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Perham Health Speech Pathologist earns VitalStim therapy certification

This spring, Laura Nyhus, Perham Health Speech Pathologist, became certified in providing VitalStim therapy, a treatment for patients suffering with difficulty swallowing or dysphagia.

The therapy is a special form of neuromuscular electrical stimulation that helps habilitate and/or re-educate throat muscles needed for swallowing. Cleared by the FDA in June 2001 and available to clinicians since 2003, this non-invasive therapy has been used successfully to help thousands regain the pleasures of an oral diet and a higher quality of life.

The system was developed in response to the 15 million Americans living with dysphagia today.

Patients can be assured that a VitalStim certificated speech pathologist has met a validated standard of knowledge to perform this therapy.

“I believe helping individuals regain the ability to swallow is such an important part of my job, “said Nyhus in a press release. “Our society spends a large amount of time in fellowship around the table eating with family and friends. When one is unable to do this, their quality of life is often greatly impacted. With implementing VitalStim therapy into an individual’s treatment plan, we can increase the chances of regaining or improving this valuable skill.”

Nyhus added that the therapy has been found to be very safe. Safety records from both the clinicians and researchers shows no adverse effects to the patient.

 Nyhus earned her master of speech pathology degree from Minnesota State University in Moorhead and her Master of Organizational Leadership from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. 

Prior to joining Perham Health, she had experience at the Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach, Calif.., the University of Minnesota Medical Center, and Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.