The Feeding and Swallowing Center at Primary Children's Hospital brings together an interdisciplinary team of specialists to offer comprehensive evaluation of children's feeding and swallowing problems. By coordinating care with multiple pediatric specialists in one clinic, we are able to provide you and your child with the highest quality, most efficient care possible.

Conditions for Evaluation 

  • Oral aversion
  • Delay in feeding milestones
  • Feeding refusal
  • Dysphagia with unclear prognosis
  • Feeding tube dependence

Our Treatment Model

Because each child's feeding needs are different, we use an interdisciplinary evaluation process to help guide treatment options that will be beneficial to your child's success. 

  • The interdisciplinary team will work to coordinate diagnostic study plans. 
  • We offer non-emergent nasogastric tube or gastrostomy tube needs and/or replacement.
  • An assigned care coordinator will help set up any necessary follow-up appointments. 
  • At this time, we do not offer outpatient or inpatient intensive feeding therapy, although this is a clinical goal for Primary Children’s Hospital in the future. Your child may be recommended to attend weekly therapy session, which may need additional insurance approval.

What Sets Us Apart

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Expertise of a Nationally Ranked Children's Hospital

We are proud to rank as a best children's hospital in 9 pediatric specialties by the 2018 U.S. News & World Report Best Children's Hospital survey.
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Personalized Care

The same team of providers will follow your child from day one. They know your child personally, and work with you to develop an individual, customized care plan. We will keep in close contact with your outpatient care team for progress and updates.  
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Dedicated to Family Support

Our center includes clinical and emotional support for patient and families.This support includes a pediatric psychologist, pediatric gastroenterologist, nurse practitioner, dietician, and speech therapist. 

What to Expect

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Getting an Appointment

To get an appointment with the Feeding and Swallowing Clinic, you must complete the Feeding and Swallowing Triage Questionnaire. This questionnaire allows us to appropriately assess each patient and make sure they receive the care that is right for them.

How it Works

  1. First, you will call 801-662-1644 (option 2) and speak to our intake coordinator who will ask you a few questions to assess the patient's condition. 
  2. Once our team has reviewed the information provided, you will receive a call back from a member of our team to schedule an appointment. 
  3. When your appointment is scheduled, please review the "Before Your Appointment" checklist to ensure that you and your child are adequately prepared for your visit to clinic.
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Before Your Appointment: What to Know and Bring

Please review the following information before your Feeding and Swallowing Clinic appointment.

  • Please arrive 20 minutes early to allow for adequate time to complete pre-clinic paperwork.
  • Bring your child hungry - no food or calorie-based drink (including juice) for 3 hours prior to the appointment. 
  • Bring a food the child likes as well as a food the child does not like
  • Bring your child's favorite liquid container (sippy cup, bottle, or staw-based cup) and any preferred utensils and feeding mat as they will model a snack/meal in front of therapists.
  • No more than 2 caregivers can be present in the room with the patient. Please limit to parents or other primary caregivers, or a caregiver who gives meals in parents' absence. 
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Billing

Because our center model is different than other clinics you may have experienced, you will find your billing will be slightly different as well. Here's what you can expect: 

  • This appointment will be billed as a hospital-based clinic. All charges will be wrapped into one bill from Intermountain Healthcare. You will see a facility charge which will cover the costs of all non-physician/nurse practitioner charges (supplies, ancillary services, etc.) You will also see a professional charge which is the charge for the provider's time.
  • Follow-up clinic appointments will generally be billed as a standard appointment, comparable to a visit with a pediatrician.
  • You child may be referred to a new or different provider after their consultation visit. This may not be included with the Feeding and Swallowing Center's billable cares.
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Our Providers

ErmathAnna

Anna Ermarth, MD, MS

Medical Director

Dr. Ermarth is the Medical Director for the Feeding and Swallowing Center at Primary Children's Hospital and practices general gastroenterology and endoscopy for pediatric patients at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake and Riverton locations. She is also an Assistant Professor in Pediatrics working within the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology for the University of Utah School of Medicine and the clinic lead for the Home Enteral Feeding Transitions (HEFT) clinic that supports newborns' transition from NICU to the home to assist with their feeding dysfunctions at Primary Children's. She has particular clinical interest in celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease and has experience in adolescent health, with interests in inflammatory bowel disease, functional chronic abdominal pain and disordered eating for these patients. She believes in understanding all medical, environmental and psychosocial elements of a patient that may contribute to patient symptoms or decreased quality of life.

Learn More about Dr. Ermarth >

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Laura Bennett-Murphy, PhD

Psychologist

Dr. Laura Murphy is a psychologist for the Feeding and Swallowing Center at Primary Children's Hospital and an Associate Professor for the Division of Pediatric Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Her primary clinical care focus is medically ill children and adolescents – medical adherence, pain management, eating and feeding disorders, medical trauma, and treatment of psychological distress including anxiety, depression, and behavior problems.

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