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Candidate for Vice President for Government Relations and Public Policy: Deborah Ross-Swain, EdD, CCC-SLP

Why are you running for Vice President for Government Relations and Public Policy on the ASHA Board of Directors?

The ASHA Leader asked the candidates:

What is your top priority if elected to the ASHA Board of Directors?

Our professions recognize that the current disruption in health care as well as excessive workload/caseload demands are preventing SLPs and audiologists from doing the best job possible for our consumers. As vice president for government relations and public policy, I will unceasingly work for changes and initiatives to eliminate barriers that are preventing top-of-license clinical practice. I will work with all stakeholders toward manageable workloads/caseloads, equitable payment for services, minimizing the effects of resource allocation, educating consumers and professionals about the scope of practice of the professions, and the need for grassroots advocacy. I promise to champion patient and student outcomes through gold-standard clinical practice by our professions.

Deborah Ross-Swain, EdD, CCC-SLP, is Clinical Director/CEO of The Swain Center for Listening, Communicating and Learning. A former Chief, Speech Pathology at the University of California, Davis Medical Center, Dr. Swain held a clinical staff appointment to the School of Medicine. She is a former president of the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association (CSHA) and served on the CSHA Board of Directors for more than 10 years.

Dr. Swain’s professional service includes active roles on CSHA’s Board of Directors to include president, president-elect, director of District 1, and chair of the following committees: Public Relations and Marketing Committee, Leadership Committee, Early Intervention Committee, and International Committee. Dr. Swain served on ASHA’s Legislative Council and Advisory Council (2005–2008). She also served on the ASHA Convention Planning Committee (2017), served on several ASHA Convention topic committees, and served as a State Affiliations Work Group member. She currently serves as chair of ASHA’s Government Affairs and Public Policy Board and as an associate editor for ASHA’s scholarly review journal, Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups.

Dr. Swain’s clinical and professional work focuses on advocacy, early intervention, and processing and learning disorders. She is the author of numerous texts, standardized assessment batteries, and books/manuals. She was instrumental in the production of promotional videos for ASHA in collaboration with Michigan and South Carolina on interprofessional practice/interprofessional collaborative education (IPP/IPE) as well as 200 by Two, an educational video on early intervention. Her advocacy leadership has resulted in service delivery and funding changes in California for the early intervention population. Dr. Swain is a nationally and internationally recognized speaker and author, with more than 200 publications and presentations.

Dr. Swain received the Nancy McKinley Leadership award from CSAP. She has also received Honors of the Association by CSHA and is a Distinguished Scholar and Fellow of the National Academies of Practice.

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