Employee Heartbeat – Loving the Unexpected

Meg Gutmann

Speech Language Pathologist Meg Gutmann finds many rewards in her work at Bethany Children’s

At Bethany Children’s Health Center, our employees truly are the heartbeat that drives the organization. Every day, through the care and service they provide, they live our mission of maximizing the potential of every child and exemplify our core values of compassion, integrity, excellence, service and stewardship.

We hope you enjoy getting to know our amazing employees through our Heartbeat profiles.

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, which is a time to highlight the important contributions made by our Speech Language Pathologists.

Therapists at Bethany Children’s Health Center have a variety of specialties and passions that might seem unexpected to those outside of their field. Speech language pathologist, Meg Gutmann, shares that her passion revolves around the process of swallowing.

“Swallowing is not what people expect us to do as speech language pathologists! We work to ensure that children can safely swallow, and also have an enjoyable eating experience. A major part of my job consists of educating families to understand their child’s deficits and the role I play in their progression,” she says.

Meg discovered speech language pathology when she was considering going into nursing, but didn’t know if that was where she belonged. When she discovered speech language pathology, she was hooked. She was a student in the Pediatric Medical Rehabilitation Unit at Bethany Children’s and loved everything about it.

“I think the potential for this place is limitless and I knew I wanted to be a part of it,” she recalls. “The best part of Bethany Children’s is the team dynamic. It really is a well-oiled machine, and everyone strives to do their best for the kids.”

Meg’s days at Bethany Children’s can include treating a variety of patients with different needs.

“My day might start with going to feed an infant and then moving on to see a teenager with a brain injury to address cognition,” she explains. “My passion is swallowing in infants and toddlers, but I am well-equipped to treat receptive and expressive language delays, cognitive deficits and use of alternative communication.”

For Meg, there are many rewards that shine through in her work. She is appreciative of the supportive team approach at Bethany Children’s and the innovative, creative and passionate aspects she sees in the comprehensive care given to patients. As a goal-oriented individual, Meg loves the clear and defined goals that speech therapy provides and the milestones that patients and families reach with her help.

“I love being able to see parents successfully feeding their child for the first time ever, or a patient with a brain injury waking up and telling their mom they love her. I really loved visiting our most recent inpatient feeding program patient at school and watching him eat a full meal with his peers for the first time,” she says.

Meg is especially proud of the Thrive infant feeding program at Bethany Children’s, and the way the program has grown and succeeded because of the passion and drive of herself and her teammates.

Those kinds of rewards may just be enough to keep Meg, a Texas native, here in Bethany for quite a while. She confesses, “I always tell my husband, Danny, we can’t go back to Texas because there is just nothing else like this place.”

Fun Facts:

Something people might not know:  “My senior year, I lived in the wilderness for a week! It was such a cool experience. If you know me, I’m very much a city girl, so I think this always shocks people.” 

Three words your best friend would use to describe you: loyal, trustworthy and compassionate

Favorite ways to spend free time: “I love spending time with my friends, working out, and traveling!”

Favorite movie: A Beautiful Mind

Favorite inspirational saying: “When someone helps you when they are struggling too, that’s not help, that’s love.”

If you could pick a superpower, what would it be and why? “To see the future – I am not someone who loves uncertainty!”

From the Bucket List: “I want to go to Italy!”

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