Turning Thickening Trouble into Triumph!

April 13, 2023 12:15 pm

Presentation Summary

We will share with you how our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Nutrition and Feeding Team at UMass Memorial Medical Center has worked together to create a Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) for infants requiring thickened liquids. This has standardized the approach to prescribing thickened feedings which has improved overall infant feeding safety.

Learning Objective

Identify challenges to thickening liquids for infants in the NICU.


  • Laura Melnick

    Laura Melnick MS, CCC-SLP

    Laura Melnick is the Manager of the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at UMass Memorial Medical Center, an academic medical center in Central Massachusetts. She cares for adult and pediatric patients with feeding and swallowing disorders. Laura also teaches as an adjunct instructor at Worcester State University and enjoys combining clinical practice with student education.

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  • Susan Tripp

    Susan Tripp MS, RDN, LDN, CNSC

    Susan Tripp is a registered dietitian and board-certified nutrition support clinician with over 10 years’ experience in neonatal nutrition. She is the lead dietitian in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UMass Memorial Medical Center. In addition to patient care, Susan is involved in development of clinical practice guidelines, nutrition quality improvement projects and education of medical students and residents.

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  • Nicole Leary

    Nicole DePalma Leary DPT, PCS, CNT, NTMTC

    Nicole Leary is a Developmental Specialist at UMass Memorial Medical Center, an academic medical center in Central Massachusetts. She completed American Board of Physical Therapy Accredited Neonatology Fellowship training; and is a Certified Neonatal Therapist and Pediatric Physical Therapy Clinical Specialist who cares for patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the NICU Developmental Follow-up Program. Nicole is passionate about the clinical management and continuum of developmental care for high risk infants, interdisciplinary collaboration, Family Centered Care, and engagement in providing multidisciplinary education.

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  • Rebecca Hughes

    Rebecca Hughes MS, OTR/L, CNT

    Rebecca Hughes is an Occupational Therapist with 23 years pediatric clinical experience. She is a Certified Neonatal Therapist (CNT) and specializes in neonatal feeding assessment and treatment at UMass Memorial Health. Her experience includes practice in the outpatient, school-based, early intervention and hospital settings. Rebecca has a passion for implementing a family-centered approach to help each family and child maximize their full potential.

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  • Brianna Wrubleski

    Briana Wrubleski MS, RDN, LDN

    Briana Wrubleski is celebrating her first year as an inpatient pediatric and neonatal critical care dietitian at UMass Memorial Medical Center, an academic medical center in Worcester, Massachusetts. As a new professional in the field of clinical nutrition, she enjoys splitting her time between populations and working with inter disciplinary teams to optimize patient plans.

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