Volunteer Spotlight: PFD Awareness Month Volunteers

Published by Feeding Matters on Jan 01, 2021

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 our PFD Awareness Month volunteers.

Kathleen Dung

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
Hi, I'm Kathleen! I'm from Los Angeles and am a pediatric SLP serving the Early Intervention population. My passion is serving those with pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders.

What motivated you to become involved with Feeding Matters?
Initially, I became an ambassador with Feeding Matters to be a more active member in the PFD community. I wanted to inspire and give hope to those affected by feeding disorders. I also wanted to shed light on it through advocacy for not only families but other professionals.

How have you volunteered with Feeding Matters?
Previously, I participated in the International Pediatric Feeding Disorder Conference. Most recently, I wrote and submitted proclamations to declare December as PFD Awareness Month in 5 states!

What has been your favorite part of volunteering with Feeding Matters?
My favorite aspect of volunteering with Feeding Matters has been submerging myself within the network to amplify the voices of individuals affected by pediatric feeding disorders and forge a vibrant community through education and advocacy.

What sets Feeding Matters apart from other organizations?
I really love how passionate and welcoming everyone involved is. I also believe the amount of information for professionals and families is so extensive and helpful to all!

Johanna Stadtmauer

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
I recently became certified as a speech-language pathologist (SLP) and this is my second year working in the New York City public school system. My students are in Pre-K through second grade and they present with a variety of special needs, such as autism, Down Syndrome and other developmental delays. I have always loved working with little ones - before becoming an SLP, I worked as an early childhood assistant teacher and Hebrew language tutor. My native languages are English, Hebrew, and French. I love to travel, cook new recipes, listen to music, and dance!

What motivated you to become involved with Feeding Matters?
The power of social media! I found out about Feeding Matters through a speech-language pathologist who specializes in pediatric feeding disorders. I became more interested in this area while I was in graduate school once I took a course on dysphagia and an elective titled "Speech and Swallowing for the Medically Complex Child." I loved the mission behind Feeding Matters and wanted to be a part of a greater community that is aiming to make feeding a more pleasurable and less stressful experience for children and their families.

How have you volunteered with Feeding Matters?
My most recent volunteer project was applying for state proclamations to declare December as "Pediatric Feeding Awareness Month." As some may call this "behind the scenes" work, I was amazed to see how much awareness was spread this month through healthcare professionals in the field, families recalling their experiences, and the organization itself sharing PFD myths and facts. Even in my own experience as a new first time mother, I see how there is little knowledge on PFD amongst my other mom friends. It is easy to feel alone when dealing with a child who is struggling with feeding and so, being part of a team that provides that support and awareness on a global scale is really meaningful to me.

What has been your favorite part of volunteering with Feeding Matters?
Feeding Matters not only provides support to families, but there are also many resources available to healthcare professionals, such as their virtual conference. I love that I am learning for myself and my profession as well.

What sets Feeding Matters apart from other organizations?
Feeding Matters is the first organization to do what it is doing for children with feeding disorders. From working to get PFD its own ICD-code for diagnosis and billing purposes to getting families the right support with their resourceful programs, they are changing the field for pediatric feeding disorders.