Shelagh A. Cofer, M.D., investigates diseases in children affecting all aspects of the ears, nose and throat. Her approach to research is one of collaboration with colleagues, other specialists and primary care providers to drive new approaches to care for children with complex or common problems.
Dr. Cofer's research includes investigating new ways to approach complex diseases of the aerodigestive tract. She is also developing innovative approaches to common pediatric problems such as ear infections and hypernasal speech.
- Evaluating speech outcomes in patients receiving treatment for velopharyngeal insufficiency with minimally invasive techniques
- Looking at objective measures of risk reduction and quality-of-life improvements when children are treated in coordinated multidisciplinary aerodigestive clinics
- Participating in a multicenter trial of an innovative device that allows placement of ear ventilation tubes in children in a clinic setting without general anesthesia
Significance to patient care
Dr. Cofer's research has shown that coordinating care for children with complex aerodigestive disorders is valuable in decreasing time to diagnosis and reducing risks such as exposure to anesthetics or tests performed with radiation. In addition, she seeks to show the benefits of office-based or minimally invasive procedures in terms of improved efficiency and reduced costs for children who are dealing with ear, nose and throat concerns and their families.
- Otorhinolaryngology Alumnus of the Year, University of Illinois, 2019