Hawks to Watch: Lauren Henion, Speech-Language Pathologist

Lauren Henion, Speech-Language Pathologist II at TIRR Memorial Hermann

Age: 27

KU Degree: B.A. in Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences & Disorders (2011); M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology (2013)

Why she’s a Hawk to Watch:

Lauren is in her dream career, working with patients to teach them skills to navigate speech and language disorders. She gets her greatest reward in knowing she’s helped empower people to regain their independence and be the best possible version of themselves.

Sidebar button template 2016 2.0_smallerWhat do you feel is your biggest achievement so far?

Being recognized by one of my patients as “a wonderful human being who always cheered me up.” At the end of the day, I go home feeling that I have achieved more by compassionately investing my time in people than I have by just receiving a paycheck for doing my job.

What’s your lowest career moment and how did you pick yourself up and move on?

My lowest career moment happened to be right after graduating with my master’s degree. My dream was to get my foot in the door in the area of medical speech-language pathology and work in a hospital. I interviewed for my dream job at TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston, Texas, and ended up not receiving an offer. I was devastated, but I picked myself back up, kept applying for open hospital positions, and ended up accepting a position in a subacute rehabilitation hospital in Florida. For the first two years of my career, I worked extremely hard and took as many continuing education courses as I could get my hands on in order to advance my clinical skills. This past December, I decided to apply to TIRR again. I went to Houston for the interview, met the speech pathology team, and ended up receiving the position!

Where do you hope to be in 10 years?

I hope to still be doing what I love, which is empowering my patients, and teaching them the skills they need in order to regain their independence and be the best possible version of themselves. I also hope to collaborate with my colleagues at TIRR on speech pathology-related projects, and to one day pursue a PhD in order to advance and develop more evidence-based treatment methods for our patients with a variety of neurological speech-language disorders.

What do you know now that you wish you could tell your 18-year-old self?

Be adventurous and really push yourself outside of your comfort zone. You cannot fully embrace how wonderful life is, and every opportunity it has to offer, until you learn to just let go and live!

What’s your best career pro-tip?

Develop friendships with everyone at work! And I mean everyone (the CEO, your fellow co-workers, the housekeeping department, the cashier in the café, etc.)! It makes the work environment a much more happy and collaborative place.

What do you do after you’ve clocked out?

I love to participate in book clubs, and will usually be reading the monthly book selection for discussion. I have also started taking cello lessons, and I love to paint and journal.

What is a fun fact about you that no one knows?

I am a complete music junkie who is obsessed with movie scores. My iPod is almost completely filled with all movie soundtracks. Some of my recent favorites include the soundtracks for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Interstellar.”