From baritones to broadcasters, from salespersons
to schoolteachers, millions of Americans depend on the normal functioning
of their voices to win friends, influence people and bring home
the bacon. Yet scores of factors, ranging from poor vocal technique
to diseases of the mouth and throat, can threaten ones ability
to speak or sing with confidence and authority.
To provide a resource in Atlanta for those suffering from vocal
diseases and disorders, the Emory Voice Center has been created
at Crawford Long Hospital. Directed by Michael Johns III, a voice
and throat specialist who developed his expertise in the voice care
community of Music City (Nashville, Tenn.), the center provides
novel imaging systems for viewing the larynx; a special lab for
testing purposes; a speech and language pathologist; and a voice
specialist. It is equipped to diagnose, treat and rehabilitate voice
disorders for those who make their living by using their voice.
The Emory Voice Center fills a void for Atlantans, said
Doug Mattox, chair of otolaryngology. A metropolitan area
of this size will benefit from the convenience of multidisciplinary
care of skilled professionals who are accomplished in the treatment
of voice disorders. We offer our patients a well-rounded team, in
one location, to serve their needs in the most competent way.
Johns comes to Emory from Vanderbilt University Medical Center,
where he was actively involved in the diagnosis and treatment of
voice disorders. He is the author of numerous papers, abstracts
and book chapters and participated in a study funded by an American
Laryngological Voice Research and Education Foundation grant on
vocal fold paralysis.
An important component of maintaining voice health is comprehensive
treatment by a designated team of experienced voice experts,
Johns said. We intend to provide a thorough, multidisciplinary
approach that will be enhanced by patient access to education, and
a research arm that will provide opportunities to consistently stay
abreast of new developments. Our connection to the School of Medicine
faculty and the Emory Healthcare clinicians affords us the capability
to utilize the highest standards of care.
Patient care is not just limited to voice disorders such as voice
misuse and overuse. Patients will receive treatment for such ailments
as laryngopharyngeal reflux, laryngeal tumors, spasmodic dysphonia,
vocal cord paralysis, vocal fold scarring, vocal fold nodules and
polyps, vocal fold bowing, and vocal hydration. The center plans
to develop its own preventive health program for the speaking voice.
A research component in both clinical and basic science research,
in collaboration with labs at Emory and Georgia Tech, also will
be an integral part of the program.
Johns received his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University
School of Medicine and his residency training in otolaryngology
at the University of Michigan (UM) Medical Center. He was a research
fellow through an National Institutes of Health training grant at
the UM Muscle Mechanics Laboratory and followed that with a fellowship
in laryngology and care of the professional voice at Vanderbilt.
Johns is a member of the Academy of Otolaryngology and the American
Medical Association. His research articles have been published in
Archives of OtolaryngologyHead and Neck Surgery; International
Journal of Cancer; American Journal of Roentgenology; Laryngoscope;
Annals of Otolaryngology; and Human Molecular Genetics.
His special interest is in vocal fold motion impairment.