Katie McComas Maddy, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is an amazing speech language pathologist (SLP) currently working as a clinical SLP in Lexington, Kentucky.

Katie received her Master of Science in Communication Disorders from Marshall in 2007 and her Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Sciences from the University of Kentucky, with a cognate in gerontology. At the start of her career, she worked on the Stroke Unit at Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital and at UKHC in Lexington, Kentucky. There she provided a variety of crucial services within inpatient units, outpatient services, and home health. She currently works as the primary clinician at Good Samaritan Hospital, which is affiliated with the UK Enterprise, and located on the north end of the UK campus. On a daily basis, Katie works to provide evaluation and treatment of adults with communication and swallowing disorders in their esteemed pulmonary intensive care unit, progressive care units, and acute care units. Katie has labored extensively as a healthcare professional during these unprecedented times. She adds, “Currently, our ICU is filled with patients who have been battling COVID-19 and are improving their medical stability but still have a long road to rehabilitation ahead.” We thank Katie and all other healthcare professionals for their dedication and selflessness during these times.

In addition to these inpatient services, she also evaluates and treats adults at the UK Speech Language Pathology clinic, which has transitioned to primarily providing services through telehealth to better serve and protect their patients and clinicians during the pandemic. Working within university clinics is a rather familiar concept for Katie, as she is the daughter of former MUSHC faculty member, Dr. Karen McComas. Dr. Karen McComas is a dually certified speech-language pathologist and audiologist who worked at the MUSHC for numerous years and left a legacy at the clinic and the MUCD program. Katie stated, “I spent a lot of time hanging around Smith Hall between classes she taught, supervision of clinic in the evenings, and spending her Saturdays getting stuff together for her courses.” The MUCD program, clinic, and the university have always meant a tremendous amount to Katie. She bleeds green and is a proud daughter of Marshall. She recalls moving to Lexington a week after her hooding ceremony and being welcomed with open arms by Marshall alum who have now become family. Katie also manages and runs the MUCD Alumni Group on Facebook and encourages others to join to network and share amazing clinical resources!

Katie adds that her mother and her patients play a significant role in what inspires and motivates her to continue to achieve and love her job every day. She said, “I’ve spent afternoons in the radiology suite crying with patients when they know they’ll get to enjoy a hot cup of coffee after months of tube feeding and dysphagia therapy. I’ve been on Facetime when a patient is able to communicate for the first time with a speaking valve and sang “Happy Birthday” to their son from the ICU. These little but big moments are what inspire me to come to work every day.”

In March 2021, Katie presented data from her own clinical research studies at WVSHA. Her research and presentation focused on the practices of speech-language pathologists in the assessment and treatment of individuals with discourse impairments following non-aphasic brain injury, and clinical applications for discourse elicitation, analysis, and treatment for adults with neurogenic communication disorders. The goal of the presentation was to provide SLPs with a few new tools to utilize in their own clinical practice.

Finally, Katie is a proud mother and wife. Her husband John, also a graduate of Marshall University, and two sons, Jack and Sam, all bleed green just as she does. She adds, “We are involved with the Central Kentucky Big Green and travel ‘home’ to catch Marshall games whenever we can.”