Candidate for Vice President for Government Relations and Public Policy: Jeffrey Meeks, CCC-SLP
Jeffrey C. Meeks, EdD, CCC-SLP, has dedicated his professional life to serving the underserved. The bulk of his career has been spent serving as a speech-language pathologist (SLP) in schools and medical settings located on the Navajo and Hopi reservations in
northern Arizona. He has the unique distinction of having served as both a public school administrator and director of rehabilitation for a small hospital. His experiences influence his professional practice and have given him the ability to view the same situation from many different perspectives. This
skill has allowed him to successfully navigate difficult situations and resolve what seemed like insurmountable concerns.
In addition to his professional practice as a clinician, Meeks serves as an adjunct faculty member at Northern Arizona University and Estrella Mountain College in their speech-language pathology and speech-language pathology assistant (SLP-A) programs,
respectively. He is a teacher at heart and finds great satisfaction in educating students, practitioners, and the general public on issues surrounding communication disorders. A firm believer that communication is a basic human right, Meeks passionately advocates for those who cannot effectively advocate
His dedication to the professions is evident in his willingness and desire to serve. Jeff served as president of the Arizona Speech-Language-Hearing Association for an unprecedented 6 years and received their Honors of the Association Award in 2014. He became
intimately involved in legislative issues during this time and successfully worked with legislators to protect the scope of practice for audiologists and speech-language pathologists. He is a testimony to the fact that concerted grassroots advocacy works.
In addition to his service and advocacy at the state association level, he has served as a member of the ASHA School Finance Committee, president of the Northern Arizona Special Services Association, and currently as co-chair of the Northeast Arizona Exceptional Student Services Association.
The ASHA Leader asked the candidates:
What is your top priority if elected to the ASHA Board of Directors?
My primary concern is defending the basic right of all people to communicate effectively. There can be no doubt that the individual elected as the vice president for government relations and public policy will be tasked with advocating for the professions
in a very challenging political landscape. I see this as an opportunity rather than an obstacle. I will work strategically with ASHA members and staff to ensure that the priorities of audiologists and speech-language pathologists are well-defined and accurately reflected in ASHA’s public policy agenda. I will
ensure that speech, language and hearing services are explicitly addressed and prioritized in the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and that issues of reimbursement and access to medical services receive serious legislative attention.
Why are you running for Vice President for Government Relations and Public Policy on the ASHA Board of Directors?