Voice and Swallowing Care now available at Harry Jersig Center
Patients can regain proper voice and swallowing function

Unveiled in November of 2008, Our Lady of the Lake University’s Harry Jersig Center is now equipped to offer voice and swallowing care.  Patients can benefit from advanced, new technology and the expertise offered at the Jersig Center to evaluate and treat voice and swallowing disorders.  The Jersig Center can offer reduced fees for services and accepts some insurances.

Christine Carmichael, PhD, CCC-SLP, is the director of Voice and Swallowing Care at the Jersig Center and she said the new resources are beneficial to the University, the students and the community. 

“We offer state-of-the-art evaluation and treatment for persons with voice or swallowing problems,” Carmichael said. “This enables us to establish a niche in the field of communication disorders, attract students who are interested in these specialty areas, and offer critical services to the community.”

Voice problems can include hoarseness, throat pain, and difficulty talking.  These symptoms could be caused by misuse of the voice or could indicate a more serious condition.  Swallowing disorders can involve painful or difficult swallowing, frequent choking or coughing, and recurrent respiratory infections.   The speech pathologists and professionals who provide Voice and Swallowing Care at OLLU can assess these and other problems using a variety of tests that include:
  • Acoustic assessment of voice production: This involves assimilation of voice parameters using a computerized Multi-Dimensional Voice Program.
  • Aerodynamic assessment of cough and respiratory function for voice and swallow involves the use of pneumotachometry (to measure cough flow and volume); spirometry (to measure pulmonary volumes and capacities); and manometry (measures respiratory pressures, which correlate to the strength of the respiratory musculature).
  • Electromyography: Measures electrical activity of muscles for voice and swallowing via surface electrodes on the neck.
  • Videostroboscopy: Allows for a magnified real-time view of the larynx and the vocal folds in motion during voicing using a small scope placed in the mouth.
  • Behavioral Voice Therapy: Encompasses a myriad of professional treatment modalities for a wide range of hyperfunctional, hypofunctional, and dysfunctional voice disorders.
  • Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES): An exam that uses a flexible scope passed through the nose to enable direct assessment of the motor and sensory aspects of swallow.
  • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES): A non-invasive therapy designed to promote muscle activity during swallow.
  • Swallowing therapies and compensatory techniques: Include behavioral and dietary treatments to manage and assure safe swallow.

For more information, call ext. 2413.

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