Collaborative Practice and Role Clarity through the Pediatric Eating and Swallowing (PEAS) Project

April 29, 2021 10:30 am

The Pediatric Eating and Swallowing (PEAS) Project has a mandate to develop and implement a provincial clinical pathway in Alberta to standardize and improve care of these complex children. Families and clinicians across Alberta have identified a lack of role clarity and collaboration as one of the largest barriers to quality care for children with a feeding or swallowing disorder.

Pediatric feeding and swallowing is an area of practice requiring a wide-range of skills and advanced training. While children with a pediatric feeding disorder are best served by interdisciplinary teams , the makeup of such teams remains highly variable across Alberta. Children with a pediatric feeding disorder often have multiple points of contact with our medical system with numerous providers involved in their care who vary in expertise. Team composition and roles also differ depending on the team structure, client needs and provider availability. Altogether, this contributes to the burden experienced by families navigating our healthcare system and there is a need for greater role clarity to facilitate a collaborative, interprofessional approach.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this session, attendees will be able to:
  • Identify the difference between traditional teams vs. collaborative care teams
  • Recognize that interprofessional collaboration is a key competency to providing safe, high quality eating, feeding and swallowing care regardless of care setting or geography
  • Access and apply collaboration practice tools within their own team’s context
  • Recognize that families should be a key team member and how to apply tools for collaborative goal setting


  • Justine Turner MBBS FRACP PhD

    Dr. Justine Turner is a pediatric gastroenterologist and Professor at the University of Alberta. Dr Turner completed her General Pediatrics training in 1996 in Perth, Western Australia. She then completed 7 years of sub-specialty training in Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, including a 2 year Fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children, and 6 years of nutrition research training. Dr. Turner’s is currently co-lead of a CIHR funded translational research laboratory at the University of Alberta. She is co-principal investigator for the MNCY SCN HOIF II funded Provincial Eating and Swallowing or PEAS Project across Alberta. Dr Turner’s clinical research interests include infant and adolescent nutrition and the effect of chronic gastrointestinal diseases on nutrition. She has been medical lead for the Pediatric Home Nutrition Support Program at Stollery Children’s Hospital, since 2010. She is also medical lead for the Celiac Disease Clinic and the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital Pediatric Feeding Clinic. She is Associate Editor for the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition (Nutrition Sector) and is on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.

    Financial Disclosures: Receives a salary from University of Alberta; receives a speaking fee from Nutricia North America; receives grants from Baxter Cooperation and VectivBio;

    Non-financial Disclosures: No non-financial disclosures

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  • Julie Evans M.S. R.SLP, SLP(C ), CHE

    As the Practice Director for Provincial Speech-Language Pathology in Alberta Health Services (AHS), Julie facilitates development of standardized, evidence-informed approaches to advance professional and interprofessional practice in speech-language pathology. Both personally and professionally, she is dedicated to creating safe, collaborative, and inclusive communities. Julie is involved in continuous quality improvement initiatives for adult and pediatric feeding and swallowing across AHS. She has presented at numerous conferences including, ASHA, the Greater Toronto Area Rehabilitation Best Practice Day, SAC, ACSLPA, BCASLPA, and Alberta Leaders in Rehabilitation.

    Financial Disclosures: Receives a salary from Alberta Health Services;

    Non-financial Disclosures: Is a member of the leadership team of the PEAS group that is references in and developed materials for this course

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  • Tricia Miller, M.Sc., R.SLP, SLP (C )

    Tricia Miller is one of 3 co-chairs supporting Roles & Implementation Working Group within the Alberta Health Services Pediatric Eating And Swallowing project. She is a registered SLP and has the privilege to work with many talented Audiologists, OTs, PTs, SLPs, Social Workers, Early Interventionists, Child and Youth Developmental Specialists, Therapy Assistants and Administrative Support who work on the Children’s Allied Health, SLP and Audiology teams she manages in South Zone, Alberta, Canada. Tricia has had the great fortune to work in health services since 1994 to present. She enjoys the expansive outdoor natural playground with her son, daughter and husband around the gorgeous Medicine Hat area and Rocky Mountains in Alberta.

    Financial Disclosures: Received a salary from Alberta Health Services

    Non-financial Disclosures: Member of the leadership team for AHS Pediatric Eating and Swallowing

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  • Melanie Matiisen-Dewar, M.SLP, R-SLP, SLP(C)

    Melanie Matiisen-Dewar is the Unit Manager for Allied Health, Rehabilitation Stream at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. She is a co-chair of the PEAS Roles & Implementation Working Group. She oversees the Calgary Zone Pediatric Eating, Feeding, and Swallowing Service, which has seen significant evolution and growth in recent months, and includes team members from the disciplines of psychology, dietetics, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology. Melanie is a speech-language pathologist by background, and has worked in centers across Alberta, and with a range of populations and age groups. She is passionate about best-practice and outcomes, and is helping to propel the work of the PEAS project, and adapt practices and service provision in her programs and disciplines to best meet the needs of children and their families.

    Financial Disclosures: Receives a salary from Alberta Health Services

    Non-financial Disclosures: No non-financial disclosures.

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  • Carmen Lazorek, BSc, BSc(OT), MRSc

    As the Practice Director for Provincial Occupational Therapy in Alberta Health Services (AHS), Carmen collaborates to advance occupational therapy practice and interprofessional allied health practice through the development of standardized, evidence-informed approaches to service delivery. With experience across a variety of practice settings and leadership roles, she is committed to client-centered care delivery and excellence in professional practice. Carmen has consulted to adult and pediatric feeding and swallowing initiatives in AHS. She has most recently consulted to a national occupational therapy expert group, presented at a CAOT conference and has presented at a variety of provincial professional practice sessions.

    Financial Disclosures: Receives a salary from Alberta Health Services

    Non-financial Disclosures: No non-financial disclosures

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