On November 9, the College of Health and Human Services will host the 2018 Health and Human Services Hero Awards to recognize the unsung heroes in our community whose actions, thoughts and words have had a transformative impact in our region. We will highlight the nine honorees in our Heroes Blog Series.


CourtneyYoung_smName: Courtney Young

Occupation: Medical Speech-Language Pathologist, Community Regional Medical Center

Nominated by: Department of Communicative Sciences and Deaf Studies

Giving the gift of life back to individuals is one of the most cherished aspects of Courtney Young’s career as a medical speech-language pathologist at Community Regional Medical Center.

In her role, in acute care rehabilitation, Young works closely with critically ill patients who have a multitude of severe traumatic injuries that cause disorders related to swallowing, cognition and communication. Many of her patients require tracheostomy – an area of expertise Young is renowned for among her colleagues in the intensive care unit and medical field.

Young says having the ability and skill set to restore eating and drinking abilities – as well as communication – for her patients, is the most rewarding part of working in a level I trauma center.

“Being able to put my speaking valve on a patient and hearing them say ‘I love you’ to their family is incredible, especially to be able to provide that for them and their families. I don’t know how many times I’ve cried with families because I gave them their loved ones’ voice back. It’s an amazing feeling.”

Young’s compassion for her patients, many of whom come from underserved regions, is what drives her work each day. She often shares her knowledge and expertise with graduate students from Fresno State’s Department of Communicative Sciences and Deaf Studies.

As an alumna of the University, Young makes it her duty to give back, and has served as a clinical instructor for more than 30 graduate student clinicians over the past 10 years. She says the opportunity to educate and nurture future speech-language pathologists is simply part of her job – to help create strong clinicians who will one day work beside her.


The 2018 Health and Human Services Hero Awards, which celebrates heroes from each of the seven departments, as well as centers and institutes within our college, will be held on November 9, 2018 at Fresno State. For more information on the event, contact Beth Wilkinson at 559.278.3603 or bwilkinson@csufresno.edu.