Dr. Johnnie Sexton, Au.D., ECU Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSDI) alumnus, will serve as the 2018 Recognition Ceremony Speaker for the College of Allied Health Sciences (CAHS) on Saturday, May 5th at 1 p.m. in Minges Coliseum. Dr. Sexton received his B.S. in Speech, Language and Auditory Pathology (1977) and M.S. in Audiology (1979) from ECU and his Au.D. (2010) from A. T. Still University/Arizona Health Sciences.
Dr. Sexton has spent nearly the last four decades working with children in NC who are deaf and hard of hearing through his two private practices, with the NC state licensure program ensuring consumers of speech and hearing services are protected from unethical and illegal practices, and by founding a non-profit organization. He credits much of his success to his early educational experiences and relationships with faculty and students formed at ECU.
"The faculty in the CSDI Department and ECU's CAHS put me on a path, even in undergraduate school, that would change my life forever," said Sexton. "I am eternally grateful to those people. I give ECU full credit for putting me on a path that created wonderful opportunities."
In addition to owning two private practices-John E. Sexton & Associates, Inc. (JESA), which focuses on audiology services and sign language interpreter services, and Specialty Speech & Education Services (SSES), which provides specialized speech services for children-Dr. Sexton's most recent work has been as the founder and Executive Director of The CARE Project.
"There came a point about ten years ago when I realized there was something missing in service delivery for families," said Sexton. "We are not trained to provide emotional support counseling for our patients and their families. So what happens to the emotional component of treatment when families are upset at the time of diagnosis or throughout their journey?"
To fill this gap in available services, Dr. Sexton began planning the concept of The CARE Project. Not only would the organization provide emotional support and education to families with children and/or adults that suffer from hearing challenges, but it would also be an emotional support training tool for clinicians.
In support of his new project to help families and patients, in 2009 the ECU CSDI Department awarded The CARE Project a $20,000 "seed grant" for organizational start-up costs.
"ECU has always believed in me and they have always made me feel that I was worthy of their support and they celebrated anything that I chose to do in my career," said Sexton. "The initial foundation provided by ECU in the form of a seed grant served as a springboard to develop what today is a national standard for family emotional support and engagement."
To give back to ECU for their continued support, he conducted his first CARE Project retreat at ECU and returns every year to teach classes and speak to current students.
Visit The CARE Project website for more information and Dr. Sexton's full biography.