Our Continued Conversations series highlights the experts behind our content. Meet the presenters who make a difference in their fields and inspire our learners to do the same.
Angela Mansolillo, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, is a speech-language pathologist and board-certified specialist in swallowing disorders with over 30 years of experience. Over the course of her career, she has worked in a variety of clinical settings, delivered regional and national presentations, and lectured at colleges and universities throughout Massachusetts.
Mansolillo is currently a senior speech-language pathologist at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she provides evaluation and treatment services for adults and children with dysphagia. She is also involved in the program planning and development for inpatient and outpatient programming, which includes quality improvement initiatives, patient education, and clinical policies and protocols.
She is an adjunct faculty member at Elms College Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in Chicopee, Massachusetts, and teaches for Continued’s SpeechPathology.com. She is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and ASHA Special Interest Group 13, which focuses on swallowing and swallowing disorders.
“Online education has provided access to training and information without the expense and logistical considerations of travel, and the wide variety of topics and formats that are available are so much more than one could possibly obtain in live training.”
Why did you pursue the field of speech-language pathology?
It was totally by accident! I took a course in Introduction to Communication Disorders out of curiosity, and the course that semester was being taught by a new adjunct who was an SLP in the community. She had such great stories about her clients and her work—I was hooked! And as it turned out, she was my first boss when I got out of graduate school and my introduction to the wonderful community of speech-language pathologists.
Where has your career journey taken you?
I started working with patients with dysphagia in the mid ‘80s, and that has been my focus for most of my career. I've worked in acute care and critical care settings, inpatient rehabilitation and long term care, and outpatient/ambulatory care for adults and children. I've also spent some time in school settings but am primarily a medical speech-language pathologist, both by training and at heart.
In addition to my clinical work, I started teaching in the early ‘90s, first as an adjunct, then by providing continuing education seminars, and now online!
What inspired your specific expertise in swallowing disorders?
At first I was filling a gap. The field of speech-language pathology was expanding to include dysphagia and we needed programming in the inpatient rehab facility where I was working, so several of the SLPs and I got trained. The more I learned, the more intrigued I became, and this is still true. How can something so simple like moving food and liquid from your mouth to your stomach be so complicated and so problematic for so many people in so many different ways?
What makes you so passionate about your field?
I'd have to say it's the variety and broad scope of practice. There are so many things to do, so many different kinds of people to work with, and always something new to learn. That's the kind of field I need to be in—one that's always evolving and expanding.
Why is online continuing education important, and why do you enjoy presenting for Continued’s SpeechPathology.com?
Online education has provided access to training and information without the expense and logistical considerations of travel, and the wide variety of topics and formats that are available are so much more than one could possibly access in live training. Clearly the COVID pandemic has made remote learning even more relevant than ever for all of us. And, anything you can do in your pajamas is OK with me!
The staff at SpeechPathology.com are absolutely terrific—professional, easy to work with, and completely dedicated to the quality of the education they provide. They've perfected the model for affordable yet high-quality, relevant, and up to date education. It's always a pleasure to be part of their team.