Laura Michael earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition from the Ohio State University and then trained with one of the authors of the American Dietetic Association’s National Dysphagia Diet.
Laura spent more than ten years as a Regional Sales Manager in the healthcare/food industry. During that time she educated and trained hospital, nursing home and rehab facility staffs on how to make foods and beverages safe, palatable and pleasing for their patients with swallowing disorders. Laura learned first-hand just how important it is to manage dysphagia, on a day-to-day basis, when her dad developed dysphagia due to Lewy Bodies Dementia. She was able to translate all her industry knowledge and cooking skills to help her mother and others care for her ailing father.
In 2011, Laura started her own company, Dysphagia Supplies Direct, to help people with dysphagia live their best lives. She trains professionals (including CEU courses) and family care-givers in how to manage the food and beverage modifications necessary using techniques and products to meet the needs of each unique client. Her company offers specialty food products, many of which are not readily available outside the acute-care setting, making it possible to receive care at home, in a group home or other care setting. Her specialty is caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other Dementias, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, Stroke and Head-Neck-Oral Cancers. She is a frequent public speaker to patients, caregivers and the professionals supporting these populations.
Laura is a regular contributor to the NFOSD website and e-newsletter, Small Bytes. Her passion to “making life a little easier to swallow” shines through in every initiative she undertakes for the Foundation.