Vitalstim therapy and beyond: dines specialty certificate program for pediatric
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VitalStim® Therapy and Beyond: DINES Specialty Certificate Program for Pediatric

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About this workshop:


VitalStim® Therapy and Beyond: DINES Specialty Certificate Program for Pediatric

This dynamic and innovative program has revolutionized dysphagia therapy! Dysphagia Therapists will bring their facilities to a state-of-the-art-level with their Specialty Certificate from this course. VitalStim® Therapy is the original FDA cleared treatment approach to successfully combine Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation and traditional dysphagia techniques. This hands-on competency course will focus on topics such as muscle physiology, kinesiology of the swallowing mechanism and on pathological swallowing mechanisms and processes. The basic principles and concepts of NMES will be taught and the VitalStim® Therapy protocol will be extensively reviewed and practiced. The participants will receive one-on-one attention from two instructors, a dysphagia expert and an electrical stimulation expert. Through extensive hands-on labs; attendees will apply the theory of neuromuscular electrical stimulation to the treatment of dysphagia. This program is the ONLY accredited NMES for dysphagia program and provides participants with the building blocks and confidence to implement a successful VitalStim® Therapy program. 


NOTE: Successful completion of the pre-requisite online MBS: The Clear Picture and this 2-day VitalStim® Therapy Course will train the participant to utilize VitalStim® technology in the treatment of dysphagia. DJO has developed and patented a licensed technology trademarked as VitalStim. Because there are no other similar products available, course offerings will only cover information that pertains to the effective and safe use of VitalStim.


This is an intermediate level course. Requirements for the course are as follows:

  1. Successful completion of online anatomy and MBS review course
  2. Prior knowledge and experience in dysphagia management
  3. Dysphagia as a significant portion of active caseload
  4. SLP or OTR with current licensure in state of practice
  5. SLP or OTR in compliance with state and national practice acts


VitalStim® Therapy Specialty Certificate recognition will be awarded to those who:

  1. Complete the written post-test.
  2. Demonstrate the accurate practical application of VitalStim® Therapy


Course agenda:


Day 1

08:00 - 08:30     Introduction, program overview

08:30 - 10:00     Review swallowing physiology, anatomy

10:00 - 10:15     Break

10:15 - 10:45     Swallowing kinesiology

10:45 - 11:00     Palpation of head and neck structures (lab)

11:00 - 12:00     Abnormal swallow (dysphagia)

12:00 - 01:00     Lunch

01:00 - 02:30     MBS interpretation

02:30 - 02:45     Break

02:45 - 04:00     Electrical stimulation: basic theory

04:00 - 05:00     Electrical stimulation: lab

05:00 - 06:30     Written Examination



Day 2-Pediatric Focused

8:00 - 8:30     Introduction, Overview & Objectives

8:30 - 9:30     Anatomy & Physiology of the Infant and Pediatric Swallow

9:30 - 9:45     Neurology

9:45 - 10:00   Break

10:00 -11:00  Pediatric Exercise Considerations for Muscle Training

11:00 -11:30  Motor Mapping, Synaptic Pruning & Cortical Reorganization

11:30 -12:00  Electrical Stimulation in the Treatment of Pediatric Dysphagia

12:00 -1:00    Lunch

1:00 - 2:00     Electrical Stimulation in the Treatment of Pediatric Dysphagia, Continued

2:00 - 2:45     Integration & Pediatric Case Studies

2:45 - 3:00     Break

3:00 - 4:00     Special Considerations by Diagnostic Populations & Diseases

4:00 - 4:30     Pediatric Research Review

4:30 - 5:00     Questions & Answers




John Kelly, M.P.T.

A graduate of the University of St. Augustine’s graduate Physical Therapy Program. John has over 17 years’ experience with acute inpatient and hospital-based outpatient rehabilitation and currently an outpatient clinical director for Siskin Rehabilitation Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee. John continues to balance full time patient care with administrative responsibilities. John is NDT certified and an experienced manual orthopedic therapist working toward his clinical doctorate and manual therapy certification. John is a certified VitalStim® Instructor and has taught orthopaedic and electrotherapy courses across the country. John is an accomplished clinical instructor and consistently is recognized for his exceptional patient rapport and strong evaluations from course participants.




Karin Mitchell, M.A. CCC-SLP

Karin Mitchell is a worldwide respected Speech Language Pathologist specializing in the care and treatment of pediatric feeding and swallowing, developmental care of the medically fragile infant and child, and pediatric traumatic brain injury. Her love of teaching and helping others drives her to create and deliver fun and empowering continuing education courses across the nation and internationally. Areas covered are Developmental Care in the NICU, Cue Based Feeding, pediatric feeding and swallowing analysis and treatment, including the use of VitalStim, swallow studies, enhancing decision making and clinical analysis, breast feeding the medically fragile infant and child, and developmental milestones supporting feeding skill acquisition. Beginning her practice in 1995, Karin sought out learning opportunities and creative ways to teach others. She now serves as a lead therapist for the NICU and Feeding Teams at CHOC Children’s Hospital in Orange, CA. With a clinical practice formed by a strong theory base in NDT and SI therapies, Karin is also NOMAS trained and VitalStim certified. She provides ongoing education in-services and hands-on labs for appropriate developmental care, positioning, handling, and feeding skills for clinical staff including medical residents, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech pathologists. Karin was a key player in the development of unit protocols and care plans for evidence-based developmental care in the highly specialized Small Baby Unit (ELBW) at CHOC which includes an ongoing education series required by all medical and support personnel. She is an active committee member for multiple qualities of care committees including Skin to Skin Care, Developmental Care, Infant Driven Feeds, Breast Feeding Coalition, Palliative Care, Neuro NICU Team, Trauma Team, and Family Centered Care. A dedicated leader, Karin devotes much of her time to the support and development of clinicians, serving as a mentor committed to building therapist's skills in clinical analysis and therapeutic effectiveness with medically fragile patients. She is a strong advocate for her patients and their families and speaks at local associations, community centers, local universities, and school districts to support medically fragile infants and children.


Questions about this workshop?



Salih Tarhan


0090 530 825 70 05



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