Audiology Advisory Council Candidate Statements

Kentucky

Tommy Evans, CCC-A

My name is Tommy Evans and I am extremely interested in the Audiology Advisory Council position for the State of Kentucky. My primary motivation for this position is to find a role where I can use by skill-sets to help advance the profession of Audiology both regionally and nationally. I have also been looking for an opportunity to volunteer within our national organization and I believe this is a great medium for me to do so.

I have ten years of experience of working in a tri-state area at Cincinnati Children's Medical Center. During this time I have networked with many professionals in both Kentucky and Ohio where I have been exposed to both opportunities and challenges in our profession. I have had the luxury to present at the KSHA annual conference and KAA annual convention during this last year. I have also been able to work closely with community providers, which have shown me how important it is to advocate for Audiology services in schools and in rural areas. I truly have valued these experiences, which have shaped my passion for evaluating outcomes in patients who have communication disorders.

I am extremely organized, motivated, and willing to work on a team where we can make the necessary positive changes in our profession to advance the field of Audiology in Kentucky and beyond.

Thank you for considering me for this position. It would be an extreme honor to represent Kentucky.

Louisiana

Stephen J. Harris, CCC-A

I have served ASHA and my Louisiana colleagues in the capacity of Member of the School Finance Committee and the Medicaid Committee for two years. During that time I participated in monthly phone conferences, attended Face to Face Meetings with other committee members and ASHA staff as we set and implemented our committee plans and goals which included Hill Visits with my Louisiana representative and Senate Members, as well as, other arranged meetings with targeted congressional members set up by the ASHA staff legislative team. Prior to each session I was briefed on ASHA's issues and then met with legislators to discuss and request their support.

Prior to my appointment to the ASHA School Finance and Medicaid Committees I served in Louisiana's state Association (LSHA) as president, on the board of directors and legislative liaison. During this time period I assisted in organizing and participating in LSHA's "Day at the Capitol" activity. As president of LSHA I testified before the Senate Finance and the Education Committees relative to several initiatives. The first initiative was advocating for the provision of a stipend for Nationally Certified Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists working in the public education sector which was eventually funded after several years of intense action. Additionally, LSHA advocated for an initiative for insurance mandate that would provide hearing aids for children under age 21. This was successful and signed into law by Governor Foster. During this time period I also served as the president of the second state wide professional association, Speech Pathologists and Audiologists in Louisiana Schools (SPALS) and was responsible for getting both professional organizations, LSHA and SPALS, to jointly work on legislative initiatives which included joint funding of a lobbyist and participation in the "Day at the Capitol."

In addition, I have served on the State Licensure Board (Louisiana Board of Examiners for Speech Pathology and Audiology) for approximately 14 years and I currently serve as the Chair. A such, I have had additional experience in legislative action and being up to date on current issues that affect our profession.

I would like to continue serving our profession and feel I have a great deal of experience that I can put to work for the Advisory Council.

Maryland

Donna L. Pitts, CCC-A

My name is Donna Pitts and currently I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology at Loyola University MD where I have been working since August 1997. I enjoy interacting with students and am passionate about sharing the joys of audiology with them. I am happy to be considered for a position on the Audiology Advisory Committee from Maryland. I have been active in the Maryland Academy of Audiology since its inception having recently served two terms as President. I am currently finishing my final term (December 2014) on the MAA Board as Immediate Past President. In that capacity, I have been involved in bringing important audiological issues to the Maryland Legislature, including planning and executing legislative awareness days in Annapolis, MD.

In 2011, I participated in the Audiology Standard-Setting Workshop and I appreciated the opportunity to work on issues at the national level. I am excited about the possibility of bringing my experiences at the state level to the national level. I am also a member of the National Hearing Conservation Association and am a member of the NHCA Task Force on defining practices of the Occupational Audiologist with respect to Telepractice. It would be an honor to serve as the Maryland representative on the Audiology Advisory Council.

Minnesota

Sarah Angerman, CCC-A

I have recently served as Co-President for the Minnesota Speech-Language-Hearing Association (MSHA). In this role, I kept abreast of legislative issues on both the state and national levels. I am eager to utilize my advocacy skills to support ASHA's legislative priorities. As the legislative climate surrounding the Affordable Care Act evolves, it is critical that audiologists and speech-language pathologists advocate for continued and increased insurance coverage for their services. In particular, I support ASHA's lobbying efforts to pursue comprehensive audiology legislation that would allow audiologists to bill for both diagnostic and rehabilitative services, as well as the proposed legislation to allow for hearing aid tax credit. As a clinical supervisor of students in the Au.D. program at the University of Minnesota, I further support the Access to Frontline Health Care Act, which would provide student loan repayment to audiologists and speech-language pathologists who serve for two years in areas where job shortages are most critical. Such legislation would improve access to care in rural areas, as well as alleviate the debt students accrue during their academic programs. I look forward to participating in ASHA's strong history of legislative advocacy by collaborating with audiologists and speech-language pathologists from across the country.

As a member of MSHA's Legislative Steering Committee, I have met with state legislators and leaders of other professional associations in Minnesota to advocate for the best interests of audiologists and speech-language pathologists. I have represented MSHA by preparing formal presentations or written letters, and also via face-to-face dialogue with those in agreement or opposition to MSHA's legislative agenda. Through these interactions, I have gained an awareness of the importance of professional collaboration to advance shared goals, as well as maintaining collegiality when differences arise. In August of 2014, I attended the legislative summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures as a representative of ASHA and MSHA. I enjoyed speaking with national leaders about the ways in which their legislative actions impact individuals with communication difficulties. I am excited to continue these opportunities for grassroots advocacy as a member of ASHA's Audiology Advisory Council.

Mississippi

Charles E. Bishop, CCC-A

For the past several years I have worked steadily toward the rank of associate professor with tenure at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. In June 2014, I finally achieved this coveted award, which was the culmination of my work as a clinical audiologist, researcher and educator. As I now set my sights to one day achieve the rank of professor, I have been charged by my peers to emerge as a leader in our field in a more national context. Serving on the ASHA Advisory Council would be my first, and most eager, opportunity to fulfill this role. Also, having held my C's since 2001, I have learned just how crucial ASHA is as an advocating professional body for audiologists. It is the widest pathway for our profession to influence national legislation, which is crucial in lieu of the ever changing landscape of hearing healthcare delivery. I owe much of my professional development and success to ASHA and I am eager to repay this debt through service on the Advisory Council.

I finally feel ready to serve ASHA on the Advisory Council now that I have gained 13 years of clinical practice, research and teaching experience, in a variety of clinical and academic settings. I currently hold a master's and professional doctorate in audiology, and I am nearing completion of a Ph.D. in clinic research. Also, I have been licensed to practice audiology in three states, and I have spent close to two years practicing internationally in Ireland. I have come to appreciate the professional standards associated with holding the Certificate of Clinical Competence. While I worked in Ireland, I saw the ill effects of an unregulated hearing aid industry. Upon returning to the U.S., I gained a new appreciation for our standards of care, training of students, and respect of patients. I steadfastly hold to these standards, as set forth by ASHA. And now, more than ever, profound changes are occurring within the national economy and healthcare system that will dramatically affect audiology and how we serve our patients. It still is not clear what impact the Affordable Care Act will have on our profession. Nor is it clear how alternative modes of hearing healthcare delivery, such as hearing aid sales through big box stores, or tele-health practices, will change our future. I am intrigued by these issues and I am all the more excited to get involved in advocating our profession on a national level.

Missouri

Laura L. Campos, CCC-A

ASHA has the responsibility to stay informed on the constantly evolving needs of the membership. Likewise, with ASHA as our political advocate, it's up to us as members to advise and guide the organization so they have may adequately represent our cohort. I know for many professionals it can be easy to have their sole focus be on clinical practice and not stay current on proposed legislation, trending research or ethical and reimbursement matters that face our professions. Yet, those that do are often so intimately aware of what issues are of genuine concern and the applicability to clinical practice. I want to be their presence in the organization; to represent those that already have such full and gratifying schedules, that they aren't available to promote the issues that are important to them. I feel with my varied clinical experience, I will be able to provide commentary and insight on a wide range of topics that will assist the Board of Directors to better identify the true local concerns of individuals and how they translate to affect the professions as a whole.

As the role of the Advisory Council is to be informed stewards of their respective profession, a broad knowledge base is an extremely valuable asset. My diverse clinical experience in multiple practice settings (ENT, private practice, Dept of Health, academic, VA) with varied clinical interests (vestibular, diagnostic, EHDI, fitting and dispensing) allow me to provide first-hand experience to the Board of Directors on an array of topics. Beyond the clinical breadth, I have also dealt with the frustrations that can come with practice management and reimbursement as a private practice audiologist as well as the patience and balance required when mentoring students through my positions as a preceptor and as an AuD instructor. This wide-ranging background will allow me to reliably advise the organization to best represent the needs of the membership.

Montana

Crystal Bleu Dvorak, CCC-A

I am seeking an appointment for the Audiology Advisory Council for Montana because I want to be an active participant in helping to improve the field of Audiology and communication disorders as a whole. I was fortunate to have many wonderful professors and supervisors at the University of South Dakota, which helped show me the importance of giving back to our profession for the betterment of all. I feel as the Advisory Council is a great first step at getting more involved on the national level. One of the first things I did after getting my ASHA certification was search to see when this position was up for appointment. In the state of Montana, I am not required to keep my C's, but I know being a member of ASHA is an important part of my being able to help the field of Audiology. I am excited for this opportunity.

During college I was very active in, and held leadership roles, in student groups such as Student Senate, Programming Committee, Student Ambassadors and others. In Graduate School, I held leadership positions in NSSLHA and NAFDA. I am an energetic and hardworking individual willing to put in extra work for the greater good. I have helped work with the Montana Speech Language Hearing Association to get draft legislation (which will add Audiologists and Speech Language Pathologists to the Montana Freedom of Choice Act) into the next legislative session in Montana.

I am personable and have the ability to interact with people of all backgrounds, which will be helpful when meeting with politicians and working to get things accomplished in Washington D.C. As an Army wife of 11 years, I am often at gatherings with very prestigious officers and politicians and have always been able to adapt to my surroundings and mesh well.

Since Moving to Montana in June 2012, I have been able to attend MAG (Montana Audiology Guild) meetings and our state MSHA conference in Missoula. I am very fortunate to be mentored (and employed) by Doug Rehder, who has been a very active Audiologist in Montana since the 1970's. I am eager and ready to take on projects and make our already great profession, even better!

Nebraska

Jan Allison Moore, CCC-A/SLP

At this stage in my career I have wide variety of experiences that I can contribute to the council including experience working in the schools, hospitals, and universities across the country and in Canada. My primary area of expertise is aural habilitation and cochlear implants and this experience may be more unique than most people serving on the council but important when thinking about policy which expands the breath of the profession. I feel I have to time to contribute meaningfully to the goals and activities of the council

Dual certification in both audiology and speech-language-pathology. Extensive experience with both hospital and school settings and work with minority patients. I have been very active in the Academy of Rehabilitative Audiology and serve as its president in 2015. I have served as an Associate Editor for The Volta Review, the scholarly journal for the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf.

Nevada

Jemila Fairley-Vassell, CCC-A

I am honored that I was nominated to the position of Audiology Advisory Council for the State of Nevada for 2016. It would be a privilege to be an active participant identifying current issues in our field and advocating for our profession. I have seized numerous opportunities to broaden my career. I am eager to learn innovative techniques, enhance my knowledge base, and become a well-rounded audiologist. I believe my professionally, diverse background and experiences would be a perfect fit for this position.

I previously served as the Audiology Advisory Council member for the State of Nevada from 2010-2012. My scope of practice in the State of Nevada for the past 6.5 years has been varied working for the University of Nevada School of Medicine, Nevada State College and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Working in private practice, university, and government settings has provided a wide range of experiences to pull from. I have had the opportunity to work with pediatric, adult and geriatric patients from multi-cultural and highly varied socioeconomic status backgrounds. I routinely engage and collaborate with a variety of health care professionals regarding mutual patients to counsel, explore treatment options, and treat each patient holistically. These enriching experiences will be priceless in my potential role as an Advisory Council member.

New Jersey

Debra Busacco, CCC-A

I have 35 years of experience as an audiologist in a variety of career settings including higher education, clinical service, research and administration. Since fall of 2013 I am a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Health Sciences at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. In the fall of 2014 I also assumed the position of Undergraduate Track Coordinator for the Communication Disorder Concentration in the Health Sciences Program at Stockton College. More recently, during the academic year of 2012-2013, I was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Audiology at Montclair State University. From 2011 – 2012 I was fortunate to serve as a Visiting Lecturer in Audiology at Northwestern University. These recent experiences in higher education have allowed me to network with audiologists, AuD and PhD students to move the profession of audiology forward, especially in academia and clinical service provision.

I am uniquely qualified for this elected position to represent audiologists in the state of New Jersey as I was employed as the Director of Academic Affairs at the American Speech-Language-Hearing (ASHA) Association from 1997 – 2003. I served in this leadership position for the Association on issues related to higher education and their impact on the professions of audiology and speech-language pathology. Many Association activities that I led involved strategic planning and representing ASHA on a national basis. I served on many committees and boards dealing with multi-faceted issues facing the profession of audiology including the recruitment and retention of culturally and linguistically diverse students and teacher-scholars, moving the profession of audiology to the doctoral-level standards, engagement political/ grassroots advocacy and increasing public awareness of the profession of audiology.

One of my lifelong career goals has been to advocate for persons who are Deaf and hard-of-hearing. My clinical focus and publications have focused on effective auditory rehabilitation for persons with hearing loss, especially older adults with dual sensory loss. Currently I am assisting the Seratoma Foundation to launch The Hearing Aid Donation Project throughout the state of New Jersey. My role is to network with professionals in South Jersey to help older adults attain refurbished hearing aids. Once this program is running effectively it will serve as a national hearing aid donation model for other states to emulate. My commitment to this project is to increase the public's awareness of hearing loss and to provide hearing aids to an under-served population.

In closing, I possess the strong leadership and experience to serve as an effective member of ASHA's Audiology Advisory Council to represent the state of New Jersey. I will work diligently to ensure that ASHA's substantive audiology program initiatives are implemented. I look forward to serving ASHA's audiology community as a New Jersey State Representative to the Audiology Advisory Council.

Karen L. McQuaide, CCC-A

I am seeking the position of NJ representative to the Audiology Advisory Council because I believe in my ability to make positive changes, both as an ASHA member and as an audiologist. I have enjoyed many aspects of the profession, including clinical, research, teaching, mentoring, and volunteer opportunities in a variety of settings. I became an audiologist to facilitate and enhance communication capabilities.

I regularly encourage high school and college students to consider audiology as a career choice, one with many directions upon which to focus and many diverse populations to assist. We must attract new students to our field to meet the demand for audiologists now and in the future. I believe in my role as a public health advocate for the field; we need to increase our presence in schools and public gatherings to spread the word about preventable hearing loss and the importance of hearing protection. Expanding the use of social media can help us reach more people and be more effective and current with our communication. These same qualities of enhanced communication, growth, and outreach will make a difference in the Audiology Advisory Council.

New Mexico

Rachel G. Lingnau, CCC-A

I am seeking the ASHA Audiology Advisory Council position for the state of New Mexico in order to collaborate with other professionals to promote, advocate and support the future development of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. As a service provider in a rural community, I am surprised by the lack of pediatric services available in our state and surrounding communities. I feel it is important to stay informed about policies and other challenges that effect our profession. I will collaborate with the constituencies of the New Mexico Speech and Hearing Association and engage in active deliberation in order to protect our interests and advocate for our profession. Transformation of practices across settings and disciplines is constantly occurring as a result of public policy and government initiatives. I would like the opportunity to work with other professionals to explore options to deal with threats to scope of practice and professional autonomy, and to advocate for increased reimbursement by insurance programs. The knowledge gained through my educational career, over ten years of employment as an Audiologist, strong morals and family values are assets that make me a valuable member of the Advisory Council. I graduated from Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communicative Disorders in 2000, and in 2004 was awarded the Doctor of Audiology (AuD) from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. I worked primarily with adults and geriatrics as a dispensing Audiologist from 2003-2008. Currently, I am serving my sixth year as an educational audiologist in a rural school district in Clovis, NM providing services for children ages 3-21. I am passionate about the field of Audiology, and I look forward to the opportunity to serve others.

New York

Amanda L. Picioli, CCC-A

My time as an audiologist at the university level has provided me the opportunity to utilize my education and experiences in a comprehensive way. Throughout my career I have enjoyed both clinical work as well as teaching. Additionally, I have participated on several committees, including governance at the university level. I believe that involving myself in our governing agency is an integral part in not only developing professionally, but also contributing to ASHA directives, policies and legislation. Furthermore, there is great importance in staying involved in such a rapidly changing field. With the ever evolving face of health care, it is prudent to take part in decisions that directly affect us as clinicians and researchers. As a member of the ASHA advisory council, I would be provided the opportunity to apply my education and experiences to guide to Board of Directors in making positive decisions for the future and to ensure continued value to its members.

I hope to grow with the ASHA community, and feel that my growth will parallel and support ASHA's visions. I look forward to the opportunity, thank you for your consideration.

North Carolina

Tracie Rice, CCC-A

I am seeking nomination to the Audiology Advisory Council. I was very excited to learn of this opening as I have always wanted to be involved at this level. I have been a president for the state association in North Carolina (North Carolina Speech, Hearing and Language Association – NCSLHA) and will be rotating off the board as past-president in June. During my time as president I was able to attend CSAP meetings and was very impressed with the networking and information exchange. I am very excited about becoming involved at this level to advocate for audiologists and share and relay information to the Board of Directors and the members within my state.

During my time as president for NCSHLA I worked with our executive vice president on issues related to reimbursement, practice management and scope of practice both for audiologists and hearing aid dealers within our state. I look forward to getting involved with the ASHA Audiology Advisory Council to make sure that audiologists are up-to-date on issues related to our field.

I have worked for the past twelve years as an audiologist in a university setting. I manage the speech and hearing clinic, as well as teach classes and provide the audiology services. I feel I am in a wonderful position as I am interacting on a daily basis with speech pathologists and students, as well as being active in a clinic and staying aware of the issues related to our field.

I look forward to hearing from you regarding my nomination and if placed on the board I will work hard to be a team player who is actively engaged in advancing our profession.

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