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Dr. Jasmine Urquhart Gillis
Executive Director, Founder

If you asked a 6-year-old Dr. Gillis what she wanted to do when she grew up, it was a “speech teacher”, “shoe salesman”, or “doctor”.   Asking a 16-year-old Dr. Gillis, you would have found she was a bit more focused; “speech-language pathologist” is all you’d hear.   At 26 years old, Dr. Gillis had already graduated Boston University’s SLP program early, started working at an elite private practice, and she would have told you… “I’m doing it, I’m a pediatric speech-language pathologist!”    Fast forward to a 36-year-old Dr. Gillis, and she would have added something to her answer…. more words.   “To be an SLP who helps children, that helps drive innovation and breakthroughs in our field, and ultimately to provide SLPs with the knowledge, training, and tools to help kids more effectively”.    At 46,56,66,76,86…. Actually, we should probably stop playing the age game quotes now or I might get in trouble.    The truth is, Dr. Gillis has always known what she wanted to do... and she’s done it.

Born and Raised on Long Island, New York, she moved to study speech-language pathology in Boston where she has since worked tirelessly to lose her New York accent and trade it in for a Boston accent.    After earning both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Boston University, she eventually would move on to earn her Doctorate (PhD) in Rehabilitative Sciences from MGH Institute for Health Professions.    Oh, did I mention she is also a Board-Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA)?

She has worked in hospitals, public and private schools, private practice, and even briefly dabbled in home-based services.   She has served as an expert witness in legal cases, has taught courses and conducted lectures at numerous organizations, schools, and institutions (notably MGH, BU, Emerson, Lesley, and the list goes on and on).  She has appeared in NIH sponsored workshops, has conducted research, been published, and for years has helped support numerous research projects in our field through Zebra Speech.

She has directly supervised and trained dozens of clinical fellows, dozens of graduate students, and even taught her son to ride his bike at 2, kind of.   At this stage in her career, she has personally conducted around 40,000 1:1 clinic sessions, supervised tens of thousands of clinical fellow sessions, and supervised hundreds of thousands of clinic sessions across our practice.      

Having been fortunate enough to have had 3 iPads prior to their official launch in 2010, Dr. Gillis has the unique distinction of being both the first SLP to use the iPad in treatment and to work with autistic children using one.   Over the years Dr. Gillis has spearheaded a number of special projects that take advantage of many cutting-edge technologies, Xbox Kinect motion tracking, Google Glass, Azure Artificial Intelligence, even a ball-in-the-cup!    Some of these projects would end up helping to contribute to the founding of ZRI ( a non-profit organization created to help advance our field and to help people with disabilities.  I should probably mention that Dr. Gillis also chairs and is the executive director of ZRI, you know, in her free time.

One of her favorite innovation projects, at least to to-date, has been developing an industry first analytics and software platform that manages and aids in the treatment of children.   This platform brings groundbreaking insights and organization to treatment and enables clinicians to focus on therapy like never before.  The results have been nothing short of amazing!  It’s a one-of-a-kind toolset that she hopes to one day be able to offer to the field for free through ZRI, but for now, we get to benefit from it here at Zebra Speech!

So, after highlighting a few of her many accomplishments and successes you may be asking, “what doesn’t she do well?”   Painting.  I’ve seen her paint, and the answer is… painting.   Well, that and editing websites.  Alas, with all her accomplishments she has never mastered the art of website editing.   If she ever does, I’m pretty sure these bios are going to get a lot more formal and boring!   Until then… enjoy.

Joking aside, at the end of the day, her focus is simple: help children and help them as quickly as possible.   That focus has carried over to all aspects of Zebra Speech, and has become the driving force behind our success.   Here at the practice, we are all grateful for her seemingly endless dedication, commitment, and drive that pushes us to keep getting better!

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