Zuzana (Suzy) Hilalova was born in the Czech Republic, raised in Lebanon (the Middle East),  and spent five years in South America before setting roots in the United States 15 years ago.  This diverse background has allowed Suzy to develop cultural awareness and sensitivity, in addition to acquiring fluency in the following five languages: Arabic, French, English, Spanish, and Czech. 

Suzy graduated with a doctorate in dental surgery (DDS) in Lebanon where she owned a private practice for two years before making the decision to emigrate. Upon arrival to the United States,  Suzy pursued a career in medical interpreting at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, in Santa  Clara County, where for the following five years, she worked closely with the rehab department and developed an interest in the role of Speech-Language Pathology in the rehabilitation of swallowing speech and language abilities. Suzy graduated with a Master of Science in  Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Redlands in 2018. During the course of the graduate program, Suzy received multiple awards including the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association (CSHA) Outstanding Student Award in March 2018 and the University of Redlands Crawford Award for Outstanding Clinical Performance in April  2018. Upon the completion of the graduate program coursework, Suzy received the University of Redlands Specialty Certificate in Bilingual Speech-Language Pathology: Spanish  Language Focus.  

Since graduating, Suzy has worked in multiple local hospitals, including a level 1 trauma center,  where she developed vast knowledge in the diagnosis and treatment of swallowing, speech, and language disorders in the adult population; as well as, in the evaluation and treatment of feeding disorders related to prematurity in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).  

As part of an unwavering commitment to life-long learning and to current evidence-based practices in speech-language pathology, Suzy completed the following certifications:

McNeil Dysphagia Therapy Program (MDTP). 

Modified Barium Swallow Impairment (MBSImP).  

Furthermore, Suzy has recently received her first Award of Continuing Education (ACE) from the  American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), which is awarded to clinicians who have acquired over 70 hours of continuing education units during a three-year period cycle.  

Suzy is not only passionate about learning but also loves to teach and share her knowledge with fellow speech-language pathologists and graduate students. Suzy was recently invited as a  guest talker at the University of Redlands where she shared her experiences working in acute care during COVID.  

In her free time, Suzy loves spending time with her husband and seven-year-old son. Suzy also enjoys traveling, cooking, baking, solving crossword puzzles, and figuring out the secret to keeping plants alive.