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Heather Lazarides, speech-language pathologist at Memorial Hospital Belleville, was recently board certified in swallowing disorders. The certification makes her one of only seven therapists in Illinois to have this distinction.

lazaridesAccording to the American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders, speech-language pathologists who have advanced knowledge, skills and experience are recognized by the designation of BCs-S or Board Certified Specialists in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders. The certificate is akin to board certification that qualified physicians hold. The certification is voluntary, but it is becoming the standard for identifying a speech pathologist who is an expert in dysphagia, or swallowing disorders.

To qualify, SLPs must establish a clinical practice that specializes in dysphagia with a specified minimum number of contact hours per year; accrue a substantial number of continuing education hours; and distinguish themselves via research, administrative, and/or educational accomplishments.