Audiology Employee Testimonials

Careers in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology

Read why employees enjoy working within the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Department at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Main Campus in Lawrenceville

Dayna Pitcairn, Lead Speech-Language Pathologist – 22 years of experience

  • “I enjoy the interaction with other professionals, families, and patients. I interact with the ENT, epilepsy, audiology, rehab services, and cleft-palate craniofacial departments as well as a variety of schools throughout Pennsylvania.”
  • “Mostly, I like our group. Beyond that there are many opportunities to expand your knowledge and skills in specialty areas.”
  • “Our department coordinator shows kindness, encouragement, and a willingness to figure things out. She has an open door policy and while working with her you know she has your back.”

Heather Carr, Speech-Language Pathologist – 6 years of experience

  • “I enjoy the camaraderie of our team. It is very useful to have a competent group of therapists to discuss ideas with, resulting in overall better patient care.”
  • “I enjoy the balance of working with outpatients as well as inpatients.”
  • “I enjoy working with technology to determine diagnosis and plan intervention. This includes modified barium swallow studies, fiber optic endoscope evaluation of swallowing, and Videolaryngostroboscopy (voice clinic).”

Maxine Orringer, Coordinator, Communication Disorders – 32 yrs of experience

  • “I love the children. I enjoy the diversity of the people I meet every day from patients to visitors to staff, and I value the learning opportunities.”
  • “We have an amazing staff. The team work here is exceptional.”
  • “The opportunity to learn and grow through interaction with professionals in so many different fields (is the first thing I would tell someone about working here). This is a teaching hospital and everyone is willing to teach if you are willing to learn and truly, there is something new to learn every single day. I’ve been here for 32 years and I’m not bored yet.”
  • “(Our director) is very supportive of new ideas and sees no boundaries to what is possible and what we can achieve/do.”

Danielle Waters, Audiologist – 13 yrs of experience

  • “I have always wanted to work with the pediatric population.”
  • “Our staff is very talented and well versed in all aspects of Audiology. There is always someone that can answer a questions or help, if needed.”
  • “(Our Director) gives us our independence but allows us to voice any opinions or concerns that we may have regarding departmental, hospital, or patient issues openly.”
  • “I perform diagnostic testing each day, and I specialize in hearing aid evaluation and fittings.”
  • “It is extremely rewarding to see these kids grow and to be a part of making their lives better with (hearing) amplification.”

Emily Smith, Audiology Coordinator Cochlear Implants – 6 yrs of experience

  • “I wanted to work for a larger pediatric hospital that specialized in helping hearing-impaired children.”
  • “Working for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh allows me to work closely with colleagues who strive for high standards in providing diagnostic and rehabilitative services to best address the needs of children.”
  • “I like that I am able to work for a pediatric hospital that really strives for quality family-centered care.”
  • “We have technical expertise and support here that you simply can’t get at other facilities, such as Cleft Palate, Cochlear Implants, and much more.”
  • “We have a wonderful collaborative team. I can ‘pick the brains’ of my colleagues at any time.”
  • “There is no better place to experience diversity within a vast pediatric population.”

Sarah Delano, Audiology Coordinator Newborn Hearing Program – 29 yrs of experience

  • “I came to Children’s Hospital because I was looking for an academically enriching environment.”
  • “I really enjoy working with a variety of medical professionals within different hospitals.”
  • “State-of-the-art equipment, a team-oriented staff, a diverse pediatric population, and pediatric to adulthood patient lifecycles are just a few of the advantages that set us apart. You don’t have this everywhere.”
  • “(Our director) really knows this field. She keeps up with the latest technology and best practices.”
  • Evoked Otoacoustic Emissions (EOAE) and Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) testing are a couple of interesting tests and procedures that we do here on a consistent basis.”

Learn more about Children’s new campus in Lawrenceville.


Children’s North in Wexford, PA

Katie Micco, Speech-Language Pathologist – 4 yrs of experience

  • “Having been a student and clinical fellow in the past, I saw firsthand the bond that everyone here has and it made me want to be a part of the team.”
  • “I have seen a variety of patient populations, which has helped me to learn a lot. Also, it's nice to have the opportunity to work with other departments such as Physical  and Occupational Therapies during co-treatment therapy, as it can be very beneficial to our kids.”
  • “We work one-on-one with patients and integrate their families into the therapy. The families are an important part of the treatment and it can really help with the children's carry-over and progress.”

Nicole Heiman, Speech Language Pathologist – 6 yrs of experience

  • “I really like that we work with a population that averages around ages 3 to 5. This is a key stage of development and we can have a lot of positive impact.”
  • “This is a good learning environment. We have a lot of professional support on hand.”
  • “Our (site coordinator) is busy but he makes himself available to us all. He is very approachable and supportive. He knows what it’s like to do what we do and can really relate.”

Dana McGrady, Speech Language Pathologist – 20+ yrs of experience

  • “I really enjoy the families and the kids and the comrade that we have here. We really help each other.”
  • “Our (site coordinator) is very supportive and very attentive to our issues and harder cases. Diane (our director) is always looking for ways to move our entire department forward.”
  • “We see kids that other clinicians at different places don’t get to see and work with.”

David Hammer, Coordinator, Speech & Language Services – 31 yrs of experience

  • “I really enjoy the rewards you get from working with kids and their families.”
  • “We are all about the child and family here. We do what’s best for them.”
  • “(Our Director) supports opportunities to develop new programs and run with them to explore different passions within our field.”

Learn more about Children’s North.


Children’s South in Bethel Park

Amy Willson, Clinical Fellow , SLP – 6 months of experience

  • “I wanted to be proud of where I worked. Children’s Hospital is very well respected.”
  • “(The work) is more challenging. I love the diverse population.”
  • “I love the people I work with. I get a lot of support from the entire staff.”
  • “(My coordinator) provides a lot of support. She is always available to go to if I have a difficult case or need another opinion.”

Jackie Logan, Speech Language Pathologist – 4 yrs of experience

  • “I wanted to initially work with adults, but after my summer externship, I knew this is the place where I wanted to be.”
  • “This is a great place to work to see impact with kids both in their speech and cognitive abilities.”
  • “There is a lot of parent involvement here than within the education environment. I also have access to other clinical disciplines for our kids and the availability to work with our kids individually and in groups.”

Linda Torres, Lead Speech Pathologist – 23 yrs of experience

  • “We have a lot of resources here and we partner with each other to benefit our patients.”
  • “The challenging kids are the most rewarding.”
  • “We have the ability to bring services (to this location) and build our program and expand our services to the public.”
  • “(Our coordinator) is very approachable. She trusts your judgment and works with us.”

Lynn Rankin, Coordinator, Communication Disorders South – 15 yrs of experience

  • “It was the quality staff that I knew worked at Children’s Hospital that drew me to work here.”
  • “The camaraderie that we have here is outstanding. We share our knowledge amongst each other.”
  • “Our therapy is very functional in nature, focusing on life at home, at school, and in every day interactions. We also do a very good job incorporating the parents.”
  • “Our therapists become more invested in our kids by striving to keep the same clinician with the same patient and family.”
  • “Our Clinical Fellows are assigned a supervisor to work with them every day. They provide a tremendous amount of supervision and are onsite with them. Our CF’s get unique exposure to specializations such as training in stuttering.”

Learn more about Children’s South.


Children’s East in Monroeville

Mary Weidner, Speech-Language Pathologist, Clinical Fellow – 1 year of experience

  • “Children’s Hospital is a great place to work for a recent graduate. There is a good network of support.”
  • “My coworkers are always ready to lend a helping hand.”
  • “We have the flexibility to work with children one-on-one and facilitate family centered care.”
  • “(Our coordinator) works very efficiently.”
  • “We have technology that is specific to speech/language/voice intervention such as Boardmaker or Linguwaves and other low and high-tech augmentative communication devices.”

Maura Dugan, Speech-Language Pathologist, Clinical Fellow – 10 months of experience

  • “I enjoy that there are variety of therapeutic approaches that can be applied here at Children's. We have the opportunity to provide parent training along with individual and group therapy, depending on the individual's needs. I also like the range of ages and disorders of the patients' that we provide care for."
  • "The staff provides a supportive environment. Therapists can collaborate with other disciplines to better server the patient."
  • “(Our coordinator) has been an instrumental piece in my growth as a clinician. She is always willing to provide input about cases based on her knowledge and experience.”

Joyce O’Keefe, Coordinator, Communication Disorders East – 28 years of experience

  • “I love working with the variety of disorders on a daily basis..”
  • “My co-workers are what I like most about our department.”
  • “(Our director) makes me feel supported in pursuing my interests.”
  • “(One of the biggest advantages) to working here is the variety of disorders that you work with and the opportunities to assist our patients with those disorders.”

Learn more about Children’s East.