Guest Post by Tim Stockdale, M.S, CCC-SLP – Clinical Assistant Professor of Speech-Language Pathology 

Speech language pathology staff posing outside in snowThe Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology (MS-SLP) program held a continuing education seminar attended by more than 75 members of the community, students, and out-of-state practitioners. Dr. Ianessa Humbert and Dr. Emily Plowman – associate professors from the University of Florida – presented on an array of topics related to dysphagia management.

Dysphagia is a medical term for impaired swallowing. The seminar’s title – Hard to Swallow- A Catalyst for Change in Dysphagia Management – is not only a reference to a swallowing impairment but to the idea that changing the way we practice is no easy undertaking (“hard to swallow”). The title also implies that we, at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (RMUoHP), are agents of change (“catalysts”) within our profession.

There is an enormous need for events of this kind in speech-language pathology and in our community. The event was intended to advance cutting-edge knowledge in speech-language pathology (SLP), to facilitate positive relationships among our local colleagues, and to champion our MS-SLP program as being medically-focused and pro-active. Within graduate SLP education, there is a substantial breadth of material that is expected to be covered within a short period of time. This has presented a threat to the ability of graduate SLP programs to provide adequate depth within many key areas of our field. We want to impress upon healthcare practitioners, educators, and prospective students that we are actively doing our part to promote the best possible outcomes in SLP education and in-patient care.

The seminar engaged attendees by helping them learn from some of the sharpest minds in dysphagia management, and to forge relationships within our professional and local community.  In a recent email, one participant said, “The seminar was FABULOUS! Thank you so much for putting it together. It was also great meeting other SLPs in the area and those of you working in the [your] department.”

“We wish to express our gratitude to the support, open-mindedness, and flexibility of our colleagues at Rocky Mountain University. This institution has provided an environment that allows advancement in healthcare to flourish. We hope to continue this seminar for years to come, as a catalyst for change in our field.”