Paul R. Rao, PhD, CCC-SLP, took office as the 2011 president of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) on January 1.
Dr. Rao, 64, is vice president of operations and compliance at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, Washington, DC, and a visiting professor at the University of Maryland. Dr. Rao succeeds Tommie L. Robinson Jr., PhD, CCC-SLP, who continues to serve on ASHA's Board of Directors.
"My goal is to better position ASHA members to serve their clients and to improve reimbursement and access for all," Dr. Rao says. "As part of that, as ASHA's president I look forward to working with ASHA member-advocates to see that the Association continues to be a significant player in the new health care reform legislation in order to help bring the promise of more freedom to individuals with communication disabilities."
Dr. Rao comes to ASHA's top elected office with more than 25 years of volunteer experience with ASHA. He has served on a number of ASHA committees and boards, such as the Board of Ethics, the Committee on Honors, and the Special Interest Divisions Board of Division Coordinators. He has also served as president for both the Maryland Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the District of Columbia Association for Healthcare Quality. In 1991, Dr. Rao became an ASHA Fellow, one of the highest honors of the Association.
About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 140,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems including swallowing disorders.