(FRANKFORT, KY, March 5, 2024) – University of Kentucky (UK) Men’s Basketball Champion, NBA veteran, and Change & Impact Founder, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist testified on Tuesday, March 5 at 12:00 PM EST at the Kentucky State Capitol Annex in front of the Banking & Insurance Committee in support of Senate Bill 111relating to coverage for the treatment of stuttering.  Joined by State Senator Whitney Westerfield (R) for the 3rd Senate District and Meg Shake, CCC-SLP, Michael’s Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) from his time at UK, Michael spoke on his own experiences as a person who stutters in support of the bill.    

“I had my first speech therapy session for stuttering at UK with Miss Meg.  I feel like this is a full circle moment for me to come back to Kentucky and testify about my own personal experience of success with speech therapy in hopes of expanding coverage for the treatment of stuttering to all individuals who stutter in Kentucky,” said Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Founder of Change & Impact.  “I appreciate Senator Westerfield for recognizing the needs of the stuttering community and being a leader to support change in this space.”  

Michael has stuttered since childhood, something he kept to himself for a long time.  His first speech therapy session was at the age of 17 at the Center for Academic and Tutorial Services on UK’s campus with Meg Shake.  During each session, she helped Michael with his approach to speaking in ways he still uses today.   

“The stuttering community needs heroes, it needs advocates.  And for him to feel confident and ready and compelled to do this work he is doing now – I’m truly in awe of him,” said Meg Shake, CCC-SLP.  “I feel like the luckiest therapist in the world that I got to work with him, and I’m happy I get to remain his friend.” 

After winning a men’s national basketball championship at UK in 2012, Michael went on to play in the NBA for 9 years. While spending time in the NBA ‘bubble’ in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, he began reflecting on his own personal journey as a person who stutters and how he could help others who stutter.  In 2021, he founded Change & Impact, Inc., a non-profit organization with a mission to improve access to healthcare and expand services and resources for those who stutter.  

Since Change & Impact’s inception, Michael advocates at the federal and state level to raise awareness about gaps in the healthcare system for those who stutter including the lack of speech therapy insurance coverage and reimbursement for stuttering.  He has been on a national speaking circuit visiting more than 60 universities, hospitals, stuttering camps, and support groups talking about the importance of speech therapy and the trusted relationship between a person who stutters and their Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP).  Change & Impact has also hosted career fairs for adults who stutter, continuing education programs for established SLP’s, and special events for children who stutter and their families, SLPs, and educators. 

Stuttering affects 1% of the population; roughly 3.5 million Americans.  It is a highly stigmatized speech difference that is genetically based.  Most children start stuttering between 2 to 5 years of age and it can affect males four times more than females.  

About Change & Impact, Inc.

Founded in 2021 by Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Change & Impact, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to improve access to healthcare and expand services and resources for those who stutter.  As a person who stutters, Kidd-Gilchrist started Change & Impact to advocate, educate, and raise awareness about stuttering.  To learn more, visit

For inquiries about Change & Impact or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist interview requests please contact:

Kristen Peifer│703.626.0032 │