post

Volunteer Spotlight: Courtney Long

Published by Feeding Matters on Apr 01, 2020

Feeding Matters Volunteer Spotlight is a monthly Q & A series that shares the stories of our growing network of change agents, the driving force behind our vision to create a world where children with pediatric feeding disorder will thrive. This month we bring you Courtney Long.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
I currently live in Albuquerque, NM with my husband, recently adopted and amazingly spunky two year old and our cat. We are foster parents and outdoor adventurers. I currently run an outpatient feeding and lactation counseling program in the area targeting support and collaborative care for infant through adolescent populations.

What motivated you to become involved with Feeding Matters?
Awareness and advocacy for pediatric feeding disorders is dangerously low. I wanted to work with an organization that understood our problem and was motivated and diligent in trying to repair it.

How have you volunteered with Feeding Matters?
I perform outreach for PFD in my community and support ambassadors in my region in their efforts. Additionally, I currently serve as a content expert on the L.A.C.I program.

What has been your favorite part of volunteering with Feeding Matters?
I love the brainstorming and collaborative effort to support our children with PFD adores the nation. The multidisciplinary team is incredible.

What sets Feeding Matters apart from other organizations?
There is a continued effort to keep up to date with research in PFD, to continue to spear head research of their own and to understand new and evidence- based practice to best serve families.

Volunteer Spotlight: Sally Hamilton

Published by Feeding Matters on Mar 01, 2020

Sally Hamilton

Feeding Matters Volunteer Spotlight is a monthly Q & A series that shares the stories of our growing network of change agents, the driving force behind our vision to create a world where children with pediatric feeding disorder will thrive. This month we bring you Sally Hamilton. Sally began volunteering with Feeding Matters at our annual community luncheon where she identified that she wanted to dedicate more of her time to our organization. You can find Sally every Thursday morning at the Feeding Matters office helping with a number of projects!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
I am a retired Occupational Therapist; I worked with students with special needs for over 42 years, mainly in public education in Colorado and Arizona. I have been married to my husband Don for 44 years and have one married daughter and they are expecting their first child in April 2020. I love to sew, read, ride my bike, play pickleball, and travel.

What motivated you to become involved with Feeding Matters?
I volunteered to work at Feeding Matters annual fundraising luncheon and was very impressed with what I saw and what I read about the organization. In my career as an Occupational Therapist I worked with many families who had children with sensory processing disorders, some of whom also had children with feeding challenges.

How have you volunteered with Feeding Matters?
Along with volunteering at the annual luncheon, I go into the Feeding Matters office every Thursday morning and help out with phone calls and projects. Everyone there is so friendly and I feel like I am contributing to a very worthwhile organization.

What has been your favorite part of volunteering with Feeding Matters?
My favorite part of volunteering with Feeding Matters has been to be able to connect with individuals who are a part of the Power of Two program through phone calls and surveys. I’ve been able to see how this organization has made a powerful impact on families who face eating/feeding challenges.

What sets Feeding Matters apart from other organizations?
Besides their wonderful staff, I am so impressed that Feeding Matters in an international organization and has so many volunteers, as well as distinguished board members. Their commitment to providing the expert knowledge, resources and education needed to understand feeding challenges is outstanding!

Volunteer Spotlight: Kellee Dominguez

Published by Feeding Matters on Feb 01, 2020

Feeding Matters Volunteer Spotlight is a monthly Q & A series that shares the stories of our growing network of change agents, the driving force behind our vision to create a world where children with pediatric feeding disorder will thrive. This month we bring you Kellee Dominguez.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

I work for Arizona Central Credit Union, I oversee our Corporate Volunteer Program, and fundraising, and Financial Literacy. I have worked here for 28+ years, and have worn many hats over the years, although, this is the most fulfilling job. Because I get to work with organizations like Feeding Matters, that is helping so many children and families, that are in need of the services, and resources offered by Feeding Matters.

What motivated you to become involved with Feeding Matters?

I was introduced to Feeding Matters by our CEO, Todd Pearson, who is new to the Feeding Matters board. After learning about feeding Matters, and having 7 small grandchildren this was something that I was not aware of, and it was also shocking to hear how common it is here in the State of AZ, this is what motivated me to step in and see how I can help.

How have you volunteered with Feeding Matters?

I have coordinated a Team of Staff from ACCU to volunteer for the Annual Luncheon at the Biltmore, and myself and another group of our staff helped count money from the Luncheon. We also helped make thank you calls to the donors.

What has been your favorite part of volunteering with Feeding Matters?

Definitely working with the staff , our first experience was a great one. AZ Central Credit Union Staff will be back and are happy to help year-round as they need help. We are looking forward to a great partnership.

What sets Feeding Matters apart from other organizations?

They offer resources for Feeding Disorders and many people/ even doctors are not aware or educated. This is a great opportunity to educate and find platforms to bring awareness to Feeding Matters and the resources that are available to the community.

Volunteer Spotlight: Gilson Capilouto

Published by Feeding Matters on Jan 01, 2020

Gilson Capilouto

Feeding Matters Volunteer Spotlight is a monthly Q & A series that shares the stories of our growing network of change agents, the driving force behind our vision to create a world where children with pediatric feeding disorder will thrive. This month we bring you Gilson Capilouto.

Gilson Capilouto is the chair of our 2020 International Pediatric Feeding Disorder Conference committee and member of PFD Alliance Executive Council. She has been instrumental in planning our conference education sessions and lightning talks for the past couple of years. Feeding Matters appreciates Gilson’s initiative and passion to change the system of care for children with PFD.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

I am Professor Emerita in the College of Health Sciences at the University of Kentucky and received my Ph.D. in Motor Control and Motor Learning from the University of South Carolina. I am a certified and licensed speech-language pathologist and a Fellow of the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association. In addition, I am Co-Founder and Chief Clinical Office for the digital health company NFANT Labs, LLC. Atlanta, GA. I am co-inventor of an FDA cleared medical device used to study issues related to neonatal sucking in preterm and sick term infants and holds four patents for my work in this area.

What motivated you to become involved with Feeding Matters?

I first became involved with Feeding Matters in 2018 in my role as a volunteer assisting with the planning of the 2019 Annual Conference. I was motivated to become involved in FM given its outstanding reputation for serving families of children with pediatric feeding disorders. I have more than 40 years of clinical experience in the assessment and treatment of pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders and for the past seventeen years have focused my clinical research on neonatal feeding.

How have you volunteered with Feeding Matters?

In 2018 I volunteered to assist with the 2019 annual conference. Currently, I serve as the Program Chair for the 2020 conference.

What has been your favorite part of volunteering with Feeding Matters?

The connections with other feeding specialists as well as the connections to families of children with pediatric feeding disorders. The conference has been a wonderful opportunity to expand my clinical knowledge by continuing to learn.

What sets Feeding Matters apart from other organizations?

FM has a commitment not only to children with pediatric feeding disorder but also the needs of families and caregivers of children with PFD and the education of professionals working in the area of PFD.

VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: BRITTANY EBERSON

Published by Feeding Matters on Dec 17, 2019

Feeding Matters Volunteer Spotlight is a monthly Q & A series that shares the stories of our growing network of change agents, the driving force behind our vision to create a world where children with pediatric feeding disorder will thrive. This month we bring you Brittany Eberson.

Brittany first started volunteering at our 2017 International Pediatric Feeding Disorder Conference.  Since then, she has been amazing helping our organization out with several projects ranging from research to representing Feeding Matters at the Bat Cave Tours.

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Hi my name is Brittany Eberson.  I am currently working full time with two part time jobs as a speech therapist at Aspire Therapy and John C Lincoln as a monitor tech.  I also watch my nephew three days a week while in school full time.  I am going to school to be a Speech Language Pathologist. I hope to one day be back in the hospital working with adults and children. On my free time when I have that I like to spend time with my 6 year old godson, ride my horse, and bake! I love helping others and meeting new people.

How long have you been a volunteer with Feeding Matters?

I have been a volunteer with Feeding Matters for three years now.

In which volunteer activities have you participated?

My first project was volunteering at their Bi-Annual Conference where I was a greeter. I said hello to the attendees for the conference and answered any questions that were needed for direction to the conference. I helped with stuffing attendee bags for all the people who attended the conference.  Another project I participated in was writing a research paper for infants with Feeding Matters. The latest activity I participated in was with my godson in attending the Bat Cave Tour. We both were able to go explore the Bat Cave and my godson played with the gadgets and rode in the bat mobile!

What motivated you to become involved?

I have always been interested in children with feeding and swallowing complications. This area is an interest in mine with Speech Language Pathology. Being a volunteer for this organization, I am able to meet and learn more about feeding disorders. I enjoy being a part of an organization that changes the lives of others every day.

What has been your favorite part of volunteering with Feeding Matters?

My favorite part is meeting new people and families within this organization that have had life-changing experiences. Especially, those I have met through the Bat Cave Tours.  I am able to be a part of this organization in which has taught me more about myself and interests.

What sets Feeding Matters apart from other organizations?

The moment of joining this organization it was a great fit because of how receptive they were to volunteers. The people in this organization are very welcoming and accommodating. They are very understanding of my schedule and find projects to include my godson because I have a limited schedule. I am beyond words to be a part of an organization that makes me feel welcomed and appreciated.

Volunteer Spotlight: Amy Delaney

Published by Feeding Matters on Jun 10, 2019

Feeding Matters Volunteer Spotlight is a monthly Q & A series that shares the stories of our growing network of change agents, the driving force behind our vision to create a world where children with pediatric feeding disorder will thrive. This month we bring you Amy Delaney, PHD, SLP.

Amy has been with Feeding Matters since the beginning and currently serves as the lead of our PFD Alliance’s Educational Initiative Committee. She is passionate, dedicated, and her professional knowledge is invaluable to our programs and initiatives. We feel fortunate to have her on our team.

Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I’m an assistant professor in the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology at Marquette University and director of the Neurodevelopmental Feeding and Swallowing Lab. My research focuses on quantification of age-appropriate feeding practices and defining feeding disorder profiles in children with chronic medical disorders. Some of my ongoing research includes studying typical feeding development in infants and toddlers, standardization of textures and texture progression in childhood, and feeding outcomes in children with congenital heart disease and prematurity. Prior to joining Marquette, I was at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin for 20 years as clinician/researcher in pediatric feeding disorder and dysphagia and worked on an interdisciplinary feeding team.

In which volunteer activities have you participated?
Since I started volunteering with the organization in 2007, I’ve assisted in designing content for website, served as co-lead of Feeding Matters’ Pediatric Feeding Disorder (PFD) Dissemination Committee, co-authored the Infant and Child Feeding Questionnaire (ICFQ), presented at the International Pediatric Feeding Disorder Conference (IPFDC), given continuing education workshops, and worked with Feeding Matters’ Founder & Strategic Advisor Shannon Goldwater to develop the provider directory. I’m also a founding and executive council member for the PFD Alliance.

What motivated you to become involved?
I was really drawn to the innovation and passion of Feeding Matters “founding mothers”. I was aligned with their goals and the belief that change and alliance is possible to help children with PFD and their families.

What has been your favorite part of volunteering with Feeding Matters?
I really enjoy the networking, collaboration, and helping the greater good of pediatric feeding. Especially being a part of a global effort with backyard interactions and watching the shear perseverance and persistence of the organization.

What sets Feeding Matters apart from other organizations?
For me, it comes down to three points: the collaborative care model, a focus on improving the care of children and families above all else, and goals are rooted in personal experience and motivation.

Volunteer Spotlight: Leslie Jackson

Published by Feeding Matters on Jul 09, 2019

Feeding Matters Volunteer Spotlight is a monthly Q & A series that shares the stories of our growing network of change agents, the driving force behind our vision to create a world where children with pediatric feeding disorder will thrive. This month we bring you Leslie Jackson.

Leslie is one of our Power of Two family coaches in Texas. Leslie’s journey with her son Jacob first brought her to Feeding Matters as a parent needing support. Now, she helps families navigate their journey with PFD by offering her insight, empathy, and compassion.

Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I am a graduate student studying to receive a master’s degree in social work. I am interning at a children’s charity and am lucky to work to support families of children with special needs. I live in Austin, Texas with my husband, ten-year-old son, and three cats. When my husband and I met- I had two cats and he had one- so we became a three-cat family!

How long have you been a volunteer with Feeding Matters?
I have been a volunteer with Feeding Matters since the spring of 2017.

In which volunteer activities have you participated?
I am a Power of Two coach for families who are experiencing feeding challenges with their child.

What motivated you to become involved?
My son was born as a micro preemie, weighing 1 pound, 13 ounces. He spent four months in the NICU. He was medically fragile and failure to thrive for his first three years. He has severe reflux and oral aversions. I remember feeling very isolated with my son’s feeding challenges and not knowing where to turn for support. I volunteer to help ensure other families experiencing feeding difficulties have support.

What has been your favorite part of volunteering with Feeding Matters?
I have been inspired by the strength and resilience of the families and children I have been fortunate enough to get to know as a Feeding Matters Family Coach.

What sets Feeding Matters apart from other organizations?
Feeding Matters understands how challenging it can be for parents of children with PFD to find support! The education and support provided by Feeding Matters is truly unique and a gift to so many.

Volunteer Spotlight: Jennifer Casteix

Published by Feeding Matters on Aug 06, 2019

Feeding Matters Volunteer Spotlight is a monthly Q & A series that shares the stories of our growing network of change agents, the driving force behind our vision to create a world where children with pediatric feeding disorder will thrive. This month we bring you Jennifer Casteix.

Jennifer is an SLP living in Tucson, Arizona. Her help as a member of the conference committee and her efforts at our 2019 International Pediatric Feeding Disorder Conference were invaluable. She is passionate and fits perfectly with Feeding Matters.


Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I received my master of science at The University of Arizona in 1989, and have worked with children with special health care needs (feeding and swallowing, neurodevelopmental disorders including autism) in Tucson and Southern Arizona ever since. I spent 20 years at Tucson Medical Center seeing infants and children in the NICU, PICU, and outpatient settings. I have been on the clinical faculty at the UA since 2009, where I also spent 5 years teaching graduate students and treating infants and children with dysphagia in the NICU and PICU at Diamond Children’s Medical Center. I teach graduate students in our on-campus clinic, and teach the graduate course in pediatric feeding and swallowing.

I’m married to George, who is the best traveling companion in the world. I am very involved in the volunteer community, including sitting on the boards of Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Komen Foundation Southern Arizona, Arizona Public Media, Tucson Festival of Books, and the Junior League of Tucson, Inc.

How long have you been a volunteer with Feeding Matters?
I have been a volunteer for 18 months, but I first met Chris and Shannon 10 years ago when they were first starting Feeding Matters (it was POPSICLE back then).

In which volunteer activities have you participated?
I sat on the program committee for the 6th International Pediatric Feeding Disorder Conference. I was the CEU administrator for SLPs attending the event.

What motivated you to become involved?
This is a cause that is near and dear to my heart. I have dedicated my career to working with children with feeding difficulties and their families, and training the next generation of practitioners. Feeding Matters supports this ideal.

What has been your favorite part of volunteering with Feeding Matters?
Meeting all of the wonderful people who work at Feeding Matters!

What sets Feeding Matters apart from other organizations?
I think it’s the people; all of the people involved.

Volunteer Spotlight: Gretchen Clavey

Published by Feeding Matters on Sep 04, 2019

Feeding Matters Volunteer Spotlight is a monthly Q & A series that shares the stories of our growing network of change agents, the driving force behind our vision to create a world where children with pediatric feeding disorder will thrive. This month we bring you Gretchen Clavey.

Gretchen began volunteering as a family coach for Feeding Matters back in 2016. Raising 10 children and going back to school for nursing, she realized that she could help with awareness to the medical field by serving as a Feeding Matters Community Ambassador in her home state of Illinois.

Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I’m a wife and mom. Two years ago I decided to go back to school to become a nurse.

How long have you been a volunteer with Feeding Matters?
Involved since 2016, time has flown!

In which volunteer activities have you participated?
I started out with the Power of Two program because I really enjoyed working directly to support and encourage other families. After taking on more hours with school, I began serving as a Community Ambassador for Feeding Matters. As a Community Ambassador, I hope to help raise awareness about Feeding Matters and increase collaboration among families and health care professionals who serve children with pediatric feeding disorder.

What motivated you to become involved?
My youngest daughter has various medical issues including Down syndrome and a complex heart defect. She started out life completely tube fed and slowly gained the ability to eat solid foods by mouth. Over the past 6 years, she has taught me very important lessons in life about patience, acceptance, and celebrating small victories. I was looking for an opportunity to encourage others walking a similar path to myself and celebrate their child along with them.

What has been your favorite part of volunteering with Feeding Matters?
Working directly with other parents is the best part about volunteering. But I am also aware that we need more people involved as mentors and more health care providers who can collaborate in serving this population of children. As a Community Ambassador I appreciate the opportunity to help expand our outreach. I truly feel it is making a difference in the lives of children with PFD and want more of them to benefit.

What sets Feeding Matters apart from other organizations?
The twofold outreach to families as well as health care professionals is an excellent strategy to make an impact on the most children with pediatric feeding disorder. I also love the fact that Feeding Matters’ mission combines advocacy, support, education, and research. Progress in each of these areas is vital to improve the system of care that these children need and deserve.

Volunteer Spotlight: Dina Barnes

Published by Feeding Matters on Oct 25, 2019

Feeding Matters Volunteer Spotlight is a monthly Q & A series that shares the stories of our growing network of change agents, the driving force behind our vision to create a world where children with pediatric feeding disorder will thrive. This month we bring you Dina Barnes.

Dina has been a volunteer with Feeding Matters since June of 2018. She is always willing to help, whether it’s at our annual community luncheon or with special projects, including coordinating all of the 2018 and 2019 Colten Cowell Foundation Cave Experiences and represents our organization at the events.

Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I live in Chandler with my husband, Tom, son Jackson, and playful dog Miley. Our daughter, Kendal, is currently a senior at ASU, living in Tempe and graduating in December. Jackson is a sophomore in high school. I was a teacher for 25 years, and just last year decided to take a break from full time teaching and get a “regular” job. ???? This choice has given me time to volunteer, work with kids one on one through tutoring, and spend more time with my family.

How long have you been a volunteer with Feeding Matters?
I have been volunteering for just about a year. I love it!

In which volunteer activities have you participated?
I help to coordinate the Colten Cowell Foundation Cave Experiences for Feeding Matters’ families, assisted at the 2018 luncheon, and have attended several community outreach events.

What motivated you to become involved?
I was invited to the 2017 luncheon by a friend, not really aware of what Feeding Matters was all about. After hearing the speakers I was absolutely awestruck…I knew I HAD to be involved in some way.

What has been your favorite part of volunteering with Feeding Matters?
There are so many amazing people working at Feeding Matters, I’m honored to have met them and have the opportunity to work with them.

What sets Feeding Matters’ apart from other organizations?
Feeding Matters fosters such an atmosphere of helping and caring…from the CEO all the way down to the volunteers. Everyone works so well together and are all working towards a common goal – to help families.