Feeding Fundamentals was incorporated as a Limited Liability Company in 2009, by Erin Sundseth Ross, Ph.D., CCC-SLP. The business was created to provide Education, Consultation and Research services to professionals and systems working with infants in hospital and early intervention settings. The primary focus of the company is to offer current, evidence-based information to inform best practices and implement and evaluate programs and processes supporting infants and their families during early feeding experiences. As we grow, we are also beginning to offer information to families in support of their efforts to improve feeding experiences with their infants.
Dr. Ross brings over 30 years of experience working within the neonatal intensive care unit. During this time, she has brought her experience in developmentally supportive care practices and feeding development and intervention services together to create SOFFI®: Supporting Oral Feeding in Fragile Infants.
In 2013, the National Association of Neonatal Nurses recommended that the Supporting Oral Feeding in Fragile Infant (SOFFI®) Algorithm be used concurrently with their Infant Directed Oral Feeding for Premature and Critically Ill Hospitalized Infants: Guideline for Practice The authors stated “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.”(Sables-Baus, S., DeSanto, K., Henderson, S., Kunz, J., Morris, A., Shields, L., . . . McGrath, J. M. (2013). Infant-Directed Oral Feeding for Premature and Critically Ill Hospitalized Infants: Guideline for Practice. In. www.nann.org: National Association of Neonatal Nurses)
This program has been implemented in hospitals and community environments, both within the United States and internationally. SOFFI® has been taught to professionals from all over the world, during conferences hosted in Canada, Singapore, the Republic of Ireland, Portugal, Poland, France, Chile, Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Indonesia, Greece and Israel. In 2014, Brest, France became the first international SOFFI® Training Center.
Dr. Ross has created a variety of evidence-based presentations to enable continuing education of professionals from around the world. These resources range from videos and virtual “live” webinars, to direct mentoring using an online platform. She continues to offer SOFFI® live and virtually to hospital systems as well as early intervention programs. Feeding FUNdamentals, LLC also has membership opportunities that support continued learning for professionals working with infants and families.
Dr. Ross served six years on the Colorado Special Education Advisory Board as a parent, representing the interests of families of children with special needs. She has worked with administrators, legislators and school boards to implement best practices. Dr. Ross volunteers with organizations such as Feeding Matters to advocate for systems-changes, with the goal of improving both experiences and outcomes for children with pediatric feeding disorders. Dr Ross is a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Fellow. Combining her experiences and this advanced training, she has developed the consultative skills to enable professionals as they work to change beliefs, cultures and practices. She recognizes the importance of adapting systems to effect long-lasting changes. Dr. Ross provides consultation with administrators, leadership teams, and systems to support infants and their families.
In 2007, Dr. Ross completed her doctoral degree in Clinical Sciences, Health Services Research from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and in 2009 she completed her two-year post-doctoral training in the School of Medicine, Pediatrics, Section of Nutrition. The Ph.D. curriculum focused on core competencies to perform ethical human research, critically evaluate existing literature, and apply evidence-based practice principles. The program coursework focused on program evaluation, biostatistics, and research design, implementation and publication. Dr. Ross’ education has given her a unique ability to formulate and conduct research, as well as support research efforts with hospital and early intervention systems. She is also respected for her ability to critically read, understand and explain published studies in ways that help her audiences be better consumers of evidence.