March 2020 Newsletter

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

An Irish Blessing for you:

May you always find blue skies above your head, shamrocks beneath your feet, laughter and joy aplenty, kindness from all you meet, good friends and kin to miss you if you ever choose to roam and a path that’s been cleared by angels themselves to carry you safely home

Fun Facts about March:

  • It is the first month of Spring which begins between March 19-21. This year it begins on the 19th.
  • Animals start to wake up from hibernation and Daylight Savings time begins (March 8)
  • March Madness is a basketball tournament played by the NCAA.
  • Birthstone: aquamarine and bloodstone.
  • March 6, 1836 - Fort Alamo fell to Mexican troops led by General Santa Anna. Texas Independence Day is observed on March 2
  • St Patrick’s Day is on March 17 – Wear Green and drink green
  • March 13 – Swallowing Awareness Day – Time to educate!

TSHA 2020  - So good to see everyone that was at TSHA!  Thank you to those who attended our session, and also for stopping by the Ampcare booth!   Austin next year and then back to our home town of Fort Worth in 2022.

March 18 is Swallowing Awareness Day   - This is the perfect month to educate on proper instrumental evaluations.  Our new advocacy book and more is just what you need, available for purchase in the store on our website.

An SLP Should NEVER Lose Their Voice

Advocate for Proper Dysphagia Evaluations

Material to assist in educating Physicians, Administrators, Nurses and other Medical Professionals on Dysphagia and Modified Barium Swallow Studies

AmpcareAlso, check out Ampcare online course or the calendar for a course near you at

We all need to work together to improve outcomes for individuals who have dysphagia by diagnosing and treating them properly as well as creating safer swallowing environments for them. The statistics show those affected by dysphagia include:

95% of people with Motor Neuron Disease;

68% of people with dementia in long term care or memory care

65% of people who have had a CVA/stroke

50% of people with Parkinson’s Disease;

33% of people with multiple sclerosis.

Swallowing is important to everyday life just like breathing. Last year the Swallowing Awareness Day campaign reached around 4.5 million people on social media in over 30 nations around the world, including Uganda, Australia, Canada and the US. We hope that even more people will get involved with the campaign this year!

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month - By the year 2020, TBI is expected to be the number one health problems in the world.  The CDC currently estimates 5.3 million Americans currently have long term need for help performing ADL’s as a result of their TBI. In Texas, close to 150K people sustain TBI each year, and this does not account for those who went to ER and were released or those who never went to ER. TBI hospitalization totals are approximately 1.8 billion each year and only 5% of the survivors receive the rehab they need.  In Texas there is no TBI Medicaid waiver to support long term needs. Advocacy efforts can help by contacting area government representatives and asking that funding be made available to acquired brain injury survivors.  Check out some local sources such as BIND. Based on the standards used in Clubhouse International programs for mental health recovery, BIND is a Brain Injury Clubhouse located in Texas. BIND empowers Members to maximize strengths while developing strategies to assist with meeting personal goals for community reintegration. 

When is the next DiagnosTEX Course? Glad you asked

It is coming, but this will be not be just a CEU course it will be an event!  We are planning for summer, so stay tuned and be ready to mark your calendars for an unforgettable day!

Skeleton looking through the blindsDiagnosTEX Faxes – We know there have been issues faxing paperwork to us. The picture to the right was taken at our office as we waited for AT&T to acknowledge and fix the issue.  We apologize for all the inconvenience, as we worked diligently to determine the problem. We believe this has been resolved and hope there are no other issues in the future. Thank you for your patience with us while we were at the mercy of AT&T.

Dysphagia Tidbit - Gastro-esophageal reflux (GERD) occurs when there is retrograde flow of gastric material back into the esophagus. When stomach contents reflux into the esophagus in excess, there can be tissue damage with possible symptoms of heartburn and regurgitation (Dent et al., 2001).  As a clinician working for the past 27 years with dysphagia patients who have symptoms of dysphagia and GERD, I have developed an appreciation and understanding of this condition. This disease is something that I have myself manage on a daily basis. GERD can result in various conditions in the esophagus including Barrett’s esophagus, where the tissue lining the esophagus changes and is replaced by tissue more like the type found in the intestinal lining. Barrett’s esophagus may also place some GERD patients at a higher risk for esophageal cancer if left untreated (Drewes et al., 2011). In our DTEX clinical practice of performing modified barium swallow studies (MBSS) on a regular basis, the presence of reflux in the esophagus can be seen and is seen in over 30% of the patients we see. The esophageal phase of the swallow is completed to assess for dysmotility, strictures, masses, and reflux during and after several boluses. The esophagus is part of the swallow and is well within an SLPs scope of practice. It is dangerous to leave this component out of your evaluation when assessing dysphagia. The MBSS is the only diagnostic tool that can assess all 3 phases of the swallow, why would you ever leave one of the phases out?

Find DiagnosTEX on Social Media

Always be respectful of your colleagues on a social media platform. If you don’t want to hear about your evaluation and treatment of your patient being discussed and picked apart on a national platform, then you know first-hand how others might feel. Our words do not simply impart information, they influence how people see the value of what they do.