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Meet our New Medical Advisory Board!

Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Christy Ludlow, Jan Lewin, Nancy Swigert, and Nadine Connor.

The NFOSD is pleased to announce the creation and addition of a Medical Advisory Board (MAB) to the foundation. TheMABis a major step forward in achieving our mission of improving the quality of life for those suffering from dysphagia, raising public and government awareness about this disorder, and ultimately increasing the funding for direct patient support and research. Initial board members include Nadine Connor, Jan Lewin, Christy Ludlow, and Nancy Swigert. Although for many, introductions are unnecessary, these initial committee members have focused on education, research, and direct patient support of swallowing disorders for a combined total of over 100 years. Nancy was a past ASHA President and is currently the BCS-S chair, Christy was at the National Institute of Health for 25 years before recently joining James Madison University, Nadine is an Associate Profession at the University of Wisconsin and runs a robust research lab, and Jan is on the faculty at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and a national and internationally recognized dysphagia expert.

The NFOSD is honored to have these four people commit themselves to this new Board, and is extremely grateful to them for volunteering their time, effort, and expertise to our foundation. During 2013 we expect to expand this advisory group at a gradual pace until we reach a full complement of 12 to 14 members.  Brief biographies of our inaugural group of experts follow.  To those of you who are not yet familiar with these individuals, you will be awed when you read of their contributions to date, and as excited as we are as we look to what the NFOSD can accomplish in the near future.


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 Recognized Specialist in Swallowing. She is 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 will serve as chair of the Specialty Board for Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders 2012-2014. Her areas of interest are swallowing in adults and pediatrics, motor speech, and coding and reimbursement. She also serves as a member of the adjunct faculty for the University of Kentucky and Nova Southeastern University.


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 fromMcGillUniversity. 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.