Who We Are

The National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders was founded in August 2006 as a national, independent, 501(c)(3) not for profit organization. Inspired by the limitations of available treatments and the struggles, challenges and sheer bravery of patients suffering from dysphagia, founding member and leading otolaryngologist, Dr. Peter Belafsky, speech pathologist and dysphagia consultant, Jan Pryor, and dysphagia patient, Sonia Blue, began creating their vision of a Foundation that would grow to be a leading resource for dysphagia education, patient/caregiver support and serve as a clearinghouse for cutting edge research and development. At that time, Mike Donovan joined as our treasurer/fundraiser, providing the Foundation with a solid financial base to carry out its mission. Mike passed away in April of 2018 following a courageous 23-year battle with head and neck cancer (see In Memoriam below).

In August 2012, the Foundation Board of Directors unanimously nominated Ed Steger to take on the role of President for the foundation. Ed accepted this gift by stepping into this new role on September 1, 2012.

Our Board Members

Ed Steger
Sonia Blue
Former President, Board Member
Jan Pryor
Board Member, Support Group Coordinator
Laura Michael
Michelle Ciucci
Liza Blumenfeld
Board Member
Jeffrey B. Palmer
Board Member

Our Medical Director

Peter Belafsky
Medical Director

Our Medical Advisory Board

Nancy Swigert
Medical Advisor
Donna Edwards
Medical Advisor
Shumon Dhar
Medical Advisor
Apoorva Ramaswamy
Medical Advisor

Our Executive Director

Elizabeth Lipton Daly
Executive Director

In Memoriam

Michael Donovan
Co-Founder, Board Member in Memoriam