Speech-language pathology

An overview of the services speech-language pathologists provide at Providence Health Care.


Our speech-language pathologists assess and treat speech, language and swallowing disorders in adults. These can happen after a stroke, brain injury, or surgery, or as a result of diseases like Parkinson’s, ALS, or cancer.

What to expect

Our services include:

  • Assessing and diagnosing communication and swallowing disorders
  • Providing treatment for patients with communication and swallowing disorders. We can also offer education and counselling for families
  • Providing staff and family with strategies to help patients with communication and swallowing
  • Providing non-verbal patients with tablets, laptops and other devices to help them communicate. They may, for example, press a button to communicate a message.
  • Making sure patients can perform essential communication tasks before they leave the hospital. This may include tasks such as reading medication labels or calling 911.

Preparing patients for a successful return to their community. We do this through rehabilitation and arranging appropriate community services.

About our team

Speech-language pathologists at Providence Health Care are registered with the  College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC. In addition, they have a master’s or doctoral degree in Speech-language Pathology. Many hold Certified Practice certificates that allow them to offer specialized services such as:

  • Videofluorscopic swallowing studies (VFSS), often referred to as Modified Barium Swallow or MBS. This is an X-ray video of a person swallowing.
  • Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of the Swallow (FEES), a naso-endoscopy (a procedure to look at the nasal and sinus passages). This allows a look inside the throat to view swallowing and the vocal cords.
  • Working with people who have a tracheostomy (creating an opening into the windpipe from outside the neck to help air and oxygen reach the lungs). A tracheostomy helps people to speak and swallow.

It takes a team and so we work alongside many healthcare professionals, including:

  • occupational therapists
  • physiotherapists,
  • social workers,
  • physicians and nurses in acute care, rehabilitation and long-term care.

We participate in various programs such as elder care, rehabilitation, cardiac, medicine, critical care, and urban health.

Our speech-language pathologists present at conferences, both locally and globally. They are also involved in innovative clinical research. We work closely with the  University of British Columbia School of Audiology and Speech Sciences. Part of that work includes the offer of clinical externships for master’s students.

Support for Indigenous Peoples

The Indigenous Wellness Liaison Team is here to support your health journey. Team members offer cultural support and healthcare advocacy. Learn more below or call them at 604-682-2344,62937 or email IWL@providencehealth.bc.ca.

  • Indigenous wellness services

    The Indigenous Wellness Team at Providence is available to support Indigenous patients and their families. We are here to coordinate culturally safe wellness supports and services.