July 8, 2022
Fort HealthCare is pleased to be named a recipient of the 2022 SPEAK OUT! ® & LOUD Crowd® Grant program, developed by the Parkinson Voice Project (PVP), the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the world solely dedicated to helping individuals with Parkinson’s improve their speech and swallowing skills. Since not all patients can travel to PVP headquarters in Texas for treatment, they offer workshops to train SLPs from other parts of the world in its programs. This year’s SPEAK OUT! ® & LOUD Crowd® event will take place on Wednesday, July 13th at the Jefferson Senior Center, 859 Collins Road, Jefferson, WI. This FREE event is open to the public and begins at 10am.
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. Fort HealthCare also received the grant in 2019 and 2021.
Kelly Foster, MS-CCC, SLP, is a speech-language pathologist at Fort HealthCare Therapy & Sport Center. She received specialized training to assist with implementing PVP’s speech therapy program in the south-central Wisconsin area.
Foster notes, “I had an uncle who had Parkinson’s disease, so this program is close to my heart. I’ve seen the progress that has been made by my patients and how they continue to maintain their progress through our weekly LOUD Crowd®️ meetings. The weekly meetings are not only a time for these patients to practice their skills, but they provide them with a sense of camaraderie and support that they may not receive elsewhere. It is just a privilege to get to work with them each week!”
Foster continues, “Up to 90% of people with Parkinson’s are at risk for losing their ability to speak. In addition, swallowing complications account for 70% of the mortality rate in this population.”
Regarding treatment, Foster explains, “With a referral from a primary care provider, patients can come in to see me for an initial evaluation to determine if they would be appropriate candidates for the SPEAK OUT! ® program. Once they are deemed appropriate candidates, they complete a four-week individual treatment program with me.”
Typical sessions are 45 minutes, three times a week for four weeks. Foster adds, “Upon completion of the program, patients transition to the LOUD Crowd®, which is a weekly group session to help maintain their new skills. It’s a commitment and requires daily practice at home, but it’s effective.” With a provider’s referral, patients can make appointments with Kelly by calling the Fort HealthCare Therapy & Sport Center clinic in Fort Atkinson at (920) 563-9357 or Lake Mills at (920) 648-8170.
Fort HealthCare is committed to improving the health and well-being of our communities, with a vision to be the healthiest community in Wisconsin. As the leading healthcare provider in the region, it is our goal to reach as many members of the community as possible with health and wellness messages, providing tools and resources to help individuals improve their health and quality of life while collaborating with several partners to positively improve the population’s health overall on a long-term basis. FortHealthCare.com.