July 1, 2013 Departments

State Spotlight: Massachusetts Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Website: www.mshahearsay.org
Facebook: Hearsay Msha
Date of establishment: 1949
Membership: 242
Contact: Linda King, msha@camihq.com  

How are you making a difference in your members' professional lives?

MSHA monitors bills introduced in the state legislature that could have a positive or negative impact on our profession in the areas of delivery of services, conditions of services or licensure. We continue to offer multiple continuing education opportunities throughout the year. MSHA keeps graduate students involved through our student event (an informational day with discussions of what to expect in clinical fellowship experiences, the licensure/certification process, and resume/interview techniques), networking happy hours and a student scholarship.

What is the most significant challenge, unique circumstance or pressing frustration facing communication sciences and disorders professionals in your state today?

From a health care perspective, third-party reimbursement continues to be the most challenging aspect of the job. Frustrations for school-based clinicians continue to be caseload size and the large amount of paperwork needed for each child who receives services.

What is your association's proudest accomplishment?

With a grant from ASHA, one of our members spent a considerable amount of time spearheading a committee of our executive council and management office to create our website. We are proud to announce it went live on April 30! MSHA hopes this new website will be more user-friendly for our members and for anyone else looking for information about services and providers.

What is a particularly memorable event in your association's history and how did it come about?

MSHA played an instrumental role in requiring state licensure for speech-language pathologists and audiologists (1983) and for speech-language pathology assistants (2004).

Do you have a particularly successful advocacy or recruitment strategy to share?

Last year MSHA decided to implement a new membership opportunity for MSHA-sponsored continuing education events. When nonmembers register for these events, they automatically receive a free one-year MSHA membership. This system allows us to share the benefits of membership to those who have never before joined. We hope that after the year is over, the new members will choose to renew based on the benefits that they have received. We have also focused on engaging graduate students in the association and guiding them through the transition from students to working professionals.

Advocacy is a large part of our association. We use a monitoring service to track legislation that could affect licensure or services being provided.

What should every communication science and disorders professional in your state know about the association?

We work hard every day for all speech-language pathologists and audiologists in Massachusetts, regardless of their MSHA membership status. We volunteer to maintain our state standards and fight for those we serve. We strongly believe that all communication sciences and disorders professionals should be members of their association in whatever state they live and practice.

Meredith Finnie, MS, CCC-SLP, MSHA president meredithfinnie@gmail.com

cite as: Finnie, M. (2013, July 01). State Spotlight: Massachusetts Speech-Language-Hearing Association. The ASHA Leader.


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