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Patient-Provider Communication in the Time of COVID-19: Tips from the Frontlines

April 29, 2020 @ 7:00 pm 8:00 pm

Throughout the current COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals are experiencing a surge of patients who may temporarily be unable to speak while also caring for patients with existing communication difficulties. This session will present current patient-provider communication barriers experienced in hospitals as well as AAC solutions to address these barriers. Emergency preparedness and communication planning tips related to the pandemic will also be provided.

REGISTER TODAY:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3820715351811591438

PLEASE NOTE:  Only the first 100 attendees to log into the webinar will be guaranteed spots.

About the Presenter(s):

Tami Altschuler is a Clinical Specialist in Patient-Provider Communication in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at NYU Langone Medical Center and the Rusk Rehabilitation Institute of Medicine in New York, NY. She is spearheading hospital wide patient-provider communication initiatives to establish and increase communication supports throughout the continuum of care.  Tami is a board member of the United States Society of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (USSAAC) and an active member of the Patient-Provider Communication Forum. She has presented nationally and internationally on the topic of patient-provider communication.

Rachel Santiago is a Speech-language Pathologist and Clinical Coordinator of the Inpatient Augmentative Communication Program at Boston Children’s Hospital. She has specialized in bedside AAC service delivery in the pediatric acute care setting for over 10 years and participates in programming development, hospital initiatives, and in-servicing to integrate patient-provider communication into hospital practice. Rachel is a contributing author of Patient Provider Communication: Roles for Speech-Language Pathologist and active member of the Patient-Provider Communication Forum. Rachel has published and presented nationally and internationally on the topics of AAC for patients in acute care and patient-provider communication.

Jessica Gormley, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is an Assistant Professor and Program Leader for AAC Implementation at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute. Her research and clinical interests center upon improving interactions among individuals with complex communication needs, their families, and providers in health care settings. Through Jessica’s research, she aims to develop and evaluate strategies (e.g., AAC tools and trainings) to equip health care providers to become effective communication partners with individuals with complex communication needs. Jessica has published research articles and presented nationally and internationally on the topics of AAC and patient-provider communication. Jessica is also an active member of the Patient-Provider Communication Forum.

Moderated By:

Sarah Blackstone


  • Existing patient-provider communication barriers in hospitals
  • AAC strategies that can optimize patient-provider communication during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Emergency preparedness and communication planning strategies to support people who use AAC


5 minutesIntroduction of Speaker, USSAAC and topic
5 minutesWho may benefit from AAC strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic?
30 minutesExisting barriers to effective patient-provider communication and AAC solutions available during the COVID-19 pandemic
15 minutesEmergency preparedness and communication planning strategies for people who use AAC during the COVID-19 pandemic
5 MinutesQ & A

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) CEUs in speech-language pathology and audiology are awarded by the ASHA CE Registry upon receipt of the CEU Participant Form from the ASHA Approved CE Provider, USSAAC. CEU Participant Forms are available onsite at Registration. ASHA CEUs are provided to full registrations. This program is offered for .1 ASHA CEUs (Introductory Level, Professional Area). 

ASHA Disclosures:

  • Presenter has no financial or non-financial disclosures to report. 

      • Moderator has no financial or non-financial disclosures to report


The United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (USSAAC) is the national chapter of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC). As the United States’ only non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the entire AAC community, USSAAC provides an invaluable role, working to ensure that individuals who could benefit from AAC have access to the technology and services they need. 

Benefits of membership include, but are not limited to: 

  • Free access to USSAAC webinar series with ASHA CEUs and USSAAC Twitter chats 
  • Advocacy for maintaining & expanding access to AAC systems and services 
  • Discount to 2021 ISAAC Conference – Cancun Mexico  
  • SpeakUp publication/Blog 
  • Information updates on USSAAC website & social platforms 
  • Membership in ISAAC with their additional benefits



membership@ussaac.org ussaac.org/membership


Please give us your feedback on this webinar by completing the Participant Survey


April 29, 2020
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Event Category:

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