August 1, 2013 Association

Meet the New ASHA Board Members

Four newly elected members of the ASHA Board of Directors will begin their three-year terms on Jan. 1, 2014. Here are their answers to four questions:

  • What do you hope to accomplish in your new position?
  • How have your professional background and experiences shaped your vision for the position?
  • What are the most important issues facing the discipline?
  • How would you describe your leadership style?

President-elect

Judith L. Page, PhD, CCC-SLP
Associate Professor, University of Kentucky, Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders

What do you hope to accomplish in your new position?

What I would most like to accomplish is to feel like I am making a difference. What does that mean to me? It means that we honor our vision of making effective communication achievable. It means that we continue to move forward in addressing the changing landscape of service delivery, reimbursement, and professional practice in both health care and education. It means that we build stronger connections across members, staff, leaders, legislators, employers, educators and consumers. Finally, I hope it means that more members feel motivated to vote in ASHA elections and participate in association governance.

How have your professional background and experiences shaped your vision for the position?

During the course of my career I have been a school-based SLP, an educator, a researcher, an administrator, an advocate, a mentor and an active volunteer at the local, state and national levels. What each of these experiences had in common and what has given me an enormous sense of pride in our discipline is the skill and dedication of the ASHA members I have encountered. The skill reflects the quality of our accreditation and certification programs. The dedication reflects the quality of our professionals and their commitment to ASHA's vision of making communication achievable for all. Out of this has grown my dedication to furthering the work of ASHA and the members it represents. I feel a real sense of responsibility to further ASHA's mission of empowering and supporting members through advocacy, advancement of science, and activities promoting communication.

What are the most important issues facing the discipline?

While we face a myriad of issues, the driving force behind many of these issues is change and how we respond to it. The areas of change are almost too numerous to list-service delivery models in health care and education, scope of practice, technology, reimbursement, interprofessional practice, professional identities and relationships, expectations for accountability, goals and strategies for research, professional preparation patterns, expectations for outcomes, supply of doctoral-level faculty, demographics, culture. To be effective, ASHA must remain well-connected and nimble-well-connected to enable us to stay abreast of these changing issues and nimble to enable us to respond to change in a timely manner.

How would you describe your leadership style?

My vision of the ideal leader, and one I strive to achieve, is an individual who facilitates the work of a group and collaborates with the members to make and implement decisions. To achieve this leadership style requires a number of skills-chief of which are a sense of humor and the ability to put things in perspective. Additional skills needed include the ability to organize and define a task, seek input from all constituencies, facilitate open discussion, listen, encourage creative thinking, communicate, and follow through.

Vice President for Academic Affairs in Audiology

Barbara K. Cone, PhD, CCC-A
Professor, University of Arizona, Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

What do you hope to accomplish in your new position?

I would like to work with my counterpart in speech-language pathology to enhance undergraduate preparation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics for careers in audiology and speech-language pathology. As a profession, these are the foundation for advances in research that we, as clinical practitioners and scientists, must undertake to improve the outcomes of those with hearing, speech and language disorders.

Furthermore, it is widely recognized that there is a shortage of research-trained professionals in our fields. ASHA has programs to address this shortage. Again, partnering with the vice president for academic affairs in speech-language pathology, I would hope to bring some added momentum and support to programs already in place, and determine what we could do better.

How have your professional background and experiences shaped your vision for the position?

I have 35-plus years' experience as an audiologist, researcher, academic and administrator. For the first 15 years of my career I worked in roles that required me to perform as a clinician, a research scientist and a clinical administrator. Since 1995, my work has been more academically focused in terms of developing, teaching in and administrating audiology training programs (University of Arizona and University of Melbourne, Australia), along with maintaining a strong line of clinical research. I will use the breadth and depth of my professional experiences to shape my vision for how ASHA can work toward the innovation in and improvement of academic preparation in the fields of communication disorders.

What are the most important issues facing the discipline?

In terms of academic affairs, I must come back to the shortage of research-trained professionals, and the lack of funding to support research training in audiology and speech-language pathology. This has flow-on (negative) effects to clinical training and the viability of the professions. We must be the drivers of research in our area and if we are not, we risk giving up autonomy to fields that have a stronger scientific foundation and research training rigor.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I am collaborative, collegial, optimistic, enthusiastic and persistent.

Vice President for Planning 

Edie R. Hapner, PhD, CCC-SLP
Associate Professor and Director of Speech-Language Pathology, Emory Voice Center, Emory University

What do you hope to accomplish in your new position?

I hope to encourage greater inclusion of the members into the work of the association. As with any group, only a small percentage of people are involved in the work for the whole. I was so surprised to learn that only 3 percent of the membership vote for members of the board or other leadership positions. I hope to encourage members to consider ASHA as their  association-not the association-and to make sure that the decisions made by the board represent their needs. I think that the board has done a stellar job of trying to reach out to members with early announcements of board agendas and the opportunity to send the board their concerns via a web-based program. Now we just need to get all the members engaged in our association.

How have your professional background and experiences shaped your vision for the position

Having served on several boards, I understand that possessing the "we" mission is the most important characteristic of a board member, and that without the goal to work for the members of ASHA-rather than oneself-a board will never succeed. The 150,000-plus members of ASHA come from diverse backgrounds and have different needs. It is my responsibility as a board member to educate myself in what specifically the board can do to help all members be successful and to work to integrate our association's strategic plan to make that happen.

What are the most important issues facing the discipline?

Sustainability is the most important issue facing speech-language pathologists and audiologists, no matter the setting. The ever-increasing demands of working in health care can shatter less-supported professionals with the need to stay on top of new guidelines and new mandatory requirements. The external forces within the education system that unfortunately require our educationally based members to justify their existence whether providing school-based services or university-based education to students are crushing. ASHA has and continues to develop an incredible amount of resources for professionals to feel supported, and to find current information like  "Headlines" for the health care side has honestly been a lifesaver for my practice over the past several years. After almost 32 years in clinical practice, my vision for the future is one of a strong, self-sustaining and well-respected profession and I believe we are all responsible for making sure that happens for future generations through solid clinical work, integration of scientific research to support our clinical care, and advocacy at the highest levels.

How would you describe your leadership style?

First and foremost my style is one that attempts to integrate the views of all members of the team into a cooperative whole. I try to avoid tunnel vision and to take a step back and look at the 30, 000 foot view and how any decision impacts all the members of the team. I think others would describe my style as persistent in my work to serve the members of the team and to get the job done.

Vice President for Standards and Ethics in Speech-Language Pathology

Lissa Power-deFur, PhD, CCC-SLP
Professor, Longwood University, College of Education and Human Services

What do you hope to accomplish in your new position?

Serving as a member of the Board of Directors, it is my hope to integrate with the rest of the board to effectively fulfill the board's fiduciary duties. It is my plan to represent the responsibilities of this office in the best interest of the association. This office serves as a liaison to the Council for Clinical Certification, the Continuing Education Board, the Scientific and Professional Education Board, the Council for Clinical Specialty Recognition, and the Board of Ethics. It is my intention to facilitate the work of the fine volunteers who serve on these boards and council, enabling them to serve the professions effectively. In addition, I'd like to work collaboratively with my fellow board members to facilitate connections with the membership. My specific focus will be in the areas of professional and ethical standards, finding opportunities to highlight the value of our high standards in our advocacy messages to policy-makers at all levels of government and industry and with our partners in education, health care and research.

How have your professional background and experiences shaped your vision for the position?

I had the good fortune to become actively involved in the Speech-Language-Hearing Association of Virginia early in my career, serving in a variety of board positions, including president. While president, I worked collaboratively with my city attorney to obtain an attorney general's opinion that hearing aid dealers in Virginia could no longer use the term "hearing aid audiologist." This whetted my appetite for continued work in policy and advocacy. I worked as a policy analyst at the Virginia Department of Education, where I worked with both the executive and legislative branches of government. Most recently, I was instrumental in creating a new graduate program in speech-language pathology at Longwood. These experiences have shaped my view that it is our standards and ethics that serve as the foundation for our profession, a foundation that we need to proudly represent.

What are the most important issues facing the discipline?

Despite the fact that our profession is no longer in its infancy, we still suffer from lack of understanding from consumers and policy-makers about who we are and what we do. Significant gains have been made through the work of ASHA, notably in the advances in state licensure and expansion of reimbursement codes for our profession. However, such issues as the growth in use of speech-language pathology assistants in lieu of hiring qualified SLPs, and the efforts of music therapists to include therapy for communication disorders within their scope of practice, reflect that our efforts to achieve recognition of the value of our qualifications, expertise and autonomy must continue unabated.

How would you describe your leadership style?

As a leader, I strive to balance my attention to information and task completion with a servant leadership style. Blanchard and Hodges remind us that leadership is a matter of the heart, when the servant leader focuses on the benefit of those we are leading. As a member of the Board of Directors, my leadership responsibility is to make decisions to benefit the association and its membership. Kosner and Posner's comments on "encouraging the heart" provide a template for telling the story, celebrating successes, and providing recognition, three important steps for engaging and benefitting the persons with whom we are working. In my ethics and professional issues class, we read Robert West's "Hippocratic Oath for Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists," written in 1961 (available in ASHA's Ethics Education). I find my annual reading of West to be a powerful reminder of my obligation as a professional and a leader:

"We have a reverence for humanity, whom we serve, and a deference for the men, women, and children whom we aid. Out of this deference grows our ethos; and from our reverence stems our professional morality. No personal advantage to us will ever lessen our concern for our pupils or patients, and no selfish consideration will ever color our advice or our instruction. ... We will join and support organizations in which those in our profession may commune as brothers and sisters; and so that our colleagues will be proud to recognize us as members of their profession; and in our private lives so we will live that the public picture of our profession will be one of honor and dignity."


  

Advertise With UsAdvertisement