Letter from the President

 

January/February 2017

 

Welcome to the Vermont Speech Language Hearing Association (VSHA) website.  It is an honor and a privilege to assume the role of VSHA President.  I am excited about working with Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP’s) and Audiologists across the state in the areas of professional development, networking and colleagueship.

 

VSHA developed a Strategic Plan during its annual Summer Working Retreat (2016) with the help of Susan Adams, Director, State Legislative and Regulatory Advocacy.  The Strategic Plan clearly outlines identified goals for VSHA over the next three years in the areas of membership, state advocacy and professional development.  In addition to addressing goals in the 2016-2019 Strategic Plan, I am committed to following through with the initiatives that were supported by Catherine Lavigne (Immediate Past President 2015 - 2016) and Lisa Durstin (Past President 2013-2014). 

 

VSHA’s 2016-2019 Strategic Plan focus:

 

  • Membership Recruitment and Retention
  • Leadership Training/Professional Development
  • State Advocacy

- Advocate for our profession within schools, communities and increase visibility  at the state level among lawmakers and regulators.

- Research the feasibility of introducing a bill to limit children’s use of over the counter hearing aids and portability of programming and testing for hearing aids.

- Continue to research the feasibility of one license/one fee through the Vermont Office of Professional Regulation (OPR), a division of the Vermont Secretary of State.

 

We heard your concerns!  Based on the information obtained from 2016 Regional Meetings and the 2016 ASHA and VSHA surveys, a majority of members and non-members indicate the desire to continue to advocate for “One License, One Fee”.  In order to pursue this, we need a dedicated group of individuals who can commit the time and energy to serve on a Legislative Committee. VSHA needs your support!  Volunteers are needed to advocate for our profession.  Please reach out to me at president@vsha.us and let me know that you want to help with this important issue.

 

VSHA is embarking on an exciting new opportunity with Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine.  We are supporting the 1st New England Symposium for Speech-Language Professionals (NESSLP) to be held October 19-21, 2017 at the DCU Center in Worcester MA.  The symposium is planned to take place about every 3 years in the New England region.  We anticipate doing this in place of our annual fall meeting in Vermont on an approximately 3-year rotating basis.  The details are being worked out for this amazing opportunity for multi-state networking and increased course offerings for professionals, and future fiscal potential for VSHA.   As of this writing, it will be a 2.5 days with up to 16 hours of continuing education available with schools, medical and multi-interest course tracks.  Other highlights include roundtable discussions, exhibit hall, and VSHA’s Annual Meeting of the Association. Stay tuned to our website and Facebook for updates!

 

VSHA will continue to work with Audiologists to provide professional development.  Our fall 2016 conference marked the fifth consecutive year in which VSHA, in collaboration with the VT Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (VTEHDI) Program, has been able to offer

professional development for speech-language pathologists and audiologists.  We plan to continue to work as a team to meet the needs of the professionals in our state. We have rescheduled Terri Bellis, speaker on Central Auditory Processing Disorders (CAPD) for March 16th, 2018.  We also are looking forward to collaborating with the VT Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (VTEHDI) Program and Nine East Network’s Deaf & Hard of Hearing Program to sponsor another speaker who specializes in children with hearing loss for our Fall 2018 conference in Vermont.  Please keep abreast of our website and Facebook for updates.

 

VSHA has been building momentum in holding regional meetings around the state.  These regional meetings are a great way for colleagues to network; while providing VSHA with invaluable feedback and support from its members and potential members.  Bookmark our website and facebook page so that you can stay in touch for information about upcoming regional meetings in your area targeted for March 2017.

 

VSHA continues to seek volunteers for several committees:

 

  • Public Relations -  Assist chair Elizabeth Whitcomb and committee member(s) Krista Shea

?      Maintain and update VSHA website content

?      Post and create outreach efforts on the VSHA Facebook page

?      Create and distribute monthly member electronic newsletters (Enews)

?      Coordinate annual Better Hearing and Speech Month and Autism Month support and outreach activities

?      Investigate other uses of technology (Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Linked-In)

  • School Affairs - Assist chair Claudia Abbiati, committee member(s) Michelle Davis.

?      Organize and host regional meetings around the state to gather grassroots feedback and support from members and potential members

?      Increase number of individuals who advocate for the Association and professions

?      Increase the Association’s visibility in schools and communities

  • Membership - Assist chair Margrith McGlynn and committee member(s) Maggie Weiss

?      Develop membership recruitment outreach efforts to increase membership

?      Manage ongoing online registration functions (membership & conference)

?      Maintain and update member database and all email lists

?      Create incentives for continued VSHA membership

  • Programs - Assist chair Betsy Baker and committee member(s) Cheryl Vincent, Melissa Clark, Wendy Adams and Krista Scoskie

?      Organize programming for annual conferences

?      Design online communications/advertising

?      Set-up online registration

?      Assist with on-site conference hosting details

?      Create opportunities for increased leadership training/professional development

            To help members advance in their workplace.

 

Many hands make light work!  Please contact me at president@vsha.us if you are interested in volunteering for a committee.  Join us if you are not already a member.  VSHA strives to spread its vision of....”Serving the communication needs of Vermonters”.  We welcome your support and feedback in helping VSHA to obtain its mission of serving the needs of professionals who deal with communication disorders through professional development, advocacy and colleagueship.

 

Sincerely,

 

Monica Menard, MS, CCC-SLP

VSHA President

2017-2018