Speech Therapy

Speech Therapy – More than Talk

RCH’s Speech-language Pathologists help patients use their muscles properly to not only make the right sounds for communicating but also for improving swallowing functions. Recognizing swallowing or communication deficiencies in a timely manner can alleviate frustration for patients and prevent further complications from developing.
 

Below are just a few examples of how RCH’s Speech-language Pathologist might be able to help you or your family.

Tara Staab, MS, CCC-SLP

Phone: 785-688-4437
Fax: 785-688-4496 

“Tara Staab did an excellent job of helping/encouraging our daughter to speak more. I definitely learned ways to encourage my daughter to speak. I will be recommending Tara to others that need or are looking for speech therapy. Thanks!”

Preschool Language Milestones

  • From birth to 3 months a child should be able to express themselves by making cooing sounds, their cry changes for different needs and they smile at people. To evaluate hearing and understanding the child should startle at loud sounds, becomes quiet or smiles when you talk by seeming to recognize your voice.
  • From age 4-6 months a child should be cooing and babbling when playing alone or with someone else making speech-like sounds such as pa, ba and mi. They should be able to giggle and laugh making sounds when happy or upset. To gauge understanding watch that their eyes move in the direction of sounds or responds to changes in your tone of voice.
  • From age 7-12 months, a child should be babbling long strings of sounds like mimi, upup, babababa and uses gestures and sounds to get and keep your attention. Including gestures like pointing to objects, waving bye, reaching for “up” and shaking their head “no”. At this point they may say 1 or 2 words but sounds may not be clear. To measure understanding watch that the child turns and looks in the direction of sounds as well as when you point to something.


How can you help at this age:​

  • Check if your child can hear. See if she turns to noises or looks at you when you talk. Pay attention to ear problems and infections. Be sure to see your doctor.
  • Respond to your child. Look at him when he makes noises. Talk to him. Imitate the sounds he makes.
  • Laugh when she does. Imitate the faces she makes.
  • Teach your baby to imitate actions, like peek-a-boo, clapping, blowing kisses, and waving bye-bye. This teaches him how to take turns. We take turns when we talk.
  • Talk about what you do during the day. Say things like “Mommy is washing your hair”; “You are eating peas”; and “Oh, these peas are good!”
  • Talk about where you go, what you do there, and who and what you see. Say things like, “We are going to Grandma’s house. Grandma has a dog. You can pet the dog.”
  • Teach animal sounds, like “A cow says ‘moo.’”
  • Read to your child every day.
  • Talk to your child in the language you are most comfortable using.

 

By 2 years of age:

  • A child should be able to express themselves using a lot of new words, including words that use p, b, m h, and w in the words.
  • They should start to name pictures in books and ask questions like “What’s that?”, “Who’s that?”, and “Where’s kitty?”.
  • Begins to put two words together like “more apple”, “no bed”, and “mommy book”
  • To assess a child’s hearing and understanding they should be able to point to a few body parts when you ask and follow 1-part directions like “roll the ball” or “kiss the baby”.
  • They should be able to respond to simple questions like “Who’s that?” or “Where’s your shoe”.
  • They should be able to listen to simple stories, songs and rhymes, as well as, point to pictures in a book when you name them.


How you can help at this age:

  • Talk to your child as you do things and go places. For example, when taking a walk, point to and name what you see. Say things like, “I see a dog. The dog says ‘woof.’ This is a big dog. This dog is brown.”
  • Use short words and sentences that your child can imitate. Use correct grammar.
  • Talk about sounds around your house. Listen to the clock tick, and say “t-t-t.” Make car or plane sounds, like “v-v-v-v.”
  • Play with sounds at bath time. You are eye-level with your child. Blow bubbles and make the sound “b-b-b-b.” Pop bubbles and make a “p-p-p-p” sound. Engines on toys can make the “rrr-rrr-rrr” sound.
  • Add to words your child says. For example, if she says “car,” you can say, “You’re right! That is a big red car.”
  • Read to your child every day. Try to find books with large pictures and a few words on each page. Talk about the pictures on each page.
  • Have your child point to pictures that you name.
  • Ask your child to name pictures. He may not answer at first. Just name the pictures for him. One day, he will surprise you by telling you the name.
  • Talk to your child in the language you are most comfortable using.

By 3 years of age:

  • A child should be able to express themselves by talking about things that are not in the room and people who know your child can understand him/her.
  • They should almost have a word for everything including words with k, g, f, t, d and n, in the words.
  • They use two- or three- words to talk about and ask for things and use words like in, on and under.
  • To gauge hearing and comprehension, a child should be able to understand opposites, like go-stop, big-little, and up-down. They should be able to follow 2-part directions like “Get the spoon and put it on the table.”
  • Understands new words quickly.


How you can help at this age:
 

  • Use short words and sentences. Speak clearly.
  • Repeat what your child says and add to it. If she says, “Pretty flower,” you can say, “Yes, that is a pretty flower. The flower is bright red. It smells good too. Do you want to smell the flower?”
  • Let your child know that what he says is important to you. Ask him to repeat things that you do not understand. For example, say, “I know you want a block. Tell me which block you want.”
  • Teach your child new words. Reading is a great way to do this. Read books with short sentences on each page.
  • Talk about colors and shapes.
  • Practice counting. Count toes and fingers. Count steps.
  • Name objects and talk about the picture on each page of a book. Use words that are similar, like mommy, woman, lady, grown-up, adult. Use new words in sentences to help your child learn the meaning.
  • Put objects into a bucket. Let your child remove them one at a time and say its name. Repeat what she says and add to it. Help her group the objects into categories, like clothes, food, animals.
  • Cut out pictures from magazines and make a scrapbook. Help your child glue the pictures into the scrapbook. Name the pictures and talk about how you use them.
  • Look at family photos and name the people. Talk about what they are doing in the picture.
  • Write simple phrases under the pictures. For example, “I can swim,” or “Happy birthday to Daddy.” Your child will start to understand that the letters mean something.
  • Ask your child to make a choice instead of giving a “yes” or “no” answer. For example, rather than asking, “Do you want milk?” ask, “Would you like milk or water?” Be sure to wait for the answer and praise him for answering. You can say, “Thank you for telling mommy what you want. Mommy will get you a glass of milk.”
  • Sing songs, play finger games, and tell nursery rhymes. These songs and games teach your child about the rhythm and sounds of language.
  • Talk to your child in the language you are most comfortable using.

By 4 years of age:

  • A child should be able to express themselves by putting four words together with some mistakes and talks about what happened during the day using four sentences at a time.
  • Asks when and how questions while also being able to answer simple who, what and where questions.
  • Uses some plural words and pronouns like I, you, me, we and they.


How you can help at this age:

  • Cut out pictures from old magazines. Make silly pictures by gluing parts of different pictures together. For example, cut out a dog and a car. Glue the dog into the car as the driver. Help your child explain what is silly about the picture.
  • Sort pictures and objects into categories, like food, animals, or shapes. Ask your child to find the picture or object that does not belong. For example, a baby does not belong with the animals.
  • Read, sing, and talk about what you do and where you go. Use rhyming words. This will help your child learn new words and sentences.
  • Read books with a simple story. Talk about the story with your child. Help her retell the story, or act it out with props and dress-up clothes. Tell her your favorite part of the story. Ask for her favorite part.
  • Look at family pictures. Have your child tell a story about the picture.
  • Help your child understand by asking him questions. Have him try to fool you with his own questions. Make this a game by pretending that some of his questions fool you.
  • Act out daily activities, like cooking food or going to the doctor. Use dress-up and role-playing to help your child understand how others talk and act. This will help your child learn social skills and how to tell stories.
  • Talk to your child in the language you are most comfortable using.

 

Swallowing Therapy

  • Do you often cough or choke when eating or drinking?
  • Do you often have the sensation that food is stuck in your throat or chest?
  • Are you finding it difficult to chew food properly?
  • Do you feel like you or your family member’s eating or chewing habits have changed?


This may be due to loss of swallowing function. If you notice persistent saliva, wet (gurgly) sounds when eating please discuss this with your medical provider. As we age some of the reflexes we take for granted require attention. Undiagnosed swallowing disorders can lead to life-threatening complications such as pneumonia due to silently aspirating a foreign substance into your lungs when you thought it was swallowed. RCH’s Speech Therapist can evaluate your swallowing function to recommend exercises to improve swallow function. Ask your primary care provider to request a referral with RCH’s Speech Therapist.

Services Provided

  • Aphasia Rehab (expressive and receptive language skills)
  • Apraxia Rehab (oral/verbal)
  • Augmentative/Alternative Communication
  • Communication difficulty resulting from diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Dysarthria Rehab
  • Linguistic-Cognitive Rehabilitation (traumatic brain injury, stroke, dementia)
  • Speech & Language Therapy (acquired)
  • Speech & Language Therapy (delayed/developmental, pediatric)
  • Stuttering Therapy
  • Swallowing Therapy
  • Voice Therapy

Cheyenne Armbruster-Wahrman, PA-C

Specialty: Family Medicine

Bio:

Cheyenne Armbruster-Wahrman grew up in Plainville and graduated from Plainville High School in 2013. She chose primary care because she enjoys seeing a wide variety of health conditions and age ranges. Armbuster-Wahrman’s philosophy is to always make her patients feel comfortable talking to her and to ensure they know she is there to listen to their health concerns.

She loves the close relationships that small-town living fosters, and Plainville’s close-knit community spirit is evident in the way everyone rallies together to help those in need.

In her free time, she enjoys relaxing with her family and friends. She recommends RCH as a workplace to fellow Primary Care Providers because of the opportunity to get to know patients inside and outside the clinic, as well as the supportive environment among providers, especially for those new to the profession.

Education:

  • Wichita State University; 2022
 
 

Mary Takaishi, PA-C

Specialty: Family Medicine

Bio:

Mary C. Takaishi, PA-C, chose to pursue primary care after her family experienced her sister’s premature birth, which involved numerous hospital and doctor visits. Despite initially aspiring to be an astronaut, her dream shifted after a touching encounter with an elderly man with Parkinson’s Disease during a college Christmas caroling event. This encounter ignited her desire to pursue a medical career, leading her to attend PA school to provide care and support to those in need.

Takaishi’s approach to patient care is characterized by compassion and empathy. She strives to create a welcoming environment where patients feel at ease discussing their health concerns. Beyond the clinic, she actively engages in community services, volunteer work, and public health initiatives.

Originally from Olathe, KS, Takaishi practiced medicine in South Central Kansas before settling in Rooks County with her wife. She prefers the rural setting for raising her daughter over a metropolitan area. On weekends, she enjoys spending time with her daughter and tending to her own self-proclaimed “funny farm”.

Education:

  • Wichita State University; 2006
 
 

Daniel J. Sanchez, MD

Specialty: Family Medicine

Bio:

Dr. Daniel Sanchez is a family medicine physician. He joined the staff at Rooks County Health Center in 1993. He enjoys preventive medicine — fixing risk factors before they cause problems.

He lives in Plainville with his wife, Karen, and their two children.

Education:

  • Residency: Family Medicine at Saint Joseph Hospital; 1993
  • Doctorate of Medicine: Loma Linda University; 1990
  • Bachelor of Arts in Theology/Chemistry Minor: Union College; 1986

Statement:

During medical training, I liked a bit of everything I did and Family Medicine became a very logical choice.  To follow a patient over many years, often treating generations of the same family, gives many insights into a person’s make-up–physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. 

I once asked a friend’s dad who was a general practitioner (the term used in that day) what his favorite part of medicine was and he told me preventative medicine.  I asked him what that meant and he said it was about helping people become and stay healthy so they wouldn’t get sick.  “Boring!” I thought.  I wanted to save lives, remove disease and do heroic things.

Now I understand.  We can really abuse our health and then bring our broken bodies for a doctor to try and heal, but how much better to take care of it in the first place and maintain it in good working order.  I understand my mentor’s line of thinking. 

My medical school’s motto is, “To Make Man Whole”.  That is my deepest desire, to restore the whole person to his or her greatest potential and maintain the highest quality of life possible.

Cynthia Peticolas, DMD

Specialty: Dentistry

Bio:

Dr. Cynthia Peticolas is a seasoned dental professional with over 30 years of experience. Dr. Peticolas was born in Maryland, but when she was a year old, her father landed a job with IBM and her family moved to Northern California. When she was in 6th grade her family relocated once again to Eugene, Oregon where her father worked as a physics professor at The University of Oregon. When it came time to go to college, the obvious choice would have been to go to her home-town college where her father worked, but instead she chose Oregon State University, 50 miles north, in Corvallis, Oregon.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oregon State and then attended Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland where she received her dental degree in 1982.

Dr. Peticolas, practiced in Salem and Mill City, Oregon from 1982 until 2007 when she married and moved to Stockton, Kansas. She now lives in Damar, Kansas with her granddaughter and all her pets!! Anyone who knows her, knows how much she loves animals of all shapes and sizes. She is an avid horse-woman and enjoys trail riding (at a really fast trot). She attends local gaming events and has been active in the sport of endurance riding for nearly 25 years.

​Dr. Peticolas is still a student of dentistry and eager to learn and expand her knowledge and skills as a dental practitioner. She is a member of the American Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, and is president-elect for the Kansas AGD for 2016.

Charles Schultz, MD

Specialty: General Surgery

Education:
University of Kansas School of Medicine 1979-1983
Residency- St. Luke’s Hospital/University of Missouri at Kansas City 1983-1989
Doctorate of Medicine- University of Kansas School of Medicine 1983

Board Certified:
American Board of Surgery

Lavelle Ellis, MD

Specialty: Gastroenterology

Medical School:
University of Kansas School of Medicine, 1986

Fellowship:
Wayne State University,
Gastroenterology
Royal Free Hospital, Hepatology

Residency:
University of Kansas School of Medicine, Internal Medicine

Board Certifications:
American Board of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology

Memberships:
American Gastroenterological Association, American College of Gastroenterology,
American Association of Liver Disease.

Luann Evert, APRN

Specialty: Cardiology

Education and Training

Medical Degree(s)

Masters in Nurse Practitioner and Nursing Education, Fort Hays State University, Hays, KS
BSN, Fort Hays State University, Hays, KS

Patricia Crawley, MD

Specialty: Cardiology

Specialty:
Cardiology

Medical School:
University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City

Residency:
Internal Medicine, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Wichita

Fellowships:
Cardiology, University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville

Board Certified:
Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease

Scot Bandel, DPM

Specialty: Podiatry

Bio:

Dr. Bandel is Board Certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery in the area of Foot Surgery. He is a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and the American Podiatric Medical Association.

Dr. Bandel is a Western Nebraska native, who attended undergraduate school at Chadron State College, in Chadron, Nebraska and then went on to pursue a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine at Des Moines University. In 2006, Dr. Bandel completed a 3-year surgical residency at Hennepin County Medical Center, a Level 1 Trauma Center, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

​Dr. Bandel treats a vast number of foot and ankle ailments, both surgical and non-surgical, including but not limited to plantar fasciitis, hammertoes, bunions, sprains, fractures, and diabetic foot care needs. 

​During his time not spent with patients, Dr. Bandel is a very active member of his church and enjoys camping and spending time with his family.

Leann Zimmerman, APRN

Specialty: APRN
Location: Rooks County Hospital

Bio:

Leann Zimmerman, APRN, is a family and psychiatric nurse practitioner who has been providing health care services for over 30 years in rural Kansas.  She also provides a wound care clinic service for inpatients and outpatients at Rooks County Health Center.

Her clinical interest is being a patient advocate and providing care that makes a positive difference in others’ lives.

She lives in Hays with her husband, Jayme. They have 6 children. She enjoys many sports and family events.

Education:

Bachelor of Science in Nursing- Fort Hays State University

Master’s Degree in Counseling- Fort Hays State University

Master’s Degree in Nursing- Fort Hays State University

Clinical Nurse Specialist, Psychiatric Mental Health- Wichita State University

Family Nurse Practitioner- Fort Hays State University

Jerome M. Molstad, PA-C

Specialty: PA-C
Location: Rooks County Hospital

Bio:

With over 35 years of experience, Jerry was one of the first physician associate’s in Kansas to provide locum coverage to rural and small-town hospitals.

He spent most of his career supporting underserved areas and fulfilling his military obligations including separate deployments to Iraq and Kuwait.

A native of Colby, Jerry is always on the move enjoying hiking, skiing, travel, camping, flying, motor paragliding and John Deere equipment restoration. When possible he assists with EMS and firefighting. Jerry is the busy father of six.

Medical Education:

  • Doctorate of Medicine – University of Kansas School of Medicine 2016
  • Master of Public Heath – University of Kansas Medical Center 2014
  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science – University of Kansas 2005
  • Bachelor of Science in Journalism – University of Kansas 2005

Military Education:

  • Air Command and Staff College
  • Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL (Squadron Officer School)

Certifications:

BLS, ACLS, ATLS, PALS, TCMC

Beth Oller, MD

Specialty: Family Practice
Location: Rooks County Hospital

Bio:

Dr. Beth Oller is a family medicine physician who graduated from Wesley Family Medicine Residency in Wichita.

She is delighted to work in the community of Stockton and build a practice at the new clinic. Clinical interests include maternal/child care, quality improvement, and rural medicine/access to care.

In her free time she likes to spend time with her family. She also likes to read, cross-stitch, and explore Kansas.

Education:

  • Residency: Wesley Family Medicine Residency Program; Wichita, KS; 2011
  • Doctorate of Medicine: University of Kansas School of Medicine; 2008
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: University of Kansas; 2002

Mike Oller, MD

Specialty: Family Practice
Location: Rooks County Hospital

Bio:

Dr. Mike Oller is a family medicine physician who graduated from Wesley Family Medicine Residency in Wichita.

He is pleased to live in the community of Stockton and excited to work at the new clinic. Clinical interests include quality improvement, chronic disease management, preventive and procedural medicine.

In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family. He also enjoys nature photography and gardening.

Education:

  • Residency: Wesley Family Medicine Residency Program; Wichita, KS; 2011
  • Doctorate of Medicine: University of Kansas School of Medicine; 2008
  • Master of Public Health: University of Kansas; 2008
  • Bachelor of Science in Biology: Fort Hays State University; 2003

Emily Decker, PA-C

Specialty: PA-C
Location: Rooks County Hospital

Bio:

Emily Decker is a Physician Associate providing medical services at Rooks County Health Center’s walk-in clinic, Doctors Without Delay. She also worked several years as a Physician Associate at Rooks County’s Post Rock Family Medicine. In 2018 she rejoined the staff of Rooks County Health Center. Emily lives in Hays with her husband Thomas, and their son Grayson. Emily enjoys traveling, reading, crafting and spending time with her family & friends.

Education

  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Fort Hays State University
  • Masters of Physician Assistant from Wichita State University

Certification:

  • Basic Life Support
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support
  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support
  • Advanced Trauma Life Support