A Journey to ASHFoundation Giving As a relatively new clinician in the 1980s, Nancy Swigert began her journey with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation when she became involved in the nominating process in Kentucky for the ASHFoundation Clinical Achievement Award. That experience was the beginning of a long relationship with an organization that she believes is ... ASHA News
Free
ASHA News  |   September 01, 2016
A Journey to ASHFoundation Giving
Author Notes
Article Information
ASHA News & Member Stories / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   September 01, 2016
A Journey to ASHFoundation Giving
The ASHA Leader, September 2016, Vol. 21, 64. doi:10.1044/leader.AN7.21092016.64
The ASHA Leader, September 2016, Vol. 21, 64. doi:10.1044/leader.AN7.21092016.64
As a relatively new clinician in the 1980s, Nancy Swigert began her journey with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation when she became involved in the nominating process in Kentucky for the ASHFoundation Clinical Achievement Award. That experience was the beginning of a long relationship with an organization that she believes is “doing great things.”
The awards process opened the door for Swigert to learn about many of the ASHFoundation’s other programs that support researchers and students. And after attending her first ASHFoundation Founders Breakfast, “I was so energized by all of the amazing scholarship and research grant recipients, it cemented my commitment to giving back to support promising ideas that can transform our field,” she says.
Swigert continues to live out the commitment she made as a young clinician and has been donating annually to the ASHFoundation since 1992. “I started donating small amounts, and as my career took hold and I could afford a larger gift, I increased my level of giving,” she says. “I also made sure the ASHFoundation is in my will.”
But Swigert’s journey with the ASHFoundation didn’t stop with her annual donations. She accepted a position on the Board of Trustees, and later served as the ASHFoundation’s president. During this time, she was particularly motivated to help raise awareness of how clinicians benefit from the ASHFoundation’s work.
“Clinicians depend on the findings of our research colleagues to provide the evidence base for our work,” Swigert says. “ASHFoundation support for researchers helps answer clinically relevant questions. Most clinicians will never have the opportunity to generate research, so we should help fund our research colleagues and their innovative ideas. Without their work, we would not be practicing from an evidence base.”
Of course, the ASHFoundation isn’t Nancy’s only passion. She married her best friend, Keith, 41 years ago, and they live in a somewhat rural area where they are involved in rescuing the many stray cats who wander to their doorstep. Active participants in the trap-neuter-release program for feral cats, the Swigerts have also adopted seven cats who are now content members of the family. But their feline brood doesn’t hold them back from enjoying another passion—travel. Swigert has been to 19 countries, with a special love for Italy, and to every state except Nebraska.
Today, as a 40-year veteran speech-language pathologist, Swigert looks back on the thousands of patients she has treated in a community clinic, rehab and community hospitals, and her own private practice, which she ran for more than half of her career. “I love what I do and I’m energized every single day by my work,” she says. “I think anyone who has enjoyed their career as much as I have should give back to support future professionals.”
According to Swigert, “Once you’ve donated to the ASHFoundation for a couple of years, it becomes a part of what you do. You are hooked and you just plan for that donation annually.”
She challenges her ASHA colleagues to “give what you can afford. You don’t have to give large amounts. Just think about the few things you could give up … maybe skip an expensive coffee or bring your lunch once a week. That alone would fund a donation to the ASHFoundation.”
To donate, visit www.ashfoundation.org.
0 Comments
Submit a Comment
Submit A Comment
Name
Comment Title
Comment


This feature is available to Subscribers Only
Sign In or Create an Account ×
FROM THIS ISSUE
September 2016
Volume 21, Issue 9