Seven minutes in stroke - Meaghan McAllister

Seven minutes in stroke - Meaghan McAllister 

1.     What inspired you towards stroke?
As a student of speech pathology I was fascinated by the subjects of neurosciences and linguistics.  For me these two interest areas came together in the study of communication disorders acquired after stroke or traumatic brain injury.  I was hooked even further when I started working in the area of brain injury rehabilitation.  The life changing nature of acquired communication disorders and the positive impact rehabilitation can have continue to inspire me after many years of practice.

2.     What was your springboard into this field?
Inspirational clinical supervisors at university and an opportunity to work in brain injury rehabilitation early in my clinical speech pathology career were perfect springboards.  My focus was broadened and enriched immeasurably during my experiences of living and working in Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory of Australia. Spending time to understand health and wellbeing from another perspective and sharing experiences and knowledge to reimagine what rehabilitation could be, has inspired my journey into research.

3.     What have been the highs so far?
The experiences of Aboriginal people with acquired communication disorders and their journeys through brain injury rehabilitation have been missing from research and also health service planning. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to listen to the stories of Aboriginal people from around Western Australia living with acquired communication disorders as part of the Missing Voices project (led by Professor Beth Armstrong from Edith Cowan University in Western Australia). This work will contribute to identifying the gaps in stroke rehabilitation services for Aboriginal people in WA, and will also indicate solutions.  This is a first for the community, for speech pathology and has the potential to greatly inform stroke services. 

4.     What have been the lows?
As a clinician, there is a frequent conflict when delivering services in a resource-constrained health service.  It is difficult to deliver a speech pathology service that is evidence-based in the context of real word funding.

5.     What do you believe is unique about your work?
The aspects of my work that are unique are also those aspects I gain the most joy from.  These include working together with Aboriginal academics and Aboriginal people and communities and also the opportunity to be both a clinician and involved in research.  I wish that more clinicians had similar opportunities.

6.     Who are your most important mentors and how did you find them?
Professor Beth Armstrong provides mentorship in a way that inspires and teaches.  I met Professor Armstrong at a conference in aphasia rehabilitation after mustering the courage to ask questions after a presentation she gave.  Wanta Steve Jampijinpa Patrick is a Warlpiri elder in Lajamanu, an Aboriginal community in the Tanami Desert.  He guided my learning about Warlpiri worldview and gave me grounding for imagining how Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people can share a world.  I was fortunate to be introduced to Wanta when I lived on his country in 2009 and frequently return to his teachings. 

7.     What are your most important collaborations and how have you built them? 
The most important collaboration for me has been with participants and people involved with the Missing Voices project.  Without sincere collaborative relationships with Aboriginal people who have experienced an acquired communication disorder, research assistants and with people who deliver therapy and health services to the Aboriginal community, the work would not be accurate or genuine. 

Seven minutes in stroke - Meaghan McAllister Reviewed by Carmen Lahiff-Jenkins on Saturday, February 27, 2016 Rating: 5

No comments:

All Rights Reserved by World Stroke Organization © 2017

Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.