As part of our commitment to education, ES Healthcare, a division of The Execu|Search Group, offers a clinical fellowship (CF) program to speech language pathologists who are pursuing certification by obtaining their Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
ES Healthcare provides each CF with a mentor who collaboratively works with them to follow the ASHA standards of certification and provide supervision, skill development, and documentation of requirements.
We’d like you to meet our mentor, Claudia Loewenstein, SLP, who has over 40 years of experience working in the field!
On her background
After a 30-year career as an SLP working in numerous school based, facility based, home care, and medical centers, I was offered the opportunity to provide mentorship training to clinical fellows completing their externship year to meet licensure requirements.
For over a decade I have focused my work on providing support and training to clinical fellows in early intervention home and day care facilities, schools and outpatient medical clinics. I continue to have ongoing contact with past fellows and have seen them move on to prestigious and high-level positions in hospitals, private practice facilities, and other health related centers after completing their training.
On what she enjoys most about being a CF Supervisor
Teaching has always been my passion. Once you finish grad school, your access to supervision and direction is very constricted. In-house supervisors are often burdened with heavy caseloads and do not have the time to observe cases with line of sight supervision and to provide direct feedback. The leap from grad school mentorship to the field is significant and daunting to newly milled therapists. I really enjoy bridging this gap as a supervisor.
The clinical fellowship year is the last opportunity to have someone guide and walk you through the minefield of issues that arise when you begin treatment with your own caseload. Navigating a CF through the world of therapeutic services—including assessment, treatment, materials, liaising with parents, teachers, caregivers and administration, and providing support and counseling to families—and guiding them through the educational matrix is an all-encompassing process. Watching the evolution of the CFs into independent and confident clinicians is the most rewarding and satisfying experience.
On what makes her stand out as a CF supervisor
With more than three decades of experience and my knowledge in treating both children and adults, I like to think that I bring a unique approach to clinical fellowship supervision. Having gone through this process, witnessed firsthand other levels of supervision, and taken feedback from past and present clinicians into account, I have developed my own brand of mentorship.
I bring a theoretical and analytical focus to my teaching, combining best practices with critical and flexible thinking. I employ a trial and error approach that extracts the elements that will address the client’s dysfunction and promote the best outcomes. With my deeply rooted collaborative approach, I often “jump in, hands on” to demonstrate how to execute and utilize resources to change direction as needed to achieve a client centered treatment.
On how to overcome the challenges that most clinical fellows face
The challenges that CFs face today reflect changing regulations and dynamics within the medical and insurance industries. Compliance with local, state, and federal guidelines dictate rigorous adherence to documentation and audit standards. Clinicians need to have expertise across many skillsets, including clinical writing and communication with administrators and parents. They also must remain current in their knowledge of many disability areas within the field through continuing education.
My advice to clinicians entering their clinical fellowship year is to identify their passions and areas they wish to develop their expertise, hone those skills through web courses and continuing education, and attend conferences. They should also understand that their relationship with their clinical supervisor continues beyond obtaining their license. We’re always there for you!
Some reviews from our former clinical fellows
Claudia was a truly supportive mentor who consistently shared her deep expertise in the field in an open and thought-provoking way. She was always available to answer any questions, making sure I felt comfortable and confident in providing quality therapy to my clients. She remains a colleague I deeply respect, and I appreciate the opportunity to have worked with her!
Claudia had a way of working seamlessly with me to enhance each session. She would show me different ways to teach a skill instead of just watching me and giving feedback. By requiring her CFs to complete standardized and non-standardized testing with our students, I finished my clinical fellowship feeling confident and fully prepared while testing, diagnosing, and planning for students.
Claudia fostered an environment that allowed me to work independently, but also feel safe in the knowledge that another experienced clinician would always be there. In addition to the content of our clinical practice, Claudia is very knowledgeable about the several unique work environments and facilities clinical fellows often find themselves in. This knowledge is what really sets her apart from former graduate school supervisors who also could have provided tutelage to fresh graduates. What I found most impressive was her ability to provide accurate descriptions, potential diagnosis, and a variety of interesting treatment ideas after just hearing a couple of sentences from me about a challenging student.
Claudia has set a standard for what I aim to be in the future. If I make recommendations to new graduates about where to work, my first reason for why I would lead them to ES Healthcare is because of my experience with Claudia. She has helped me develop some of the most invaluable skills needed as a speech language pathologist.