The Andrews University clinic will receive free training for their speech- language pathologists and graduate students, as well as speech therapy supplies and possibly funding to offset the cost of providing group speech therapy.

Photo credit: Brian Tagalog

July 25, 2019

Andrews University receives grant to help people with Parkinson's disease

BERRIEN SPRINGS, Mich.—Parkinson Voice Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has named the Andrews University School of Communication Sciences & Disorders as a recipient of its 2019 SPEAK OUT!® & LOUD Crowd® Grant Program. Of the 149 grant recipients, five are international clinics. The total number of recipients marks a 62 percent increase from 2018 when this grant program launched. A full listing of 2019 grant recipients can be found here.

“Up to 90 percent of people with Parkinson’s are at high risk of losing their ability to speak, and aspiration pneumonia caused by swallowing issues accounts for 70 percent of the mortality rate in this patient population. Awarding these grants has substantially increased access to quality speech treatment to those living with Parkinson’s,” said Parkinson Voice Project’s founder and chief executive officer, Samantha Elandary, MA, CCC-SLP.

Grant recipients include hospitals, university speech therapy clinics, private practices, and nonprofit Parkinson’s organizations. Each clinic will receive free training for their speech- language pathologists and graduate students, as well as speech therapy supplies. Some grant recipients will also receive funding to offset the cost of providing group speech therapy.

The SPEAK OUT!® & LOUD Crowd® Grant Program honors Daniel R. Boone, PhD, a world-renowned speech-language pathologist and voice expert who recognized in the late 1950s that individuals with Parkinson’s could improve their communication if they spoke with “intent.” Parkinson Voice Project’s highly effective speech therapy program is based on Boone’s teachings and combines individual therapy (SPEAK OUT!®) with ongoing group therapy (The LOUD Crowd®) to convert speech from an automatic function to an intentional act.

The Andrews University School of Communication Sciences & Disorders clinic is committed to offering Parkinson Voice Project’s speech therapy program in the Michiana area. As a grant recipient, the clinic now provides SPEAK OUT!® and The LOUD Crowd® to the local Parkinson’s community. SPEAK OUT!® consists of individual speech therapy conducted by a speech-language pathologist. Together, the patient and clinician work their way through a series of speech, voice and cognitive exercises outlined in a workbook. The LOUD Crowd® consists of weekly speech therapy sessions and provides camaraderie, support and encouragement for this patient population battling a progressive, degenerative condition. Participants determined to be appropriate candidates for the SPEAK OUT!® program will participate in 12 intensive voice therapy sessions on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays for four consecutive weeks. Upon graduation from the program, participants are encouraged to attend the weekly LOUD Crowd® voice maintenance program. Graduates who participate in The LOUD Crowd® program and are consistently implementing the daily home program will be eligible for participation in the SING OUT® Parkinson’s chorus which is scheduled to begin this fall.

“The ultimate goal and my hope for this program is that Michiana area people with Parkinson’s will be able to use the intensive speech therapy and resources available to us through the Parkinson Voice Project grant to preserve and maintain their vocal quality and swallowing abilities. I want them to feel confident when speaking and be able to maintain the joy that comes with communicating, socializing and eating,” says Jenica Joseph, MS, CCC-SLP, assistant professor of speech-language pathology.

For more information about Parkinson Voice Project services available at Andrews University, please contact the School of Communication Sciences & Disorders by phone at 269-471-3468 or email to speech@andrews.edu.

Parkinson Voice Project is the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the world solely dedicated to helping individuals with Parkinson’s improve their speech and swallowing. The organization runs a speech therapy clinic in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and also hosts the World’s Largest Parkinson’s Chorus consisting of nearly 100 individuals with Parkinson’s whose voices have been restored through their program.

Parkinson Voice Project developed the SPEAK OUT!® & LOUD Crowd® program. The vision of the organization is to replicate its two-part therapy approach across the globe to help individuals with Parkinson’s preserve their speech and swallowing abilities. More than 1,600 speech-language pathologists have been trained to date, including clinicians in Australia, Canada, Finland, Greece, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Israel and New Zealand. Additional information is available at parkinsonvoiceproject.org.

Founded in 1874, Andrews University is the flagship institution of higher education for the Seventh-day Adventist Church and offers more than 200 areas of study, including advanced degrees. Its main campus is in Berrien Springs, Michigan, but the University also provides instruction at colleges and universities in more than 19 countries around the world.

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Parkinson Voice Project and Andrews University