Dana Farias

Dana Farias, M.S., C.C.C-S.L.P.

Chief, Speech Language Pathology

Dana Farias graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. He returned to graduate school at North Texas University where he received a Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology.  Dana has worked at UC Davis Health since 2001 and supervises acute, rehab and outpatient speech therapy services. He is a part-time faculty/lecturer at California State University, Sacramento. His primary areas of research include aphasia and apraxia of speech and he has presented his research internationally. View full biography.

Kristin Hackman

Kristin Hackman, M.S., C.C.C.-S.L.P.

Senior Speech Language Pathologist

Kristin graduated with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Speech Pathology from California State University, Chico.  She has worked in a variety of settings such as elementary schools, skilled nursing facilities and providing supervision in the college clinic setting before making her home at UC Davis Health.  Kristin has worked at UC Davis Health for 15 years in which she has provided evaluation and treatment in both acute care and inpatient rehabilitation settings.  Her clinical interests include working with patients who have experienced Traumatic Brain Injury along with other neurological etiologies.  Kristin facilitates the traumatic brain injury support group “Grey and White Matters”.  

Matt Osecheck

Matt Osecheck, M.A., C.C.C.-S.L.P.

Senior Speech Language Pathologist

Matt received his Bachelor’s and Master’s of Arts in Speech Language Pathology from the University of the Pacific in 1998 and has worked in a medical setting since that time.  Matt’s work experience includes outpatient, acute rehabilitation, subacute, and inpatient acute care, and he has received additional training and certification in video fluoroscopic swallow studies (VFSS) and flexible endoscopic evaluations of the swallow (FEES) with an emphasis on swallowing with tracheostomies.  Matt has also educated medical students, registered dieticians, and nurses on dysphagia, participated in a variety of research, and contributed to the publication “Nutrition Assessment and Management in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis” (2012).  Currently, Matt works in the hospital setting evaluating and treating acutely ill patients.

Denise Kendrix

Denise Kendrix, M.A., C.C.C.-S.L.P.

Senior Speech Language Pathologist

Denise graduated from the University of Redlands with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Disorders and earned her Master of Arts degree in Speech Language Pathology from San Jose State University.  Denise has enjoyed working in the medical setting for over 20 years with adults with cognitive, communication and swallowing disorders. She has a primary focus in traumatic brain injury and stroke and assists with facilitating the UC Davis Traumatic Brain Injury Support Group.  She also is a volunteer board member for the Medical Speech Council of California (MSCC). 

Amanda Fazakerly, M.S., C.C.C.-S.L.P.

Senior Speech Language Pathologist

Amanda is a Senior Speech Language Pathologist in acute care. Concurrently, she is a dean’s scholarship recipient in the Master of Business Administration – Healthcare Management program at Johns Hopkins University. She earned a M.S. in Speech Pathology from Columbia University and a B.S. in Human Development from UC Davis. Prior to joining the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation team, she specialized in voice, upper airway, and swallowing disorders in the Department of Otolaryngology (ENT). Her clinical interests include the relationship between respiration and swallowing, the impact of oxygen therapies on swallow mechanics, and iatrogenic dysphagia. Amanda serves on the executive boards of CSHA (California Speech Language and Hearing Association) and MSCC (Medical Speech Council of California). She is also an adjunct faculty member at California State University – Chico. 

Sarah Leary, M.S., C.C.C.-S.L.P.

Senior Speech Language Pathologist

Sarah Leary graduated with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from California State University, Sacramento. Since beginning her career as a speech-language pathologist, she’s had a passion for helping children with speech and language delays and disorders and providing support and training to families and caregivers. Sarah has experience working with a variety of populations within various settings, such as elementary schools, private clinics, hospitals, and home-based therapy. However, she has found that providing services in the outpatient medical setting, specializing in pediatric therapy, has been the most rewarding. Sarah’s current interests include expanding her knowledge in orofacial myofunctional disorders, and tethered oral tissues.

Natalia Yevtukh, M.S., C.C.C.-S.L.P.

Speech Language Pathologist

Natalia Yevtukh earned her Bachelor’s and Master's degrees in Communication Sciences and Disorders from California State University, Sacramento. She completed her clinical fellowship at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Stockton, working in inpatient and outpatient settings.  In addition, Natalia provided speech and language services to children from birth to three in San Joaquin  County. Natalia joined UC Davis Health in 2022, where she currently provides evaluation and treatment in both acute care and inpatient rehabilitation settings. Her primary areas of interest include swallowing disorders, neurological disorders, and palliative care.

 

Megan Johnson, M.S., C.C.C.-S.L.P.
Senior Speech Language Pathologist
Megan earned her Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the University of Nevada, Reno, and went on to complete her Master of Science in Medical Speech Language Pathology at the University of Washington. Megan completed multiple internships at hospitals in the Seattle area before her clinical fellowship at UCSF Medical Center. She continued on to becoming a career staff Speech Pathologist at UCSF Medical Center - Parnassus Campus, prior to joining to the UC Davis Heath Team in 2022. Currently, Megan works in the inpatient acute care setting, evaluating and treating acutely ill adult patients with speech, language, cognitive, and swallow impairments. She has clinical interests in assessment of dysphagia and use of tracheostomy speaking valves, and is skilled in video fluoroscopic studies (VFSS), flexible endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES), and tracheostomy speaking valve assessments for ventilator dependent and non-ventilated patients. 

Blair Yager

Blair Yager, M.S., C.C.C.-S.L.P.

Senior Speech Language Pathologist

Blair received her Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of the Pacific. She specializes in pediatrics and primarily treats cognitive, communication, and swallowing disorders for patients on the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and general pediatric floors. Prior to joining UC Davis Health in 2011, Blair was a Speech-Language Pathologist in early intervention with children between the ages of birth to 3 years old. Blair is a Certified Neonatal Therapist (CNT) and a Certificated Lactation Educator Counselor (CLEC). She is trained in the SOS (Sequential-Oral-Sensory) Approach to Feeding, Beckman Oral Motor, and the SOFFI (Supporting Oral Feeding in Fragile Infants) Method. Her clinical interests are infant feeding and swallowing and pediatric traumatic brain injury.

Michelle Ramirez

Michelle Ramirez, M.S., C.C.C.-S.L.P.

Senior Speech Language Pathologist

Michelle attended California State University Sacramento for both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Speech Pathology. Michelle has been a speech-language pathologist for 12 years, 11 at UC Davis Health. She has worked across settings and age groups in private practice, non-public school, subacute, acute and outpatient. She specializes in pediatrics, working primarily with the inpatient rehabilitation team, but ranging from general pediatrics to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit . Populations served include acquired Traumatic Brain Injury, Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA), brain tumors and other brain infections with related communication disorders, cognitive impairments and dysphagia. Her passion is getting babies and children to be able to eat again and communicate with their loved ones. She enjoys working with augmentative alternative communication (AAC), Autism spectrum disorder and working with the behavioral challenges that come with communication disorders and brain injury.

Sydney Rivera, M.S., C.C.C.-S.L.P.

Speech Language Pathologist

Sydney completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Communication Sciences and Disorders at California State University Chico, graduating in 2020. Sydney began her career working in a pediatric private practice and transitioned to working at UC Davis Health in June 2021.  Sydney works primarily on the pediatrics team and has a special interest in pediatric feeding and swallowing. 

Andrea Avina, M.S., C.C.C.-S.L.P.

Speech Language Pathologist

Andrea received her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in Communication Sciences & Disorders from California State University, Chico. She completed a medical internship with UC Davis, primarily working with pediatric feeding and swallowing populations. Before joining UC Davis Health, Andrea worked with the adult population in a variety of settings. Since joining UC Davis Health in 2021, Andrea has completed extensive training with the pediatric populations- Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), general pediatrics floors- and her clinical interests include infant/pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders and pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, she also assists with inpatient/rehab cross coverage across the life span as needed. Andrea is bilingual (English/Spanish), a member of National Association of Neonatal Therapists, and Feed the Peds® trained. She is currently working towards additional certifications such as lactation education counselor, SOS Approach to Feeding, and neonatal therapy. 

Regina King, M.S., C.C.C.-S.L.P.

Speech Language Pathologist

Regina earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Communication Sciences and Disorders from California State University, Sacramento. Prior to joining UC Davis Health, she worked in a variety of settings including elementary school, high school, acute rehab, skilled nursing, and acute care in a Level II Trauma and Comprehensive Stroke Certified Hospital in the Central Valley. Regina joined UCD Health in 2022, working with adults in acute care and inpatient rehab, evaluating and treating speech, language, cognitive, and swallow impairments. Her clinical interests are in assessment and treatment of dysphagia, trauma, head and neck injuries/cancer, and palliative care. Regina is passionate about providing education and training to patient's and their families. 

MacKay O'Keefe

MacKay O'Keefe, M.S., C.C.C.-S.L.P.

Senior Speech Language Pathologist

MacKay O’Keefe has over 15 years of experience working with children and has clinical experience working in schools and skilled nursing facilities, in addition to UC Davis Health outpatient and inpatient settings. She completed her Bachelor’s degree at UC Santa Cruz and received her Master’s of Science in Speech, Language, and Learning from Northwestern University. She has been working at UC Davis Health since 2016. Her clinical interests including pediatric speech and language, pediatric feeding, and aphasia. MacKay is certified in the SOS Approach to Feeding and Beckman Oral Motor Program.

Florence Ferreira, M.S., C.C.C.-S.L.P.

Senior Speech Language Pathologist

Florence earned her Bachelor’s and Master's degrees in Speech Pathology from California State University, Sacramento. She completed her Clinical Fellowship at Enloe Medical Center in Chico, California and began working at UC Davis Health in 2017. Currently Florence works with adults in the acute care setting. Her primary areas of interest include swallowing disorders, tracheostomy and speaking valve use. Additionally, Florence has educated first year residents, registered dieticians, respiratory therapists and nurses on dysphagia, tracheostomy and speaking valve use.

Rejane Wittman

Rejane A. Wittmann, M.S., C.C.C.-S.L.P.

Senior Speech Language Pathologist

Rejane Wittmann earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science in Speech Language Pathology from California State University, Sacramento. Her current areas of clinical practice involve treating patients with speech/language, cognitive, and swallow impairments.  Her clinical interests are in diagnosing and treating patients with swallowing disorders.  She primarily works with patients who are acutely ill and in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).  Rejane also has experience with working with patients who have a tracheostomy tube and are ventilator dependent.  She serves as the primary speech pathologist for a multidisciplinary Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) clinic at UC Davis Health.  During these clinics, in addition to diagnosing and treating swallowing and cognitive impairments, she also teams up with a Tobii representative to support patients with Augmentative Alternative Communication needs.

MS

Meredith Stawicki, S.L.P.D., C.C.C.-S.L.P.

Senior Speech Language Pathologist

Meredith attended California State University, Sacramento for her Bachelor's of Science in Speech Language Pathology, her Master's of Science in Speech Language and Learning from Northwestern University, and went on to earn her Clinical Doctorate in Speech Language Pathology from Northwestern University. Meredith’s current area of clinical practice involves treating infant and pediatric patients with a diverse range of cognitive, communication, feeding, and swallowing disorders. Meredith's primary area of clinical interest is pediatric and infant feeding and swallowing disorders. Meredith currently works in the outpatient clinic as well as serves as the primary speech-language pathologist in the multidisciplinary feeding clinic. Meredith is passionate about process and quality improvement and clinical practice research in the area of infant and pediatric dysphagia.