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NYM’s Center for Swallowing & Speech-Language Pathology: First of Its Kind in Brooklyn

Apr 16, 2008

swallowing center

Luis F. Riquelme, M.S., left, and student clinician Tanya Kovalyov examine a patient in the Center for Swallowing & Speech-Language Pathology.

While it may seem like a simple action, swallowing is a complicated process that plays a vital role in both the physical and mental wellness of an individual. Difficulty swallowing not only prevents people from eating and drinking, but also makes social interaction and communication exceedingly challenging. Since dysphagia-the technical name for swallowing disorders-can result from conditions such as cancer, head and neck trauma, respiratory disorders, and neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis or stroke, difficulty swallowing can be a sign of serious medical problem.

New York Methodist Hospital's Center for Swallowing & Speech-Language Pathology is the first of its kind in Brooklyn, and one of only a few in New York City, that specializes in the evaluation and treatment of swallowing disorders. In order to provide the most comprehensive service to the community, the Center incorporates the expertise of professionals from a range of disciplines, including speech-language pathology, neurology, gastroenterology, otolaryngology, clinical nutrition, radiology, nursing, respiratory therapy, occupational therapy and pulmonology. "This Center will provide an opportunity for us to combine different specialties for the benefit of all of our patients," said Miran Salgado, M.D., chairman of neurosciences at NYM and medical director for NYM's Center for Swallowing & Speech-Language Pathology.

Specialists who work at the center can provide a swallowing evaluation, which includes a clinical examination followed by an instrumental exam, swallowing therapy that involves direct neuromuscular treatment and state-of-the-art biofeedback equipment, speech-language evaluation, and speech-language therapy to treat communication disorders. All members of the clinical staff-several of whom are multi-lingual-are nationally certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Specialists who work with children are also available.

Luis F. Riquelme, M.S., the clinical director of the Center and a specialist in the area of assessment, treatment and management of swallowing disorders, remarked, "The opening of a specialized Center for the assessment and treatment of swallowing and communication disorders allows our patients to benefit from the latest techniques and approaches to remediation, as provided by a highly skilled interdisciplinary team."

For more information about NYM's Center for Swallowing & Speech-Language Pathology or to make an appointment, please call 718-780-5231.