For more than 40 years, Boys Town National Research Hospital has been internationally recognized for hearing research, education and clinical care. Starting this August, Boys Town Hospital is expanding its communication research to include language learning and development for all children. The Hospital’s Center for Childhood Deafness program has been renamed Center for Childhood Deafness, Language and Learning to reflect the new focus that will help more children and families.
Leading the charge is Karla McGregor, Ph.D., newly appointed senior scientist and director of the Word Learning Lab. McGregor joins Boys Town Hospital this August, after spending 12 years at the University of Iowa as a Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders.
“We are excited to welcome Dr. Karla McGregor to Boys Town Hospital,” said John Arch, Hospital Director and Executive Vice President of Health Care at Boys Town. “Her experience and expertise in speech pathology will help guide the hospital’s expansion of translational research in language development.”
McGregor was previously the director of the Word Learning Lab at the University of Iowa. The research of the Word Learning Lab focuses on how individuals learn, remember and use words, and how these functions can be supported for those who have developmental language disorders.
The work began at the University of Iowa and will continue at its original location and at the Center for Childhood Deafness, Language and Learning when McGregor arrives at Boys Town Hospital.
“I want to spend some time listening to the clinicians at the Center for Childhood Deafness, Language and Learning to learn about the work they do and their visions for the future,” McGregor said. “It’s important to me to connect the clinical and research mission in ways that are meaningful and exciting to both parties.”
Center for Childhood Deafness, Language and Learning Director, Mary Pat Moeller, Ph.D, shares McGregor’s excitement in seeing the research go beyond deafness and address the needs of hearing children with developmental language disorders.
“I have long recognized that to serve children with hearing loss we must pay considerable attention to the theories and methods of child language researchers like Dr. McGregor,” Moeller said. “I see this as a rare and special opportunity to collaborate with a giant in our field.”
McGregor finished at the University of Iowa at the end of June and will begin work in the Word Learning Lab in August. Upon arrival, McGregor will be working with Moeller and Cathy Carotta, Ed.D., Associate Director of the Center for Childhood Deafness, Language and Learning, to learn the administrative processes and procedures. McGregor will assume acting director of the Center for Childhood Deafness, Language and Learning in August 2018.
“As we grow our research programs, we are able to better serve our mission and change the way America cares for children, families and communities,” said Arch.
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