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A-State Clinic to Receive Grant for Parkinson’s Speech Therapy


JONESBORO – A Texas nonprofit clinic is collaborating with the Arkansas State University Speech and Hearing Center to help Arkansans with Parkinson’s Disease have access to high-quality speech treatment. Ninety percent of people with Parkinson’s are at risk of losing their ability to speak, and swallowing complications are the main cause of death in this population.

Parkinson Voice Project (PVP) of Richardson, Texas, is awarding the Speech and Hearing Clinic a grant worth more than $280,000 in training, services, supplies and equipment over five years, as the state’s only Speak Out!® Therapy & Research Center. Speak Out! is a highly effective, research-based speech therapy protocol that can also minimize the risk of swallowing complications, according to Samantha Elandary, PVP founder and CEO.

The Arkansas State clinic will specialize in online treatment delivery and has committed to providing Speak Out! therapy at no cost to any Arkansan diagnosed with Parkinson’s or a related movement disorder. This will enable patients who are homebound, don’t drive, or who live in rural areas to receive speech therapy while eliminating insurance and financial barriers. The university will also conduct efficacy research on Speak Out! therapy.

A-State is one of 16 universities across the country selected this year to receive this grant as part of PVP’s Campaign to Reach America. “We selected the A-State Speech and Hearing Clinic because of their compassion and their commitment to serving their Parkinson’s community,” says Elandary.

“We are servant leaders focusing on diligence and commitment to being outstanding healthcare educators and providers to students, patients, and society. This approach closely aligns with the mission of Speak Out!” says Shanon Brantley, assistant professor of communication disorders, who serves as the clinical lead for the grant.

The Speak Out! therapy and research grants are multi-faceted, with a mix of services and benefits, including education and training, speech therapy workbooks and materials, purchase of therapy and research supplies and equipment, public relations services, and outreach and patient educational materials.

Clinical and research faculty members will travel to Parkinson Voice Project’s headquarters for specialized instruction in Speak Out! therapy and research, as well as efficient business practices and outreach. They will engage in master classes with individuals with Parkinson’s and receive hands-on training. The Texas nonprofit will also provide online training for the rest of the universities’ speech-language pathology clinical and research faculty and all of their graduate students.

Shanon Brantley photo
Shanon Brantley