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Medical Speech Pathology and Dysphagia Conference

  • Venue & Location

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    (St. Luke's Boise Medical Center
    South Tower, 5th floor)
    190 E. Bannock Street
    Boise, ID 83712
  • Fee & Registration

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    $30.00 – $175.00, Registration Required


Deploying Evidence to Resolve Clinical Dilemmas

March 2 and 3, 2019

Featuring James L. Coyle, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S

Fueled by the health care system's efforts to control hospital-acquired infections, such as pneumonia, and mitigate other life-shortening adverse events associated with dysphagia, the demand for experienced, skilled, and decisive practitioners of medical speech language pathology continues to grow.

The aerodigestive tract–the upper part of the respiratory and digestive systems–serves physiologic functions first (including swallowing), and communication functions second. Understanding the normal and pathological physiologic function of both "halves" of the aerodigestive system is crucial to the selection of intuitive and appropriate diagnostic procedures and management plans in patients with communication and swallowing disorders caused by pulmonary and digestive diseases, artificial airways, iatrogenic disorders following cardiothoracic and other procedures, and neurological conditions.

Course Objectives

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the ventilatory and respiratory roles of the respiratory system
  • Describe respiratory and deglutitive interactions in the aerodigestive tract
  • Understand how common pulmonary diseases affect normal breathing
  • Understand test-result components of common pulmonary diseases in adults
  • Understand the pathogenesis of pneumonia
  • Differentiate between aspiration and other etiologies of pneumonia and other common respiratory conditions through medical record evidence
  • Identify risk factors for pneumonia
  • Describe physiologic effects of aging and how "normal old" function varies from "normal young" function (and how aging is not a disease!)
  • Understand the meaning of various diagnostic reports in the medical record and utilize that information more effectively in planning for patient care
  • Understand what the diagnoses of common esophageal pathologies mean and how they might lead to dysphagia symptoms
  • Understand common instrumental tests used to assess esophageal structure and function
  • Compare and contrast various compensatory, restorative, behavioral dysphagia treatments and identify when they're appropriate and when they're not

This course is offered for 1 ASHA CEU, intermediate professional level.

James L. Coyle, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-S

Dr. Coyle is professor of communication science and disorders at the University of Pittsburgh where he co-developed the department's clinical doctorate program in medical speech language pathology. He teaches undergraduate, master, and doctoral SLP students both in the classroom and the clinic through his active caseload in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he also conducts dysphagia research. He is a board certified specialist in swallowing disorders and an ASHA fellow, and lectures nationally and internationally about the medical aspects of our profession.

Dr. Coyle receives a salary from the University of Pittsburgh and grants from the NIH. He has no other non-financial disclosures to submit.


Registration Instructions

Register online using the link below. Email us for more information.


  • St. Luke's employees: $30
  • Students: $50
  • General public: $150
  • Day-of registration: $175

Register Online

Special Instructions

Early registration is encouraged; day-of-registration course materials will be limited. Light refreshments will be served; lunch is on your own. The temperature in this space can fluctuate, so you may want to dress in layers.


From the South Tower parking garage, take the elevator to the fourth floor, and proceed up one flight of stairs to the fifth floor. Or you may enter the Anderson Center from the Bannock Street entrance and take the elevator to the fifth floor.