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Critical Thinking in Dysphagia Management

Course Description

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Obamacare) is moving the health care industry towards a pay-for-performance based service delivery model. Thus, re-admissions for dehydration, malnutrition, and aspiration pneumonia in dysphagic patients could lead to financial penalties for health care institutions. A significant shift in practice patterns of Speech-Language Pathologists in dysphagia management is required to avoid financial penalties and limitations to our professional scope of practice. The overall goal of this course is to close the current practice gap between pay-for-performance requirements and current dysphagia management practice. Attendees will leave with the ability to identify objective physiologic metrics, utilize a clinical decision tree, and obtain critical talking points to advocate for resources for patients with dysphagia management.

Course Objectives

  1. Identify inconsistencies in clinical decision making for traditional and emerging treatment techniques.
  2. Learn how to apply objective metric based measures to establish a diagnostic baseline and treatment gains in dysphagia management.
  3. Derive physiologically based treatments to address several of the most common challenging swallowing pathophysiologies.
  4. Learn to create and use a physiologically guided clinical decision tree to incorporate into your everyday practice.




Humbt_IanessaIanessa A. Humbert, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is an Associate Professor at the University of Florida in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. She has expertise in swallowing and swallowing disorders. Dr. Humbert’s research program is focused on the physiological mechanisms of swallowing disorders and the development of rehabilitation strategies for dysfunction. Her interests center on the peripheral and central control of swallowing in normal and impaired function. More recently, a major interest of her research program has been to understand the neural mechanisms underlying normal and disordered swallowing and how principles of motor learning can be applied to examine these as well as swallowing interventions. In this context, Dr. Humbert’s research involves neural stimulation, neural imaging, and peripheral perturbation studies of swallowing in humans. These studies focus on aspects of age-related decline and neurogenic dysphagia and how rehabilitation can be more effective when implementing skill learning and/or adaptation to perturbations.

Dr. Humbert’s research has been steadily supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, The American Heart Association, and The American Speech Language Hearing Association since 2006. Dr. Humbert is a widely sought after invited speaker at several regional, national, and international clinical and scientific meetings. Dr. Humbert has created online courses for CEU credit on swallowing physiology and clinical practice, for which hundreds of clinicians have registered to date and she is the author of the Swallowing Pocket Guide: A Quick Reference for Muscles and Innervation, which has sold several hundred copies nationally and internationally.


  • Providence/Swedish Employees- $150
  • Non-Providence/Swedish Employees- $300

Course Information

  • July 23, 2016, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • 8 Contact Hours
  • Appropriate Audience: SLP
  • Providence St. Peter Hospital
    410 Lilly Rd NE
    Room 200
    Olympia, WA 98506


David Howell, OTR/L, Rehab Education Manager

Registration Instructions:

Register Online or contact David Howell at david.howell@providence.org