June 1, 2022

New Clinical Research Lab in Speech and Language Center Serves Campus and Community

The Department of Communication Science and Disorders Speech and Language Center opened a new full-service clinical research lab in 2021 to provide free specialized services for people with voice and swallowing conditions.

The Swallowing and Voice Imaging (SAVI) Lab is a specialty clinic created to support ongoing research in dysphagia and voice disorders, and provides diagnostic imaging and therapeutic services for voice and swallowing related issues. Its services are offered to the public and UM students in need. It also serves as an educational lab for graduate student clinicians.

“Seeing the SAVI Lab provide a way to fill this gap and increase the educational opportunities of our students, provides a much-needed service to the community and begins to fulfill the lab’s mission, has been both exciting and rewarding,” said Dr. Mathew Vansant, director of the SAVI Lab and assistant professor of communication science and disorders.

“Our students get real-life, hands-on experience in a safe learning environment resulting in competent and skilled speech-language pathologists. Since fully opening following the pandemic-related shutdowns, the lab has provided a mechanism for master’s thesis research and served many patients from our campus and the larger community. The direct laryngeal imaging we provide is
a valuable tool for UM’s performing arts students, and having access to these tools on campus makes it easy.”

The lab has an examination room, equipment cleaning space and patient consultation space, which serves as a dedicated teletherapy space for remote voice patients.

Populations served by the lab are those with swallowing disorders, functional voice disorders, head and neck cancer-related swallowing impairment, transgender voice, neurological-related swallowing disorders and neurogenic voice disorders.

Those interested in receiving services at the lab should call 205-665-6720.