Sioux FallsRapid City


POSTED: MAY 03, 2012

The award is presented annually to a current or former trainee from the Center for Disabilities, who has exemplified:

  • 1) Enthusiasm and commitment to disability issues
  • 2) Commitment to and an enthusiasm for learning
  • 3) A high level of energy for work in the field of disabilities
  • 4) Compassion and respect for all

Pat Redinius was the Academic Training Director and a former trainee with the Center for Disabilities who died unexpectedly in 2005. The Center for Disabilities has been presenting this award annually since 2005 in honor of Pat, who worked with  passion, dedication and sense of humor, to improve the lives of children and adults with disabilities.

Melissa was nominated by one of her professors--Dr. Elizabeth Hanson, Assistant Professor with the Department Speech Communication and Disorders at USD/SD LEND Discipline Head for Speech Language Pathology, who said:

"Melissa Carrier-Damon is a speech-language pathologist with a passion for helping children with complex communication, cognitive, and sensori-motor needs. Through her work at Children's Care Hospital & School in Sioux Falls, she sees pediatric patients with a multitude of diagnoses from childhood aphasia to cognitive/linguistic and motor delays due to cerebral palsy, autism, Rett syndrome, and muscular dystrophy, to name just a few.  All her young clients have two things in common: significant communication challenges and the great good fortune to have Melissa as their SLP.  As a member of the Children's Care multidisciplinary team, Melissa works with her colleagues in health care to deliver the best possible service to her clients and their families.  She has broadened her outreach by writing about augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and assistive technology (AT) for the Children's Care newsletter.  I feel that Melissa is the epitome of the kind of professional we hope to foster through the LEND program:  She improves the lives of children with neurodevelopmental and related disorders through her skilled interventions and compassionate support."


Congratulations, Melissa, from all of us at Children's Care for your great work and for being such a great representative of our organization!

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"My son has gained self-control and self-esteem. I feel he is better for the rest of his life for being at Children's Care."
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