation can help. 

We encourage you to seek help if you are experiencing symptoms of tinnitus. Our audiologists can perform a diagnostic evaluation of both physiologic and behavioral assessments to help determine the cause of your tinnitus and provide helpful solutions that are catered to your specific needs.