Tabia Pope, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Dr. Tabia Pope is the Founding Chair, President and Chief Executive Officer of Head to Speech Incorporated. She is currently a Clinical Instructor of Speech-Language Pathology at the University of the District of Columbia. She is dedicated to bridging the gap between the Speech-Language Pathology Program and Athletics through the UDC Concussion/TBI Clinic and Collaborative Research and Innovation Lab. 

Dr. Pope has been selected for the 2023 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's (ASHA) Leadership Development Program. She will lead a national project for Head to Speech, Incorporated and receive mentoring throughout the process. 

Dr. Pope was also instrumental in applying for a $5,000 grant program through the Ivy Incubator for Nonprofit Excellence. Head to Speech, Incorporated will continue to work towards achieving the basic standards of excellence certification within the State of Maryland throughout 2023-2024. 

Media Relations and Quick Facts

  • Dr. Tabia Pope is a nationally certified Speech-Language Pathologist from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
  • She is licensed in the State of Maryland and District of Columbia.
  • She is a three time Alumna of Howard University holding a B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders, M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology with a specialization in medical settings, and Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders.
  • She is a specialist in health communications and neuropsychology.
  • She has research, teaching and clinical supervisory experiences in adult neurogenic disorders, specifically in traumatic brain injury and sports concussion management. 
  • She has served as a Director of Rehabilitation in a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center.
  • She has also worked in various settings including a neurorestorative day program, acute care hospital, and skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers. 
  • She is currently utilizing her background as a Health Communications Specialist, Public Speaker, Media Personality, Digital Content Creator, and an Instructor for continuing education and professional development courses. She is also the budding Author of the Head to Speech Playbook and Align Your Brand with Social Impact. Both will be released in 2023. 


Dr. Pope was recently interviewed by the ASHA Leader in the May/June 2023 Issue. The title of the article was, "SLP Starts Nonprofit for Sports TBI, Brain Health"! 

Read the Article 

Dr. Pope was recently interviewed by Constant Therapy. She weighed in on the role teletherapy plays in speech, language, and cognitive therapy with athletes.

Read the Article

Dr. Pope was recently featured in Courageous Woman Magazine as one of the Top 10 Women to Watch in 2023! 

Read the Press Release

For more information, please contact: [email protected]


  • In 2016, Head to Speech! (H2S) was founded as a health communications initiative for Dr. Tabia Pope’s dissertation.
  • In 2019, H2S was incorporated in the State of Maryland.
  • In 2021 H2S became an educational, scientific and charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization!
  • We address the need for Head Injury & Effects on Cognitive-Communication Skills Awareness with a concentration in sports-related concussion impacting collegiate, professional and former athletes, as well as their support systems.  


  • The current educational initiatives for sports concussion and other head injuries are primarily geared towards youth sports or emphasize the expertise of the coalition of medical professionals, athletic trainers and coaches.Just focusing on youth sports and materials geared towards them is problematic because numerous current college, professional and former athletes have a history of sustaining repetitive closed head injuries while participating in competitive or recreational sports. There are developmental, learning, vocational, behavioral, and/or emotional concerns at the youth level, which can account for the number of programs geared towards them.
  • At the college and professional level, the concerns are still the same however, the manifestations of health, athletic, academic, vocational and social outcomes of repetitive sports concussions are greater. College and professional athletes have a more invested interest in their abilities to play. The competition level is harder, more stress is put on them to succeed, maintain winning records and keep their scholarships and jobs for economic stability. Due to the higher financial investments there may be more challenges in raising awareness or providing clinical research and training in the areas of head injury and the effects on speech-language-hearing and cognitive-communication skills.
  • The current outreach awareness campaigns do not include rehabilitation professionals, such as speech-language pathologists and audiologists or the process to obtain assessments and treatment for speech-language-hearing and cognitive-communication problems. There is currently a lack of adequate health communication tools to talk about these problems in a time-effective and efficient manner within the sports medicine and rehabilitation communities, athletic community (e.g., coaches, teammates, sports broadcasters), and community-at-large (e.g. partners, spouses, academic advisors, vocational counselors, sports management professionals and attorneys).
  • After sustaining a closed head injury, college and professional athletes and those involved in their lives are unable to identify the speech-language-hearing and cognitive-communication signs and symptoms or unable to identify speech-language pathologists and audiologists as the professionals responsible for assessing and treating these problems. They may also pass off poor academic and vocational performance for other stressors, not realizing that the college and professional athletes are suffering from underlying hemorrhages, intracerebral swelling or axonal shearing, which leads to CTE, early onset dementia, attention, memory, problem-solving, organization, and social communication problems.
  • The Head to Speech! programs increase the knowledge and attitudes towards head injury and long-term impact on cognitive-communication skills as well as, increases the inclusion and referrals of speech-language pathologists and audiologists in concussion management programs.


Head to Speech is a Maryland nonprofit organization and shall be operated exclusively for educational, scientific and charitable purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code. 


  • We operate an institution to teach and disseminate educational material including, but not limited to, material relating to neurogenic disorders, traumatic brain injury and sports concussion management, through publications, lectures, continuing education courses, media platforms, such as television, radio, podcasts or otherwise. 
  • We organize health communication initiatives and research exchange to increase knowledge and change attitudes and behaviors within these communities. 
  • We inspire and support new researchers through scholarships and fellowships. 
  • We build new support groups for college, professional and former athletes (aged 18 years old and older) and their support systems impacted by sports-related concussions and other head injuries. 
  • We maintain a comprehensive network and directory of sports medicine and rehabilitative medicine leaders and providers to provide sliding-scale and bundle services aimed primarily at educational institutions’ athletic departments and professional sports leagues with multicultural populations at high-risk of sustaining sports-related concussions and facing health disparities. 


  • Head to Speech, Incorporated is the FIRST EVER nonprofit organization to focus on pre-head injury education and the impact that post-concussion syndrome has on college, professional and former athletes' speech-language, hearing and cognitive-communication outcomes. 


  • A world in which college, professional and former athletes and their support systems impacted by sports-related concussion, HEAD TO SPEECH-language pathologists and audiologists through increased media sponsorships, educational partnerships and practitioner referrals in order to receive education, counseling and timely identification, assessments, and interventions for speech, language, hearing and cognitive-communication disorders. 


  • We aim to develop, monitor and improve upon sports concussion management initiatives from the perspective of speech-language pathologists and audiologists in the areas of policy and advocacy, preventative education, health communication and social marketing strategies, interprofessional education and collaborative practices, and evidence-based research that supports best clinical practices and trends. 


  • To annually raise and report at least $50K to be allocated towards operations, administrative salaries, contractor and speaker fees, business expenses, toolkit production and dissemination, website, online course, membership site, email marketing, and digital products platform, marketing expenses, and miscellaneous.  
  • To serve as a local, state, national, and international authority on adult neurogenic disorders, traumatic brain injury, and sports concussion management from the speech-language pathologists’ and audiologists’ perspective through peer-reviewed journals, publications, editorial contributions, advisory boards, lectures, speaking engagements, media appearances, and all forms of social media.
  • To serve as the leading source of preventative education and outreach campaigns on adult neurogenic disorders, head injury, sports concussions, and the effects on cognitive-communication skills from a speech-language pathology and audiology perspective.
  • To serve as a continuing education provider who develops online training and continuing education courses using the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association continuing education provider guidelines. 
  • To serve as a leading nonprofit funder of sports concussion research to transform the outlook of prevention, evaluation, treatment, and management for men and women athletes particularly from multicultural populations.

Head to Speech Leadership

  • The Head to Speech Leadership Team meets on the 3rd Friday of the month via Zoom. 
  • Our Advisory Council members are invited to meet with the Board of Directors and Officers. 
  • Annual Donations and/or fundraising on behalf of the member is expected.
  • Our Advisory Council members and Ambassadors join our Interprofessional Task Force Mastermind Group and can sign up to serve on the Head to Speech Interprofessional Summit Planning Committee. 
  • Our Ambassadors Meet & Greets are on the 3rd Friday from 5 to 7 PM EST. 


I am a Professor and Director of the Five-Year Accelerated Master's Degree Program in Speech-Language Pathology at Howard University in Washington, DC. I am a certified and licensed audiologist and speech-language pathologist and I specialize in research especially in the area of auditory processing and its disorders.

I am an internationally recognized expert in the field of auditory processing disorders. I have numerous publications on this topic in professional journals throughout the world. 

I bring my knowledge and background in auditory processing disorders to Head to Speech because many of the athletes who have suffered head injuries and concussions, even mild concussions, may have suffered trauma to systems involved in processing auditory information, but there is a lack of awareness and understanding of how such head injuries can affect the athlete's abilities to process and understand what is said to them. This can affect their social lives, education, work, and life in general.


My research interests include post-stroke depression, family caregiver stress, concussion syndrome/CTE in college athletes and its academic impact, and memory training intervention in older adults with further research interest in Crisis, Disaster, and Trauma Intervention.

As a speech-language pathologist, I have been providing prevention, education, evaluation, and treatment services for individuals with brain injuries and other neurological disorders for over 20 years. 

Now that I have earned my doctoral degree in Health Psychology with a focus in Neuropsychology my desire to help individuals experiencing brain and other health related trauma along with their families has grown. 

I have personal experience with head injury/concussion working with family members, one who played high school, college, and semi-professional football and another who experienced two playground injuries.


I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Howard University where I also received my Ph.D. I am also a licensed Medical Speech-Language Pathologist and a Certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainer with the Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists. I am published in professional journals and have co-authored chapters on TBI. 

Head to Speech is a great nonprofit program that provides a much-needed educational service to athletes, families, and those who work with athletes. I would like to contribute to the concussion prevention and educations work that Head to Speech will do to support those who may experience concussion and those who provide support to athletes.

I will bring my expertise in neurologically based communication disorders with adolescents and adults, with specialty in traumatic brain injury and concussion. I currently direct the Cognitive-Communicative Skills Research Lab in which the team examines cognitive-communicative deficits associated with sport-related concussion and provides support for student-athletes as they return-to-learn/play/activity following concussion(s). 

My work also incorporates cognitive and communication styles of adolescents and adults from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. In this realm I identify bias within cognitive-communicative assessment and treatment materials and aim to develop culturally appropriate and relevant materials. 


I am an Assistant Professor at the University of the District of Columbia and a Bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist. 

I currently serve as the professional development manager for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Special Interest Group in Global Issues in Communication Sciences and Related Disorders. 

I have over ten years of experience working with children between 0-21 years old who have communication and socio-pragmatic speech and language disorders. 

I support Head to Speech’s educational, scientific and charitable purposes and mission within multicultural populations at high-risk of sustaining sports-related concussions and facing health disparities.

My research centers around providing culturally responsive assessment and intervention protocols for multicultural, multilingual children, mainly Spanish and Caribbean English Creole speakers.




I am the Lead Speech-Language Pathologist and Supervisor at Pediatric Speech Lab. My leadership roles include the supervision of Speech-Language Pathology Assistants and Speech Pathology students by aiding in their development to achieve independence with delivering treatment/services to all disorders following the ethical guidelines of ASHA.

Most of my medical experience has been related to adult neurogenic disorders and some traumatic brain injuries. I have had experience with Aphasia, Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, Dementia, Mild Cognitive Impairment, traumatic brain injury (TBI) secondary to electrocution, and TBI secondary to car accident. 

What interests me about serving on the Board of Directors of Head to Speech is the opportunity to be a part of something that will make a huge impact not only in my direct community but I believe this will help to educate all facets of the health field. This is to include not only the field of Speech-Language Pathology but all involved in sports such as sports medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and mental health.

I am very excited to aid in making such a groundbreaking change through education within the health field and sports community.



I help Head to Speech fulfill its mission by contributing financially to the task, goals, and objectives and provide my wise counsel gained through over 30 years of academic achievement and professional experience.

I have also raised budgets and met every obligation as both Pastor and Presiding Elder over the last 17 or so years, using various methods common to religious nonprofit organizations. 

I’m passionate about leveraging my expertise to educate students in financial planning as an Adjunct Professor. Having built a successful clergy tax practice and served as an Episcopal District accountant in a major denominational church, I’m especially adept at teaching all aspects of clergy tax management and traditional financial planning.

Seeing Dr. Pope's dreams and visions come to fruition through the fulfillment of Head to Speech's mission, goals, and objectives motivate me to invest my time, talent, and treasury as an active member of its Board of Directors to make them a reality.


I earned my master’s degree in Speech Pathology & Audiology in 2020 from South Carolina State University. My prior experience includes working as the President (2019-2020) and President-elect (2018-2019) of my local NSSLHA chapter in graduate school. I also served as the first South Carolina liaison for National NSSLHA.

As a novice speech-language pathologist, I have been building my experience with neurological disorders. I have been providing treatment, evaluation, advocacy, and education to my clients and their family. I currently serve the adult/geriatric population in a short-term rehab/long-term care facility. 

My interests include traumatic brain injuries, cognitive-linguistic communication, and memory care/intervention. My future plans are to pursue a doctoral program with cognitive communication, improve health literacy among minority populations, and create functional therapy materials for patient care. 

I help create content for our readers and participants by disseminating educational information and resources that align with our mission. I help Head to Speech create a niche, become successful, and help athletes who otherwise would be discouraged to seek help. I am also interested in collaborating with different professionals, cultivating a positive experience, and growing as a collective body of peers.


I have more than thirty-five (35) years’ experience as an oral health clinician; public health operations and outreach program designer and director; clinical oral health and public health adjunct professor; public health interprofessional researcher, project manager and designer; health educator; public health policy change agent and advocate; and have created and facilitated professional development courses and conferences in public health.

As a life long learner, my current pursuit is “Orofacial Myology.” This discipline bridges the gap between dentistry and speech by diagnosing and treating dysfunctions of the orofacial muscles and their impact on the dentition, speech, digestion and breathing. It is yet another added tool in assisting those with concussion and cognitive deficits.

My research interests include interprofessional education, outreach education and professional development, as it relates to the orofacial myologic implications on traumatic brain injury and post-concussion syndrome in student and professional athletes.

My interest in concussion management is very personal. My father who was an athlete all of his life suffered many concussions. The result being cognitive deficits and affecting his quality of life as an elderly senior. I also have two grandsons who are energetic and curious, and will certainly play sports. Their protection and those of other athletes is my utmost interest.