Heritage Pathologists Complete Certification for LSVT

Cara Frame and Melanie Cannon, Heritage Ministries speech/language pathologists, recently completed an intensive training program to become certified in Lee Silverman Voice Treatment. They are now only two of three pathologists in the Chautauqua County region that are certified in this state-of-the-art treatment option for Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients.

The inability of people with Parkinson’s disease to communicate properly can affect their social, economic, and psychological well-being. Approximately 1.5 million people in the United States suffer from PD. The root cause of voice and speech deficiencies in PD patients is not fully understood and traditional treatment programs have not yielded much success in the long-term care setting. This is where LSVT has an advantage for PD patients. LSVT is one of the most widely practiced treatments for speech disorders associated with Parkinson’s disease. It focuses on increasing vocal loudness and has an intensive approach.

Frame and Cannon have been speech/language pathologists for Heritage Ministries since 2008. Both women funded their own paths through the training and certification. “The scope of practice is ever expanding in the field of speech pathology,” Frame said. “It is important to me to continue to grow as a clinician specifically to provide the most up-to-date treatment modalities to a community in which I grew up as I strive to give back. Let’s get loud.”

“Being able to provide LSVT therapy to people affected by Parkinson’s disease is very rewarding,” Cannon said. “LSVT therapy improves their quality of life and increases their confidence when speaking to friends and family. We are excited to be able to provide this service and are ready to make more voices heard in our community.”

“LSVT is on the cutting edge of voice treatment therapy,” said Mark Constantino, director of rehabilitation. “I’m very proud of Cara and Melanie for taking the initiative to advance their skills as speech-language pathologists. Their new skills are immediately available via outpatient SLP services at Heritage Green, for individuals in our community whom are challenged by the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Our entire rehab department is committed to offering the most current evidence-based therapy interventions. This is another example of our rehab department’s continuous effort to offer hope, dignity and purposeful living to those we serve.”