American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Board of Directors Meeting Report: January 27-29, 2012

ASHA's Board of Directors (BOD) met at the National Office on January 27, 28, and 29. Following are highlights of the Board's discussions:

President's Opening Remarks

President Shelly Chabon convened the meeting at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, January 27, and welcomed six new Board members: Wayne Foster, chair of the Audiology Advisory Council; Carolyn Higdon, vice president for finance; Robert Novak, vice president for standards and ethics in audiology; Patricia Prelock, president-elect; Gail Richard, vice president for speech-language pathology practice; and Theresa Rodgers, vice president for government relations and public policy. They began their 3-year terms on January 1, 2012. President Chabon told the Board that she believes ASHA has a team of experienced and committed volunteers and a skilled and knowledgeable staff, and that she is confident that 2012 will be another year of significant accomplishments for ASHA.

Executive Director Update

Besides the written summary included with the pre-meeting materials, Executive Director Arlene Pietranton updated the Board about a number of items:

  • Applications for SLP certification in 2011 reflect a 4% increase over 2010. Applications for audiology certification in 2011 reflect an 11% increase over 2010.
  • Certification maintenance compliance for certificate holders in the 2008–2010 interval is at 98%. ASHA's goal is to make sure that compliance is in line with ASHA's retention rates, and that has been accomplished for this cohort of certificate holders.
  • For certificate holders in the 2009–2011 interval, compliance is at 85%. This represents a 61% increase from December 2010. For certificate holders in this interval, activities must have been completed by December 31, 2011, and compliance forms are due by 2/29/12.
  • The January 12, 2012, issue of the American Society of Association Executives publication, Associations Now, which focuses on volunteer leadership, was distributed to members of the Board. Arlene pointed out that this issue has useful information for ASHA's volunteer leaders.

Overview of the History and Role of Advisory Councils

Nancy Alarcon, chair of the Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council, and Wayne Foster, chair of the Audiology Advisory Council, summarized the history and role of the advisory councils for the Board. The Board was reminded that ASHA established two advisory councils to identify and discuss the critical and/or emergent issues of concern to members, and that the information or recommendations provided by the advisory councils are used by the BOD to help inform decisions regarding the programs and services that should be provided for members and supported by Association resources.

Nancy and Wayne reviewed the role of the advisory councils, which is stated in the 2007 Governance Restructure Plan (LC 1-2007). ASHA's advisory councils are responsible for:

  • discussing and ranking issues of concern to members,
  • advising the Board of Directors on issues that the need to be considered as the Association engages in strategic or forward planning,
  • providing advice to the Board of Directors on issues that the Board brings to the Advisory Councils,
  • reviewing the approved budget and making recommendations for future programs and services that support ASHA's Strategic Pathway to Excellence, and
  • participating in the formal peer review of all ASHA policy documents.

Nancy and Wayne discussed how the advisory councils can provide valuable information on how groups of people think or feel about a particular topic, perspectives on existing programs, and suggestions to help improve the planning and design of new programs. They reminded the Board that it is important that advisory council members have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities and commit the time and attention necessary to fulfill these responsibilities. They also indicated that the organization should clearly articulate the specific purpose of the advisory councils and provide appropriate support to assist the advisory councils in carrying out their responsibilities. All agreed that the process for gathering feedback from the advisory councils has steadily improved over the past 3 years and that the Board is committed to increasing the frequency of using the AC members for advice moving forward.

Clinical Specialty Recognition – Ad Hoc Committee Report

In January 2009, the BOD approved a resolution creating the Ad Hoc Committee on Clinical Specialty Recognition. The committee submitted their report in April 2010. Based on nine principles identified by the committee, 21 recommendations were brought forward to the BOD in the summer of 2010. The 2010 BOD carefully reviewed the report and the financial modeling based on it. Following that review and discussion, the (2010) BOD determined that it was not fiscally viable to support the recommendations that were based on a financial model that would bring the operations of the Clinical Specialty Recognition Program fully within ASHA. However, the BOD recognized that a number of recommendations contained in the ad hoc committee's report could be referred to the Council for Clinical Specialty Recognition (CCSR), with the expectation that the CCSR would develop an implementation plan.

In August 2010, a BOD working group identified 15 recommendations from the original recommendations that the CCSR was asked to respond to. The CCSR met with stakeholders from the three specialty boards in November 2010 to initiate a discussion with the intent of reaching consensus on the 15 recommendations made by the BOD Study Group. The CCSR subsequently convened a meeting in May 2011 that included individuals appointed by the three specialty boards to finalize their report to the Board. At the October 2011 meeting, the Board voted to receive the CCSR's July 2011 report and review the specific recommendations of the CCSR at the January meeting. At today's meeting the Board discussed six recommendations from the CCSR report:

  1. The ASHA BOD approves the change from a specialty recognition process to a specialty certification process. This would entail changing the name of the overseeing Council from Council for Clinical Specialty Recognition to Council for Clinical Specialty Certification. Individual holders of specialized certification would be identified as Board Certified Specialists in their specific area of specialization.
  2. Require that existing specialty boards and all current and future petitioning groups complete a practice analysis with support from ASHA. This practice analysis will be used to support the assessment methodologies used with their respective certification pathways to demonstrate rigor, reliability, relevance, and equity.
  3. The ASHA BOD adopts the minimal standards proposed by the CCSR for both initial and renewal of specialty certification. The CCSC(R) shall be responsible for approval of additional standards established by specialty boards.
  4. ASHA, through the CCSC(R), will identify methods and opportunities to promote specialty certification as part of the continuum of professional practice. The CCSC(R) shall use appropriate ASHA resources, outside resources, and specialty board representatives as part of this process.
  5. Once the recommendations made by the CCSR are adopted by the BOD, joint meetings should be coordinated between representatives of the CCSR and the Council for Clinical Certification in order to coordinate adjustments in respective standards. As scopes of practice evolve, regular communication will need to continue between the two groups either through joint meetings or representative membership in each group.
  6. The ASHA BOD approves the addition of a representative from among the specialty boards as a member of the CCSC(R) This one representative would serve for 2 years and be selected on a rotating basis from among all of the specialty boards. Addition of this representative will support the relationship between ASHA, CCSC(R), and the specialty boards by recognizing the importance of input from the specialty boards in the continuation of specialty recognition/certification. A representative from among the specialty boards would mirror the current inclusion of a member of the Board of Coordinators of Special Interest Groups.

Prior to this meeting, the Board received feedback from the current specialty boards about each of the six recommendations. Examples of this feedback included concern about the number of hours required to demonstrate and maintain the level of clinical experience, the nature of assessment processes to demonstrate advanced knowledge, the need for practice analyses, the consideration of clinical researchers and specialists who assume more supervisory/ administrative roles, and increased representation of recognized specialists on CCSR.

The Council For Clinical Certification also provided feedback and expressed concerns about establishing a second certification board and how a second certification program would interface with ASHA's current certification program.

After extensive discussion, it was agreed that a resolution would be brought forward to create a subcommittee of the board on specialty recognition that would include Board, CCSR and CFCC representation. That subcommittee would be charged with exploring these recommendations and feedback in more detail and with bringing back specific implementation proposals (and the financial implications) to the Board in August.

2011 Governance Restructure Survey

In 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, the BOD, the Audiology Advisory Council (AAC), the Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council (SLPAC), and committee, board, and council members were asked to participate in an online evaluation of ASHA's new governance model. The purpose of the evaluation was to determine whether the new model was realizing its intended results. The evaluation covered three main subtopics: (1) the new governance structure and process, (2) members' satisfaction with their participation in governance, and (3) time spent by members on governance activities. Chief Staff Officers (CSOs) and ex officios were asked to participate in the evaluation in 2011. The Board reviewed all of the feedback data, which in general supported the change to the new governance model, recognizing it as more streamlined, less bureaucratic, and more effective. The Board will use this feedback to help determine what, if any, changes to ASHA's bylaws should be implemented. Any proposed changes to ASHA's bylaws will need to come to the BOD in the form of a resolution and be made available for input from members.

Membership and Membership Satisfaction Trend Data

Director of Surveys and Information Sarah Slater reviewed the member counts and satisfaction data by various constituents. Sarah presented the affiliation and member counts, showing the steady growth over ASHA's history. She also shared the member retention data for audiologists and speech-language pathologists for the past 10 years, which show retention rates of more than 96% for audiologists and 98% for speech-language pathologists. Sarah pointed out that ASHA's remarkably high retention rates put us in the very top status of organizations with individual members. Member counts and member data from the 2011 survey are currently being analyzed and will be published on ASHA's website in March.

Vice Presidents' Trends and Issues From ASHA Committees and Boards

Vice Presidents shared information about new topics and trends from the committees and boards they are involved with so that their fellow Board members are all aware of issues that may soon be before the full Board.

State Meetings Outreach

Director of State Advocacy Janet Deppe and Chief Staff Officer for Communications Martin Rome discussed plans for BOD participation at various state association meetings throughout 2012. They presented feedback from Board members and state association presidents regarding their experiences at these meetings. They also shared the process used for determining Board member attendance and preparation, and discussed ideas for improving future presentations.

2011 Convention Membership Forums

Past President Paul Rao led the Board in a discussion regarding the feedback received from the November Convention membership forums and discussed ideas for improving future membership forums held at ASHA's Annual Convention. One of the issues raised at the membership forum was regarding supervisors' qualifications. The Board discussed this issue and decided to create a subcommittee of the Board to provide greater focus on the many issues that were raised and bring specific recommendations for action back to the full Board. The subcommittee will be chaired by Neil Shepard, vice president for academic affairs in audiology, and will include Gail Richard, vice president for speech-language pathology practice; Barbara Moore, vice president for planning; and Margaret Rogers, chief staff officer for science and research. Members who raised questions at the membership forums will receive a direct response from President Shelly Chabon.

SLPA Scope Committee

In response to the recommendations from the SLP summit, the ASHA BOD determined that guidance should be provided to support personnel and their supervisors regarding their area of practice, and that such a document would be helpful to state regulators as licensing standards for assistants are developed or updated. At today's Board meeting, the Board voted to establish a working group to develop a Scope of Practice for Speech-Language Pathology Assistants, and further that the composition of that working group should include ASHA-certified speech-language pathologists with specific knowledge and experience in working with support personnel in clinical practice in schools, health care, or private practice.

Review of BOD Operating Procedures

President Shelly Chabon and Executive Director Arlene Pietranton led the Board in a review of ASHA's operating guidelines to ensure that all the Board members were aware of the processes and procedures that should guide Board activities in 2012. These guidelines include the areas of operations, planning, audit, face-to-face and electronic communications, and the relationship of the Board to National Office staff.

SLP Summit Follow-up Report

At the August 2011 Board meeting, a report was presented regarding the outcomes of a summit on the various provider roles in speech-language pathology, in which more than 70 individuals participated representing academia, supervisors of speech-language-pathology assistants, speech-language-pathology assistants, state education consultants, state education advocacy leaders, and state licensing boards. As a result of those discussions, a subcommittee met to determine what specific actions should be considered by the full Board, and those actions were presented to the Board in October.

At today's meeting, President-Elect Patty Prelock and Chief Staff Officer for Speech-Language Pathology Lemmietta McNeilly updated the Board about the status of those actions and asked for Board feedback on a number of those recommendations.

  • A PowerPoint presentation that summit participants can use to communicate the summit's recommendations with colleagues and stakeholders in their communities has been developed and will be distributed in January.
  • After some discussion, the Board decided that Patty and Lemmie will monitor the recommendations over the next year and report to the SLP subcommittee of the Board at each meeting.
  • The Board agreed, during an earlier agenda item, that a scope of practice for SLPAs will be developed.
  • The state advocacy team at the National Office is in the process of developing model language that can be provided to states regarding use of support personnel. The Board provided extensive feedback on that language and their comments will be incorporated into a new draft that will be reviewed with the Board at a future meeting.
  • Supervisory requirements for SLPAs will be addressed via a resolution to form an ad hoc committee on this topic in February.
  • A resolution will be submitted to the BOD in February regarding a plan to convene the stakeholders who will determine the educational requirements for support personnel in associate and bachelor programs.

Fiduciary Duties Review

Christina M. Gattuso, an attorney with the law firm of Kilpatrick Townsend LLP (ASHA's legal counsel) reviewed the legal and fiduciary responsibilities of Board members. ASHA's BOD is provided this review at the beginning of each year to ensure that Board members fully understand the responsibilities of serving on the BOD of an association as large and complex as ASHA.

Planning for March 2012 Advisory Council Meetings

Chair of the Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council Nancy Alarcon and Chair of the Audiology Advisory Council Wayne Foster led the Board in a planning discussion for the advisory council meetings to be held at the National Office in March. The Board discussed a number of topics to be brought to the advisory councils for their advice and guidance during the March meeting. The agenda will be refined over the next few weeks and communicated to advisory council members in the pre-meeting materials that will be disseminated in February.

Budget Review

Carolyn Higdon, vice president for finance, presented a summary of ASHA's financial performance through November 30, 2011. She reported that revenue is expected to exceed expenses in 2011. ASHA's audit committee recently met with the auditors to begin the audit process, and audited financials for 2011 will be ready for the Board's review in May. She also reported that ASHA is in negotiations with an existing tenant to expand the space they have leased on the fifth floor of the National Office and is also in discussions with a new tenant who is interested in leasing most of the remaining space.

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