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Education listings are free of charge. To include your education program on the MSHA website, email the office at theoffice@mshahearsay.org.

    • 17 Apr 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)
    • Zoom

    Student Research Symposium

    Goal: To offer students across the commonwealth of Massachusetts a platform for sharing original research and special interest information to facilitate interschool communication, fostering professional growth and relationships.

    Intended Audience
    Students at all levels, Mentors & Professors; This will not be an ASHA CEU educational event. Email invites will be shared to the universities to pass along for student recruitment. MSHA membership is encouraged, but not required, to participate. 

    Each speaker will have 15 minutes to share their presentation. Submit here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSePWvNgwhynpOp5PB8j_CCTu598H-y7PDW_OQ8AXUJiM5CxCQ/viewform

    Learn more here.

    • 06 May 2021
    • 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM (EDT)
    • Zoom
    • 84

    Career Transitions for the SLPs
    May 06, 2021 | 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM ET

    Members: FREE

    Non-Members: $60

    The career of an SLP is multi-faceted, with many SLPs transitioning practice settings throughout their career, from schools to private practice, from acute care to skilled nursing, from outpatient to academia. The more challenging transitions occur when an SLP looks to start working with pediatrics after being in an adult practice setting and vice-versa, when a pedi SLP looks to enter into adult clinical practice. Tonight’s speakers are leaders with experience in interviewing and hiring. They will discuss what an SLP should consider when looking to change their clinical practice population, including tips for interviewing and resume-building.

    Meredith Finnie, M.S., CCC-SLP
    New England Regional Director
    EBS Healthcare

    Meredith Finnie, M.S., CCC-SLP currently works as the New England Regional Director with EBS Healthcare, where she manages a team of employees and supervises new graduates. She also is an Adjunct Faculty at Regis College. Mrs. Finnie has been an active member of the Massachusetts Speech-Language-Hearing Association for over 16 years, and has held various Board positions, most currently the President. Mrs. Finnie served on ASHA’s Convention Planning Committee for the 2018 convention in Boston.


    Financial: Meredith receives a salary from EBS Healthcare and Regis College.

    Non-financial: Meredith is donating her honorarium to MSHA. She is a member of ASHA and the president of MSHA.

    Jennifer Rucci, MA, CCC-SLP, CDP, RAC-CT
    Certified FEES Specialist
    Swallowing Diagnostic LLC (SDX), Apple Rehab and Encore Therapy

    Jennifer Rucci, MA, CCC-SLP, CDP, RAC-CT is a graduate of the University of Connecticut receiving both Masters (2011) and Bachelor (2009) degrees in Speech Pathology and Communication Disorders. In her tenure as a speech pathologist, Jennifer has worked in nursing homes across New England. In 2012 she became a certified FEES specialist with SDX Dysphagia Experts and continues to perform FEES with the company today. In 2016 Jennifer joined Fusion Rehab Services, a boutique contract therapy company, rising to Vice President of Clinical Development. In that role Jennifer used her certifications as Certified Dementia Practitioner and Certified Resident Assessment Coordinator to help guide policy development and clinical education of PT, OT and Speech Pathology. One of Jennifer’s biggest passions is in student and new graduate development, having supervised over 20 Clinical Fellows and Students during her career.


    Financial: Jennifer receives a salary from Swallowing Diagnostic LLC (SDX), Apple Rehab and Encore Therapy. She is receiving an honorarium for this presentation.

    Non-financial: Jennifer is the ASHA Stamp for Connecticut. She is a member of ASHA. Jennifer is an elected representative of the Salem Board of Education. She provides education to SLP students at the University of Connecticut and to SLP students at Southern Connecticut State University.

    Learner Outcomes

    1. Participants will identify optimal ways to translate their current skill set to the skills needed for the position they are seeking.
    2. Participants will understand the role of experience in seeking a change in practice population.

    Timed Agenda

    • 6:30-6:40 Speaker introductions, lead into Pediatric portion
    • 6:40-6:55 What skills are most important to gaining a pediatric position in lieu of pedi experience?
    • 6:55-7:10 How does an interviewee successfully translate their experience with adults to working with peds?
    • 7:10-7:25 Tips for interviews & resume writing for a pediatric position
    • 7:25-7:35 Pediatric Q&A, lead into adult portion
    • 7:35-7:50 What skills are most important to gaining an adult practice position in lieu of adult experience?
    • 7:50-8:05 How does an interviewee successfully translate experience with peds to working with adults?
    • 8:05-8:20 Tips for interviews & resume writing for an adult-based position
    • 8:20-8:25 Adult Q&A
    • 8:20-8:30 Evaluations

    ASHA requires participation in the CEU Registry to receive CEUs. If you are not part of ASHA’s CEU Registry, the Certificate of Completion will serve as documentation for ASHA CMHs.

    This course has been approved for ASHA CEUs.

    • 03 Jun 2021
    • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM (EDT)
    • Zoom
    • 86

    IDDSI: Who, Why, What, When & How of Implementation

    From Aware - Prepare - Adopt
    June 3, 2021 | 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM ET

    Members: FREE
    Non-Members: $60

    The International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative's (IDDSI) main goal is: "Safety through common terminology for all ages, in all care settings, and for all cultures."

    Speech-language pathologists in Massachusetts have been at the forefront of this global standardization of dysphagia diets. Imagine global consensus! This lecture will bring you out of simply the awareness phase and into implementation and eventual adoption in your facilities.

    IDDSI is now best-practice, as IDDSI was based on:

    • Years of literature reviews gathering the latest evidence,
    • Data collection from stakeholders across healthcare to create and revise the IDDSI framework and descriptors of dysphagia diets, and
    • Expert opinion from many related disciplines from around the world.

    Join the global wave of IDDSI. It is not too late to get started. IDDSI knows that the process can be complex and may take 1-2 years to fully implement and adopt. That is okay. Let's get started at this Webinar. We will cover:

    • Why we are standardizing to IDDSI,
    • What the new IDDSI framework means,
    • How to use the simple IDDSI testing methods for all the drinks and food textures, and
    • Many resources to assist you in implementation,
    • And more...

    IDDSI.org has "Implementation Guides" available to help you along the way. By "Guides," we mean IDDSI's charts with a 12-month plan to demonstrate your progress to your IDDSI team, your facility and future surveyors. By "Guides," we also mean that IDDSI has created a United States & Territories IDDSI Reference Group (USTIRG) made up of hundreds of volunteers to help you and your facilities with implementation.

    In conclusion, IDDSI was created by a multidisciplinary team of volunteers from around the world. IDDSI is a "living document," with future changes guided by global consensus; therefore, we know that by switching to IDDSI, we will always be providing our patients with the BEST!

    About the Speaker

    Karen Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S

    Karen has over 24 years of experience as a medical speech-language pathologist, specializing in dysphagia since 1995, when she graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She obtained her Board Certification as a Swallowing Specialist (BCS-S) in 2012. In 2014, she started SwallowStudy.com, which is a dysphagia resource for professionals & people with difficulty swallowing (dysphagia). Karen has worked in acute care, rehabilitation centers, skilled nursing facilities, and in home health care. She currently works at a hospital in Boston, owns her own dysphagia consulting business, performs peer reviews and presentations, and provides dysphagia expert services to companies and law firms. Believing in constant continuing education, she has been awarded the ASHA Award for Continuing Education 7 times. She received the Health Hero Award from Hormel Health Labs. She is a member of ASHA’s Special Interest Group 13, the National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders (NFOSD), the Dysphagia Research Society, IDDSI’s USTIRG, and is co-chair of the PR & Communications Committee for the American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (ABSSD).


    Per diem inpatient & outpatient senior speech-language pathologist - Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/BIDMC (3 days/week prior to COVID-19 crisis)

    • Dysphagia consultant and presenter for Hormel Health Labs, and she sits on a Hormel Advisory Council with RDNs. Paid positions.
    • Compensated as an instructor by Summit Education, SpeechPathology.com/Continued.com, Encompass Health. Ongoing royalties received from my Summit Education webinars only (x2).
    • Honorariums for presenting on IDDSI from Hormel Health Labs, Becky Dorner Associates, Martin Bros. Distributing Co, Inc., New Hampshire Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, Nutritious Lifestyles, and Mass DHCC.
    • Karen Sheffler's website, SwallowStudy.com, has affiliate relationships with MedSLP Collective, Medbridge Education and CWI (which sells dysphagia products such as thickeners and pureed foods). These have been very small monetary commissions if any.
    • Performed paid peer reviews for MedBridge prior to their discontinuation of that practice.
    • Paid by Medbridge, Trudell Medical International (regarding Abilex), and Arkray USA, Inc (regarding “Assure Slide/Phazix”) for blogs and dysphagia consultation services.
    • Paid by Medbridge to assist in creating their dysphagia platform of patient education/exercises.
    • Consulting fees for dysphagia expert witness work from law firms.

    Founder, developer & writer of the website SwallowStudy.com. Active on social media through @SwallowStudySLP (LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest).

    • Member of the ASHA Special Interest Group 13 and the National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders (NFOSD).
    • Member of the Dysphagia Research Society. Ended a two-term membership on the Website, Communications, Public Relations Committee in April 2020. Prior to that, I was actively promoting DRS through social media.
    • Member and co-chair of American Board of Swallow and Swallowing Disorders’ Public Relations & Communications Committee /PRCC (ABSSD).
    • Volunteer peer-reviewing for DysphagiaGrandRounds.com, the American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (ABSSD) and the Swallowing Training and Education Portal (STEP).
    • IDDSI Champion, promoting the International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative through social media since 2014. Member of the IDDSI USTIRG work groups for resources and development, as well as implementation and advocacy.

      Learner Objectives

      Participants will be able to:

      1. Advocate for the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI), by understanding IDDSI and why there is a global effort to standardize diets for people who have difficulty swallowing (dysphagia).
      2. Classify foods and liquids, according to the IDDSI Framework and Descriptors.
      3. Demonstrate effective testing and analysis of foods and liquids, according to the IDDSI Framework Testing Methods.
      4. Create individual and facility “to-do” lists in order to guide the facility’s implementation plan.
      5. Gain resources to create a plan to move from IDDSI awareness, to preparation, and eventually to adoption.

      Timed Agenda

      6:30 -6:35pm (5 minutes) Introduction of speaker, learning objectives, and IDDSI's Monitor-Aware-Prepare-Adopt schematic

      6:35-6:40 pm (5 minutes) WHO - IDDSI's mission, board of directors, sponsors

      6:40-6:55 pm (15 minutes) WHY

      • IDDSI's original "Why" slides
      • What does a regular diet require?
      • Choking risks, literature, coroner's reports, expert witness experience, IDDSI's YouTube video on choking risk with bread
      • Diet modification systems around the world
      • IDDSI's literature reviews
        • Stakeholder Survey 2013-2014
        • Systematic Review 2015
        • IDDSI's new Mission Statement on "Why IDDSI" for Healthcare workers - from USTIRG

      6:55-7:10 pm (15 minutes) WHAT

      • Framework
      • Detailed Descriptors & Testing Methods
      • Mapping from NDD to IDDSI
      • Descriptions of all solids: Levels 4, 5, 6, 7 Easy to Chew
      • Descriptions of all drink levels: Levels 0, 1, 2, 3, 4
      • Transitional Foods

      7:10-7:30 pm (20 minutes) WHAT continued on Testing Methods

      • Importance of Point of Service testing. IDDSI food characteristics
      • Spoon Tilt Test
      • Fork Drip Test
      • Particle Size Testing
      • Fork Pressure Test & Fork Separation Test
      • IDDSI Flow Test
      • Flow test at your facility with all liquid meds and supplements

      7:30-7:35 pm (5 minutes) WHEN

      • When did the US recommend adoption of IDDSI?
      • Fully supported by the AND, ANFP, ASHA. What does that mean?

      7:35-7:50 pm (15 minutes) HOW

      • Monitor throughout your process of aware, prepare, adopt
      • Find champions at your facility to form a task force (doctors, nurse practioners, physician's assistants, nursing, chefs, kitchen staff, certified dietary managers, registered dietitians, CNAs, other SLPs, and residents/patients/families/caregivers)
      • Plug into website: check out the USTIRG (flag icons have country specific resources), sign up for emails and e-bites, IDDSI app, download and print posters, print audit sheets and implementation guides
      • Ask questions
      • Talk about risk management to get administration buy-in
      • Computer abbreviations/labeling/colors -- all cannot be altered. Did you know that the colors pass color-blind testing? Must use exact IDDSI colors.
      • Start dual labeling on your orders, diet cards, and in your reports. We teach iddsi through our reports. Start "brainwashing" to new labels. The nurses love the new labels, as Mildly thick versus Moderately thick is so much clearer than Nectar versus Honey. Our new solid texture labels are much more descriptive than terms like "mechanical soft" and "mechanically altered," and risk of liability will reduce while patient safety improves!
      • IDDSI Framework is protected by the creative commons license, which allows sharing and reproduction of materials for free, but we cannot start making massive modifications, as that will put people back into high risks for aspiration and choking due to the lack of standards.

      7:50-8:00 pm (10 minutes) Questions

        ASHA requires participation in the CEU Registry to receive CEUs. If you are not part of ASHA’s CEU Registry, the Certificate of Completion will serve as documentation for ASHA CMHs.

        This course is being submitted for ASHA CEUs

      Vision Statement

      The Massachusetts Speech-Language-Hearing Association will be recognized as an authority and resource in the fields of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology by legislative bodies, related professional associations and consumers.

      Mailing Address

      Massachusetts Speech-Language Hearing Association
      465 Waverley Oaks Road, Suite 421, Waltham, MA 02452

      © Massachusetts Speech-Language Hearing Association

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