About Us

 


 

Saliva Systems, the developer of SWIK™, is a woman-owned and operated business whose mission is to improve the lives of patients and their caregivers.

 

Saliva Systems Logo White

About Us

 


 

Saliva Systems, the developer of SWIK™, is a woman-owned and operated business whose mission is to improve the lives of patients and their caregivers.

Saliva Systems Logo White

SWIK:
Born Of A Dream

Rebecca Altounian,
Founder & CEO

 


 

Rebecca has been an entrepreneur and business owner for over 25 years. Her most recent project came to fruition in 2013 when she had an idea for a life changing product, SWIK and her business Saliva Systems.

When Rebecca was pregnant with her second child, she was diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disease that attacks the glands that produce tears and saliva. Rebecca found herself struggling with saliva problems, as she had when undergoing treatment for thyroid cancer earlier in her life.

As a patient, her experiences led her to create Saliva Systems. A vision came to her as she slept: a device that had the ability to continually deliver or remove saliva. She literally dreamed of a solution to her own problem.

That dream propelled her to action. Rebecca designed and refined the device, raised awareness and funds, and built a dynamic team of women to help bring the breakthrough saliva-wicking device, SWIK, to market.

Throughout the seven-year product development period, Rebecca has worked alongside professionals and physicians in product development, manufacturing, research, and design and has also been involved with several market studies. Rebecca has also had the opportunity to work with industry leading businesses as well as being involved with current product trials with prominent Michigan hospitals.

Ms. Altounian is a mother of three beautiful daughters, a Patent Holder, a recipient of two Michigan Discretionary Grants and the winner of a 2020 Small Company Innovation Program (SCIP) Grant. She has built a dynamic team of equally passionate individuals to move Saliva Systems forward to improve the lives of dysphagic patients and their caregivers.

Rebecca wants patients to know there is hope. With SWIK, a better quality of life is possible for those with swallowing disorders.

 

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SWIK:
Born Of A Dream

Rebecca Altounian,
Founder & CEO

 


 

Rebecca has been an entrepreneur and business owner for over 25 years. Her most recent project came to fruition in 2013 when she had an idea for a life changing product, SWIK and her business Saliva Systems.

When Rebecca was pregnant with her second child, she was diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disease that attacks the glands that produce tears and saliva. Rebecca found herself struggling with saliva problems, as she had when undergoing treatment for thyroid cancer earlier in her life.

As a patient, her experiences led her to create Saliva Systems. A vision came to her as she slept: a device that had the ability to continually deliver or remove saliva. She literally dreamed of a solution to her own problem.

That dream propelled her to action. Rebecca designed and refined the device, raised awareness and funds, and built a dynamic team of women to help bring the breakthrough saliva-wicking device, SWIK, to market.

Throughout the seven-year product development period, Rebecca has worked alongside professionals and physicians in product development, manufacturing, research, and design and has also been involved with several market studies. Rebecca has also had the opportunity to work with industry leading businesses as well as being involved with current product trials with prominent Michigan hospitals.

Ms. Altounian is a mother of three beautiful daughters, a Patent Holder, a recipient of two Michigan Discretionary Grants and the winner of a 2020 Small Company Innovation Program (SCIP) Grant. She has built a dynamic team of equally passionate individuals to move Saliva Systems forward to improve the lives of dysphagic patients and their caregivers.

Rebecca wants patients to know there is hope. With SWIK, a better quality of life is possible for those with swallowing disorders.

 

Email       Linkedin

Cheryl

Cheryl Sawicki,
EVP Strategy & Operations

Cheryl is a seasoned professional with diverse experiences including consulting in the medical device, pharmaceutical, and biotech spaces, as well as management consulting for Fortune 100 companies. She leads human resources, finance and accounting, marketing, and office operations in her current firm. She holds a BBA from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Cheryl and Rebecca have been friends since high school and naturally stepped in to offer practical support to Rebecca during SWIK’s inception stage. It didn’t take long for Cheryl to become an official team member.

Cheryl deeply appreciates the collaborative and compassionate nature of the Saliva Systems team. She hopes SWIK will become the new standard of care for patients with dysphagia and a vital asset to care professionals.

 

Email       Linkedin

Laura

Laura Foos,
EVP Product Development & Regulatory

Laura is a biomedical engineer with over 30 years of experience in Product Design and Development, Verification and Validation Testing, Manufacturing, Quality and Regulatory Compliance, and Clinical Studies. She has experience in small, medium, and large medical device companies and also has experience in the automotive and defense sectors.

Ms. Foos is a graduate of Michigan Tech University with a degree in Bio Medical Engineering as well as a Certified Regulatory Affairs professional. Her experience includes work on Class I, II, and III Medical Devices and she has been successful in obtaining market approvals on numerous devices in both the U.S. and global markets. She has extensive expertise with safety, standardization, and federal regulations. Laura’s main focus is to ensure quality and compliance with all federal and state regulations.

When Laura saw the prototype of the SWIK device and heard Rebecca’s story, she was inspired. She called Rebecca and told her not to give up. That began their friendship, and they began to design and develop the current version of the SWIK Oral Suction System.

Laura believes this unique team of women is connected by their shared desire to serve others. Laura is proud to share her expertise with the Saliva Systems team in an effort to bring a much needed product to people suffering from dysphagia.

 

Email       Linkedin

Mandy

Mandi Morgan,
Clinical Advisor

Mandi is a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) in Detroit and has been assisting the dysphagic population for over 19 years. Previously, Mandi worked with both children and adults at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. She completed her clinical fellowship working w/ the medically fragile and developmentally delayed population. Ms. Morgan has a BA in Speech-Language Pathology from Michigan State University and a Master of Arts, Speech-Language Pathology from Cleveland State University. Her many years of professional experience with both inpatient and outpatient care of the population Saliva Systems aims to serve make her a critical part of the team.

Once Mandi saw the SWIK Oral Suction System, she knew she had to become a critical part of the team. She was excited as she envisioned using the SWIK device with her patients.

Mandi is grateful to be a part of a small business team of women who are not only future thinking and ecologically conscious, but also working regular jobs and being fantastic mothers. She wholeheartedly believes the SWIK device has the potential to improve the quality of life for her patients.

 

Email       Linkedin

Cheryl

Cheryl Sawicki,
EVP Strategy & Operations

Cheryl is a seasoned professional with diverse experiences including consulting in the medical device, pharmaceutical, and biotech spaces, as well as management consulting for Fortune 100 companies. She leads human resources, finance and accounting, marketing, and office operations in her current firm. She holds a BBA from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Cheryl and Rebecca have been friends since high school and naturally stepped in to offer practical support to Rebecca during SWIK’s inception stage. It didn’t take long for Cheryl to become an official team member.

Cheryl deeply appreciates the collaborative and compassionate nature of the Saliva Systems team. She hopes SWIK will become the new standard of care for patients with dysphagia and a vital asset to care professionals.

 

Email       Linkedin

Laura

Laura Foos,
EVP Product Development & Regulatory

Laura is a biomedical engineer with over 30 years of experience in Product Design and Development, Verification and Validation Testing, Manufacturing, Quality and Regulatory Compliance, and Clinical Studies. She has experience in small, medium, and large medical device companies and also has experience in the automotive and defense sectors.

Ms. Foos is a graduate of Michigan Tech University with a degree in Bio Medical Engineering as well as a Certified Regulatory Affairs professional. Her experience includes work on Class I, II, and III Medical Devices and she has been successful in obtaining market approvals on numerous devices in both the U.S. and global markets. She has extensive expertise with safety, standardization, and federal regulations. Laura’s main focus is to ensure quality and compliance with all federal and state regulations.

When Laura saw the prototype of the SWIK device and heard Rebecca’s story, she was inspired. She called Rebecca and told her not to give up. That began their friendship, and they began to design and develop the current version of the SWIK Oral Suction System.

Laura believes this unique team of women is connected by their shared desire to serve others. Laura is proud to share her expertise with the Saliva Systems team in an effort to bring a much needed product to people suffering from dysphagia.

 

Email       Linkedin

Mandy

Mandi Morgan,
Clinical Advisor

Mandi is a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) in Detroit and has been assisting the dysphagic population for over 19 years. Previously, Mandi worked with both children and adults at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. She completed her clinical fellowship working w/ the medically fragile and developmentally delayed population. Ms. Morgan has a BA in Speech-Language Pathology from Michigan State University and a Master of Arts, Speech-Language Pathology from Cleveland State University. Her many years of professional experience with both inpatient and outpatient care of the population Saliva Systems aims to serve make her a critical part of the team.

Once Mandi saw the SWIK Oral Suction System, she knew she had to become a critical part of the team. She was excited as she envisioned using the SWIK device with her patients.

Mandi is grateful to be a part of a small business team of women who are not only future thinking and ecologically conscious, but also working regular jobs and being fantastic mothers. She wholeheartedly believes the SWIK device has the potential to improve the quality of life for her patients.

 

Email       Linkedin

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