ASHA’s new governance structure was approved in March, 2007. Prior to the new structure, governance has been shared between a 13 member Executive Board and the 150 members of the Legislative Council. ASHA felt this new governance structure, which includes a 16 member Board of Directors (BOD) and 2 Advisory Councils, one for Speech-Language Pathology and one for Audiology, comprised of 53 members each, could better achieve the association’s mission and its strategic objectives and outcomes. One member is to be elected from each state, one from the District of Columbia, NSSLHA and one from members outside the United States.
The role of the new Advisory Councils is to discuss and rank issues of concern to members, advise the BOD on issues related to strategic planning, review ASHA’s proposed budget, forecast recommendations for the next year’s budget, participate in peer review of all ASHA policy documents, and elect members to the Committee on Honors, Committee on Nominations and Elections, Government and Public Policy Board and the Financial Planning Board.
The first face-to-face meeting of the Audiology Advisory Council was held March 19 -22, 2009 at the ASHA National Office. March 19 was spent reviewing current legislative issues of importance to the profession and receiving training on lobbying strategies with members of Congress. March 20 was Capitol Hill day with visits with each Senator and Representative of all Council members. Issues discussed with Mississippi Senators Cochran and Wicker and my Representative, Gene Taylor, were student loan forgiveness, the Direct Access to Audiology bill, EHDI, telehealth practice, hearing aid assistance tax credit and Medicare outpatient therapy caps.
On Saturday and Sunday, March 21 and 22, the Audiology Advisory Council discussed as a full group, as well as in small working groups, the Council’s role, ASHA budget issues, baby boomers’ retirement, ASHA’s political impact, member service, dues, the need to increase the awareness of the significance of educational audiologists and continuing education opportunities for audiologists.
If I can be of any assistance or provide any information to Mississippi audiologists, please contact me at Virginia.Berry@usm.edu. As our state’s member of the newly created ASHA Audiology Advisory Council , as well as this body’s Vice Chair, I am your spokesperson and contact on the national level. I am here for you!!!!
Virginia Berry, M.S., CCC-A
ASHA Audiology Advisory Council