Executive Director Update
June 20, 2011
This is another in a series of occasional ASHA Executive Director updates. These updates are intended to provide ASHA members with a more in-depth view of various ASHA programs and National Office units, their key member services and initiatives, and the names and roles of ASHA staff. Information about staff changes and ASHA National Office recognitions/awards is also included.
Many thanks to those of you who have provided feedback regarding the previous updates or suggestions for future Executive Director updates.
ASHA's New Associates Program
The discipline of communication sciences and disorders (CSD) is rapidly changing with the advent of new technologies, medical breakthroughs, and changes in insurance and billing practices. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists are faced with the demands of serving ever-increasing client populations and having to provide more and more data to justify procedures and treatment outcomes. This environment is putting more pressure on our professions to look for ways to expand services without sacrificing the quality of patient care. One outcome of that reality is the increase in use of support personnel.
ASHA believes that an integral part of any strategy to protect the professions of audiology and speech-language pathology must address the increased usage of support personnel to ensure that the integrity of the scope of practice of the professional is preserved and the welfare of the clients seeking services is held paramount. ASHA's Board of Directors believes that the time is right for ASHA to take a leadership role in this arena and reach out to support personnel in the hopes of building partnerships and strategic alliances between CSD professionals and the support staff they supervise. As a result, in 2010, the Board decided to create a new nonmember affiliation category called Associates for audiology and speech-language-pathology support personnel. Though individuals joining ASHA as Associates will have a number of valuable benefits, they will not have the same rights as members. For example, they will not be able to vote or hold elected office.
The Associates Program is open to individuals who are:
Currently employed in support positions providing audiology or speech-language pathology assistant services, working under the supervision of an ASHA certified audiologist (CCC-A) or speech-language pathologist (CCC-SLP). Potential applicants will be required to obtain the signature of their ASHA certified supervisors in order to become ASHA Associates.
If applicants are not employed as audiology assistants or speech-language pathology assistants at the time they apply for the Associates Program, they will have to obtain the signature of their program director (or training program instructor) certifying that they are qualified to provide services under the direction of an ASHA certified audiologist or speech-language pathologist.
In addition to obtaining the appropriate signature(s), potential Associates will also have to meet the following requirements:
- Applicants will have to agree to follow all ASHA policies related to the responsibilities of support personnel.
- Applicants will have to agree to work only under the supervision of ASHA certified SLPs or audiologists.
- Applicants will have to pay annual fees to maintain their affiliation.
- Applicants will also have to be qualified to practice in their state and follow the state licensure rules (if any) that are applicable to them.
Current Timeline for the Associates Program
Since August 2010, several activities regarding the Associates Program have taken place, and others are planned throughout 2011—culminating in the full launch of the program in September 2011. In May, a new Associates Program information page was launched on the main ASHA website and an e-mail was sent to encourage ASHA members working in school settings to invite their assistants or any assistants known to participate in the Associates Program free trial taking place from July 2011 through September 2011. To date, the offer has garnered nearly 300 participants and additional outreach is underway. For the remainder of 2011 a number of activities are planned as ASHA rolls out this new program:
- July 2011 – Associates Program free trial to begin.
- July 2011 – Reception at the 2011 ASHA Schools Conference for supervisors and their assistants.
- July 2011 – Inaugural issue of the e-newsletter for Associates, Associate Insights, to be launched.
- August 2011 – Brief survey to be sent to free trial participants to get feedback regarding the Associates Program promotion.
- September 2011 – Applications and fees will be accepted for Associate affiliation.
- October 2011 – Additional promotions encouraging assistants to join ASHA as an Associate and to attend the 2011 ASHA Convention with their supervisor.
- November 2011 – The 2011 ASHA Convention welcomes Associates with programming and opportunities to partner with their ASHA certified supervisors.
It's important to remember that ASHA is creating an affiliation category for support personnel in audiology or speech-language pathology for two primary reasons. First, we know that certified members want to grow and improve as professionals … and when an effective partnership is created with those one supervises, everyone benefits. Second, we believe that those who work in a support role with the professions of audiology or speech-language pathology can benefit from a relationship with ASHA. The bottom line is that this new connection is intended to help members and assistants clarify and strengthen their relationships and improve their services to patients and clients.
National Office Staff Updates
The following individuals are new to the ASHA staff since April 2011:
- Heather Bupp, Director of Ethics
- Tori Koulakjian, Editorial Assistant
The following individuals have left ASHA to pursue other opportunities:
- Ted Barksdale, Certification Customer Representative
- Barry Dorsey, Certification Case Manager
- Meg Duskin, Manager of ASHA Ecommerce & Database Marketing
- Carla Joppy, Certification Case Manager
- Marat Moore, Managing Editor of The ASHA Leader (Retired)
- R'Chelle Mullins, Accreditation Coordinator
- Chris Parks, Web Network Systems Engineer
- Natalie Wilson, Association Governance Communications Manager
- Yasha Zislin, Network Engineer
Recent ASHA and ASHA National Office Awards
ASHA has been awarded the Workplace Excellence, Health & Wellness Trailblazer, and EcoLeadership awards for 2010 by the Alliance for Workplace Excellence. ASHA is one of 15 Washington-area organizations to win all three awards. The Alliance for Workplace Excellence is a nonprofit organization founded by Montgomery County, Maryland, and Discovery Communications, Inc.
The Next Executive Director Update
ASHA Futures Survey