North Jersey Swallowing Center

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Article Index

  1. North Jersey Swallowing Center current position
  2. Dysphagia
  3. Telemedicine
  4. More about the Swallowing Center

North Jersey Swallowing Center

The North Jersey Swallowing Center conveniently located at both St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson and St. Joseph's Wayne Hospital, provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment to adults who have difficulty feeding or swallowing. Established in 1983, the center helps inpatients and outpatients from the tri-state area.



We are licensed Speech-Language Pathologists who focus our practice on the evaluation and treatment of adults with swallowing disorders. Our clinical staff has attained or is working towards attaining Board Recognized Specialty in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (BRS-S). We work in consultation with physicians, dietitians, physical and occupational therapists to provide quality, comprehensive interdisciplinary care.


Unique treatment plans are designed to specifically target each patient's area(s) of difficulty. The goals of treatment include teaching compensatory strategies that provide immediate short-term gains in the safety and efficiency of the swallow, as well as training in the use of exercises that provide long-term improvements. The wide range of treatment modalities available at the North Jersey Swallowing Center are research-based, with proven efficacy in helping patients to rehabilitate their swallow.



Please contact your physician first regarding any of these complaints:

  • Slow or difficult chewing
  • Slow or difficult swallowing
  • Difficulty taking medications
  • Coughing or "choking" when eating or drinking—going down the "wrong pipe"
  • "Wet" vocal quality after swallowing
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing after swallowing
  • "Stuck" sensation when eating and/or drinking
  • Food remaining in the mouth after swallowing
  • Unexplained and/or recurrent pneumonias or other respiratory infection
  • Unexplained weight loss



Each patient receives a comprehensive clinical evaluation that assesses swallowing strengths and weaknesses. Using a variety of strategies, the Speech-Language Pathologist determines the most appropriate diet textures and postures that will either enhance and or maintain a mealtime routine for each patient. Our staff utilizes state-of-the-art imaging equipment that provides visualization of anatomy during the swallow, enabling the clinician to precisely identify the nature and location of the swallowing problem.



In order to assess dysphagia, or as a pre-cursor to treatment, the following tests may be recommended:

  • Modified Videofluoroscopic Swallow Study (MVS)
  • Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES)



Dysphagia is the medical term for any difficulty or disruption in the passage or foods or liquids from the mouth to the stomach. People who have difficulty chewing or swallowing have dysphagia.



Our patients are men and women who have medical problems that affect their swallowing mechanism. These illnesses include, but are not limited to:

  • Stroke
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Alzheimer's Disease/Dementia
  • Oral, Head & Neck Cancers
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Individuals who have undergone head or neck surgery
  • Respiratory compromise including tracheostomy




The North Jersey Swallowing Center is proud to announce the development of the new telemedicine program for use by Universities, therapists, and patient care centers who wish to view Modified Videofluoroscopy Swallow Studies remotely in real time.

What is Telemedicine?

Telemedicine is a way for staff at residential facilities and students at universities and colleges to view Modified Videofluoroscopy Swallow Studies live through videoconferencing.


Why is Telemedicine a good idea?

This type of tool allows for a hands-on learning approach between therapists, students and real patients.  Speech Pathologists, residential facility staff, family members, and students can view the swallow study as it's happening.  If you are a Speech Therapist with a question during the study, you can ask that question.  If you are a university professor who needs to enhance his/her dysphagia curriculum, you can utilize this program during the semester to promote learning of medical Speech Pathology.


How does Telemedicine work?

A representative from the university or residential facility will need to contact the team at 973-754-4365.  This clinician with the help of ITR staff of St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center will assess which equipment is needed to have the videoconference work.  If you are a facility with a patient, and wish to view his/her swallow study via teleconferencing, audio/visual consent would need to be obtained from the patient or guardian.


Our Teleconferencing Mission

To provide multimedia access to live viewing of Modified Videofluoroscopy Swallow Studies to a contemporary team of professionals and students for educational and interdisciplinary development.


What is a Modified Videofluroscopy Swallow Study? 

 An MVS is an objective assessment of swallowing completed in Radiology with one of The North Jersey Swallowing Center clinicians.  The patient is observed consuming a variety of liquid and textured consistencies while the therapists and physician assess the patient's anatomy and swallow physiology. These dynamic real-time radiological images are captured and stored.


Our telemedicine tool allows the Pt.'s treating therapists, family, and nursing staff at the Pt.'s own residential facility to remotely interact and collaborate live with the therapists and Radiologist as the swallow study is being performed.


Telemedicine also allows the opportunity for students at universities to review swallow studies as the examinations are being completed. Telemedicine used in this way supports educational development for both the student and the treating therapist.  The North Jersey Swallowing Center is dedicated to the educational growth of future clinicians within our field.


If you are a patient care center, therapist or University professor who is interested in knowing more about two-way remote real time videoconferencing to observe swallow studies please contact our team at 973-754-4365.


What you would need to establish a videoconference:

  • Telemedicine works best with Microsoft compatible computers with at least 1 G RAM.  Telemedicine has also been successful with Apple ipads.
  • A cable line is needed.  Optimum Online, Verizon, and Cablevision have worked well in the past.
  • The receiving end (i.e. university or nursing facility) would need a computer with a camera (i.e. Microsoft LifeCam).
  • The Polycom CMA computer software is needed.  This is available via free down load on the Polycom website.  Polycom software is also available via download through the Apple application store.
  • Lastly, the videoconference would need to occur in a secure classroom or office where outside visitors will not interrupt the session.  Video/audio consent will need to be obtained from the Patient or family prior to any filming.


There are no additional fees for this type of tool. A St. Joseph's ITR representative will be made available to facilitate the initiation of this program if your facility is interested.


More about the Swallowing Center

For more information, or to schedule an appointment at our center, please contact the Center's secretary at 973.754.2924.

For information on Speech - Language Pathology click here.

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