The Foundation of Our Professions In 2006, my wife, Martina, and I were standing at the roman Forum, the oldest part of the city of Rome. Many of the most important structures of the ancient city were located on or near this Forum Magnum, called the most celebrated meeting place in the history of the ... From the President
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From the President  |   October 01, 2011
The Foundation of Our Professions
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Professional Issues & Training / From the President
From the President   |   October 01, 2011
The Foundation of Our Professions
The ASHA Leader, October 2011, Vol. 16, 9. doi:10.1044/leader.FTP.16122011.9
The ASHA Leader, October 2011, Vol. 16, 9. doi:10.1044/leader.FTP.16122011.9
In 2006, my wife, Martina, and I were standing at the roman Forum, the oldest part of the city of Rome. Many of the most important structures of the ancient city were located on or near this Forum Magnum, called the most celebrated meeting place in the history of the world.
My imagination roamed. I envisioned this location as the hub, the center of all Rome in the 6th century B.C.—the site of triumphant processions and elections, the nucleus of commercial affairs, the marketplace, the venue for public speeches by great orators.
But I wondered, how could this amazing archaeological site be preserved after 3,000 years? It was clear that the magnificent buildings all had an essential, strong base, a supporting structure that provided a solid foundation and maintained the infrastructure necessary for preservation.
An analogy comes to my mind when I think of our professions’ foundation—the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation. The ASHFoundation is a cornerstone of our professions and critical to our discipline’s future.
Our charitable entity is solely dedicated to fostering and honoring the knowledge base at the heart of what we, as professionals, do every day. It is dedicated to science and practice advances that have real-life application to individuals with communication and swallowing disorders, their families, and friends. I want you to share in the pride I feel about our professions’ foundation and the innovative role it has played in my life and our discipline.
The ASHFoundation, at 65 years young, is the only association foundation serving the entire field of communication sciences and disorders. Last year alone, the ASHFoundation provided nearly $400,000 in funding to so many promising scholars.
Our professional community is the direct beneficiary of ASHFoundation financial support—money raised from a variety of sources directly supports research grants, scholarships, and clinical and special initiatives. ASHFoundation funding helps professionals launch their careers, engage in critical priorities of the field, leverage additional funding sources, and access mentoring and networking opportunities. The charitable activities of the foundation elevate the importance and visibility of audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech-language-hearing scientists around the world. Since its inception, the ASHFoundation has awarded more than $5 million to approximately 1,700 talented scholars, researchers, and professional leaders in the field.
Ask yourself these six questions:
  • Do you believe we need to recruit and retain the highest-quality professionals?

  • Do we have a role to play in launching research careers in an increasingly competitive environment?

  • Are you convinced we must address demands for evidence of clinical efficacy and effectiveness?

  • Do you feel we must support innovative training models for the next generation of professionals?

  • Is it our responsibility to transfer new knowledge widely?

  • Must we overcome challenges that jeopardize the growth of the field’s knowledge base?

I believe we must do all these things. I believe that nurturing the best and brightest students will sustain the growth of the discipline and the field. I believe that supporting priority research will be a catalyst for advances in serving children and adults with communication disorders. I believe that recognizing outstanding clinical achievement will lead us to innovation in science and practice.
If we do not continue to build our scholarly base and grow as a discipline, we are no more than a technical service. I have dedicated my presidency to advocating for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation. I believe it is a key engine for generating and advancing the knowledge fundamentals of our discipline.
The ASHFoundation has made remarkable progress over the years. But we have more to do. And we need your help. The giving nature of our professionals is what sets us apart. The ASHFoundation base is indeed our professions’ strength. ASHFoundation support, evidenced through programs and funding, leads to groundbreaking results. ASHFoundation giving depends on your hearts and minds. You must know and feel that this is critical. Spirituality author Marianne Williamson states, “In every community there is work to be done. In every heart there is power to do it!” We have the power. Do we have the will?
Let’s make a profound difference in people’s lives and not only preserve, but transform the future of our discipline.
Will You Invest in our Professions’ Future?

Donate today at the Foundation’s website.

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October 2011
Volume 16, Issue 12