The CPD salutes Jessica Malmberg, trainee of the year

Jessica Malmberg

Jessica Malmberg is the CPD’s Trainee of the Year for 2011. She received the honor in the middle of a busy post-graduate schedule after attending the Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities program, or URLEND.

She distinguished herself as a trainee with a high knowledge and skill level, said Judith Holt, co-director of the URLEND program. Not only does Jessica ask questions, she is also able to take the new information she receives and integrate it into a broader whole.

Malmberg said her experience with URLEND taught her a lot about collaborating with the families of children with disabilities and other professionals. As a graduate student in psychology, she mixed with professionals from many different parts of the health care whole, sometimes observing, sometimes working alongside them. They approached treatment from different angles and spoke in different terms.

“Certain populations really require collaborative care," she said. “The number one thing that was the most impactful was getting an understanding of how different professionals worked with families of children with disabilities.”

Next, Malmberg will be a behavior specialist for the Up to 3 program. From there she will move on to an internship.


CPD by the numbers

During the 2009-2010 fiscal year, 1,358 people received assessment and evaluation, medical and coordinated care services through three different CPD clinics. In additon, 860 toddlers received a variety of services through the Up to 3 program.

Clinical services adds a new team member

Vicki Simonsmeier

The Center for Persons with Disabilities staff will be seeing a lot more of Vicki Simonsmeier in the future. She has recently moved her office to the CPD.

Simonsmeier will be joining Dr. Martin Toohill as part of the Clinical Services team at the CPD. The team provides interdisciplinary evaluations to school-age children who are referred to the Center for academic and learning problems. She will strengthen the interdisciplinary approach in the area of speech and language, an area that she has a great deal of expertise in.

She will also become part of an interdisciplinary team that assesses young children, two months old through school age, who are referred to the Clinical Services for suspected Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Simonsmeier will supervise Speech/Language students from the Communications Department as they evaluate children.

When the ASD clinical team confirms a diagnosis, they make recommendations for treatment options and help to guide the services that the child needs. The long-term vision for the ASD Clinic is to become the medical home for children with ASD, providing evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment.

Simonsmeier will also continue to direct the Pediatric Feeding Clinic, an interdisciplinary clinic developed in cooperation with the CPD, the Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities program, Dr. Dennis Odell, and Nutrition and Psychology programs at USU. She will also stay involved with the Social Language Group for children with autism that she created in cooperation with Dr. Odell and the clinical faculty in the Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education Department.

Simonsmeier was named a CPD Faculty Fellow in 2010. She was an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Communications Disorders Department prior to her new responsibilities at the CPD, and will continue there as an Adjunct Professor.

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