“Empowering lives and helping people with voice and upper airway disorders is not just my profession, but my passion. I am committed to walking beside you on your journey to vocal health, because I believe a strong voice is not just about speaking. It’s about expressing the essence of who you are and connecting with others in ways that transcend words.”
Kathryn Waugh Ruckart is a certified speech-language pathologist. She treats conditions and disorders that affect the voice and upper airway. These include a wide variety of voice conditions, neurological disorders, chronic cough, globus sensation (lump in the throat) and shortness of breath due to inducible laryngeal obstruction. She provides specialized voice evaluations and treatments, including voice therapy for lesions, muscle tension dysphonia, paresis and paralysis (weakness), atrophy and scarring of the vocal folds.
Additionally, she provides respiratory retraining and gender-affirming voice therapy. She serves as the director of the Voice, Swallowing and Upper Airway Disorders Clinical Fellowship program at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist. She is also co-chair of the institution’s LGBTQIA+ Affinity Group.
She was drawn to her profession because she recognizes a person’s voice is an important means of dependable expression and connection with others. By building trust, she helps people overcome obstacles and restore their ability to communicate. Ruckart’s approach is to treat every person like family and help them understand how they can work together to achieve their goals.
Her research interests are wide-ranging and have recently focused on voice outcomes in people with movement disorders undergoing deep brain stimulation.
Ruckart received her bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina. She received her master’s degree at East Carolina University.