The Speech & Hearing Center Welcomes New Staff, Board Members

  • Monday, October 3, 2022

The past two months have seen the addition of three staff and four board members to The Speech & Hearing Center’s ranks.  

On staff, this includes an audiologist, bilingual speech-language pathologist and director of development. On the board, members have joined from Chattanooga Fire Department, Hamilton County Schools, First Horizon Bank and CHI Memorial.  

“It’s an exciting time for the Center,” said Taylor Bostwick, president and CEO. “We turn 70 next year and are starting to think about what we want our next 70 years to look like. We’re getting the right team in place, so we can continue to meet the needs of the community and provide equitable access to specialized healthcare for all.” 

Learn more about the new team members: 

Dr. Gretchen Switzer, Au.D., CCC-A 
Dr. Gretchen Switzer drove more than 2,000 miles in an RV with her family from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to be part of the Center’s team. She is a graduate of the University of South Alabama, where she earned her Doctor of Audiology, and has been in practice for more than 16 years. Dr. Switzer’s experience extends from working with newborns to supporting seniors along their hearing journeys. 

Rebecca Winkler, M.S., CCC-SLP 
Speech-Language Pathologist 
Rebecca Winkler is a bilingual speech-language pathologist who enjoys helping children of all ages improve their ability to communicate and provides therapy in both English and Spanish. In addition to spoken language, Ms. Winkler is passionate about reading and has over 10 years of experience providing literacy intervention for struggling readers. 

Sandy Zabel 
Director of Development 
Sandy Zabel has worked as an accountant, a financial analyst and a small business owner. Most recently, she helped shape the development department of Northside Neighborhood House; planning events, cultivating donor relationships and educating the community. 

Shelly Killian 
Board Treasurer 
Commercial Banking Relationship Manager, Senior Vice President, First Horizon Bank
Shelly Killian has served in a variety at First Horizon of roles since 2008. She is a former member of the Downtown Sertoma Club, where she helped raise awareness and supported The Speech & Hearing Center through a variety of fundraising events. After the birth of her second child, she realized just how much impact the services provided by the Center can make in a person’s life. Her son began speech and occupational therapy in 2021, which has helped him tremendously. While she’s been able to see firsthand what a difference it can make in a child, she has also seen how expensive these services are. That’s why she wholeheartedly supports the Center’s mission of ensuring every person has access, regardless of cost.   

Joey Thomas, NREMT, JD, MPH  
Board Member 
Lieutenant, Engine Company 4, Chattanooga Fire Department  
Joey Thomas has been at the Chattanooga Fire Department for the past 10 years. During this time, he also served as a social worker in North Georgia and as a court appointed special advocate for the Hamilton County Juvenile Court. His interests include harnessing innovative health policy to improve Chattanooga’s healthcare delivery systems through public and private partnerships. He's a current JA Henry YMCA Branch board member and is a graduate of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce’s Protégé program.  

Melissa White 
Board Member 
Physical Therapist and Director of Rehabilitation Services, Diabetes/Nutrition and Weight Management Centers, CHI Memorial Healthcare System 
Melissa White has worked at CHI Memorial for more than a decade. She is actively involved in the Junior League of Chattanooga and also serves on the UTC Chi Omega’s House Corporation Board. She is passionate about servant leadership, program and people development, envisioning, collaboration, operations management and project oversight, strategic planning and community impact.  

Christopher Cooper 
Board Member 
Routing Dispatcher, Hamilton County Schools 
Christopher Cooper’s passion is to leave the world and everyone in it better than they were when he arrived. He’s previously been a police dispatcher for the Hamilton County 9-1-1 Emergency Communications District and is now a routing dispatcher for Hamilton County Schools. His volunteer record is extensive. He’s served as a mentor for Tennessee Achieves, Tennessee Reconnect and Big Brothers for Big Brothers of Greater Chattanooga. He is the president of the Lookout Valley Neighborhood Watch and a member of the leadership for First Things First’s Dads Making a Difference. He is also an alumnus of and volunteer for the Chattanooga Police Citizen Academy. 

The Speech & Hearing Center is Chattanooga’s only nonprofit medical practice that focuses on improving quality of life through better communication by providing audiology, speech, occupational and physical therapy services to individuals of all ages and income. 

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