Cheryl Moyer-Rafferty of Wilton, a speech and language pathologist at Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association (RVNA), received RVNA’s 2015 Rehab Therapist Nightingale Award for excellence in rehabilitation therapy within the agency.
Moyer-Rafferty, who received the award at a Nov. 16 agency meeting at the old Ridgefield High School building, sees patients with speech evaluation and on-going speech therapy needs in all 27 Connecticut towns served by RVNA.
“I felt proud that I was acknowledged for my work by such a talented group of people,” Moyer-Rafferty told The Bulletin.
Each year, RVNA gives the Rehab Therapist Nightingale Award to one rehabilitation therapist who “consistently provides the highest levels of compassionate, responsive, state-of-the-art quality care to his or her patients,” according to an RVNA press release.
Moyer-Rafferty has been a member of the RVNA rehabilitation therapy staff for twoand- a-half years.
RVNA President and CEO Theresa Santoro said Moyer- Rafferty is “such a deserving winner of this award.”
“Across RVNA, she is known as the clinician who has incredible assessment skills and who will bring in RVNA clinicians in other disciplines to provide her patients with the highest level of care,” said Santoro.
“She visits her patients at breakfast, lunch or dinner to assess swallowing skills orrelated issues. Cheryl leaves no stone unturned to assure that every patient receives exceptional care, every time.”
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), speech therapy is an important part of the recovery process for patients who have had injuries, accidents, adverse health events or are diagnosed with certain chronic illnesses.
Damage to the nervous system can cause swallowing disorders and is often seen in patients who have had a stroke or are suffering from Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis or Alzheimer’s disease, for example.
Swallowing disorders can be caused by problems affecting the head and neck, such as cancers of the mouth, throat, or esophagus, or surgery in that area; as well as decayed or missing teeth, or poorly fitted dentures.
Patients with motor speech disorders and communication disorders often benefit from the therapy provided by a speech and language pathologist, according to the ASHA.
Moyer-Rafferty has a bachelor’s degree in English and communication studies from the University of Connecticut, as well as a master’s degree in speech pathology and audiology from Southern Connecticut State University.
RVNA is a 101-year-old fully- accredited Medicare-certified home health care agency that serves most of Fairfield County, southern Litchfield County and parts of New Haven County.
The agency’s services include skilled nursing, rehabilitation therapies, social work services, disease management, an aging-in-place program, a travel health specialist, immunization and vaccination clinics, and educational and wellness programs.
More info: 203-438-5555 or visit www.ridgefieldvna.org.