Local Swallowing Support Group Chapters

NFOSD-Affiliated Dysphagia Support Groups in the United States

{More Details Listed Below}


Support groups bring together people facing similar issues. Members of support groups often share experiences and advice. It can be helpful getting to talk with other people who are in the same boat. While not everyone wants or needs support beyond that offered by family, friends, and their medical team, you may find it helpful to turn to others outside your immediate circle. A dysphagia support group can help you cope better and feel less isolated as you make connections with others facing similar challenges. A support group shouldn’t replace your standard medical care, but it can provide hope and be a valuable additional resource.


Why Join a Support Group?

Members of our dysphagia support groups report:

  • Feeling less lonely, isolated, anxious, depressed, or judged
  • Gaining a sense of empowerment and control
  • Being able to talk openly and honestly about one’s feelings
  • Getting practical advice or information about treatment and coping options
  • Comparing notes about resources, such as doctors and alternative options

Interested in starting a local support group chapter?

We have a Support Group Coordinator who can help you get started!


Don’t see a support group in your area? Consider joining our monthly virtual meetings, moderated by a board-certified swallowing specialist and a licensed family therapist.

Adult Online Swallowing Support Group

Pediatric Online Swallowing Support Group


Please note that many in-person groups are on hold due to the pandemic. Some groups are offering a virtual option. We recommend reaching out to the moderator for more details. 


UNITED STATES:

Arizona – Virtual

Malathy Venkatesh, PhD, CCC-SLP & Kathryn Hammond, MS, CCC -SLP

SSGArizona@yahoo.com

Virtual via Zoom (email for link)

First Thursday of every month from 6:00pm -7:00 pm AZ Time


California- La Jolla

Liza Blumenfeld MA CCC-SLP, BCS-S

Liza@endo-education.com

(858) 626-5059

Virtual via Zoom (email for link)

Meetings take place the 4th Wednesday of every month from 11:00-12:00pm (PST)


California- Los Angeles

Shannon Crow, MS, CCC-SLP and Lily Schneiderman, MS, CCC-SLP, CBIS

LADSGroupCA@gmail.com

Virtual via Zoom (email for link)

Meet the 2nd Tuesday of every month from 6:00-7:00 pm (PST)

Follow on Instagram for any updates @ladysphagiasupportgroup


California- Sacramento

Lisa Evangelista, CScD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S

Jennifer Mount, jjmount@ucdavis.edu

(916) 734–1530

University of California, Davis Medical Center, Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery 2521 Stockton Blvd 7th Floor Conference Room, Sacramento, CA 95817

Please email Jennifer for meeting details.


California- San Francisco

Bay Area Swallowing Support

Theresa Yao, SLPD, CCC-SLP and Claire Heitlinger, M.S., CCC-SLP

Virtual via Zoom

Meeting dates/time: 2nd Thursday of every other month from 4:00-5:00pm (PST) starting January 12th, 2023.

Register by Email: bayareaswallow@gmail.com

Register on Website: www.dysfogia.com/bass


Colorado- Denver

Katia Bruno, MEd, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, Shannon Heinrich, MS, CCC-SLP, Beth DalSanto, MSP, CCC-SLP

brunoekaterina@yahoo.com

Virtual via Zoom (email for link)

Dates for 2024: 2/9, 5/10, 9/13, 11/8


Connecticut – Sharon

Katja Schultz, MS, CCC-SLP

katja.schultz@nuvancehealth.org

860-364-4065

Sharon Hospital

Meets on the last Thursday of every month from 1:00-2:00

Email for details


Florida – (Virtual, Open to any Florida residents)

Maggie Donaker, MS, CCC-SLP & Kristin Winter, M.Ed., CCC-SLP

info@dysphagiadigest.com

Virtual Meetings (email for schedule/details)

Website: https://www.dysphagiadigest.com

Facebook Site: https://www.facebook.com/DysphagiaDigest/


Illinois- Chicago

Dr. Bonnie Martin-Harris, PhD, CCC-SLP

Dr. Katelyn Stephan, MD

Dick Lami, HNC Survivor

Email: scsc@northwestern.edu

Phone: (312) 772-3920

Next Meeting: April 25, 2024 at 6:30pm (in person)

2240 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208


Missouri – Cape Girardeau

Allison Remley, MS, CCC-SLP

aremley@sehealth.org

Meetings are currently on hold, please email if interested.


New Jersey – Princeton

Susan M. Pattay, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S

susan.pattay@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Princeton Medical Center in the Edward and Marie Matthews Center for Care- Conference Room

One Plainsboro Road, Plainsboro, NJ 08536

Meetings will be held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, 12:00-3:30 pm EST

Registration preferred. Walk-ins welcome. Email to register


New York- Central

Ainsley Martin, MS, CCC-SLP

ainsley.s.martin@gmail.com

Virtual Meetings

Meetings are held once every two months for a total of six meetings per year. Form on website (see below) to RSVP for meeting.

Website: https://www.stateofmindspeechandswallowing.com/ny-dysphagia-support

Website: https://www.stateofmindspeechandswallowing.com/ny-dysphagia-support


Ohio – Columbus

Nicole Wiksten, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S

The Ohio State University

Wiksten.1@osu.edu

614-292-9347

Meets virtually at 4:30pm on the last Tuesday of each month. Email for link.


Oregon – Eugene

Samantha Shune, PhD, CCC-SLP

sshune@uoregon.edu

(541) 346-7494

This group is currently on hold. Please email if interested in participating.


Tennessee – Nashville

Location: Nashville, TN Dysphagia Support Group

Support Group Leaders: Hannah Malamud, MS, CCC-SLP and Cara Donohue, PhD, CCC-SLP

Meeting Location: Vanderbilt Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute

1215 21st Ave S., Suite 9211

Nashville, TN 37232

Meeting Date: Second Thursday of Every Month

Time: 4:30-6:00 p.m. CT

Contact: Hannah.malamud@vumc.org


Texas – Tyler

Meaghan Arnold, MS, CCC-SLP

meaghan@ssnrtx.com

903-871-5712

1101 E Southeast Loop 323, Suite 175

Tyler, TX 75701

First Tuesday of every month from 4pm-5 pm

Email for meeting details.


Washington – Seattle

Jan Pryor, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S and Angelina Fitzgerald, MS, CCC-SLP

jpryor2@u.washington.edu

619-339-5491

Virtual Meetings

Meetings are held the second Thursday of each month. Please email or call to attend and be put on the mailing list.

Website: http://www.uwmedicine.org/Pages/default.aspx


Wisconsin – Madison

Katie Wengel, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S

kathleen.wengel@va.gov

Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church

209 South Street Waunakee, WI 53597

Note: Please note that this group is for Head and Neck Cancer Survivors

Dates: 5 – 6:30pm on April 4, July 18, October 10


CANADA

Zuleikha Wadhwaniya, MS SLP (C), Reg. CASLPO & Ashwini Namasivyam-McDonald, PhD, SLP(C), Reg. CASLPO

zuleikha.wadhwaniya@uhn.ca

Virtual via Zoom

Email for next meeting date and to join the mailing list

Website: http://www.uwmedicine.org/Pages/default.aspx


PAKISTAN – Islamabad

​Faiza Badar, Rehabilitation Department Manager

Initial Meeting: January 2, 2023

Shifa International Hospital

Email: faiza.badar@shifa.com.pk

Phone: 051-846 4823