Grant award creates training opportunities for speech-language pathology students and makes SPEAK OUT! Therapy Program available to patients

Jessie Bradley Ma, MBA
May 29, 2024
SLP Speak Out Grant Award Kelly Richardson
Kelly Richardson, Ph.D.

In a collaborative effort between the Medical University of South Carolina’s MS in Speech-Language Pathology program and MUSC Health, speech-language pathologists (SLPs), Kelly Richardson, Ph.D., Kylie Dunne-Platero, CCC-SLP, and Maris Krekelberg, CCC-SLP, have been awarded a SPEAK OUT! Clinical Education Grant from the Parkinson Voice Project.

The grant provides SPEAK OUT! Therapy training for multiple MUSC SLPs, and about 80 students in the MS in Speech-Language Pathology program valued at approximately $48,300.

“We are so excited to collaborate with MUSC Health to make the SPEAK OUT! Therapy Program more widely available here in Charleston,” says Richardson, an associate professor in the MS in Speech-Language Pathology program. “Not only are we going to have a positive impact on patients with Parkinson’s disease, but we are creating an incredible learning opportunity for our students.” 

Kylie Dunne-Platero 
Kylie Dunne-Platero, CCC-SLP
Maris Krekelberg 
Maris Krekleberg, CCC-SLP

The SPEAK OUT! Therapy Program, developed by Parkinson Voice Project, is a research evidence-based program helping individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s and related neurological disorders regain and retain their speech and swallowing. This comprehensive program combines individual speech therapy with education and ongoing group support.

According to Richardson, an alternate course of voice treatment for a patient with Parkinson’s disease requires seeing a speech therapist four times per week for four weeks. Under the SPEAK OUT! Therapy Program, patients are seen two times per week for four weeks and complete additional activities like group-based voice therapy, workbooks, and online speech or singing sessions. Decreasing the required number of visits in turn increases the number of patients that can be seen by SPEAK OUT! Licensed SLPs and MUSC.

After completing the SPEAK OUT! Therapy Program training this spring as part of their coursework, students in the MS in Speech-Language Pathology program will have the opportunity to provide treatment to patients with Parkinson’s disease under the supervision of MUSC SLPs. Experiential and hands-on learning are an integral part of the MUSC’s MS in Speech-Language Pathology program. Unlike many other programs, MUSC students begin gaining hands-on experience in their first semester. The SPEAK OUT! grant creates an added opportunity for students to gain extracurricular experience treating patients.

Sydney Quick, MS in Speech-Language Pathology Class of 2025

"I have been very interested in working with the adult population and found a passion for working with patients with voice disorders after completing the voice and motor speech courses during the spring 2024 semester,” shares Sydney Quick, a first-year student in the MS in Speech-Language Pathology program. “I am beyond excited to be licensed in SPEAK OUT! and to have the amazing opportunity to work alongside MUSC SLPs to provide treatment to patients with Parkinson's disease in the community.”

To learn more about the program or how to receive SPEAK OUT! Therapy at MUSC contact Kelly Richardson at