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Conference Faculty

Empowered SLPs in Health Care: Breaking Barriers and Shaping Solutions

June 2–14, 2021 | Online Conference

Joshuaa D. Allison-Burbank, PhD, CPH, CCC-SLP, is Diné and Acoma Pueblo. His clans are Tł’ógí, Parrot Clan (Acoma), Tó’áhání, and Yellow Corn (Acoma). Allison-Burbank is a speech-language pathologist at Northern Navajo Medical Center in Tsé Bitʼaʼí, Navajo Nation, and owner of Little Moccasins Education Services, LLC. Prior to returning home, Allison-Burbank worked as a Research Project Coordinator for the Culturally Responsive Early Literacy Instruction: American Indian/Alaska Native at the University of Kansas. He provided mentoring and clinical supervision to trainees in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities interdisciplinary training program at the University of Kansas Medical Center. His clinical and research interests include community assessment and engagement, parent coaching, culturally responsive teaching practices, and prevention of developmental delay in American Indian children. Allison-Burbank received his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Kansas, where he focused on neurodevelopmental disabilities and prevention research. He has a Public Health Training Certificate in American Indian Health from Johns Hopkins University. He attended the University of New Mexico, where he received a BA in Speech and Hearing Sciences.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation 
  • Works for the Indian Health Service

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • The information presented does not reflect the perspective or opinion of the Indian Health Service

Josephine (Josie) Sevier Alston, MA, CCC-SLP, is chief of the Division of Speech-Language Pathology in the Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), where she manages a large team of 30 SLPs. Alston also functions as the clinical director of the UMMC Voice and Swallowing Center and currently specializes in the evaluation and treatment of voice, resonance, airway, dysphagia, and head and neck cancer disorders. Alston was elected to the executive board of the Mississippi Speech-Language-Hearing Association (MSHA) as the vice-president of Healthcare for 2020–2022. In addition, from 2013 to the present, Alston volunteers as a board member for the Mississippi Council on Developmental Disabilities. She is an active ASHA volunteer, ASHA Convention speaker, 2019 graduate of the ASHA Leadership Development program, and ASHA SIG 3 and SIG 11 affiliate. In the June 2017 issue of The ASHA Leader, Alston authored the cover story, "Breaking Out of Burnout," which highlighted her own personal experiences with burnout and embarking on a leadership role. She received a Master of Arts degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Memphis in 1997, and her undergraduate work was completed at the University of Georgia.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation 
  • Employee of University of Mississippi Medical Center
  • Consulting fee from Atos Medical Inc. as an Advisory Council Member 

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • Board member and volunteer for Mississippi Council on Developmental Disabilities
  • Board member and volunteer for Mississippi Speech-Language-Hearing Association (MSHA)
  • ASHA committee volunteer

Ed M. Bice, MEd, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist currently working as a Clinical Consultant for IOPI Medical. He has experience in various settings, including acute care, outpatient, home health, and skilled nursing. He has held various leadership positions such as a Regional Manager, Vice President of Clinical Services, and Chief Operating Officer. Bice has been a guest on national and international dysphagia podcasts and written blogs concerning dysphagia and dysphagia-related topics for Dysphagia Café and has publications in peer-reviewed journals. As adjunct faculty, he teaches the swallowing course at the University of Maryland. Bice has been an invited speaker for universities, state, and national conventions on various topics.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation
  • Employee of IOPI Medical, LLC

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None

Joneen Lowman, PhD, CCC-SLP, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) at the University of Kentucky. She is Project Director for LinKS, a Department of Education grant to train graduate CSD students in the use of telepractice with the school-age population, and the Director of the Center for Telehealth Education, Research and Outreach, including the interprofessional telehealth graduate certificate. She has 8 years of clinical experience in pediatric and adult telehealth speech-language services delivered to clients in the contexts of the school, home, and correctional facility. She is co-PI on an NIH/NIDCD RO1 grant investigating effectiveness outcomes of behavioral parent training for families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing, including the use of telehealth during the pandemic. Her teaching, research, and publications focus on the use of technology for treating childhood language disorders, telehealth readiness, and telepresenter preparation. She is Coordinator for ASHA SIG 18 (Telepractice) and Co-Chair of the Telepractice Topic Committee for the 2021 ASHA Convention. She has worked professionally in the schools as a special education teacher and speech-language pathologist.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation 
  • Salary from University of Kentucky 

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • Coordinator for ASHA SIG 18 Telepractice
  • Co-Chair for Telepractice Topic Committee for 2021 ASHA Convention

Tim Nanof, MSW, is ASHA's Director of Health Care and Education Policy. He leads the Health Care & Education Policy Team, which is focused on reimbursement and regulatory issues related to Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, education, and other federal programs. Nanof is the staff ex-officio to the ASHA Health Care Economics Committee and provides leadership related to ASHA's policy development efforts across settings. Before coming to ASHA, he was the American Occupational Therapy Association's Director of Federal Affairs for 8 years.  

Financial Disclosures:

  • ASHA employee

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • Ex-officio to the ASHA Health Care Economics Committee

Alexis Redmond, JD, MA, CAE, is the Director of Career Management Resources for ASHA. In this role, Redmond creates career development resources to support ASHA members and students throughout their career stages. She has spent the last decade working for nonprofit organizations that provide vital resources for their members and the public.  

Financial Disclosures:

  • ASHA employee

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None

Jeffrey P. Regan, MA, joined the ASHA staff in June 2017 and currently serves as Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy. In this capacity, he oversees ASHA’s wide-ranging advocacy activities. A native of Connecticut, Regan completed undergraduate studies at the College of the Holy Cross before embarking on a 10-year career in the U.S. Senate, where he served as a legislative assistant and policy advisor to former Sen. Christopher J. Dodd. After completing graduate studies at Saint John’s University, Regan entered the arena of nonprofit advocacy, in which he led government relations efforts at the American Psychiatric Association before coming to ASHA. Regan is a seasoned advocate with a proven ability in developing winning advocacy strategies to reach meaningful objectives.

Financial Disclosures:

  • ASHA employee

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None

Neela Swanson, BA, joined the ASHA staff in 2003. Swanson graduated from Berea College in Berea, Kentucky, with a degree in Speech Communication. She has more than 15 years of experience in the coding and payment policy arena and currently serves as ASHA's Director of Health Care Policy for Coding and Reimbursement on the Health Care and Education Policy Team. She is ASHA's primary expert and advocate for health care coding and payment policy and code development and is a resource for ASHA members regarding coding and payment. Swanson works with the ASHA Health Care Economics Committee, the American Medical Association CPT Editorial Panel and Relative Value Update Committee, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, ASHA members, and other specialty societies on Health Care Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS), Current Procedural Terminology (CPT), and International Classification of Diseases (ICD) coding issues related to audiology and speech-language pathology.  

Financial Disclosures:

  • ASHA employee

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • Contributor or author for multiple for-sale ASHA products on the topic of health plan payments, coding, and payer advocacy, but receives no compensation for product sales

Carmen Vega-Barachowitz, MS, CCC-SLP, is the Director of the Department of Speech, Language and Swallowing Disorders & Reading Disabilities at the Massachusetts General Hospital and has executive oversight for the departments of Spiritual Care and Medical Interpreters. Vega-Barachowitz has 40 years of experience in the field of medical speech-language pathology, with a focus on leadership and administration for the last 25 years. Vega-Barachowitz is a member of MGH Patient Care Services Executive Committee and various hospital committees including the hospital's Executive Committee on Diveristy and Equity (ECODE). She is a former member of ASHA's Health Care Economics Committee, which greatly enhanced her understanding of the business of health care. Vega-Barachowitz was the recipient of the 2009 ASHA Diversity Champion, 2009 Ernesto Gonzalez Award for Outstanding Service in the Latino Community, and 2010 Boston Business Journal Champions in Health Care. She is also an ASHA Fellow. Vega-Barachowitz is passionate about mentoring students and clinicians and in her leadership role, takes pride in fostering an environment where individuals develop professionally and contribute to institutional changes. She ensures that the SLP service is visible at MGH and Mass General Brigham HealthCare System and that SLPs have opportunities to demonstrate the value they bring to patients, families, and institutions.  

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation 
  • Employee of the Massachusetts General Hospital

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None

Sarah Warren, MA, is the Director of Health Care Policy for Medicare at ASHA. In this role, she supports ASHA's membership by responding to member inquiries, anticipating Medicare payment policy trends, advocating with Congressional leaders, and commenting on Medicare's proposed policies. She has worked on health care payment policy for more than 15 years. Prior to joining ASHA, Warren represented inpatient rehabilitation facilities at the American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association (AMRPA) and physical therapists at the American Physical Therapy Association.  

Financial Disclosures:

  • ASHA employee 

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None

Kristen Weidner, MS, CCC-SLP, is a doctoral student at the University of Kentucky with research interests in rural health and telehealth. Her specific interests are in the use of telepractice with older adults and with neurogenic communication disorders. She has clinical experience working with individuals across the life span in various rural medical settings and professional experience developing and promoting evidence-based practice materials for clinicians.  

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation 

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None

Jerry White, BA, is the Director of Federal Affairs, Health Care, at ASHA. In this role, White serves as ASHA’s primary health care lobbyist and liaison with members and staff of the U.S. House and Senate. He was named one of the Hill’s top association lobbyists for 2019 and 2020. White comes to ASHA after more than two decades of working in various capacities for members of Congress, congressional committees, campaigns, and House leadership. Prior to joining ASHA, he was the Policy Director for the House Republican Conference and its then-chair, Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, where he helped formulate and build support for the party’s legislative agenda. Before that, White was the Director of the House Republican Policy Committee for its chair, former Representative Luke Messer, a position in which he helped develop policy for House Republicans. White also previously served as the Parliamentarian and as a Professional Staff Member for the House Committee on Homeland Security under Chairman Peter King, focusing primarily on border and maritime security. He also was the Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director for several other members of Congress.  

Financial Disclosures:

  • ASHA employee 

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • None
"I was most impressed by the speakers and their depth of knowledge and experience. This was an impressive and memorable learning experience."
Past ASHA Professional Development online conference participant
"Each presenter was very experienced and knowledgeable about the specific topic and provided information of practical value in the real treatment world."
Past ASHA Professional Development online conference participant

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