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Conference Faculty

Maximizing Outcomes for Medically Complex Patients of All Ages

March 17–29, 2021 | An Online Conference for SLPs

Tami Altschuler MA, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist and clinical specialist in patient-provider communication at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. She is spearheading hospital-wide initiatives to establish communication access for all patients throughout the continuum of care. Altschuler is a current board member of the United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Commjnication (USSAAC) in the role of ISAAC Liaison, on the conference committee for the ISAAC 2021 Conference, and an active member of the Patient-Provider Communication Forum. She has presented nationally and internationally as well as published on the topic of patient-provider communication.  

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation 

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (USSAAC) Board of Directors
  • Member of Patient-Provider Communication Forum

Shannon Butkus, PhD, CCC-SLP, has a diverse background as a speech-language pathologist. She earned her PhD in Health Care Economics through the School of Public Health at Texas A&M University and is a member of ASHA’s Healthcare Economics Committee. She has more than 15 years of experience in professional practice and has owned a pediatric private practice for more than a decade. During her work in private practice, Butkus has spent considerable time as an advocate for patient benefits and provider reimbursement rates at the state and national level. She has provided legislative briefings, collaborated with state health officials on the development of policies for the provision of therapy services to children enrolled in the Medicaid program, and worked with insurance companies on the implementation of alternative payment models. Over the course of her professional career, Butkus has developed a love for teaching and currently presents on a variety of topics including Medicaid, professional advocacy, clinical documentation and writing for medical necessity, and the use of data to track provider practice patterns. 

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None reported

Jennifer Casteix, MS, CCC-SLP, is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences at The University of Arizona, where she regularly lectures on the complex needs of babies in the NICU and teaches a graduate course in pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders. She has 30 years of experience working with children with complex medical, neurodevelopmental, and special health care needs in the NICU, PICU, and outpatient settings. Casteix is a faculty member of the Arizona Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ArizonaLEND) Program and just recently completed her term as president of the Arizona Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Her favorite part of her workday is teaching and mentoring graduate students as they learn to become speech-language pathologists in the university clinic and in telepractice. 

Financial Disclosures:

  • Salary from University of Arizona
  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • ASHA SIG 11 affiliate
  • Immediate past president of the Arizona Speech-Language-Hearing Association 

Deadria Clarke, RRT, has been a respiratory therapist at The Johns Hopkins Hospital for 8 years, working primarily in the cardiovascular surgical intensive care unit and the emergency room. 

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None reported

Maura Collins, MS, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist in the Division of Hearing and Speech at Children's National Hospital. She received her master's degree at Loyola University Maryland. She evaluates and treats patients with pediatric feeding disorders in the acute care and outpatient settings. Collins is a member of the aerodigestive team.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None reported 

James Coyle, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, is a professor of communication science and disorders and otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh, where he trains SLP students and teaches courses in dysphagia, head and neck anatomy, use of instrumentation in dysphagia management, and medical speech-language pathology. He co-developed the department’s medical SLP clinical doctorate program. Coyle lectures nationally and internationally on assessment and management of oropharyngeal dysphagia in adults and the integration of disease pathophysiology in the management of swallowing disorders. He is a Board Certified Specialist in Swallowing Disorders, a former member of the American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders, and an ASHA Fellow. He sees patients and conducts research in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, funded by NIH to investigate and develop dysphagia screening instrumentation.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None reported

Dana Kilonsky, MA, CCC-SLP, graduated with her master’s degree in 2014 from University of Maryland and has worked as a speech-language pathologist at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, for more than 6 years. She works with adult patients in the acute care setting, with a focus on surgery and trauma populations. Kilonsky has an interest in critical care populations and patients with tracheostomy. Kilonsky has completed clinical research on patients with tracheostomy and quality of life. She has a passion for clinical education, serving as the SLP student program coordinator and mentor for the SLP intensive care unit fellowship program at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Salary from The Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None

Yun Kim, MS, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist at The Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Initially, she worked on the neurology unit and adult ICUs at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. She transferred to pediatric service in October 2012, when she began focusing on neonatal and pediatric intensive care. She is the pediatric rehab clinical specialist and one of the co-founders of The Johns Hopkins PICU Up! program.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None

Kristin King, PhD, CCC-SLP, began her career as a high school English teacher and then completed a master's degree in speech-language pathology and audiology. King has practiced in acute care settings, specializing in traumatic brain injury (TBI) and critical care; consulted with school systems; and had private consultations. She has served on multiple medical advisory boards related to TBI at the state, national, and international levels. Following completion of a PhD in communication sciences and disorders, King was a professor with research focused on neuropathological disorders, primarily mild TBI and sports consussions. Currently, King is the Vice President of Clinical Education and Research with Passy-Muir, Inc., a role that involves development of multimedia education, research and development of new products, editing of clinical publications, and collaborating with researchers across the globe. With 25 years of experience in medical, academic, and industry settings, King brings a unique perspective to medical speech-language pathology. With a focus on neurological disease processes, her research and teachings have focused on traumatic brain injury, swallowing disorders, and critical care (tracheostomy and mechanical ventilation). She has been an invited speaker both domestically and internationally and has published in peer-reviewed journals.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Full-time employee as Vice President of Clinical Education and Research with Passy-Muir, Inc.

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None

Molly A. Knigge, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, is a speech-language pathologist and supervisor of the adult inpatient and outpatient swallow services in the UW Health Voice and Swallow Clinics in Madison, Wisconsin. Her practice and research interests include upper esophageal sphincter dysfunction, clinical application of high-resolution manometry, and instrumental biofeedback in the treatment of oropharyngeal swallowing disorders. She is currently pursuing a PhD in clinical investigation at UW-Madison.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Employee of UW Health System
  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • Chair of American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders

Sapna R. Kudchadkar, MD, PhD, FCCM, is an associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine, pediatrics, and physical medicine and rehabilitation at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Kudchadkar completed residencies in pediatrics and anesthesiology, followed by fellowships in both pediatric critical care and pediatric anesthesiology at Johns Hopkins. After clinical training, she completed a PhD in clinical investigation at The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Kudchadkar’s clinical and research focus is functional outcomes after pediatric critical illness and major surgery and the interplay of sedation optimization, sleep promotion, delirium prevention, and early mobilization in pediatric ICU care. She is the founder and director of The Johns Hopkins PICU Up! Program, which has been implemented in pediatric ICUs internationally, and she is also the lead PI for PARK-PICU study (Prevalence of Acute Rehabilitation for Kids in the PICU), which includes more than 200 sites across North America, Europe, Australia/New Zealand, and Brazil. Kudchadkar is the associate vice chair for research in anesthesiology and critical care medicine and the director of pediatric critical care research at Johns Hopkins. In March 2020, Kudchadkar experienced COVID-19 illness herself and after her recovery was deployed to the adult COVID-19 step-down unit.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None reported

Hallie Lenker, PT, DPT, is a pediatric physical therapist and pediatric rehab team coordinator at The Johns Hopkins Childrens Center (JHCC), providing rehabilitation across the continuity of care in both the acute and outpatient setting. Lenker works closely with the PICU UP! program in the pediatric ICU and pediatric oncology inpatient and outpatient program.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Employed by The Johns Hopkins Children's Center
  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None 

Paula Leslie, PhD, MA Bioethics, FRCSLT, CCC-SLP, supports clinicians and researchers from the local to international level on the topisc of complex decision-making, ethics, end-of-life, and vulnerable populations. Leslie is interested in nontraditional routes to advanced clinical training and has designed and directed post-qualification programs in the UK and U.S. Leslie is a member of the British SIG in Palliative and Supportive Care and serves on the Coordinating Committee for ASHA SIG 15 (Gerontology). Leslie is a full member of the Dysphagia Research Society (USA), a founding member and current scientific chairperson of the UK Swallow Research Group, and an affiliate of ASHA SIG 13 (Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders). Leslie is a Fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and has received the SWPSHA Honors of the Association and the Louis M DiCarlo Award for contributions to palliative care and SLP work.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None  

Tiffany M. Mohr, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, CBIS, is an SLP and Board Certified Specialist in Swallowing, currently working at Orlando Regional Medical Center, a Level I Trauma Center in Central Florida. She has worked in the field for more than 20 years, most of which has been spent with adults in acute care, particularly with patients with complex medical conditions. Much of her focus has been on refining the complex critical thinking process necessary in working with this population. She is involved with the BioEthics Committee at the hospital, recently helped to start up the ALS Multidisciplinary Clinic for Orlando Health, and is working to develop the interprofessional relationship between the SLP department and the pulmonary program through training/curriculum development. She currently serves on the ASHA SIG 13 Coordinating Committee and enjoys being a part of the advocacy and education aspects of the volunteer work necessary to advance the profession.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Salary from Orlando Health
  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • ASHA SIG 13 Coordinating Committee
  • Hospital BioEthics committee
     

Ashwini Namasivayam-MacDonald, PhD, CCC-SLP, SLP(C), is a clinically trained SLP whose research specializes in understanding the determinants and consequences of swallowing impairments in older adults. Her goal is to produce clinically relevant research to inform frontline clinical practice. Her research currently focuses on dysphagia in people with dementia and identifying dysphagia-related caregiver burdens. In light of the pandemic, her work has shifted to consulting on adequate personal protective equipment for SLPs and identifying best practices for work in the acute care setting with patients presenting with COVID-19. She was a 2019 recipient of the ASHA Early Career Contributions in Research Award.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Salary from McMaster University 
  • In-kind products from E2 Scientific for research projects 
  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None 

Dee Adams Nikjeh, PhD, CCC-SLP, is an expert in health care coding systems, compliance requirements, and billing practices for the field of speech-language pathology. She co-chairs ASHA's Health Care Economics Committee, the American Medical Association's Relative Value Update Committee/Health Care Professionals Advisory Committee and is an expert witness in the field of speech-language pathology for the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division-Fraud Section. Nikjeh's professional career in the field of communication sciences and disorders spans four decades as a clinician, supervisor, researcher, educator, mentor, consultant, and advocate of the profession. She has served on ASHA's Legislative Council and the Executive Board of the Council of State Association Presidents. She is an ASHA Fellow and a past-president of the Florida Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists.

Financial Disclosures:

  • U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Expert Witness
  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • ASHA Health Care Economics Committee Co-Chair 
  • AMA Relative Value Update Committee (RUC) member
  • AMA RUC Health Care Professional Advisory Committee Review Board Co-Chair 

Ann Parker, MD, PhD, is an intensivist and assistant professor in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University. She is also co-founder and co-director of The Johns Hopkins Post-Acute COVID-19 Team (PACT) Clinic. Parker's research focuses on understanding and improving post-discharge outcomes for survivors of critical illness.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Grant and salary funding from NIH
  • Speaking fees from Vizient and Johns Hopkins
  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None

Lindsay R. James Riegler, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a research speech-language pathologist and innovation specialist at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center. Riegler is a certified brain injury specialist with 13 years of experience in delivering evidence-based cognitive rehabilitation via telehealth to veterans with traumatic brain injury. Her research has resulted in more than 30 local and national presentations, 14 grant-funded projects, multiple peer-reviewed publications, and one co-authored book chapter. She has experience serving as principal investigator on a randomized clinical drug trial and was recently awarded Mid-Career Research Scientist Award from the University of Cincinnati. Riegler holds academic appointments at The University of Cincinnati and Miami University.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None

Panayiota Senekki-Florent, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, is a pediatric speech-language pathologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital and an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She is a Board Certified Specialist in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders with more than 20 years of experience serving patients with complex medical conditions. Senekki-Florent serves throughout the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, primarily serving critical care populations in the NICU, PICU, and PCICU. She is the director of the Pediatric Clinical Fellowship Program at Johns Hopkins, and her research interests focus on the epidemiology of dysphagia in preterm infants.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None

Sejal Shah, MD, is the division chief of medical psychiatry as well as the associate vice chair for clinical consultation services at Brigham and Women's Hospital. She is the program director of the Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Fellowship, a combined program between Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Shah completed medical school in Philadelphia at Jefferson Medical College and completed her psychiatry training at the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Program (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Brigham and Women's Hospital). She went on to complete a fellowship in consultation-liaison psychiatry at Brigham and Women's Hospital. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry and involved in the organization via two subcommittees. She is the chair of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Council on Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry and serves as a Massachusetts Psychiatric Society APA representative. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Brigham and Women’s Physicians Organization. Her interests include emergency psychiatry, complex hospital systems, and medical education.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None

Aneesha Virani, PhD, CCC-SLP, graduated with her doctorate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the Louisiana State University in 2012. Her interests include the diagnosis and management of voice, airway, and swallowing disorders, particularly in the head and neck cancer patient population. She currently serves as the Clinical Coordinator of Rehabilitation Services for Audiology and Speech Pathology (Inpatient and Outpatient) at Northside Hospital’s Atlanta, Cherokee, and Forsyth campuses. She developed the head and neck cancer program at Northside Hospital, which provides speech and swallowing services to patients diagnosed with head and neck cancers across the survivorship timeline. She has also lead the development of other programs relevant to the care of the patients with speech and swallowing impairments in the inpatient and outpatient settings. Virani serves as the Chair of ASHA's Coordinating Committee on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders and is transitioning off as the editor of Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, SIG 13, Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia) journal. Virani presents at various national and international conferences.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None
"I was most impressed by the speakers and their depth of knowledge and experience. This was an impressive and memorable learning experience."
Past ASHA Professional Development online conference participant
"Each presenter was very experienced and knowledgeable about the specific topic and provided information of practical value in the real treatment world."
Past ASHA Professional Development online conference participant

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