Speech pathologist helps patients communicate again

Patients learn to read, write and speak following a stroke

Jenna Best, SLP, is a speech-language pathologist at the University of Miami Health System. For more information about speech pathology and the services offered, click here or visit the UHealth blog.


After suffering a massive stroke one year ago, Ruby Villalonga lost the ability to communicate.

“I wasn’t able to walk, talk or feel,” says Ruby.

Ruby went to see Jenna Best, SLP, a speech-language pathologist at UHealth, who works with patients with neurological disorders.

“Ruby, from the beginning, has had to learn to essentially walk and talk again. Specifically, in speech therapy, we are working on maximizing her communication effectiveness in a functional way,” Jenna says.

“Jenna, what do you do in your sessions with Ruby?” asks anchor Pam Giganti.

“We use an evidence-based technique called semantic feature analysis. This works on naming abilities. For example, we work on naming based off association, or maybe based off function of an object,” says Jenna.

UHealth’s team approach offers personalized patient care.

“You get a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals ranging from physician, nurse, to therapists. That’s what sets you up for success, and I think that’s what really helps patients reach their specific needs and recovery goals,” Jenna says.

After six months of therapy with Jenna, Ruby is seeing remarkable progress!

“She helped me read and write and speak,” Ruby says.

Ruby is now back with her family doing what she loves!

“We love to dance. I love to dance!” says Ruby.


Focusing on You: Innovations in Modern Medicine is a series of healthcare-related stories airing regularly on WPLG Local 10. For more stories like this one, visit YouTube channels for UHealth, the University of Miami Health System.

Above content provided by UHealth, the University of Miami Health System