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About the Authors

3rd edition,  Communication and Swallowing Management of Trachestomized and Ventilator Dependent Individuals, Karen Dikeman, Marta Kazandjian, swallowing, tracheostomy, tracheotomy, speaking valve, Passy Muir

Marta Kazandjian, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, F-ASHA, CPT-EFS, NBC-HWC, is a nationally recognized Medical Speech Pathologist who is Board Certified in Swallowing Disorders. She specializes in communication and swallowing impairment in patients with neurological diagnoses, neurodegenerative diseases, pulmonary conditions and laryngeal impairment. Her work in swallowing, oral and nonoral communication, palliative care, patient experience, and tracheostomy and ventilator management is reflected in her extensive presentations, peer reviewed articles, book chapters and text books. Marta’s philosophy is focused on the “whole” patient, using her education and certification in integrative medicine to provide care across the continuum of disability. Marta is also a nationally board-certified integrative health coach and certified personal trainer/exercise fitness specialist. She represents the field of speech pathology by using her training in preventative health to maximize each patient’s recovery.



Karen Dikeman, M.A., CCC-SLP has over 30 years of experience directing speech pathology, rehabilitation and pulmonary programs. Her specialties include the care of patients with pulmonary disease, including tracheostomy and ventilator-dependent patients, as well as interdisciplinary palliative care working with seriously ill patients. She has integrated her love of animals into her professional roles by supporting pet therapy and therapeutic activities to improve patient quality of life for chronically ill patients. Karen is also the author of peer reviewed articles, book chapters, and textbooks as well as numerous professional presentations. 

A significant contribution to this third edition is a comprehensive pediatric chapter by noted Pediatric Speech Pathologist Laura Brooks.

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Laura Brooks M.Ed, CCC-SLP, BCS-S received her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and her Master’s degree from the University of Virginia. She has been a speech-language pathologist since 1999, and has been board certified in swallowing disorders since 2012. She is a Clinical Specialist at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta working with pediatric patients in the intensive care units and acute care units. She specializes in management of pediatric dysphagia and tracheostomy/ ventilator-dependent patients. She has published research, journal articles, case studies, and textbook chapters related to pediatric dysphagia and tracheostomy/ventilator-dependent patients. Laura serves on the Bioethics Committee, Global Tracheostomy Committee, and ICU Liberation/Early Mobility/ECMO Committee at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

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