Dining with Dysphagia.
Dysdine is a website maintained by students from the MGH Institute of Health Professions designed to provide recipes, encouragement, and community to those living with dysphagia. On the webpage, a visitor can find a recipe database separated by diet-texture and category, a list of reviewed restaurants with diet based menu suggestions, and stories of inspiration from others who also have swallowing difficulties. The website was originally started by Shaina Sawyer (CSD class ’13), and has been gaining viewership and slowly building its territory in the online healthcare network. Currently, Dysdine can be found under the resource section of five unaffiliated websites. I mention this because I think it highlights the success of the website as other professionals find it to be a helpful resource for their patients, and it also highlights that Dysdine provides unique content. By providing all these resources for free, Dysdine fills a need for many people living at home with dysphagia.
As a direct result, I have been very proud to be a part of this website’s evolution. Seeing the website grow and reach more people who use the recipes, are inspired to reclaim dining out, and who are comforted by being a member of a community has been rewarding. In addition, I have gained new skills and knowledge beyond my classroom education at the IHP. Working on a concentration project such as this requires self-propulsion outside of the institute into uncharted territory. I have learned about domains, hosting platforms, website design, and search optimization. I have had conversations with likeminded professionals across the country who share a passion for working with the dysphagia population. In my personal opinion, the experience I gained working on this website far exceeds the countless hours I invested behind the screen.
Currently, the website continues to be managed by Class of ’14 and Shaina Sawyer as we await two members of the Class of ’15 to join the team and manage the website and produce new content. If you are interested in writing for Dysdine or managing the website for your concentration project, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org