Voice and Swallowing ServicesRMH Voice and Swallowing Services, in collaboration with JMU, offers state-of-the-art treatment for patients with voice, speech, swallowing and vocal fold movement disorders secondary to a variety of disorders including reflux, stroke, neurological disorders, head injury, and head and neck cancer. The addition of this much-needed program makes RMH the only healthcare institution in Virginia to offer these treatments and services.
Our Services Include
- Assessing voice, speech and swallowing functions and disorders
- Designing and implementing treatment regimens
- Providing endoscopic/videofluoroscopic imaging, upper airway sensory testing and non-invasive monitoring for upper airway and swallowing problems.
- Reducing risk of aspiration while enhancing oral intake
- Providing a collaborative center for clinical research on new methods of enhancing treatment outcomes in voice and swallowing disorders.
Conditions We Treat
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- Vocal nodules, cysts, polyps
- Vocal fold paralysis
- Vocal fold cancer
- Vocal fold papilloma
- Spasmodic dysphonia
- Muscle tension dysphonia
- Shortness of breath
- Vocal cord dysfunction
- Paradoxical vocal fold motion
- Chronic cough and/or chronic throat clearing
- Cleft lip and palate
- Speech difficulty stemming from Parkinson’s disease and stroke
Procedures and Treatments We Provide
- Swallowing function testing
- Evaluation of risk of aspiration
- Upper airway sensory testing
- Flexible endoscopic examination of swallowing (FEES)
- Modified barium swallow
- New methods for home management of swallowing disorders
- Voice function assessment
- Management of vocal fold movement disorders
Christy Ludlow, Ph.D, CCC-SLP
RMH Voice and Swallowing Services is a JMU-RMH collaboration led by
Christy Ludlow, Ph.D, CCC-SLP, professor with the JMU Department of
Communication Sciences and Disorders. Dr. Ludlow is a pioneer in the
development of modern technology for the assessment of voice and
swallowing disorders. She headed an internationally recognized
laboratory at the National Institutes of Health for many years that
developed many of the new methods for treating persons with voice and
swallowing disorders (dysphagia) that are in use today or will become
available in the near future.
Cynthia O’Donoghue, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Department head of JMU’s
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Dr. O’Donoghue
teaches graduate courses and conducts research in adult neurogenic
communication disorders and dysphagia. She presents nationally and
internationally in her areas of expertise. Notable contributions include
Legislative Representative from the Commonwealth of Virginia to
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Board of Trustees
President for Crossroads to Brain Injury Recovery, Inc., and chair of
the Nominations and Elections Committee, Virginia Brain Injury Council.
Dr. O’Donoghue authored the Dysphagia Best Practice Guidelines for the
Virginia Department of Education and served on the ASHA Task Force that
developed Guidelines for Speech-Language Pathologists Providing Feeding
and Swallowing Services in Schools. She is currently grant funded
through Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative Trust Fund.
C. Wayne Gates, MD - Medical Director
Serves as the medical director for RMH Voice and
Swallowing Services. Dr. Gates graduated from Louisiana State University
School of Medicine, completed his internship at the US Public Health
Service Hospital and his residency at Tulane University. He has been on
the RMH medical staff since 1985 and is board certified in
otolaryngology. He is an otolaryngologist at Meadowcrest ENT &
Facial Cosmetic Center.
Referring Your Patients
Physician referrals are required. Patients may be scheduled by calling RMH Central Scheduling at 540-689-6000.
Patients are treated at RMH.
Most insurances do cover these services, but patients will need to check with their insurance provider.
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