Roche honored for decades of service by speech-language-hearing group

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:27

HIGHLAND LAKES — William J. Roche of Highland Lakes, the clinical director of the Regional Craniofacial Center at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson, was honored by the New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association during its annual convention in Atlantic City with its 2009 NJSHA Distinguished Professional Service Award. According to colleagues and patients, Roche “has excelled as a professional because of his dedication, impressive vision and remarkable ability to make his innovative concepts come to life and succeed.” In 1975, Roche began his career at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center as a staff speech pathologist. In 1977, he established the regional craniofacial center, bringing together more than 50 specialists who meet monthly to review and develop plans for each patient. For 18 years, he has served as its clinical director. In 1982, he established the first full-time Swallowing Center in New Jersey; and in 1999, developed the first plagiocephaly and craniosynostosis team statewide. In 2000, Roche established the Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Center, which brings together occupational therapists, physical therapist, speech-language pathologists, behavioral therapists and medical professionals to treat babies worldwide on an outpatient basis or in the intensive in-house program. Recently, he added “eFeed” to the program. In 2001 he added the auricular reconstructive team to the center, one of the first of its kind regionally. In 2007, Roche established the North Jersey Swallowing Center, and in 2008 he established the nasal alveolar team. Roche is a collaborator with colleagues and teaches students at Montclair State University, William Paterson University and Seton Hall University. His courses are are taught at St. Joseph’s and students are partnered with medical center staff. In 2005, Bill established the Palestroni Graduate Assistantship at the Craniofacial and Swallowing Center, where one student a year works 50 percent of the time doing clerical activities and 50 percent of the time observing all aspects of the program including MBS, FEES, assessment, treatment, etc. Additionally, Roche is a doctoral candidate at Nova Southeastern University and expects to graduate this June.