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Message From the President: June 30, 2020

Tuesday, June 30, 2020  

Dysphagia Awareness Month in the US is coming to an end.

Tomorrow will begin a new month, signaling the end of National Dysphagia Awareness Month. We want to thank you for embarking on the mission with the Dysphagia Research Society (DRS) to spread dysphagia awareness by participating in the activities that have occurred over the month of June. Whether you submitted a video to be shared, or participated in the MythBusters challenges, your involvement helped to raise awareness! We have had many successes this month toward this important goal, and we want to take the time to share with you some updates. 

Anti-Racism Statement. DRS released their Statement on Racism and Healthcare Disparities where DRS denounced racism and detailed how DRS will initiate responsive strategies to address inequities at the membership and leadership levels, as well as improving the lives of individuals affected by dysphagia within the BIPOC and marginalized communities. The full statement can be read here (link).   

Annual General Membership Meeting. Our Annual General Membership meeting was held virtually on June 24. We had 153 registrants. At the meeting, Dr. Sudarshan Jadcherla presented the incoming slate of officers and board members. Dr. Susan Langmore described DRS’s 2019-2020 achievements and “passed the hat” to Dr. Nadine Connor, incoming President for 2020-2021. DRS membership is nearing 600 people and growing strong. 

2020 DRS Annual Meeting. The 2020 DRS Annual Meeting Webinar Series is available and registration is open, click here to register! Further, the Virtual Poster Hall and Virtual Exhibit Hall are also available for FREE. Please take a look at these pages and be sure to thank our virtual sponsors in supporting us throughout this uncertain time!

We honored the awardees for the 2020 DRS Annual Meeting. Please click here to view the awards video. A total of 19 recipients were honored and 23 awards were presented. We would like to especially thank our sponsors for continuing to support our early researchers: NFOSD, The Head and Neck Cancer Alliance, Springer Publishing and the Japanese Society of Dysphagia Rehabilitation.

Save the Date! The 29th DRS Annual Meeting will be held March 9-12, 2021 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco in San Francisco, CA. The program committee, chaired by Drs. Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer and Nadine Connor, is putting together an excellent preconference and conference program. To make your hotel reservation by the deadline (February 15, 2021), please click on this link. You may also call to make your reservation (415-788-1234 or 877-803-7534). Interested in staying up-to-date on information regarding the conference? Click here to navigate to our interest form!

The call for abstracts is open! Submit your abstract to the ScholarOne website by clicking here! The deadline to submit your abstract for consideration is Monday, October 12, 2020 at 11:59 pm EST. 

COVID-19 Resource Page. The interdisciplinary COVID-19 Task Force continues to update the COVID-19 Resource Page located on the DRS website (link). This page is updated every week, so please bookmark this page so you can stay up-to-date on research and resources concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.

How successful were we for Dysphagia Awareness Month 2020? We had several new initiatives this year to help spread dysphagia awareness throughout the month of June. For example, we requested video submissions from patients/caregivers, clinicians and researchers to help share their stories and spread hope for those with dysphagia. We had 17 video submissions, all sharing inspiring stories and valuable insights regarding dysphagia. The videos had approximately 15,000 views on DRS social media platforms! All videos can be found here (link). We also had approximately 1,000 engagements through our MythBusters interactive series, which allowed us to help separate myths from facts related to swallowing and swallowing disorders. 

We aren’t throwing in the towel! Even though the month is ending, our role to help spread dysphagia awareness will not end. We thank you for continuing to off your support by engaging through such activities as provided below: 

Thank you for your support! Thank you for helping us to eventually end this silent epidemic and give dysphagia a voice. 

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