Reaching Out to U.S. Territories Of 135,000 ASHA members, approximately 300 live and work in U.S. territories on the islands of Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands. (Some of these members have stateside post office addresses, so it’s difficult to know the exact membership number.) U.S. territories ... Feature sidebar
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Feature sidebar  |   November 01, 2008
Reaching Out to U.S. Territories
Author Notes
  • DeAnne Wellman Owre, MS, CCC-SLP, vice president for government relations and public policy, chairs the Speech-Language Pathology Department of the Woonsocket (R.I.) Public Schools. Contact her at Dowre@aol.com.
    DeAnne Wellman Owre, MS, CCC-SLP, vice president for government relations and public policy, chairs the Speech-Language Pathology Department of the Woonsocket (R.I.) Public Schools. Contact her at Dowre@aol.com.×
Article Information
Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / ASHA News & Member Stories / International & Global / Feature sidebar
Feature sidebar   |   November 01, 2008
Reaching Out to U.S. Territories
The ASHA Leader, November 2008, Vol. 13, 40. doi:10.1044/leader.FTR5sb.13152008.40
The ASHA Leader, November 2008, Vol. 13, 40. doi:10.1044/leader.FTR5sb.13152008.40
Of 135,000 ASHA members, approximately 300 live and work in U.S. territories on the islands of Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands. (Some of these members have stateside post office addresses, so it’s difficult to know the exact membership number.)
U.S. territories are regions under the jurisdiction of the federal government. U.S. citizens on these islands have nonvoting representation in the U.S. Congress—they may vote in U.S. primaries but not the presidential election. (Residents of American Samoa are U.S. nationals.) Two of the territories, Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands, are also commonwealths, with a form of self-government but a more involved relationship with the U.S. mainland.
As part of the ASHA’s strategic plan—the Pathway to Excellence—the association is planning to increase the flow of information and other communication to and from the U.S. territories. As part of this effort, the Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy Coordinating Committee on U.S. Territories was formed a year ago. Joining me on the committee are Luis Riquelme (N.Y., formerly of Puerto Rico), Patricia Meyer (Virgin Islands), Albert Villaneuva-Reyes (Puerto Rico), Marybeth Torres (Guam), and Lemmietta McNeilly (ex officio).
The representation of the U.S. territories in ASHA governance is one issue the committee will address. In ASHA’s governance structure, foreign countries and the U.S. territories elect the international delegate to each of the two Advisory Councils. As ASHA members living in territories are U.S. citizens, the committee is exploring a possible recommendation that they be represented separately by a member elected from the U.S. territories.
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November 2008
Volume 13, Issue 15