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2017 NFOSD Online Dysphagia Conference Main Program

Date: Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Time: 8:00am – 3:10pm PST

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Keynote Speakers

Bonnie Martin-Harris, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, ASHA Fellow


Dr. Martin-Harris is the Alice Gabrielle Twight Professor in the Roxelyn and Richard Pepper Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Communication at Northwestern University. Dr. Martin-Harris’ research interests include speech and swallowing impairment and treatment approaches for patients with head and neck cancer, neurologic and pulmonary diseases. Her program of research focuses on the cross-system interactions between respiratory and upper aerodigestive functions. She is the past Chair of the Specialty Board for Board Certification in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders, and Past-President of the Dysphagia Research Society. She is Associate Editor for the Dysphagia Journal, past Associate Editor for the Journal of Speech-Language- Hearing Research, Editorial Board member of the Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Editorial Board member for the Bulgarian Journal of Communication Disorders, and reviewer for multiple peer-reviewed journals. She is a Fellow of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), recipient of the 2016 Admiral Albert J. Baciocco Innovation Award – Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), Honorary Member of the MUSC Chapter of The National Academy of Inventors, recipient of Honors from the South Carolina Speech-Language- Hearing Association (SCHA), 2010 MUSC College of Health Professions Scholar of the Year Award and associate member of the Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and the American Head and Neck Society. She is the author and developer of the first standardized method for videofluoroscopic assessment of swallowing impairment (Modified Barium Swallowing Impairment Profile, MBSImP(c)(r)), translated to clinical practices in the US, Canada and 13 additional countries. Her work is funded by the National Institutes on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), the Veteran’s Administration, and the Mark and Evelyn Trammell Foundation.


Financial: Receiving lodging stipend from NFOSD. Salary from Northwestern University

  • VA RR&D Merit, Clinical Impact on Respiratory-Swallow Training on Refractory Dysphagia in OP HNC, 2017 – 2021
  • NIH/NIDCD K24, Research and Mentoring on Swallowing Impairment and Respiratory-Swallow Coordination, 2013 – 2018
  • NIH/NIDCD R01, Standardization of Swallowing Assessment in Bottle-fed Children, 2010 – 2016
  • Mark and Evelyn Trammell Trust, 1993 ─ 2019
  • Covidien-Medtronic (Equipment), 2013 ─ present
  • Northern Speech Services, 2010 ─ present
  • Bracco Diagnostics, Inc., 2009 ─ 2017

Non-Financial: None

Michelle Ciucci, PhD, CCC-SLP


Dr. Michelle Ciucci is a tenured Associated Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her NIH funded translational research program addresses the underlying pathologic mechanisms and potential treatments for communication and swallow disorders in neurodegenerative disease. She also uses state of the art high resolution manometry to study normal and disordered swallowing physiology. Dr. Ciucci has authored over 45 peer-reviewed publications, is a national and international invited speaker, and is committed to teaching and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students. Dr. Ciucci is on the board of directors for the National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders,


Financial: Grants include NIH-NIDCD, Cornell University, University of Wisconsin, Michael J Fox Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Foundation, Reviewer for NIH. Receiving lodging stipend from NFOSD

Salary: University of Wisconsin – Madison

Non-Financial: Board of Directors NFOSD, Editorial Board Journal of Speech-Language-Hearing Research

Maureen Lefton-Greif, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, ASHA Fellowlefton-greif-maureen_large

Maureen A. Lefton-Greif, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S is Associate Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She is a Fellow of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) and Board Certified Specialist in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders. Dr. Lefton-Greif is an expert clinician in pediatric feeding/swallowing disorders and has presented on feeding/swallowing development and its disorders nationally and internationally. Her research focuses on standardization of fluoroscopic images from bottle-fed children with dysphagia and respiratory-swallow coordination in progressive diseases with pediatric origins. Her work is funded by the National Institutes of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) and the Ataxia Telangiectasia Children’s Project.


Financial: Receiving lodging stipend from NFOSD

Salary: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Research Funding: NIH/NIDCD: R01DC011290, The Ataxia Telangiectasia Children’s Project


Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Dysphagia; Editorial Review Board for the Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; Editorial Board Member for the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology

Denise A. Barringer, CCC-SLP, BCS-S


Denise Barringer, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, is a board certified swallowing specialist with over 15 years of experience in the area dysphagia in patients with head and neck cancer.  Denise is the Manager of the Section of Speech Pathology and Audiology at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center.  She serves both at the state and national level on various boards and is the Past President of the Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association.


Financial: Salary from University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Receiving lodging stipend from NFOSD

Non-Financial:  Chair of the Public Relations Committee for the American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders; Chair of the Past Presidents Powerhouse for the Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association


Molly Knigge, CCC-SLP, BCS-S


Molly A. Knigge is an ASHA certified speech pathologist specializing in evaluation and treatment of swallowing disorders as well as laryngectomy rehabilitation. She was awarded board specialty certification in swallowing (BCS-S) in 2009. Practice areas of interest include clinical application of high resolution manometry and instrumental biofeedback in treatment of oropharyngeal swallowing disorders. She currently serves as senior speech pathologist and manager of the Swallowing Service in the University of Wisconsin Voice and Swallowing Clinics, and is currently pursuing her PhD in Clinical Investigation at UW-Madison.


Financial: Salary from University of Wisconsin-Madison Voice & Swallowing Clinics, receiving lodging stipend from NFOSD

Non-Financial: None

Liza Blumenfeld, CCC-SLP, BCS-S


Liza currently works as the Co-Director of the UCSD Moores Head and Neck Cancer Center and UCSD Voice and Swallowing Center. She is a board-certified swallowing disorders specialist whose therapeutic approach integrates science and technology within a multidisciplinary care model. Liza has served in rehabilitation leadership since 1996, providing both therapeutic services and administrative oversight of clinical programs. Prior to joining UC San Diego Health, she was manager of speech-language pathology, audiology and motility at the Center for Voice and Swallowing at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, where she was recognized for transforming the center into a thriving regional center of excellence. Blumenfeld also is a national instructor to speech-language pathologists on transnasal endoscopy technique and interpretation.


Financial: I am co-owner of Endo-Education; employed by the University of California – San Diego; receiving lodging stipend from NFOSD

Non-Financial: none

steeleCatriona Steele, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, S-LP(C), Reg. CASLPO, ASHA Fellow

Professor Catriona M. Steele is Director of the Swallowing Rehabilitation Research Laboratory at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – University Health Network. Dr. Steele is a Professor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Toronto. Professor Steele also serves as a board member of the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (


Financial: Receiving lodging stipend from NFOSD

Current research funding from:

  • National Institutes of Health (USA)
  • Nestlé Health Science
  • Bracco Canada

Salary support from University Health Network, Toronto

Non-Financial: Board member, IDDSI (International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative), Associate Editor, Dysphagia Journal, Journal of Speech-Language Hearing Research

Kate Hutcheson, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S


Kate A. Hutcheson, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Head and Neck Surgery and Associate Director of Research for the Section of Speech Pathology and Audiology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Hutcheson is a Board Certified Specialist in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (BCS-S) and an expert clinician in radiation associated dysphagia and head and neck cancer rehabilitation. Dr. Hutcheson leads an NIH-funded research program focused on optimization of functional outcomes in head and neck cancer survivors.


Financial: Receiving lodging stipend from NFOSD

Research funding: NCI R03CA1881652, NIDCR R01FR025248, MD Anderson Oropharynx Program Fund, MD Anderson Institutional Research Grant Program, NCI CTEP NCORP

Salary: MD Anderson Cancer Center

Honoraria: MedBridge, Medical College of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin

Non-Financial: AB-SSD board

Timothy McCulloch, MD, FACS


Dr. Timothy McCulloch is the Professor and Chairman of the Division of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in the Department of Surgery. The Division of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery at the University of Wisconsin- Madison has been highly successful in its research and clinical efforts. Dr. McCulloch has over 25 years of research experience focusing head and neck cancer, skull base disease, reconstructive surgery and voice and swallow related disorders. His work has incorporated both animal and human studies with significant contributions centered on neuromuscular control of swallowing and voice. This is accomplished through interactive analysis of date from pressure recordings (high-resolution manometry), intramuscular electromyography, and computer models of muscle activity associated with oral- pharyngeal swallow. Most recently his work has centered on the utility of high resolution manometry, automated data extraction and artificial neural networks to address both basic science and clinical questions. Dr. McCulloch is an NIH funded researcher with over 100 peer reviewed publications and has contributed to more than 20 book chapters. Dr. McCulloch is also has a very active clinical practice seeing over a 1000 patients each year. His practice is centered on the care of patients with voice and swallowing disorders head & neck cancer patients and skull base disease. He completed Medical School and a Master’s program in Physiology at the University of Nebraska, his Surgery and Otolaryngology training at the University of Washington, in Seattle and has been a Faculty member at three academic medical centers (University of Iowa, University of Washington, and University of Wisconsin) during the last 25 years.


Financial: Receives research funding and salary from NIH and University of Wisconsin-Madison; Receiving a lodging stipend from the NFOSD

Non-Financial: None

Nicole Pulia, PhD, CCC-SLP


Nicole Rogus-Pulia, PhD, CCC-SLP is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Surgery in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Medicine and Public Health (UWSMPH) as well as Director of the Swallowing Research Laboratory in the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital. Clinically, Dr. Rogus-Pulia serves as Director of the multi-site Swallow STRengthening OropharyNGeal (Swallow STRONG) funded by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The goal of Dr. Rogus-Pulia’s research program is to systematically identify and characterize factors underlying dysphagia in older adults and translate these findings into novel, evidence-based treatments for prevention of pneumonia onset. Her specific research interests include the effects of tongue strengthening on swallow function and health status, the impact of altered salivary production on swallowing, and the design of interventional studies for dysphagia in patients with dementia. Dr. Rogus-Pulia’s work has been presented at numerous national conferences and has received several awards, including the Dysphagia Research Society’s (DRS) New Investigator and Sumiko Okada International Fellowship awards. Additionally, Dr. Rogus-Pulia serves in numerous leadership roles through membership on several DRS committees and the national VHA Dementia Directive Committee.


Financial: Salary support from University of Wisconsin-Madison and William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospial; Consultant fee from Medbridge, Inc.; Receiving lodging stipend from NFOSD

Non-Financial: ASHA and DRS Member

Pamela Dodrill, PhD, CCC-SLP



Pamela is a SLP who has worked in the field of pediatric feeding and dysphagia for over 15 years. Pamela worked at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Brisbane, Australia for over a decade before relocating to Boston to work at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Brigham & Women’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in. Pamela completed her PhD in the area of infant feeding at the Children’s Nutrition Research Center in Brisbane, and continues to perform research in the area of childhood feeding difficulties.


Financial:  Salary from Brigham & Women’s Hospital; receiving lodging stipend from NFOSD

Honorary: Boston Children’s Hospital

Nancy Swigert, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, ASHA Fellow, ASHA Honors


Nancy is the Process Excellence Coordinator at Baptist Health Lexington in KY. She is a board certified specialist in swallowing and swallowing disorders and the past chair of the American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders.  She lectures and writes on both pediatric and adult dysphagia.


Financial: Receiving lodging stipend from NFOSD. Royalties from The Source for Dysphagia and The Source for Pediatric Dysphagia

Non-Financial: Published on dysphagia

Ed Steger, MS

Ed Steger

Ed Steger is a head and neck cancer survivor. He was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma at the base of his tongue and oral cavity in 2005. After hitting some rough patches in 2006 and 2007, he has had no evidence of disease for five years. Ed’s dysphagia is severe and began in mid 2006 after a 12 hour salvage surgery which required removal of his left lower jaw bone, part of his tongue, a large section of tissue, muscle, and nerves from the upper back part of his esophagus, part of his epiglottis, and a quarter-sized hole in his soft palate. In his quest to regain a social eating style, he contacted and was seen by Dr. Belafsky. This clinic visit was the start of a new friendship which included an introduction to Sonia Blue, the former NFOSD President. Sonia and Ed began working together. To make a long story short, Sonia surveyed the NFOSD board of directors, gained a consensus, and then asked Ed if he would take over as president of the Foundation. Ed viewed this as a gift and accepted the presidency effective September 1, 2012.

Ed remains an active volunteer patient research advocate at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center where he has been treated since his original diagnosis. Ed’s career before cancer was as a management consultant and program manager with a bent toward information technology projects. He has run programs valued at up to one billion dollars and has experience in the healthcare, banking, energy, hospitality, retail, construction, real estate, and film industries.


Financial: Receiving lodging stipend from NFOSD.

Non-Financial: President, NFOSD