May 31, 2022

Glens Falls Therapist’s Success

Since May is National Speech Therapy Month, one 27-year-old speech therapist treasures helping people as the Speech-Language Pathologist at the Glens Falls Center in Glens Falls, New York. Her name is Anna Niedbalski and she is well-loved by both her residents and staff alike. Originally from Union County, New Jersey, in the town of Garwood, she relocated to the Adirondacks after meeting her husband Matt, a local drumming jazz musician who has gigs throughout the Capital Region and the Adirondacks, some 207 miles away to Glens Falls, where she happily relocated away from the highly condensed state of New Jersey.

Anna is part of a successful family of healthcare professionals, a sister being a physical therapist and her mother who once worked with kids at a children’s hospital. From this upbringing, Anna wanted to become a therapist since the 6th grade, but for many years, undecided on the type of therapy. So her sister opened up her eyes to speech therapy, only due to one humorous aspect of Anna’s character, that she was very talkative in her grade school years. Once she found speech therapy fascinating, Anna’s sister introduced her to the team at Kessler Rehabilitation in New Jersey to observe speech therapists treating patients on how to re-learn swallowing. It was then she knew her direction so she achieved both her Bachelor of Science and Masters’s Degree at William Paterson University in New Jersey as a Speech Pathologist. That set her on the course in speech therapy and in a few years, joined the rehab team at Glens Falls Center on Sherman Avenue in Glens Falls, New York, a position that she started on June 1, 2021. Glens Falls Center is part of the Centers Health Care and Sigma Rehab families.

Speech-Language Pathologists do a wide range of fascinating work where they, not only help people regain their quality of life, but physically, they can aid in someone’s nutritional health in many ways. From people having problems speaking due to illnesses or injuries to stroke survivors, Anna is there for them helping them with their swallowing and communication issues. Anna says that the most challenging aspect of her job is learning how to be flexible and adapt to patients’ daily needs, something you learn along the way.

Additionally, Anna says that the most rewarding part of her job is helping people to get back their quality of life after an accident or illness, especially with swallowing where she treats people for going from pureed foods to more substantial solid foods. She uses the latest technologies and computer programs, such as Synchrony, to help with strengthening swallowing in patients. Anna also says connecting with patients on a human level has been very rewarding, especially during the pandemic where the patients build a trust and comfort level with the therapist.

So as we say thank you to all of the speech therapists throughout the country given that May is their national month of recognition, we also congratulate and commend Anna for her one-year anniversary as the Speech Pathologist at the 117-bed skilled nursing facility, the Glens Falls Center.

As seen on Albany, NY Patch

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