American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Dysphagia in Older Adults

Conference Faculty

We handpicked speakers who are passionate about serving older adults with dysphagia. Read on to learn more about these dynamic presenters or view their disclosures.

John R. Ashford, PhD, CCC-SLP, is education director and co-owner of SA Swallowing Services, PLLC, in Nashville. He is a retired clinical SLP from the Veterans Administration Tennessee Valley Health Care System, and a retired associate professor of speech-language pathology from Tennessee State University. He previously held an adjunct assistant clinical professorship at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He chaired the VA Best Practices in Dysphagia Treatment Taskforce, and served on the ASHA evidence-based practice group reviewing dysphagia clinical practices. He has served as president of the Tennessee Association of Audiologists and Speech-Language-Pathologists, and is on the Tennessee Board of Communication Disorders and Sciences. He does research, is published, and has presented nationally in the areas of dysphagia, oral care, and voice disorders.

Jennifer A. Brush, MA, CCC-SLP, is known for her work in the areas of memory and swallowing interventions for people with dementia. She has served as the principal investigator on applied research grants that have examined issues pertaining to HIV/AIDS dementia, hearing impairment, dining, dysphagia, and the long-term care environment. Brush is the author of "Meal Time Matters," a training program that builds nursing assistants' and home caregivers' skills related to dining, swallowing disorders, and safe feeding assistance. In addition, she is the co-author of Environment and Communication Assessment Toolkit and A Therapy Technique for Improving Memory: Spaced Retrieval.

Mary L. Casper, MA, CCC-SLP, is the corporate rehabilitation consultant for speech-language pathology with HCR ManorCare. In her 25 years in the profession, Casper has focused on swallowing disorders in the geriatric population and communication intervention for individuals with dementia. She is well versed in regulatory, reimbursement, and clinical operations issues in skilled nursing facilities. Casper is the coordinator of ASHA's Special Interest Group 15 (Gerontology), an affiliate of Special Interest Group 13 (Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders), and represents the Maryland Speech-Language-Hearing Association as the State Medicare Administrative Contractors Network liaison.

Heather Clark, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a senior associate consultant of speech pathology in the department of neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Her clinical responsibilities include differential diagnosis of communication and swallowing disorders in adults and children. Over the past 15 years, her research has included a review of neuromuscular treatments, drawing heavily from the literature of related disciplines, including exercise physiology and physical rehabilitation. Through review of the neuromuscular physiology of the speech and swallowing musculature, Clark continues to explore the application of neuromuscular treatments to dysarthria and neurogenic dysphagia.

James L. Coyle, PhD, CCC-SLP, BRS-S, is an assistant professor in the communication science and disorders department at the University of Pittsburgh, where he teaches dysphagia, medical speech pathology, and neuroscience coursework. He works with patients in acute care and intensive care units in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he also trains SLP graduate students. His interests include evidence-based practice, single subject methodology, and dysphagia outcomes measurement. He is a Board Recognized Specialist in Swallowing Disorders. He was a regional principal investigator for Protocol 201, an NIH-funded, multisite, randomized clinical trial investigating the effects of dysphagia treatments on pneumonia outcomes among aspirating adults. He has authored or co-authored text chapters on dysphagia in Zenker's diverticulum, pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis, and neurogenic dysphagia, and has co-authored research on the development and application of the penetration aspiration scale, and dysphagia in elderly head and neck cancer patients. He presents educational sessions on evidence-based practice and pulmonary physiology and diseases to SLPs in the United States.

Thomas Finucane, MD, has served as a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine since 1987 and professor since 2001. He has also served as chair of the Ethics Committee for the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center from 1994–2006 and as commissioner of the American Bar Association Commission on Legal Problems of the Elderly from 1992–1999. He has been named Outstanding Teacher at the Bayview Medical Center eight times. He graduated from Emory University's School of Medicine in 1978.

Jacqueline Hind, MS, CCC-SLP, BRS-S, is an outreach program manager and senior clinical and research SLP at the UW/VA Swallowing Speech and Dining Enhancement Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) in Madison. She is a board-recognized specialist in swallowing and swallowing disorders and serves as a mentor for new BRS-S applicants. She served as regional principal investigator for the largest NIH-funded, randomized clinical trial in the area of dysphagia comparing dietary to postural modifications for adults with dysphagia.

After practicing as an SLP since 1985, Kate Krival, PhD, CCC-SLP, returned to school and earned her PhD in communication sciences and disorders with a focus in medical speech pathology from the University of Cincinnati in 2007. Today she directs the Swallowing Research Lab at Kent State University and teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in anatomy, neuroscience, dysphagia, and voice. Krival's research interests focus on sensorimotor function for swallowing and on the challenges of complex clinical decision-making in medical speech-language pathology. Because of her work in several palliative care settings and her experiences as a family member of a patient in palliative care, Krival has a particular interest in promoting the integration of ethical standards and participation outcomes into clinical decision-making at all stages of palliation.

Jennifer Mahnke, MS, RD, LD, CSO, is a clinical dietitian at the Cleveland VA Medical Center in Ohio. In 2006, she co-authored the nutrition and foodservices portions of the Directive on Management of Patients with Feeding and Swallowing Disorders. Mahnke serves as the chair for the VA National Dysphagia Task Force, which has written dysphagia diet and thickened liquids guidelines for the Veterans' National Dysphagia Diet. Mahnke currently specializes in oncology nutrition.

Dr. Kevin R. Patterson obtained his MD in 2003 from New York Medical College before completing a residency in adult psychiatry at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of the University of Pittsburgh in 2007. He has since served on the adult psychiatry faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in Psychosomatic Medicine. A member of the American Association of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and expert in cancer care psychiatry, Dr. Patterson sees patients during hospitalization at UPMC Presbyterian and Shadyside, and serves outpatients through the Behavioral Medicine Clinical Service at the Hillman Cancer Center. He is also a distinguished clinical educator, and lectures statewide on topics related to chronic illness and psychiatry.

Nicole Pulia, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a Women's Health Postdoctoral Fellow at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Madison and an adjunct professor in the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. She recently completed her doctoral work at Northwestern University in Chicago under Dr. Jeri Logemann. Her dissertation focused on changes in swallow function in patients with head and neck cancer following chemoradiation treatment. While at Northwestern, she worked clinically as a staff SLP at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Her research interests include patient perception of swallowing and its effects on nutritional status, the influence of saliva on swallowing, and the role of peripheral changes in modulation of the swallow response.

Luis F. Riquelme, PhD, CCC-SLP, BRS-S, is currently an associate professor at New York Medical College in Valhalla, and serves as director of Barrique SLP at the Center for Swallowing and Speech-Language Pathology, New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn. He completed his master's degree at Columbia University and earned his PhD at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Riquelme has authored articles on dysphagia, multiculturalism, cultural competence, leadership, and quality improvement. He has presented locally and nationally. He is a board-recognized specialist in swallowing and a member of the Dysphagia Research Society. He has served on several local and national boards and committees. Currently, he is vice-chair of the Specialty Board on Swallowing & Swallowing Disorders; chair of the National Aphasia Association's Multicultural Task Force; past-chair of the ASHA PAC Board; and sits on the NY State Board for SLP and Audiology. In 2009, Riquelme became an ASHA Fellow, and in 2006 he received ASHA's Certificate of Recognition for Special Contributions in Multicultural Affairs. Current research interests include the physiology of swallowing in older adults with progressive neurological disorders; the role of decompensation on swallow function in the elderly; pill swallowing in adults; and the impact of culture on clinical interactions.

Share This Page

Print This Page