News Archive


In the news: Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance in the U.S.
Joe Kuchenbuch, Coordinator of WMU Behavioral Health Services, met with WWMT's Alexis Berdine to discuss alcohol, the most commonly abused substance in the US. Click the link to hear the interview.

Cass County honors CTAC with annual "Flame Keepers" Award
Cass County Youth Council honored four “Flame Keepers” at its 10th annual Child Abuse Prevention Month luncheon in April at Southwestern Michigan College. Four members of the Children's Trauma Assessment Center were awarded.

Music Therapy Clinic moves to Unified Clinics
WMU’s Music Therapy Clinic is excited to announce that it has moved from its long-standing home in the Dalton Center’s Carmel Provencal suite on main campus to the Unified Clinics on Oakland Dr.

Unified Clinics hold interprofessional educational activities for students
During the spring 2019 semester, several faculty members in the College of Health and Human Services held Interprofessional Educational activities for student clinicians in the Unified Clinics.

Video, Audio Learning Tool (VALT) now available at the clinics
Thanks to a $1.5 million state appropriation from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in 2018, the Clinics were able to upgrade their audio/visual equipment.

Vision Clinic purchases equipment for improved patient eye care
The Western Michigan University Vision Rehabilitation Clinic has recently purchased state-of-the-art eye testing equipment to enhance patients’ experiences.

In the News - Children can recover after a parent kills, but they need help
West Michigan has seen its fair share of tragedies. The Children's Trauma Assessment Center director, Jim Henry, said the staff has worked with at least 10 local children in the past 18 months whose parent killed a spouse or someone else. However, with the right interventions, children can recover.


New occupational therapy student experience at Senior Day Services
Prior to the beginning of the fall 2018 semester, WMU occupational therapy master faculty specialist, Berit Miller, arranged to have her OT 3840 class visit participants in a both an adult and pediatric community setting. WMU Senior Day Services was chosen to be one of the programs that the students visited during the semester.

Student Spotlight - Bailey Wright
The Western Michigan University Unified Clinics created a new internship this semester for a master's level medical social work (MSW) student. Bailey Wright was selected to be the first MSW intern in this exciting new role.

Clinics now offering Massage Therapy

The Western Michigan University Unified Clinics offers massage therapy to all faculty, staff, eligible dependents and students as well as the general public. Massage appointments are available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in 30, 60 and 90 minute increments.

WMU's Unified Clinics receives $1.5M state appropriation
Western Michigan University is slated to receive a $1.5 million state appropriation for its Unified Clinics, a multi-specialty group practice that annually serves more than 5,000 patients in Southwest Michigan and beyond and operates under the auspices of the University's College of Health and Human Services.

Golf outing benefits individuals with hearing loss
The 2nd Annual Student Academy of Audiology Golf Outing was held in August to raise money for hearing service scholarships for low-income patients in the Charles Van Riper Hearing Clinic in the Unified Clinics at Western Michigan University.

Creating a functional therapy space with giant blocks
Occupational therapy students and faculty worked with staff at the Unified Clinics to create a unique new space in the Occupational Therapy Clinic to be used for working with children who have sensory disorders. The space was constructed with large, plastic, interlocking bricks.

Speech-Language clinical fellow awarded Faculty Scholars Award
Dr. Suma Devanga, Speech Language Pathologist-Clinical Fellow at the Western Michigan University Unified Clinics, has secured the WMU's 2018 Support for Faculty Scholars award to conduct a research on aphasia treatment. The focus of this research is to study the communicative changes from a conversation-based treatment on adults who have been diagnosed with aphasia due to a stroke or brain injury.

Patient spotlight: Karys' story
Sara and Daryl Huinink's daughter Karys was born with hearing loss. Read more to learn about Karys' life changing treatment she received at the WMU Charles Van Riper Language, Speech and Hearing Clinic.

Unified Clinics and the WMU Student Academy of Audiology sponsor MayFest
The Unified Clinics and the WMU Student Academy of Audiology were pleased to be sponsors of 2018 MayFest, a fundraiser for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Association in Grand Rapids in May.

New clinical practicum benefits students, community members
Beginning this semester, speech language pathologist (SLP) Kathy Rigley-Rowell, along with three SLP graduate students and one undergraduate SLP student, initiated a clinical practicum experience at WMU Senior Day Services.

Faculty clinicians, graduate students collaborate to provide interdisciplinary service
Dr. Alyssa Eminhizer, Audiologist, and Kathy Rigley-Rowell, Speech/Language Pathologist, both from the Unified Clinics, have teamed up to provide aural rehabilitation for their patients.

Speech/language pathology students to participate in fundraiser
Kathy Rigley-Rowell, NSSLHA advisor, and Cary Cekola, MSHF board member, both speech/language pathology faculty clinicians at Western Michigan Universities Unified Clinics will be accompanying speech/language pathology students for a fundraiser in Kalamazoo on March 23 that will benefit local and national organizations.

Social work faculty member, student intern start Wellness and Recovery group
Dr. Jennifer Harrison, social work faculty member and Behavioral Health Services clinician, along with a MSW student intern, have launched a new recovery group. The Wellness and Recovery group is for adults at any stage of readiness who are working to make changes to enhance their wellness and recovery. The group meets every Wednesday from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

New program targets pre-K kids
The Occupational Therapy Clinic introduced a program for children ages 4-5. KG Bound Kids is a kindergarten readiness program that runs for 12 weeks meeting once per week.

Behavioral Health Services clinician receives Global Engagement Award
Dr. Jennifer Harrison, assistant professor in the School of Social Work and Behavioral Health Services clinician has received a 2018 Global Engagement Award.

WMU OT clinic coordinator, alumni revise essential OT text
Developmental and Functional Hand Grasps is a popular text for occupational therapists and OT students, published in 2002 by Sandra Edwards, WMU OT professor emerita, along with WMU OT alumni, Donna Gallen and Jenna McCoy-Powlen. Dr. Michelle Suarez, associate professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy and Unified Clinics OT coordinator, joined the authors in working on the book's second edition.


Audiologist takes graduate students to Project Connect
Dr. Alyssa Eminhizer, audiologist for the Charles Van Riper Language, Speech and Hearing Clinic in the Unified Clinics recently accompanied her Au.D. students to Project Connect 2017.

State approves two contracts with CTAC for continued training
The Southwest Michigan Children’s Trauma Assessment Center (CTAC) at Western Michigan University was recently awarded two separate contracts from the state.

Audiology clinic partners with foundation to get patients hearing aids
Faculty and students in the Audiology Clinic, part of the Unified Clinics at Western Michigan University, work diligently to assist low-income individuals to help them get hearing aids at no charge from the Starkey Hearing Foundation.

WMed students observe Unified Clinics
Over the next seven months, more than 100 level I and level II students in the WMU Homer Stryker School of Medicine will observe both the vision and audiology clinics in the WMU Unified Clinics.

Changes to CTAC referrals announced
Beginning June 1, CTAC will be under contract with the State of Michigan for comprehensive transdisciplinary neurodevelopmental trauma assessments, as well as clinical assessments performed by CTAC mental health clinicians only.

Connie Black-Pond gives keynote at conference
The Western Regional Area Health Education Center hosted the Building Trauma Informed Organizations Across Disciplines conference in May. CTAC's Connie Black-Pond delivered the keynote at the event.

SLP students present at conference
Anna Poggensee and Brittany Barnes, both graduate students in speech-language pathology, presented their work at the Michigan Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s annual conference in March.

Pair present at Aphasia conference

Two speech-language pathology clinicians from Western Michigan University’s Aphasia Communication Enhancement program (ACE) presented at the Aphasia Access' 2017 Leadership Summit in March.
Feb. 17

Autism Evaluation Center sees 100th patient
The Western Evaluation Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders saw its 100th patient in January. Located in Western Michigan University’s Unified Clinics on the Oakland Drive Campus, the center is part of WMU's multifaceted Autism Center of Excellence.
Feb. 17

Behavioral Health Services awarded reaccreditation
WMU’s Behavioral Health Services has been given a glowing review as part of a three-year reaccreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. 
Feb. 6

Vision Clinic optometrist awarded
Congratulations to Dr. Matthew Johnson, WMU Vision Clinic optometrist, for receiving the Michigan Optometrist Association's Optometrist of the Year award.
Feb. 6


Jim Henry receives outstanding social worker award
Dr. Jim Henry, professor in the School of Social Work and program director at WMU's Children's Trauma and Assessment Center, was the 2016 recipient of the Sue Smith Outstanding Social Worker Award at the 35th Annual University of Michigan Child Abuse and Neglect Conference.
Dec. 6

Unified Clinics trick-or-treat event a success
In late October, faculty supervisors from Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences and Occupational Therapy collaborated on a trick or treating experience for children in the Preschool Language Intervention Program (PLIP). The event brought together staff and clients from three Western Michigan University Unified Clinics.
Nov. 18

Optician with 45 years of experience joins Vision Clinic
Phil Charlton has been named optician for the Western Michigan University Vision Clinic.
Nov. 16

CTAC Awarded Funds from United Way
The Southwest Michigan Children’s Trauma Assessment Center (CTAC) at Western Michigan University was recently awarded over $22,000 in supportive grant funds from the United Way of the Greater Kalamazoo and Battle Creek Region.
Nov. 11

Audiology Clinic welcomes new doctor
The Western Michigan University Charles Van Riper Language, Speech and Hearing Clinic recently welcomed Dr. Alyssa Eminhizer to join their audiological team.
Nov. 2

CTAC and ISAAC Partnering with Schools to Create a Trauma-Responsive Community
The Southwest Michigan Children’s Trauma Assessment Center, in partnership with ISAAC's Early Education Task Force and the Raising Kalamazoo County collaborative has received commitment from eight of the 10 Kalamazoo county school districts to engage in an introductory session with CTAC to help make the school district more trauma-informed.
Oct. 27

Special NSSLHA Fundraiser
On Thursday, Sept. 29, the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) WMU chapter will host a screening of Michael Turner's film, The Way We Talk, at 6:45 p.m. at KVCC. A reception and discussion with the filmmaker will follow. The screening is a fundraiser for Camp Shout Out, a camp for youth who stutter that is hosted near Muskegon, Michigan each summer.
Sept. 9

2016 Van Riper Lecture Series
The 2016 Van Riper Lecture Series will take place Friday, Sept. 30, at Fetzer Center. The topic is Communication: The Lived Experience, and we are very excited about our two speakers -- Michael Turner, documentary filmmaker and director of "The Way We Talk," and Gael Hannan, author of "How I Hear It." 
Sept. 9

WMU’s Children’s Trauma Assessment Center boosting its role in community trauma training
A significant offering from Western Michigan University’s Children’s Trauma Assessment Center in the Unified Clinics is trauma informed training. Not only do staff train whole organizations nationwide, CTAC is now offering training for anyone in the community who wants to learn about the impacts of childhood trauma. Training sessions are offered on campus, and topics vary.

WMU's Language, Speech and Hearing Clinic has big impact on preschoolers
In collaboration with the Kalamazoo County Ready 4s program, the Charles Van Riper Language, Speech and Hearing Clinic and its graduate students from the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences have made a significant impact on children in Kalamazoo county.

Optometrist Named President of State Association
Vision Clinic optometrist, Dr. Matthew Johnson, has recently been named president of the Michigan Optometric Association.

Grant funds study of food selectivity in children
Dr. Michelle Suarez, Western Michigan University clinical supervisor and assistant professor of occupational therapy, was recently awarded the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation grant for treatment of food selectivity in children with developmental disabilities.

CTAC staff participate in CHHS Interprofessional Education Expo
The 2016 Interprofessional Education Expo highlighted interprofessional collaboration and teamwork at CHHS.

Now accepting applications for fall clinic
Applications for fall 2016 speech and language services and/or therapy at the Western Michigan University Charles Van Riper Language, Speech and Hearing Clinic are now being accepted for adults and children. The deadline for all applications is Aug. 19.

Southwest Michigan Children’s Trauma Assessment Center offers spring workshops
The Southwest Michigan Children’s Trauma Assessment Center at Western Michigan University’s Unified Clinics is offering two workshops for parents of children who have experienced trauma.
Mar. 1

Occupational therapy faculty member brings sabbatical research to CDS, Unified Clinics
Berit G. Miller, master faculty specialist-professional specialist of occupational therapy, was granted sabbatical during the fall 2015 academic semester to engage in research regarding the Beckman Oral Motor Intervention techniques. 
Mar. 1

Unique feeding clinic helps families
The Finicky Feeders Food Selectivity Clinic at the Western Michigan University Pediatric Occupational Therapy Clinic serves children ages one to 15 who have food aversions, food refusal, difficulty with texture transition, self-limited diets, oral incoordination and/or disruptive mealtime behaviors.
Mar. 1

Southwest Michigan Children’s Trauma Assessment Center launches major impact on child welfare system in Colorado
Jim Henry, PhD, CTAC Project Director, and Amy Perricone, LMSW and Project Coordinator, have been collaborating with the Larimer County Department of Human Services in Colorado over the last 17 months.
Mar. 1

Partnership continues between Behavioral Health Services and WMed
Behavioral Health Services in the Unified Clinics at Western Michigan University (BHS) has been collaborating with WMU’s Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine clinics since 2013.
Mar. 1

WMU students gain valuable experience in Autism Clinic
During the fall 2015 semester, the Western Evaluation Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders (WECAN) at the Western Michigan University Unified Clinics provided rich educational opportunities for three undergraduate clinical assistants.
Feb. 15

Kremer named director of Vision Clinic
A professional with over 35 years of experience with low vision rehabilitation and services is the new director of the Vision Clinic, part of the Unified Clinics at Western Michigan University.
Feb. 15

Southwest Michigan Children's Trauma Assessment Center offers training to area schools
Western Michigan University's Southwest Michigan Children's Trauma Assessment Center (CTAC) has recently been partnering with area school districts in an effort to create trauma-informed schools.
Feb. 15

The WMU Vision Clinic is currently accepting new patients
Specializing in general and low vision optometric services. Featuring a full line of frames, contacts and lenses. 
Feb. 3


WMU aphasia program receives donation
The Aphasia Communication Enhancement Program in the Charles Van Riper Language, Speech and Hearing Clinic at Western Michigan University received a gift from Sole2Soul on behalf of Trevor Rhoda and treatment of aphasia.

New Michigan autism resource launched at WMU
Located in WMU's Unified Clinics on the University's Oakland Drive Campus, the new center is part of WMU's multifaceted Autism Center of Excellence.

Open house at Unified Clinics to spread awareness about aphasia
The Aphasia Communication Enhancement Program—ACE—in the WMU Charles Van Riper Language, Speech and Hearing Clinic is observing National Aphasia Awareness Month in June by hosting the open house from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 23, on the fourth floor of the Unified Clinics located at 1000 Oakland Drive.

Kuchenbuch named director of Behavioral Health Services
A longtime criminal justice/mental health/substance abuse treatment professional with over 36 years of experience has been named the new director of Western Michigan University’s Behavioral Health Services in the Unified Clinics. Joseph Kuchenbuch, MA, LLP, CAADC, CCS-M assumed his post as Faculty Specialist I Clinical Specialist on June 15.