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SLVH Speech Therapy Welcomes Adult Speech Therapist, Marla Harrmann

Quality of life is dependent on our needs being met in an effective manner. Being able to do tasks that may seem simple to some can be the biggest challenge in life to others. Eating and communicating efficiently is necessary for human beings to be fulfilled. The Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) team, Leia Thomas, CCC-SLP; Katie Puccerella, M.S., CCC-SLP; Christine Mullen, M.S., CCC-SLP; and now the with the addition of Marla Harrmann, M.S., CCC-SLP are all helping people of the San Luis Valley to find their voice in both the inpatient and outpatient setting.

Leia, Christine, and Katie are the speech pathologists who treat outpatient pediatric patients. These pediatric SLPs can step in when children are struggling in various aspects such as forming sentences, pronouncing sounds correctly, expressing feelings, and using assistive technology to facilitate communication. Through this, children can improve meaningful social relationships with family members and peers. Speech Therapy can even help children and babies who have difficulty with feeding and swallowing, and Katie Puccerella has a special interest in this population. “It is very rewarding to celebrate first words with families and help children reduce difficult behavior when they are able to communicate their wants and needs.” mentioned speech pathologist Christine Mullen.

Pictured: Christine Mullen, M.S., CCC-SLP

Adult Speech & Language Pathologist, Marla Harrmann recently joined the team adding a vast amount of depth to the Speech Therapy services offered at SLV Health. From Wisconsin, she moved with her spouse to Cañon City, Colorado to indulge their love of all things active, outdoors and in the mountains, and to be closer to their son in Boulder. When their daughter, an officer in the Army, then relocated to Alamosa, SLV Health caught her eye with the opportunity to provide a service that has been needed for quite some time. Currently, she splits her time between Cañon City and Alamosa. “There is such a need and having this service in the San Luis Valley can impact the quality of patients’ lives tremendously,” commented Marla Harrmann.

Harrmann specializes in assisting patients complete their continuity of care. She works with patients who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and other neurological impairments such as stroke impairments leading to speech and swallowing issues. These impairments may first be identified and addressed while a client is hospitalized by the acute care therapists, and now the patient can visit Harrmann in the outpatient setting in Alamosa, keeping patients close to home in their continuation of care. Her inspiration stems from when she was an attendant to a woman with Cerebral Palsy. “I would help this woman to her appointments and was fascinated by the ways in which the Speech Language Pathologists helped” commented Harrmann.

We are excited to welcome Harrmann to the team knowing that her expertise can only add to the strength that has already been built. Like her other team members, Harrmann’s whole heart is in her work.

“I am very committed, passionate, and determined to help. This is the only chance our patients get at this life, and I’m committed to providing the best possible treatment,” exclaimed Harrmann.

Pictured: Marla Harrmann, M.S., CCC-SLP

“We have a really strong team who is collaborative and always working to grow together. At the moment we are really looking to grow our adult outpatient caseload with the addition of Marla. Leia and I have worked hard over the past year to gain rapport with providers and build our inpatient caseload, which has been successful,” Mullen added.

The services are of great importance to the valley. There is currently a waitlist for outpatient pediatric therapy, but the pediatric speech team is diligently working through it. Marla is eagerly accepting new patients for outpatient adult speech therapy. These providers are excited to meet the needs of each individual and their families. Ask your provider for a referral to the SLVH speech therapy team and call 719-589-8100 to get scheduled! For information about our Speech Therapy services go to