Dr. Nordness named Scottish Rite Professor (NE UCEDD/LEND)

by John Keenan and Micah Evans

March 26, 2018

One of the Munroe-Meyer Institute's most important collaborations got even stronger on March 19, when the Scottish Rite Foundation of Nebraska announced that MMI's Amy Nordness, Ph.D., director of speech-language pathology, is the holder of the endowed UNMC Scottish Rite of Nebraska Professorship in Speech-Language Therapy.

Scottish Rite is providing more than $500,000 to endow the professorship.

Karoly Mirnics, M.D., Ph.D., director of MMI, announced the appointment alongside Charles Sederstrom, Jr., sovereign grand inspector general of the Scottish Masons in Nebraska.

"This professorship," Dr. Mirnics said, "allows MMI to grow and brings national attention to the institute, helping with future recruitment and faculty retention, attracting the best and brightest to the UNMC community."

He applauded the selection of Dr. Nordness for the professorship, citing her entrepreneurial spirit.

"If you let her do her job, she does amazing things," he said.

In receiving the honor, Dr. Nordness spoke about the Scottish Rite and it's dedication to RiteCare speech services at MMI, emphasizing "their genuine support of speech and language development in all children. Regardless of how much it will take to help a child improve, they are 100 percent . . . committed to making it happen.

"I appreciate their continued support of the speech-language pathologists to provide the best care possible and their love of interacting with children of all abilities. The best times in the year are the times we all spend together with the kids having fun, at our WalkRite events and special occasions.

"With this Scottish Rite professorship, I will continue to support each of these areas," Dr. Nordness said. "We will strive to help everyone improve, regardless of their ability. We will constantly push ourselves toward an even higher level of excellence. Most importantly, we will make sure we all have fun along the way."

The Scottish Rite and MMI have collaborated to provide speech-language services at no cost to families for three decades. In the past three years alone, the Scottish Rite has supported more than 18,000 therapy sessions in four RiteCare Clinics across the state of Nebraska.

"One of the fundamental goals of the Scottish Rite in supporting RiteCare is that kids whose families can't afford therapy or whose insurance won't cover therapy have access to service in the state, wherever they may be," Sederstrom said.