UVM Medical Center

Parkinson Voice Project Awards Grant to UVM Medical Center Speech-Language Pathology Department

Nonprofit names 148 national and international grant recipients.


BURLINGTON, VT – The University of Vermont Medical Center Speech-Language Pathology Department has been named a recipient of the 2019 SPEAK OUT!® & LOUD Crowd® Grant Program from the Parkinson Voice Project.

The nonprofit organization has awarded 148 grants – a 60 percent increase from 2018 when the grant program launched. Parkinson Voice Project’s speech language pathology program combines individual speech language pathology treatment (SPEAK OUT!®) with ongoing speech-language pathology treatment (The LOUD Crowd®) to convert speech from an automatic function to an intentional act.

The LOUD Crowd® is a maintenance program offered free of charge to any individual who has completed the SPEAK OUT!® program. Lakshmi Joshi Boyle, supervisor of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Services at UVM Medical Center, said the grant is important because it will allow the department to continue providing equal access to SPEAK OUT!® and The LOUD Crowd® for individuals with Parkinson’s by providing them with all the materials and services they need to be successful in regaining and maintaining their speech and swallow skills.

“This grant has opened a myriad of possibilities, allowing more people with Parkinson’s disease to receive treatment, participate in life-affirming venues that foster socialization, deepen relationships and ultimately, improve the quality of lives,” said Joshi-Boyle,.

Grant recipients include hospitals, university speech language pathology clinics, private practices, and nonprofit Parkinson’s organizations. As a grant recipient, the UVM Medical Center Speech-Language Pathology Department will receive free training for speech-language pathologists and graduate students, as well as speech-language pathology supplies. Some grant recipients are also receiving funding to offset the cost of providing group treatment.

“Up to 90% of people with Parkinson’s are at high risk of losing their ability to speak, and aspiration pneumonia caused by swallowing issues accounts for 70% of the mortality rate in this patient population. Awarding these grants has substantially increased access to quality speech treatment to those living with Parkinson’s,” said Parkinson Voice Project’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer Samantha Elandary.

Joshi-Boyle said The University of Vermont Medical Center Speech-Language Pathology Department is committed to offering SPEAK OUT!® and The LOUD Crowd®.

A full listing of 2019 grant recipients can be found at https://www.parkinsonvoiceproject.org/GrantProgram.

About the University of Vermont Medical Center

The University of Vermont Medical Center is a 447-bed tertiary care regional referral center providing advanced care to approximately 1 million residents in Vermont and northern New York.  Together with our partners at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, we are Vermont’s academic medical center. The University of Vermont Medical Center also serves as a community hospital for approximately 150,000 residents in Chittenden and Grand Isle counties.

The University of Vermont Medical Center is a member of The University of Vermont Health Network, an integrated system established to deliver high quality academic medicine to every community we serve.

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About Parkinson Voice Project:

Parkinson Voice Project is the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the world solely dedicated to helping individuals with Parkinson’s improve their speech and swallowing. The organization runs a speech language pathology clinic in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and also hosts the World’s Largest Parkinson’s Chorus consisting of nearly 100 individuals with Parkinson’s whose voices have been restored through their program.

Parkinson Voice Project’s vision is to replicate its speech language pathology program across the globe to help individuals with Parkinson’s preserve their speech and swallowing abilities. More than 1600 speech-language pathologists have been trained to date, including clinicians in Australia, Canada, Finland, Greece, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and New Zealand.