July 2023 Newsletter

Happy Independence Day!

God Bless the USA!

The Fourth of July celebrates the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.

Happy 4th of July to everyone celebrating our country’s independence but don’t forget to honor our veterans and current military who have served to ensure our continued FREEDOM! We know that freedom does not come free... there is a cost, as some gave all!


July 4th Holiday Schedule

DiagnosTEX will be closed on Tuesday July 4th and will run vans all other days that week. Stay safe and enjoy the holiday!

New Staff

DiagnosTEX welcomes Jason East as a new member to the clinical team! He looks forward to getting to know everyone, and we are happy to have him aboard!

TAGS Tarrant Area Gerontological Society

I was honored to be invited as one of the speakers at this year’s TAGS Summer Forum at the Hurst Convention Center. It is on July 18, from 7:30-4:45pm. Education is at the core of this event. A large portion of the money raised is put back into scholarships for the following year. These scholarships are awarded to individuals furthering their career in gerontology in Tarrant County. Additionally, we award the scholarship recipients during the afternoon general session. As a community of geriatric healthcare professionals, all guests, attendees, and sponsors are able to network for the entire day!


SF-Current Member – $65.00 Registration code required
Current TAGS Members Event Price
SF-Non-Member – $95.00
This registration includes 1-year Professional Membership.

June was Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month - Two local people are making a difference!

Laurie Walther, MS, CCC-SLP and Emily Briggs, OT, are the owners of Empowering Care Partners. This company provides dementia care training, supporting private, personal, and professional caregivers. They pride themselves on personal relationships and customized services. Together, Laurie and Emily have over 45 years of experience serving the older adult population in skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, memory care facilities, independent living facilities, home health, and acute care facilities. In addition to their experience as licensed therapists, both are Certified Independent Trainers with Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care. Their goal is to ensure that therapists have the training, support, and skills necessary to meet the needs of people living with dementia that they serve. Through a hands-on approach and combination of didactic education and skills practice, Laurie and Emily can support them in transitioning from trained caregivers and skilled therapists to true Care Partners, partnering with their patients and residents to improve the quality of care and their quality of life. Contact them at Empowering Care Partners

P: 904.334.8810
W: www.empoweringcarepartners.com


The LCD for the Modified Barium Swallow Study has been retired. This was a surprise to us and most of the profession I have spoken to. What does this mean? We are not 100% sure, only that Medicare feels it is no longer required and therefore, retired effective for dates of service on and after 6/15/2023. Time will tell, as more insurance companies become aware of this change. Will keep you updated.

Dysphagia Tidbit - Aging and Dysphagia

As adults age, they all experience a natural loss of muscle mass and function. A new study finds that as the loss of muscle and function in the throat occurs it becomes more difficult for efficient constriction to occur while swallowing. The study, published in Dysphagia by Sonja M. Molfenter, an assistant professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and her colleagues, helps to explain why 15 percent of seniors' experience dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing. Among other health issues, swallowing difficulties can lead to malnutrition, dehydration and pneumonia. Swallowing difficulties can also have an economic impact. Other studies have demonstrated that when patients with dysphagia are admitted to the hospital, they normally experience a 40 percent longer length-of stay than those without dysphagia—estimated to cost $547,000,000 per year. Molfenter and her colleagues noted that dysphagia in older adults is particularly relevant as the proportion of seniors in the United States is projected to increase to over 20 percent by 2030. "Dysphagia has serious consequences for health and quality of life," said Molfenter, the study's lead author. "This research establishes the need for exercise programs for older adults that target throat muscles just like those that target the muscles of the arms, legs and other parts of the human body." Sonja M. Molfenter et al, Volumetric Changes to the Pharynx in Healthy Aging: Consequence for Pharyngeal Swallow Mechanics and Function, Dysphagia (2018). DOI: 10.1007/s00455-018-9924-5