Skip to main content

When CASANA first started, we had no idea if things would grow; how they would grow and where the adventure would take us. The last few years, thanks to public support and the hard work of amazing volunteers, staff and board members, CASANA’s programs and research have greatly expanded. Recently, CASANA made the decision to take another new step, in part, because of what we view as a once in a lifetime opportunity, one too good to pass up.


We are so pleased to announce that on May 1, international apraxia expert David Hammer will officially join the CASANA staff to lead some new initiatives. David Hammer has always been on CASANA’s esteemed Professional Advisory Board as a trusted advisor, volunteering many hours of time and energy, but his anticipated day to day contribution on our staff is one generating great excitement. David has spent over 30 years at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh UPMC and while he retires from that setting, he will bring his “master” clinician, teacher, coach and mentoring skills to CASANA.

“It’s amazing how things come full circle in life. Such is the case with my connection to CASANA,” says David Hammer. “The seeds of the organization actually first saw light in the observation room of my office at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh where Sharon Gretz, CASANA’s founder, and another parent sat to observe their sons in dyad speech therapy with me. It was during a conversation between them that Sharon began brainstorming ways to ensure that more information was available to parents of children with apraxia and professionals. I certainly have been blessed to have a long- standing career in the field of Speech-Language Pathology. The opportunity to now work with the outstanding CASANA staff, the dedicated and supportive board, and the families and children serviced by this great organization will complete the circle and I could not be more excited.”

CASANA Board President, Dr. Mary Sturm, states that, “The Board of Directors of CASANA is honored to announce that speech-language pathologist and CAS expert David Hammer will begin as the Director of Professional Development and Speech Services on May 1. The imminent retirement of Mr. Hammer from Children’s Hospital has provided CASANA with an opportunity to acquire the lifelong expertise of this world-wide respected champion of children with CAS.”