ASHA Earns 2018 ASAE Summit Award For Its Country Capacity Building Initiative With PAHO

Honor Is Highest Level Of Recognition In Awards Program

July 2, 2018

(Rockville, MD) The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has earned an American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Summit Award for its collaborative work with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO). The joint effort focuses on building the capacity of professionals and institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean to address communication disorders.

Each year, only six organizations are judged winners of ASAE Summit Awards, the highest level of recognition in ASAE's Power of A awards program. This year, the program received 110 award entries overall.

Through the ASHA-PAHO collaboration, ASHA members volunteer in country, conducting various educational activities and workshops that are designed to equip nations with sustainable resources for addressing communication disorders long-term. They include developing curricula of Phonoaudiology and Speech-Language/Audiology programs at national universities; recruiting faculty; facilitating donations of books; training service providers and parents of children with disabilities; developing a package of resources for training of audiologists in Spanish; and, educating policymakers and the general public.

Primary country stakeholders are consulted and involved continually and the work follows plans that have specific objectives and implementation strategies. So far, the ASHA-PAHO collaboration has been in El Salvador, Guyana, Honduras, and Paraguay, and there are plans to work in other countries in the region.

"We are most grateful to ASAE for its recognition; to PAHO/WHO for their outstanding guidance and facilitation of our work; and to the countries that have hosted us so invitingly and graciously," ASHA President Elise Davis-McFarland, PhD, CCC-SLP said.

"We are also most grateful to our ASHA member volunteers who have generously and effectively lent their expertise and served as exemplary 'ambassadors' not only for ASHA, but also for associations generally," Davis-McFarland added. "A former ASHA-PAHO project volunteer myself, I have seen first-hand the great work being done by everyone concerned. It is truly exciting and wonderful of ASAE to recognize it and the importance it holds for improving people's lives."

"Congratulations to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association for implementing such a necessary initiative to strengthen society," said Sharon J. Swan, FASAE, CAE, Chief Executive Officer of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics and chair of the Power of A Awards Judging Committee. "Their initiative exemplifies how no other sector helps improve lives as comprehensively as the association community."

ASHA will receive its award at ASAE's Power of A Summit Awards Dinner October 3, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 198,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment, including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems, including swallowing disorders.

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