Grant to provide speech therapy to Parkinson’s patients

ALPENA — Parkinson Voice Project, a nonprofit organization, has named MidMichigan Medical Center-Alpena as a recipient of its 2021 SPEAK OUT! and LOUD Crowd Grant Program.

Grant recipients include hospitals, university speech therapy clinics, private practices, and nonprofit organizations. Each clinic receives therapy supplies and free training for their speech-language pathologists and graduate students.

“Up to 90 percent of people with Parkinson’s are at high risk of losing their ability to speak, and swallowing complications account for 70 percent of the mortality rate in this patient population. Our vision at Parkinson Voice Project is to make our highly effective speech therapy program accessible to people with Parkinson’s worldwide,” said Samantha Elandary, founder and CEO of Parkinson Voice Project.

This grant program honors Daniel R. Boone, Ph.D., C.C.C.-S.L.P., a world-renowned speech-language pathologist and voice expert who recognized in the late 1950s that individuals with Parkinson’s could improve their communication by “speaking with intent.” Parkinson Voice Project’s program combines individual and group therapy to convert speech from an automatic function to an intentional act.

SPEAK OUT! is specifically designed to preserve the voice and swallowing function of people with Parkinson’s disease and related neurological disorders. This program will teach patients how to speak with intent to improve overall communication and quality of life. SPEAK OUT! usually consists of 12 individual therapy sessions over the course of four weeks, and patients then transition to LOUD Crowd.

LOUD Crowd is the group therapy portion of the program that meets once per week. These sessions provide maintenance for skills obtained during SPEAK OUT! and are a source of camaraderie for the members.

SPEAK OUT! and LOUD Crowd are offered at MidMichigan Medical Center-Alpena. SPEAK OUT! is generally offered on weekdays and LOUD Crowd meets every Friday afternoon. All sessions take place at the Medical Center on the third floor of the Healthplex. Virtual sessions are also available. A physician referral is required for this program.

To learn more about the program, visit www.midmichigan.org/speakout. To learn more about the Parkinson Voice Project, visit www.parkinsonvoiceproject.org.


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