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Occupational Therapists Role in Dysphagia: An important practice area to maintain
Wednesday, October 06, 2021, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM CDT
Category: Events

*This event will be held live via Zoom.*

Timed Agenda
6:00-7:00: Presentation
7:00-7:30: Guided Conversation with Audience

Event Description
This course will include:

  • Content: Cover the history of dysphagia coverage in OT and perceptions of current practice

  • Presenters will break down the concepts of dysphagia care and explain how all OTs can be involved to a certain degree to ensure their care is well rounded by addressing safety with self-feeding

  • Presenters will educate on how to advance OT careers by seeking more education to cover additional aspects in dysphagia care

  • Presenters will show videos of modified barium swallow studies to explain the range of skills dysphagia therapists need to employ for this advanced part of the practice

Speaker Biographies
Janelle Hatlevig, MA, OTR/L, BCPR, is board certified in Physical Rehabilitation (BCPR) and has been on staff at Mayo Clinic with PMR for over 13 years with over 17 years of experience as an occupational therapist.  In that time, Janelle has served in the role of lead occupational therapist in the brain practice, is currently the Lead OT in the dysphagia practice and the coordinator for the Mayo Clinic OT Dysphagia Fellowship Program.  This accredited Dysphagia Fellowship Program is the first and only one of its kind in the United States supported by The American Occupational Therapy Association.  Multidisciplinary quality improvement projects have involved: dysphagia screening for nursing staff and better oral cares in the hospital setting to decrease aspiration risks. 

Laura Linsmeier, MS, OTR/L, is working through her yearlong fellowship in dysphagia through Mayo Clinic. Laura graduated from UW- La Crosse in December of 2020 with a Major in Exercise Sport Science.  Laura started her fellowship at Mayo in March of 2021, previously working at Gundersen Healthcare System in La Crosse as a Rehabilitation Technician. In her free time Laura enjoys reading and going on bike trips in the warm summer months.

Cristina Sisnersos, OTD, OTR/L, completed her undergraduate degree in 2016 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she studied Psychology and Studio Art. She later attended Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska where she completed her Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD) in 2020. While on a clinical rotation during her first year of OT school, she discovered that she has a deep interest in feeding, eating, and swallowing. She later completed her doctoral capstone experience on "Occupational Therapy's Role in the Graz Model of Tube Weaning", with pediatric populations. As a new grad she worked at an outpatient pediatric clinic in Omaha, NE until moving to Rochester, MN for the AOTA Fellowship in Dysphagia at the Mayo Clinic.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:

  • Be able to describe the role of OTs in dysphagia care at an entry-level and advanced level practitioner 

  • Be able to list several ways OTs can be actively involved in dysphagia care and aspiration prevention interventions from this time forward

  • Be able to advocate for this area of practice with increased knowledge and understanding that OT’s can be considered a qualified provider of dysphagia services

Target Audience: All

Level of Content:  Introductory, Intermediate

AOTA Practice Area: Health & Wellness, Productive Aging, Rehabilitation & Disability

CEUs:  1.5

Fees: $5/ MOTA Members, $30/ non-members


Contact: [email protected]