Speech Language Pathologists Trained in SPEAK OUT!® and The LOUD Crowd®
Therapy Protocols to Improve and Preserve Voices of Patients


Edison, N.J.  — Hackensack Meridian Health JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute was recently awarded a grant from the Parkinson Voice Project to provide specialized training in the groundbreaking SPEAK OUT!® and The LOUD Crowd® treatment protocols designed to improve and preserve the voices of people with Parkinson’s Disease and Parkinson-plus syndromes.

One of only two facilities in New Jersey to receive this grant ― and related specialized training and certification ― the speech-language pathologists at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute are trained to work through speech, voice and cognitive exercises that help improve articulation, breath support and vocal quality.

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“As Parkinson’s progresses, individuals typically see a pattern of decreasing speech volume, articulation accuracy, vocal quality and saliva management,’’ said Alyson Chananie, M.S., CCC/SLP, speech language pathologist at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, and one of five experts trained to administer this treatment at the facility.

This results in speech that is difficult to hear and understand. Without treatment, these speech deficits continue to worsen, often to the point where a person with Parkinson’s is unable to communicate verbally.

The program consists of 12 individual speech therapy sessions and encourages patients to “speak with intent” in a confident and deliberate manner. Working with their therapist, patients perform a series of speech, voice and cognitive exercises that help bypass the neuropathways impaired by the disease. This results in a stronger, clearer voice, and helps strengthen the muscles used in swallowing, thus reducing the risk of aspiration.

“Speaking with intent immediately improves articulation, breath support and vocal quality in individuals with Parkinson’s Disease,” said Janice P. Dibling, M.S., CCC/SLP, manager of speech pathology programs at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute. “We’re proud to be on the leading edge of introducing this program to patients in New Jersey, helping them to change their lives for the better.”

The national grant program for SPEAK OUT! ® and LOUD Crowd® was launched in early 2018 by the Parkinson Voice Project, whose aim is to preserve the voices of individuals with the disease and related neurological disorders. More than $650,000 in grant funds has been awarded to speech therapy clinics throughout the U.S.



Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care.


Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 16 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, JFK Medical Center in Edison; two children’s hospitals – Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; nine community hospitals – Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge, and Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood; and two rehabilitation hospitals – JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Shore Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.


Additionally, the network has more than 450 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness centers, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has 33,000 team members, and 6,500 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.


The network’s notable distinctions include having one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more consecutive years, four hospitals among the top 10 in New Jersey by U.S. News and World Report. Other honors include consistently achieving Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, recipient of the John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality from The Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum, a six-time recipient of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” one of the “20 Best Workplaces in Health Care” in the nation, and the number one “Best Place to Work for Women.” The network was also named to Becker’s Healthcare’s “150 Top Places to Work in Healthcare/2018” list.


Hackensack Meridian Health partnered with Seton Hall University to launch the first private medical school in New Jersey – Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University – in more than 50 years to address a growing shortage of physicians and dramatic changes in health care delivery. Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer to find more cures for cancer faster while ensuring that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it. Hackensack Meridian Health and Carrier Clinic, New Jersey’s oldest and most respected behavioral health provider, signed a definitive agreement to merge.


Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies.


For additional information, please visit www.HackensackMeridianHealth.org.