IDDSI Implementation in Long-Term Care.

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Course Description:

IDDSI Implementation in Long-Term Care


IDDSI Implementation in Long-Term Care

The International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative is a global effort to standardize terminology and test methods for the dysphagia diet. The promise is better research and better patient outcomes. The diet is ASHA endorsed and is in the process of being implemented across the country. In this 2 hour course, we cover the 8 IDDSI test methods and provide hands on experience by demonstrating and by personal hands on experience through the webinar kit that we send out. We also provide implementation guidance and real-life experiences to assist with challenges faced during roll-out in long term care from a dietitian’s point of view

Key Learning Outcomes:

As a result of this presentation, the participant will be able to:

  • List the Eight different test methods for IDDSI Implementation.
  • Discuss best practices for IDDSI implementation in Long Term Care.
  • Review experiences of long-term care communities with IDDSI implementation.
  • Explain the benefits for IDDSI implementation.



2 hours.


Time Ordered Agenda:
5 minutes — Housekeeping, introduce speaker and background
30 minutes – Review of Test Methods
10 minutes – Historic review of texture modified diets
10 minutes – Overview of IDDSI texture levels
10 minutes – Steps to implementation – a timeline
20 minutes – Stories from real long term care communities
10 minutes – Re-cap of the value of IDDSI in LTC
15 minutes – Live demonstrations
10 minutes – Questions and Answers

Total time: 120 min

About the Presenters:

Presenter #1: John L. Holahan
John L Holahan is President and Founder of SimplyThick, LLC. Mr. Holahan is also the inventor of the company’s patented thickener – SimplyThick. He graduated from the University of Minnesota a B.S. in Paper Science and Engineering in 1992. In 2001, Mr. Holahan graduated from the Executive MBA program at Washington University in St. Louis. As part of his academic career he has been elected to both the honor societies for forestry and business – Xi Sigma Pi and Beta Gamma Sigma. Mr. Holahan has worked with thickeners – and not just in healthcare – for his entire business career. Initially he worked for Kelco, a thickener company owned by Merck and eventually sold to Monsanto, where he became an expert in several industrial thickeners. During his MBA, Mr. Holahan developed the business plan for SimplyThick and upon graduation in 2001, founded the company and has worked there ever since.


President and Founder of SimplyThick, LLC. Paid by SimplyThick.
SimplyThick, LLC is a financial supporter of IDDSI but has no input on the content or direction of IDDSI.
Mr. Holahan is a member of the Canadian IDDSI Expert Reference Group.

Presenter #2: Laurie Berger, MBA RD LD

Laurie Berger, MBA RD LD is a Regional Manager for Simplythick LLC in the Midwest Region. She works with acute, long term care and chain accounts, and distribution and home healthcare customers in educating on dysphagia and the use of Simplythick.
Laurie earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietetics and Restaurant Hotel Management from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and her Masters of Business Administration with a Marketing emphasis from Webster University in St. Louis, MO.
Laurie is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. Besides working in the dysphagia area for the last 18 years, Laurie has worked in various areas in nutrition and food service, including sales and marketing for adult and pediatric medical nutritional products, soy protein products, as a clinical dietitian and in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.
Laurie is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Missouri Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is also a member of Dietitians in Health Care Communities, Medical Nutrition Practice Group, Dietitians in Business and Communications and Clinical Nutrition Management.
Laurie lives in St. Louis and in normal times likes international travel, hiking, taking walks, attending sporting and theatre events, eating at ethnic restaurants and reading.


Regional Manager, SimplyThick, LLC. Paid by SimplyThick, LLC
SimplyThick, LLC is a financial supporter of IDDSI.

Presenter #3: Amy C Bollam, RDN LD MPS

Amy Bollam is the Vice President of Products and Innovation at Health Technologies, Inc. In her dietetic career, Amy has focused in food service management including areas of cost control, staff development, safety, sanitation, and compliance. With Health Technologies, Ms. Bollam provides Culture Change consulting for dining services in healthcare paired with customer service training, employee development, and menu design. Amy holds Bachelor degrees in Dietetics and Nutrition, as well as Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Dayton, and a Master’s degree in Human Resources from the Pennsylvania State University. In her free time, Amy enjoys traveling, cooking, and of course, eating with her husband and son.



Presenter #4: Evelena Dowling, BHA, CDM, CFPP

Note: for the April 15, 2021 presentation of this course our featured speaker will be Evelena Dowling. Evelena is a dedicated Certified Dietary Manager & Certified Food Protection Professional with over 15 years-experience in long term care. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration from Southern New Hampshire University, and received her CDM, CFPP Certification from the University of North Dakota.

Throughout her experience in long term care, she has developed restaurant style dining in five company facilities, and specializes in providing administrative direction for policy and procedures, menu formulation, food preparation, and safety practices. She has managed the start-up of new dining services departments, and has educated staff on survey standards, leading to “zero deficiency” inspections in multiple facilities for the past 6 years.

She placed 1st in the category of “Implementation of Restaurant Style Dining & IDDSI” at the Florida Pioneer Networks Best Practices Showcase 2018.



Sponsor Disclosure:

This course is presented by CEU-Espresso, Inc.

Content Disclosure:

This learning event does not focus exclusively on any specific product or service.

Course Content