Audiology Advisory Council Candidate Statements
Why are you seeking Advisory Council election? What related experience and/or qualifications do you have relative to the Advisory council position?
Heather Wigley Baty
I feel the Advisory Council is an excellent opportunity to work as an advocate for the profession at the national level and be involved in the ever changing landscape of the field.
I have served for one term on the Advisory Council and have been in the field for twenty years.
I am interested in representing the state of Alaska on the ASHA Audiology Advisory Council. This open position and opportunity was brought to my attention by another member of the council. I am excited about the opportunity to represent Alaska and collaborate with and learn from other members on the council.
Over the past 14 years, I have worked in many different avenues as an audiologist. I started out working in an ENT office as the sole audiologist. Then I moved to Vermont to work with the EDHI program as a traveling clinician throughout the state to follow-up with babies who did not pass or did not have a newborn hearing screening. I also saw children with risk factors that needed monitoring. I then moved to Alaska to work as an educational audiologist with the Anchorage School District. All of these jobs have had one common thread and that is working as part of a team and collaborating with other professionals and community members. If elected to the advisory council, I believe the knowledge and experiences gained from all these different settings will allow me to be an asset to the Audiology Advisory Council. Sydney Abernathy, MS, CCC-A
I am honored to be nominated for the advisory council. I currently work on the ASHA PAC Board and have a passion for audiology advocacy. I keep abreast of audiology issues and have a very active social media following allowing me to see what is happening in the field and how professionals and patients feel about it.
I have previously served as the Audiology Council Student Member. I currently work on the PAC Board and volunteer for SIG 6. I have a wide array of public speaking experience related to audiology.
Kathleen Evans Peterson
It is very important to me to be an involved member of ASHA. The profession of audiology is challenged by many outside forces and it is important that as a group, we continue to be aware of those challenges and be sure that we can present a united position. We cannot be passive if we want to OWN our profession and our destiny. My personal philosophy is that we have no right to complain unless we are willing to be part of the solution. The Audiology Advisory Council is one way that I can give back to the profession and be part of the solutions for the future.
ASHA: Political Action Committee, 2015-2018, Committee on Honors (COH) Co-Chair, 2014, Committee on Honors (COH), 2012-2014, Financial Planning Board (FPB), 2009-2011 , Audiology Advisory Council (AAC), 2008, Governmental Affairs and Public Policy Board, March 2006-December 2006, January 2007-December 2008, LC Program Review Group (LCPRG), 2007, Audiology Floor Manager of the Legislative Council, January 2006-December 2006, Coordinating Committee to the Vice President of Audiology, February 2004-December 2006, Co-Chair of Committee on Nominations and Elections, January 2004-December 2004, Committee on Nominations and Elections, January 2003-December 2004, Operational Procedures Review Group, 2002, Legislative Council Agenda Setting Group, 2001, 2002, 2006 Resolutions Committee, 2001, 2002, 2006, Strategic Long Range Planning Committee, November 2002-March 2003, Coordinator of the Audiology/Hearing Science Assembly, January-December 2002, Associate Coordinator of the Audiology/Hearing Science Assembly, January-December 2001, Legislative Councilor, 1985-1987, 1997-1999, 2000-2002, 2004-2006, 2007-2008, Committee on Hearing Conservation and Noise, 1984, Committee on Speech, Language and Hearing Services in the Schools, 1981-1983, ASHA Fellow 2014, American Academy of Audiology Student Academy of Audiology Advisory Committee, 2015-2018, Student Education Committee, 2015-2018 Program Committee, Local Arrangements, 1991-1993.
Gretchen A. Magee
I believe that I could be an asset to the Audiology Advisory Council with my experiences in developing private practices and managing various aspects of them including patient care, insurance, human resources, and professional networking. My current occupational roles direct me to follow the advances in the profession, and I feel that I would be a good representative of the individuals in Arkansas. Throughout my other volunteer opportunities at ASHA, I have been encouraged to participate in the Audiology Advisory Council which would be a great way for me to interact with additional leaders in my profession from across the nation. I believe that participating in an Advisory Council position would be a great way for me to continue engagement in the professional aspects of my career which I have always felt added to my professional growth and motivation within my practice. I have a unique opportunity as a private practitioner with a fairly flexible schedule to take advantage of positions such as those with the Advisory Council in order to make professional connections. I have reviewed the recommended personal characteristics for the role. I understand the roles of critical thinking and planning towards long-term goal achievement. On a day to day basis, I use a variety of technology tools and skills. My career has been based on using my current level of knowledge and application with a desire to be a life-long learner.
I have served ASHA with several volunteer opportunities. I was a product of the ASHA Healthcare Leadership program. I then was appointed to an Ad Hoc committee to evaluate the government structure with ASHA. Currently, I am serving on the Board of Ethics and will have two more years on my term. I also have served as a Site Visitor for the Council on Academic Accreditation and have started my second service period for which I have evaluated several audiology university programs with teams. For the American Academy of Audiology, I currently serve on their Patient Compliance Committee which evaluates resources for medical billing and practice management. I have also served on their Business Enhancement Strategies & Techniques (BEST) Committee where I was also a contributor for their publication Audiology Today. Last year I also served on a conference committee for AudiologyNow. I have been operating my own audiology private practice since 2010 which has expanded to two locations over a period of seven years and added additional practitioners. I am active in almost all aspects of the business and run the day-to-day operations. I also have served as a guest lecturer with the University of Oklahoma Audiology Department in order to share my experiences with their professional development. I have tried to be active with state activities and professional development as much as possible on a more local level.
I would love a way to serve my colleagues and our profession. I work full-time clinically but am always happiest and most productive when I have a challenge or project to be working towards!
I have worked in a variety of settings and a variety of specialty areas; this, I think, has given me experience that I can pull from to serve in this role. Hospital: inpatient and outpatient pediatric audiological evaluations, multidisciplinary adult and pediatric cochlear implant candidacy evaluations, cochlear implant selections/counseling/ MAPping/case management/referrals, speech perception testing, pediatric hearing aid evaluations/fittings/case management/referrals University-based cochlear implant program: multidisciplinary pediatric cochlear implant candidacy evaluations, cochlear implant selections/counseling/MAPping/ case management/referrals, pediatric hearing aid evaluations/fittings, speech perception testing, clinical supervision of AuD students, lab instruction and course lectures, management of pediatric hearing aid referrals Private ENT practice: comprehensive adult and pediatric audiological evaluations, sedated and unsedated threshold ABR, diagnostic evoked potentials (ABR, ECochG, ENoG), adult and pediatric hearing aid and Baha evaluations and fittings, assistive devices, vestibular evaluations (ENG/VNG, VEMP) and repositioning, tinnitus management, management of hearing aid pricing and literature, patient education seminars, establishment of a satellite hearing aid program, referring physician outreach and education State newborn hearing screening taskforce: development of state guidelines for pediatric audiologists Medical mission: team leader, pediatric hearing evaluations, cerumen management, hearing aid fittings/follow-up, hearing aid and earmold repairs/modifications, supply orders and management.
John F. King
Since becoming a board certified specialist through the ASHA affiliated American Audiology Board of Intraoperative Monitoring, I have become involved in a task force for the ASHA practice analysis in the field. This has required a time commitment of approximately 2 hours a month plus a trip to ASHA headquarters. I've found the experience enlightening and important to the specialized field of IOM. I have also enjoyed meeting colleagues from around the country. I hope to bring the same enthusiasm and teamwork to the Audiology Advisory Council.
1. Previous experience on ASHA Practice Analysis task force for the AABIOM. 2. Experience training Audiologists in IOM techniques, and preparing them for CNIM certification. 3. Private practice owner, providing services in IOM and hearing conservation. 4. Possesses great leadership qualities and is highly motivated. 5. Wants to see the field of Audiology florish.
As an audiologist, for over 30 years, I have always seen the value of being an advocate for audiology and audiologists with the legislatures at the state and national level. I have held positions at the state and national level with the various audiology organizations. Over my past term as a member of the Audiology Advisory Council, I have had the opportunity to provide insight and participate in discussions on topics relevant to all currently practicing audiologists regardless of work site. As audiologists we all are in practice. I believe it is as vitally important for audiologists to participate and be active in our profession. I believe it is our professional responsibility to be an advocate for the field. One way of doing this is by being a member of the Audiology Advisory Council.
I am a current member of the Audiology Advisory Council. I am on the Government Relations and Public Policy Board of ASHA with my term beginning in January 2017. I worked with the Coding and Reimbursement Committee for AAA for three years. I have held two positions, VP of Education and VP of Government Relations at the state level.
Susan E. Fulton
I have served as the Audiology Advisory Council (AAC) representative for Florida for the past 2 years. During that time, I have learned about the legislative process and have had the opportunity to interact with representatives from Florida regarding bills, policies, and other matters concerning speech and hearing. I have always been interested in politics. The interactions I have had with the offices of House Representative and Senators has been positive. Working on the AAC has given me the opportunity to be a positive voice not only for our profession, but also for those we serve. Educating my representatives on Capitol Hill about the needs of our profession and of those with hearing-related concerns has been exciting and enriching. We have discussed legislation such as early detection, VA benefits for those with hearing loss, Medicare policies relative to speech and hearing services, and other related topics. I have also enjoyed working with ASHA by giving feedback about what is happening in Florida, as well as my opinions regarding current issues facing the audiology profession. Working with my counterpart on the SLP Advisory Council, as well as the AAC representatives from other states has been another highlight of my experience. I look forward to the opportunity to continue my work as Florida’s representative to the Audiology Advisory Council.
Having served a previous term as the representative from Florida on the Audiology Advisory Council (AAC), I have gained experience interacting and educating political representatives from our state. I have learned how to approach and field questions from those on Capitol Hill. I am comfortable discussing legislation and bills that impact Audiologists, Speech-Language Pathologists, and our patients. Though careful education from ASHA, I have learned how to effectively voice my opinion and counter any opposition to my views on political issues. I have the skills necessary to make our voice heard and can discuss legislation effectively with political leaders. My experience is unique, as I have worked as a clinical audiologist for 29 years and have also worked in academia/research for 6 years. I understand the viewpoints of both clinicians, as well as researchers and educators. I currently serve as the Discipline Chair of Communication Sciences and Disorders at my university. In addition, I was elected as a Faculty Senator to represent the College of Science and Mathematics to our campus Faculty Senate. These positions have added to my leadership, organizational, and decision-making skills. This unique perspective allows me to give ASHA feedback from several viewpoints: clinicians, educators, and researchers. I have learned many skills while serving on the AAC during this past term. I look forward to honing those skills and using them to be a strong member of the AAC for another term.
Mary M. Whitaker
I am interested in participating in the Advisory Council in order to represent the audiology issues from the state of Idaho and to represent the ASHA issues and ideals back to the audiologists and speech language pathologists in the state of Idaho. I have been an audiologist for 30 years. I have been active professionally and continue to maintain connections with many audiologists across the state of Idaho.
I have been an audiologist for 30 years. I continue to work with experienced audiologists and the newly graduated audiologists. I believe my experience as an audiologist and my continued activity in the state as the Idaho State University Externship Coordinator and Program Director give me a unique opportunity to hear from and represent a variety of audiologists across the state in multiple geographic regions.
Tena L. McNamara
I am currently employed as an educational audiologist with the Special Education Association of Peoria County, IL. In addition, I work as a pediatric audiologist with Mueller Pediatric Therapy where I provide diagnostic and therapy services. I am also a retired professor from the Communication Disorders and Sciences Department, Eastern Illinois University. Through my career, I have been clinically active and participated in research in the areas of aural habilitation/rehabilitation therapy, audiological assessment, auditory processing diagnostics/therapy, remote microphone/assistive technology and literacy for children with hearing difficulties. My experience has enabled me to stay current in the field and apply these principles in an actual school and clinical setting. I feel I have a well-rounded background that would allow me to be an effective advocate for issues in our discipline.
I currently serve on the Advisory Council with my term ending in 2017. I am seeking reelection. In addition, I have served on the Board of Directors for other state and national associations in audiology. My experience with various organizations has allowed me to gain a global perspective of the field and a good understanding of our needs.
Anne E. Sommer
Volunteer service is critical to many organizations in order to maintain an active and engaged membership. I have been proud to be an Audiologist for the past thirty years, and I believe that I can now give back to our profession by volunteering to serve the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in this position. I have voluntarily served our community with ongoing educational hearing conservation outreach activities, with promotion of the audiology profession in area schools, and as Vice President of Audiology with the Indiana Speech-Language-Hearing association (ISHA). As part of my personal and professional development, I find that I am now ready to take the next step by becoming involved in our national organization. The audiology profession is facing a number of challenges to how we deliver comprehensive, evidence-based care to best meet our patient’s needs. Disruptions in service delivery have created an important call to action from ASHA and its membership. As stakeholders, we must work together to creatively address issues including billing and reimbursement, telepractice, the President’s Council of Advisors in Science and Technology (PCAST) report, the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2016 (S.9), the recent FDA decision to eliminate the medical evaluation requirement for adult hearing aid fittings, and Personal Sound Amplifier Products (PSAP). I believe that it is more important than ever to become an active participant in ASHA to represent audiologists in the ever-changing healthcare landscape.
Through my involvement with the Indiana Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ISHA), I have seen the importance of advocacy at the local level. An important aspect of my responsibilities as Vice President of Audiology for ISHA is to keep professionals informed of key issues that affect their ability to practice audiology in Indiana. Recent events in Indiana demonstrate that we have been successful. Swift action by ISHA members and our lobbyist to educate of our local legislators has been vital. Grassroots campaign efforts this year finally resulted in a $2.9 million appropriation to the 2009 Hearing Aid Assistance Fund so that approximately 300 hearing aids a year are available to children in kindergarten through 12th grade. In 2015, a recommendation to deregulate hearing aid dealer licensure in Indiana was introduced by the Indiana “Jobs Creation Committee”. ISHA crafted a position statement strongly against this proposal. A coordinated letter-writing campaign and testimony by ISHA member audiologists stopped the proposed deregulation of hearing aid dealer licensure. Recently ISHA executive council members hosted a Legislative Day at the Indiana Statehouse. ISHA executive council members, speech-language-hearing professionals and students across the state participated in this event. Based on the success of ISHA’s advocacy efforts, planning for the 2017 Legislative Day is underway. I believe that my teamwork and leadership experience at the local and state level has prepared me to be a valuable member of the ASHA Audiology Advisory Council.
I am seeking to represent Kansas on the Advisory Council for a multitude of reasons. I am a clinical audiologist and clinical assistant professor at the University of Kansas so education and involvement in professional affiliations are of the utmost importance to me. The field of audiology is changing so dramatically that it seems we are not evolving fast enough to keep up with the demands of not only our own profession but especially of competing fields. I have contacted politicians about a number of concerns I, and other professionals, have with the national and state legislatures; most recently with The Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2016. Not only are many audiologists uninformed, they do not know how to get involved with national or grass-root efforts to fight for the good of our profession. I would hope to change that and focus on autonomy of audiologists by working with a diverse and passionate group of council members, if elected.
Working at a university has given me the unique opportunity to be involved within our college and our faculty committees. I am currently on the diversity committee within our School of Health Professions and also on our faculty curriculum and clinical committees. I am young, having been practicing for just under five years, but I see that as a strength and not a weakness. I think diversity within a committee is important and would hopefully develop conversations with fresh ideas from a different perspective than maybe the committee is used to hearing.