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Sertoma Speech Clinic Speech-Language Pathologists David Ursel and Anna Carter.

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Sertoma Speech Clinic of Venice Helps Kids Overcome Communication Delays

The Nonprofit Clinic Provides ASHA Certified/Florida Licensed Speech-Language Pathologists To Local Children

For families with children experiencing speech delays, the Sertoma Club of Venice provides caring, individually tailored therapy at minimal cost and on a sliding pay scale. Located in its own permanent office at the Children First Main Campus (800 Gulf Coast Boulevard), the Sertoma Speech Clinic offers two Speech-Language Pathologists, Anna Carter and David Ursel, with many years experience working with children on issues from Articulation to Expressive Language to Phonological Processing, among other speech deficiencies. Appointment times at the clinic are flexible and can accommodate most families. 

“Sertoma’s philanthropic focus is on helping those in the community with deficiencies in speech and hearing,” says Lynn Joyner, Sertoma’s Speech Clinic chair and a club member since 1991. “All the fundraising activities at the Sertoma Club of Venice are directed right back to our speech clinic. We serve kids as young as two years old all the way up to high school age.” 

Sertoma stands for “Service to Mankind,” and is a Kansas City-based international service organization founded in 1912. The Sertoma Club of Venice was chartered in 1976 and is currently the largest Sertoma club in the world, with roughly 140 members meeting every Thursday at noon for lunch at the Hotel Venezia. Membership in Sertoma is by invitation, and includes service projects, other club activities, all without any attendance requirements. Sertoma’s membership of area professionals is highly visible throughout the community, providing many volunteer hours at the Suncoast BBQ & Bluegrass Bash of the Suncoast Foundation for Handicapped Children every March, sponsoring Little League teams, and raising money for Venice’s Fourth of July fireworks show. 

“The greatest thing about our speech clinic,” says current Sertoma Club President Billy Rhodes of Payment Systems of Florida, “is when a parent says, ‘I didn’t know where to go with my child. We put them through the Speech Clinic program and look at them today!’ That success is what we strive for at the Sertoma Club. Our Speech-language Pathologists are fantastic and great at what they do.”

For Venice native and University of Florida graduate David Ursel, working with the Sertoma Speech Clinic helps complete a personal journey. “I myself received speech therapy as a child,” says David, currently a speech-language pathologist in the Sarasota County school system. “People couldn’t understand me when I was talking. I started a speech therapy program in kindergarten and graduated in third grade. I know exactly how effective speech therapy can be and how it positively it affects a child and their family. Students in the school system that need speech therapy might not qualify for services there because the public school system’s bar for qualification is quite high. You have to be really unintelligible. Sertoma is a great resource to pick up those kids who the school system isn’t designed to serve but would still benefit from therapy.” 

The clinics other therapist, Anna Carter, attended Harding University and the University of Central Arkansas and now has her own practice, Kids Clear Speech (941.445.0812). Connected to the Speech Clinic through her husband, a Sertoma Club of Venice member, Anna says, “I always wanted to work with kids and I love that I can work one-on-one with a wide range of ages of kids. We can really impact the child’s life and help get them where they need to go. We have kids come in who don’t talk at all and work with them all the way through to speech. We use many different techniques to make a child feel comfortable and participate in the therapy.”

“We have an active and vibrant Sertoma Club,” says incoming Club President Courtney Green—a Realtor with Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. “We strive to give back our community and our Speech Clinic is a mission we are all able to focus on. We hope that everyone in the community will become aware of what we provide and so that no child in need misses out on what Sertoma and our wonderful speech pathologists can provide. We can and do change lives here at the clinic.”

Donations to the speech clinic and other Sertoma projects are always welcome and appreciated.

800 Gulf Coast Blvd., Venice. 941.882.0170. SertomaSpeechClinic@gmail.com. 

  • Sertoma Speech Clinic's Anna Carter.
  • Sertoma Speech Clinic's Speech-Language Pathologist David Ursel.
  • Sertoma Speech Clinic Speech-Language Pathologists David Ursel and Anna Carter.
  • Current Sertoma Club of Venice President Billy Rhodes, Lynn Joyner, Sertoma’s Speech Clinic Chair Lynn Joyner, and incoming Club President Courtney Green.