West Virginia Speech-Language-Hearing Association Website: www.wvsha.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/wvsha Members: 244 Contact: Rhea Dyer, president, rhea.dyer@bestlifewv.com WVSHA takes great pride in knowing that we have our members’ legislative, educational and informational needs covered. We are active in lobbying and regularly involved in protecting the interests of the audiologists and speech-language pathologists in the state. ... State Spotlight
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State Spotlight  |   September 01, 2016
West Virginia Speech-Language-Hearing Association
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Hearing & Speech Perception / State Spotlight
State Spotlight   |   September 01, 2016
West Virginia Speech-Language-Hearing Association
The ASHA Leader, September 2016, Vol. 21, 66. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.21092016.66
The ASHA Leader, September 2016, Vol. 21, 66. doi:10.1044/leader.STSP.21092016.66
Website: www.wvsha.org
Members: 244
Contact: Rhea Dyer, president, rhea.dyer@bestlifewv.com
How are you making a difference in your members’ professional lives?
WVSHA takes great pride in knowing that we have our members’ legislative, educational and informational needs covered. We are active in lobbying and regularly involved in protecting the interests of the audiologists and speech-language pathologists in the state. We also focus heavily on the educational needs of our professionals by providing top-notch continuing-education opportunities for a variety of practice settings. We are intertwining our continuing-education areas of focus with ASHA as well—for example, we are adding a continuing-education opportunity on interprofessional practice at our annual convention in 2017. Because we provide updates to our members through our website, newsletter, annual convention and emails, they know they don’t have to worry about missing information integral to their practice.
What is the association’s proudest moment?
We’ve had many proud moments throughout our history. We played an important role in enacting state licensure, which went into effect in 1992. We hired a lobbyist to continue advocacy for the profession, and supported the salary supplement (a special compensation program) for public school SLPs. Our true accomplishment is continued dedication. The association and the state as a whole have experienced some rough patches—with low membership numbers and retention difficulties, we even considered dissolving. However, we never gave up. In true West Virginia fashion, we rallied together by reaching out to friends and colleagues to get new members involved in leadership and continuing to host high-quality annual conferences. Our numbers of members and volunteers are now again on the rise.
Do you have a particularly successful advocacy or recruitment strategy to share?
Our greatest advocacy is the dedication and care we show our fellow professionals through leadership. We firmly believe that our commitment to the association will inspire our fellow professionals to become involved as members. We have an incredible amount of pride in the services that we provide, and it shows in our work with the association. Our executive board members, committee chairs and members are all dedicated to the association and their individual practices, and feel that our enthusiasm and dedication to furthering our profession’s contribution to society will help recruit members who share our values. We have a strategic plan to recruit more students and young professionals, retain current members, and facilitate interdisciplinary communication with other professions—including physical therapy, occupational therapy and psychology—to help grow membership as a whole.
What should every communication sciences and disorders professional in West Virginia know about the association?
Our greatest resource is the collaborative effort of the professionals in this state. If we don’t protect our profession, no one will—so becoming a member of our association is less of a choice, and more of a responsibility. We are a strong network of professionals with an immense amount of experience and skills in speech, language and hearing with a fiercely passionate group of leaders committed to the continued success of our practices. We will continue to work together to hold the values of our profession paramount in our work as an association.
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FROM THIS ISSUE
September 2016
Volume 21, Issue 9