Although Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) dates back to 1988 by Dr Susan Langmore (SLP), Dr Nels Olson (ENT) & Ken Schatz (SLP), it was near impossible to find someone who knew what a FEES was 21 years ago when we at Language Fundamentals started providing the service in 2003. At that time, most people, including doctors, nursing home administrators, and SLPs alike were convinced modifieds were the only good way to view a swallow. Since few SLPs were trained to complete FEES, access to the procedure was relatively non-existent.

In 2003, it was taking 6-8 weeks for a patient to get a modified from the time it was ordered. I knew there had to be a better way, so I began traveling from Albany, NY to Manhattan once/week for 6 months to train under Dr Jonathon Aviv (ENT) who had added Sensory Testing as a potential component to FEES in 1993, thus creating FEESST.

This was the creation of Language Fundamentals. Inc mobile FEES program: One of the first providers of mobile FEES in NYS. In the past 21 years, we have created an extensive training program so that our FEES clinicians are the best in the industry and able to handle even the most complicated of cases. We have completed thousands of exams and are proud to be one of the largest providers of mobile FEES in NYS.

With 21 years of doing mobile FEES, we have seen many changes: The procedure is now so well respected and recognized that we receive calls requesting it, it has become its own standard of practice and helps reinforce the need for swallowing services, tube feeding and altered diets, but one of the biggest for me is that the examination room no longer fills with staff members who just want to see what this ‘new procedure’ is all about!

The one thing that has not changed in 21 years is that it still takes 4-6+ weeks many times for patients to get modifieds, they require transportation and a staff member to accompany the patient and sometimes facility SLPs have to wait weeks for modified reports!

With Language Fundamentals FEES program, team and expertise, you not only get the best clinicians and equipment, FEES can get scheduled as quickly as 24-48 hours and results are reported the same day. In addition, we have an expanse of information at our disposal which we are going to begin sharing through this new FEES newsletter! We hope you find the information useful and if you would like to schedule us to come in to do FEES or provide a demo, please call!

About The Author: Melissa C. Webb, MS, CCC-SLP is the Chief Operating Officer of Language Fundamentals. She is a graduate from The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY with her master’s degree in communication disorders. Following graduation, Melissa dedicated her professional career to gerontological and medical speech pathology. Melissa is passionate about being a strong advocate for those in need and applies that passion in her day-to-day work.