Supporting professionals and working with families
-Sarah M., LCSW
Can’t wait to implement this practice into my therapy.
Videos show what to pay attention to
I learned many new ideas about feeding
-Dawn E., RN
Clear Perspective and Confidence
Feeding FUNdamentals, LLC was founded in 2010 by Erin Sundseth Ross, Ph.D., CCC-SLP to advance the practice of infant feeding using evidence-based methods, with an emphasis on neuroprotective caregiving and family inclusion.
Dr. Ross applies her knowledge and experience from working in the Neonatal Intensive Care setting and Early Intervention Programs to improve the practice of managing feeding skill development for infants born prematurely, as well as medically fragile infants and young children. She also uses her expertise in program development and evaluation, biostatistics, research methodology and outcome measurement to drive meaningful and positive change in health system processes and professional practice in these areas. Her consultation and professional development services enable both professionals and systems to work towards improving feeding outcomes in medically-fragile infants and young children.
Dr. Ross received her Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 1988 from California State University, Stanislaus. She earned her Certificate of Clinical Competency in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in 1989.
Dr. Ross has since been awarded seven "ACE" Awards (Award for Continuing Education) by ASHA for her efforts and dedication to learning, as well as teaching and educating practice professionals in neonatal feeding and pediatric feeding development and disorders.
In 2007, Dr. Ross received her Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Clinical Sciences - Health Services Research.
Her doctoral thesis, entitled “Early Growth Velocity Predicts Longitudinal Growth Failure,” focused on using weights collected during well-child visits from birth to six months to identify infants at risk of later growth faltering.
Dr. Ross remains steadfast in her mission to develop clinical pathways and mechanisms that best support the overall growth and development in the developing neonate and newborn infant.
In 2009, Dr. Ross completed a two-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Section of Nutrition, Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado. This additional training allowed her to gain practical experience in developing and conducting research, as well as information on clinical nutrition.
Clinical and Research Expertise
With over 20-years of NICU and Early Intervention experience, Dr. Ross provides a perspective that spans the initial hospitalization through the first 5-years of life.
She is certified in the Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program (NIDCAP) and in the Assessment of Preterm Infant Behavior (APIB). Her continued work has been recognized by NIDCAP Federation International.
Dr. Ross is currently a Clinical Instructor at the at the University of Colorado Denver, School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Center for Family and Infant Interaction. She is Faculty at the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions and teaches in the Pediatric and Neonatal programs.
Dr. Ross started her journey in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in 1990 and continues to provide clinical consultation to several NICU’s in the Denver metropolitan area.
Dr. Ross’ research interests remain focused on investigating oral feeding skill development and growth in medically fragile and premature infants. She continues to collaborate and consult with many colleagues and peers throughout the world to support the use of best practice. Dr. Ross pursues her passion to conduct research and publishes important evidence about feeding development and early intervention feeding therapy, assessment, and practice.
Dr. Ross developed SOFFISM: Supporting Oral Feeding in Fragile Infants, in 2009. As part of this training, she developed the SOFFISM Algorithm, a clinical pathway for supporting premature and medically fragile infants learning to eat orally. This algorithm was endorsed by the National Association of Neonatal Nurses in 2013, when it was incorporated into their Infant-Directed Oral Feeding for Premature and Critically Ill Hospitalized Infants: Guideline for Practice (Sables-Baus, S., et al., 2013).
“To optimize the use of this guideline, it is recommended that the Supporting Oral Feeding in Fragile Infants (SOFFI) Feeding Algorithm ((C) 2013 by Erin Ross) be used concurrently."
“The use of the SOFFI in conjunction with this guideline is highly recommended. The SOFFI algorithm is grounded in similar principles as described in this guideline."
The SOFFISM Algorithm has now been converted into an interactive, computer-based algorithm with supporting documentation designed to provide the user with an easy-to-use resource guide. Link to computer-based algorithm (for sale).
Dr. Ross offers the 2-Day SOFFISM Training Course: Oral Feeding in Fragile Infants to professionals, clinical care teams, hospitals, and healthcare systems throughout the US and abroad.
She is available upon request for consultation and training on clinical research methods (i.e. conducting clinical research and implementation of developmentally appropriate feeding interventions) to practice professionals, hospitals, healthcare organizations and healthcare systems.
Ross, E. (2017). Eating Development in Young Children: Understanding the Complex Interplay of Developmental Domains. In J. Saavedra & A. Dattilo (Eds.), Early Nutrition and Long-Term Health: Mechanisms, Consequences, and Opportunities (pp. 230-264). London, UK: Elsevier Ltd.
Ross, E. Ross, E. S. (2017). Flavor and Taste Development in the First Years of Life. Nestle Nutr Inst Workshop Ser, 87, 49-58.
Ross E, Fuhrman L. (2015). Supporting oral feeding skills through bottle selection. Perspectives in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders. 24(2):50-57.
Abstracts, Posters, Webinars:
Fuhrman, L. and Ross, E. (2018) Foundations for Successful Feeding Post Hospital Discharge. (Oral Presentation). The Physical and Developmental Environment of the High Risk Newborn.
Ross, E. (2015). From Task-Oriented to Infant-Led Feedings: State of the Science. (3-part Webinar Series). Dr. Brown’s Medical Division.