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Erin is a Senior Research Fellow in Speech Pathology within the School of Medical and Health Sciences, and is the Clinical Director of the Very Early Rehabilitation in SpeEch (VERSE) Trial for Aphasia after Stroke.
Dr Erin Godecke holds a Post Doctoral Research Fellowship in Speech Pathology (2010-2014). Prior to commencing the Fellowship, she worked as a speech pathologist in acute care hospitals in Western Australia for 13 years. She has extensive experience in the assessment and management of acute communication and swallowing disorders in adults, working in areas including General Medicine, Head and Neck Cancer, Geriatric Medicine and Neurology. Her primary clinical role was that of Senior Speech Pathologist at the Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) Stroke Unit where she worked for 10 years. During her time at RPH, Dr Godecke undertook her PhD (part-time) and completed this in 2009.
Dr Godecke’s primary research is in the area of aphasia – language difficulty after stroke. In particular, her work focuses on the very early post-stroke recovery phase (first month following stroke). Her PhD was the first Randomised Clinical Trial (RCT) in Australia to investigate the effects of very early aphasia intervention. This study has been commended for its methodological rigor and application of evidence based practice in aphasia management. The positive effects of very early aphasia therapy, seen in her PhD, have been confirmed in another small clinical trial funded through the Western Australian State Health Research and Advisory Council (SHRAC), in which she was the chief investigator.
She is a Chief Investigator and the Clinical Director of the Very Early Rehabilitation in SpEech (VERSE) trial after stroke. This multi-centre randomised controlled trial is Australia’s largest clinical trial in aphasia rehabilitation in stroke and will investigate the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of very early aphasia therapy in stroke recovery.
Dr Godecke is also on the Management Committee of the European Union COST Action IS-1208: Collaboration of Aphasia Trialists (CATs) which will result in methodological and technological advancements in aphasia research activities. This initiative will support high quality, international research collaboration between multidisciplinary aphasia researchers. Consensus activities will encourage a coordinated aphasia research approach
Dr Godecke’s secondary area of interest is in improving stroke care throughout Australia. She has contributed significantly to improving stroke care at local, state and national levels and has represented allied health on the Executive Committees of the Stroke Society of Austrasia (SSA) (2007-2010) and the Australian Stroke Coalition (ASC) (2006-2010) and chaired the Access to Stroke Units working group within the ASC (2009-2010). She is an invited member of the Expert Advisory Panel for the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care which aims to improve safety and quality of care, achieve better outcomes and provide a more effective and efficient health system for people with stroke.
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