Health Commons at Pond

CSD student at Health Commons front desk

Health Commons at Pond (Pond) bridges the school setting, family, and community. Those involved in this program recognize the relationships between a child and family health with a focus on health disparities and challenges linked to the community. As examples, Pond provides management of acute illnesses, immunizations, health screenings, vision-hearing-and-dental screenings, family guidance, and support, community connections, caregiving strategies, mental health, and bullying support, and education regarding school and community resources, among other services. Speech-Language Pathology assessment, diagnosis, and treatment are now available.

What speech, language, and hearing services are available?

Bloomington Public Schools, who partners with Health Commons at Pond, recognizes the needs of a diverse community and the current capacity to provide ample and needed speech-language pathology services. For children, speech-language pathologists work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, language use, academic (reading and writing), as well as swallowing and feeding problems for children with disabilities.

  • Speech disorders occur when a person has difficulty producing speech sounds correctly or fluently (e.g., stuttering is a form of disfluency) or has problems with his or her voice or resonance.
  • Language delays and disorders occur when a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language) or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings (expressive language). One can have a spoken or written language disorder. Language disorders involve the form of language (phonology, morphology, syntax), the content of language (semantics), or the use of language (pragmatics).
  • Academic (reading and writing) problems include organizing thoughts, remembering, planning, or problem-solving. A speech-language pathologist can test speech, language, and literacy skills and find ways to help you or your child improve. A speech-language pathologist can also work with your child's teacher to make it easier for him or her to learn in school.
  • Feeding and swallowing difficulties may follow a problem with birth or in infancy, surgery, stroke, or injury.
  • Children with severe expressive or language comprehension disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder or progressive neurological disorders often need specialized augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems to communicate with peers, teachers, family, and members of the community.

As we continue to develop our services, we will be able to offer more extensive services in audiology (hearing screenings, full hearing evaluations, and perhaps aural rehabilitation for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Nursing student practitioner on floor with a child client at the Pond clinicWhen are speech-language services available?

Speech-Language services are available on Fridays from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm by appointment. Graduate clinicians from the Communication Science and Disorders program of Minnesota State University, Mankato, take part in this service project to develop and refine their clinical skills.

How does the addition of these services benefit the community?

Nursing staff from the Glen Taylor Nursing Institute for Family and Society developed and support programs at the Pond in recognition of the relationships between a child and family health with a focus on health disparities and challenges linked to the community. Speech, language, and hearing health is an essential part of this child-family-school-neighborhood-community equation. Having adequate speech and language skills in children under three years of age, for instance, is the number one predictor of academic success in school-aged children. Community-based speech-language therapy services can help children develop essential skills for academic success.

How does Pond benefit from expanded services?

According to the World Health Organization, interprofessional collaboration in health settings leads to increased healthcare outcomes for patients, healthcare workers, and health systems. It is the department' goal to forge a collaborative and interprofessional relationship at the Pond to reinforce the positive, overall health outcomes for the children and families it serves. Additionally, the offered services support the efforts of speech-language pathologists and audiologists in Bloomington Public Schools.

How was the Glen Taylor Nursing Institute involved in the expansion of services?

The mission of The Glen Taylor Nursing Institute for Family and Society focusses on innovative nursing practice knowledge. This focus influences the health and healing of families and society. It also allows highly skilled practitioners to lead in family and society health related issues. Speech-language services at the Health Commons at Pond adds to this mission. It helps the family, child-health and functioning. It also supports the local community by harboring leadership, interprofessional collaboration, and clinical education.

Who do I contact for more information?

Kristin Berndt, Director for the Center for Communication Sciences & Disorders
Phone: 507-389-1543
Pond availability: Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
More about Kristin

How do I refer my child for services?

History/Referral Form