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Meet our Medical Advisory Board

The NFOSD established a Medical Advisor Board in 2013 to help achieve our mission of improving the quality of life for those suffering from dysphagia, raising public and government awareness about this disorder, and increasing the funding for direct patient support and research.

Medical Advisory Board Members include: Nadine Connor, Jan Lewin, Christy Ludlow, and Nancy Swigert. Our committee members have focused on education, research, and direct patient support of swallowing disorders for a combined total of over 100 years.

Nancy Swigert, M.A.,CCC-SLP, BCS-S

Nancy Swigert earned her Master’s degree in 1978 from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She is a Board Certified Specialist in Swallowing. She was the Director of Speech-Language Pathology and Respiratory Care at Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington, KY, a 385-bed acute care facility, accredited by Joint Commission as a Gold Plus Performance Stroke Center. Additionally, she was the Coordinator for ASHA’s Special Interest Division 13, which encompasses swallowing and swallowing disorders. The Division has over 5400 affiliates. She also was the chair of the Healthcare Economics Committee, and was a president of the ASHA Foundation as well as ASHA President in 1998. She served as chair of the Specialty Board for Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders from 2012-2014. Her areas of interest are swallowing in adults and pediatrics, motor speech, and coding and reimbursement. She also served as a member of the adjunct faculty for the University of Kentucky and Nova Southeastern University.

Donna Edwards, M.A., CCC-SLP, BCS-S, ASHA-F

Donna Edwards is an Associate Professor at Baldwin Wallace University. She earned her Master’s degree from Marshall University. She is a Board Certified Specialist in Swallowing. Donna served pediatrics in inpatient/outpatient settings for 12 years at Dayton Children’s Medical Center as well as 4 years in WV schools. She has also served for 10 years on all rehabilitation teams at Miami Valley Hospital, a Level 1 Trauma Center, including a role as the Dysphagia Coordinator. Currently she is the Chair of The American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders Mentorship Committee and a member of the Application Committee. Her area of interests are swallowing in adults and pediatrics, motor speech, advocacy and ethics. She has the unique perspective of being a swallowing specialist and a parent of a child who had swallowing, dysarthria, visual impairment, hemiparesis and cognitive changes following a stroke and traumatic brain injury.

Past Medical Advisory Board Members

Nadine Conor, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Nadine Connor earned her Ph.D. in Neurophysiology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1997. She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Her research interests include sensorimotor integration for the control of facial movements; tissue flap physiology; voice disorders; and aging and neuromuscular function in the head and neck. Her lab’s research program is directed at understanding how physiological and structural properties of muscles, skin, and the central and peripheral nervous systems change with aging, surgery, diseases and disorders, and how these changes may influence properties of voice production, speech, and swallowing. Her ultimate interest is the manner in which behavioral, medical, or surgical treatment may affect change in function and quality of life. The lab has developed a research program within this overall framework that involves techniques from the basic sciences and human clinical sciences, especially in patient-centered research regarding perceptions of health quality and its measurement.

Christy Ludlow, BS, MS, Ph.D., Professor

Dr. Ludlow is a Professor at James Madison University (JMU) in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders where her research interests include manipulating neural control for dysphagia rehabilitation. She joined JMU after 25 years with the National Institute of Health (NIH). Dr. Ludlow received a B.S. in physiological psychology and an M.S. in speech-pathology and audiology from McGill University. After completing her clinical training, she received her Ph.D. in speech pathology and psycholinguistics fromNew YorkUniversity. Dr. Ludlow moved to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes (NINDS) to initiate laboratory work in speech physiology and joined the NINCDS Intramural Research Program in 1985. Dr. Ludlow received Honors of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in 2005 and the 2006 Award of the American Laryngological Association. Dr. Ludlow’s section studied the neurological organization and control of laryngeal function in voice, speech and swallowing, the pathogenesis of idiopathic voice and speech disorders, and the effects of functional electrical and sensory stimulation in severe swallowing disorders.

Jan Lewin, Ph.D., Professor

Dr. Jan S. Lewin received her Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1994. She is a Professor in the Department of Head and Neck Surgery and Section Chief of Speech Pathology and Audiology at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. She is a national and international authority on the restoration of speech and swallowing function in patients with head and neck cancer. Under her direction, she developed the premier program for functional rehabilitation and restoration of oncology patients worldwide. She routinely lectures at local, national, and international conferences, symposia, and meetings in specialty fields including speech pathology, head and neck surgery, radiotherapy, medical oncology, and plastic surgery and reconstruction. Dr. Lewin graduated Phi Beta Kappa and continues to receive numerous honors and awards for her meritorious contributions to academic scholarship. She is an editorial board member and provides editorial review for numerous professional journals. Dr. Lewin has participated as the principal investigator, chairman, or collaborator on more than 40 research grants, protocols, and contracts. She has written or co-authored more than 50 manuscripts published in scientific journals as well as 16 invited book chapters.