Candidate for President-Elect: A. Lynn Williams, CCC-SLP

Why are you running for President-Elect 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?

What do we mean when we say that effective communication is a human right that is accessible and achievable for all? First, our services must be widely accessible and fully integrated into health care and educational settings. Second, there must be adequate and appropriate reimbursement for our services. Then, we must work for expanding awareness of the value added by our professions in interprofessional collaborative practice in health care and education. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists must be at the center of population health as communication specialists, recognizing that the services we provide impact health, education, and quality of life because communication is the heart of our humanity. As ASHA president, my priority will be to raise awareness of our professions and the value we bring to communication.

A. Lynn Williams, PhD, CCC-SLP, is employed at East Tennessee State University as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences and Professor in the Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. Dr. Williams provides oversight and curriculum development for a number of allied health professions within her college.

Dr. Williams has a strong interest in the impact of communication disorders as examined through the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) of the World Health Organization (WHO) and advocates for the value of our professions in improving population health. Her research focuses on models of assessment and intervention of communication disorders in children, and she is interested in translational research and implementation science. As an international expert on intervention for speech sound disorders in children, her intervention and translational research has been funded through the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Williams has a strong track record of more than 175 publications and presentations.

Dr. Williams recently served as the ASHA Vice President for Academic Affairs in Speech-Language Pathology (2016–2018). She was an ASHA Convention Co-Chair (2014), chaired or served on a number of different Convention topic committees, and served as an Associate Editor for Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools and American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Dr. Williams was selected to participate in the inaugural IPEC Interprofessional Deans Leadership Program held in 2017 and is the first ASHA member to be an invited speaker for the IPEC Faculty Institute (May 2019). Dr. Williams will be inducted into the National Academy of Practice as a Distinguished Fellow in 2019, was named an ASHA Fellow in 2006, was inducted into the West Virginia University College of Human Resources and Education Hall of Fame in 2004, and was an Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2011.

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