Contact: Tracy Oman, executive director, firstname.lastname@example.org; Linda
D'Onofrio, 2013 president, email@example.com
How are you making a difference in your members'
OSHA board members and our all-important committee members
have been very active, giving voice to issues that concern speech-language
pathologists and audiologists in our state. A number of important bills have
come before our state legislature that required our support or objection, often
demanding quick action by our legislative chair and our lobbyist. In this
session alone, OSHA members have testified or written letters regarding insurance
reimbursement of applied behavioral analysis services, educating coaches about
brain injury, and fighting to maintain an independent licensure board. Our
annual conference brings together professionals from all over the state to hear
national and local stars in our field present on the latest issues.
What is the most significant challenge, unique circumstance
or pressing frustration facing communication sciences and disorders
professionals in your state today?
A tricky question! When I posed this to a number of board
members, everyone answered differently. Oregon is leading the nation in
implementing the new Affordable Care Act. Habilitation and rehabilitation
professionals are working hard to make sure they have a place at the table as
new health care regulations are implemented. School clinicians dealing with
Medicaid expansion feel they don't have the funding and support they need for
the difficult jobs they are trying to do. Hospitals, clinics and private
practices have been hit hard by changes made by insurance companies in the past
few years, and face reductions in reimbursement, reductions in the number of
visits, and new benefit exclusions that cover some diagnostic codes but not
others. Our university-based colleagues need better supervision for their
clinical fellows and more jobs for their graduates.
What is your association's proudest accomplishment?
On July 3, 1973, Gov. Tom McCall signed into law state
licensure for speech-language pathologists in Oregon. OSHA members critical to
the effort and our lobbyist were invited to the signing.
What is a particularly memorable event in your association's
history and how did it come about?
We hope to be making history at our conference in October
when we celebrate 40 years of state licensure and acknowledge our more recent
efforts to have all Oregon SLPs licensed under one universal license. Under
current rules, many of our school-based SLPs possess one of six licenses issued
by the schools. We've invited former Gov. Barbara Roberts—OSHA's lobbyist 40 years
ago when we first fought for state licensure—to receive OSHA Honors at this
year's luncheon. As the mother of a child with autism, Gov. Roberts has been a
lifelong advocate for children and families with disabilities as well as for
their service providers and educators.
Do you have a particularly successful advocacy or
recruitment strategy to share?
OSHA membership has been stagnant for a few years. To
recruit members, we are offering one year of free association membership to all
graduating students; our three state universities have faculty and student
representation on the OSHA board; and our board members present to their NSSLHA
What should every communication sciences and disorders
professional in your state know about the association?
We advocate for our patients, clients and students every
day. OSHA's mission is to advocate for our members and all the SLPs and
audiologists in Oregon, to create educational and networking opportunities, and
to support and defend our profession and the populations we serve.