Celebrating the Champions ASHA’s 2016 Member Media Outreach Champions made their mark. Spreading the Word
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Spreading the Word  |   October 01, 2016
Celebrating the Champions
Author Notes
  • Francine Pierson is an ASHA public relations manager. fpierson@asha.org
    Francine Pierson is an ASHA public relations manager. fpierson@asha.org×
Article Information
ASHA News & Member Stories / Spreading the Word
Spreading the Word   |   October 01, 2016
Celebrating the Champions
The ASHA Leader, October 2016, Vol. 21, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.STW.21102016.np
The ASHA Leader, October 2016, Vol. 21, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.STW.21102016.np
Raising public awareness can take many different forms, as this year’s Media Outreach Champions demonstrated. Whether working with reporters at traditional media outlets, taking to new media approaches to generate buzz or connecting with a celebrity, these six (award-winning!) ASHA members helped spread the word about the professions.
Lisa Cannon, AuD, CCC-A: An educational audiologist with the Denver Public School System, Cannon played an instrumental role in the success of ASHA’s Listen To Your Buds outreach during the 2015 ASHA Convention, held in in her city. Cannon served as a spokesperson during multiple television and radio interviews—including for local NPR station, ABC and NBC TV affiliates—offering expertise about noise-induced hearing loss and prevention strategies. She also helped ASHA staff schedule “Buds” concerts at various Denver schools.
Starr Cookman, MA, CCC-SLP: Frustrated with the lack of coverage by many insurance companies for treating voice disorders—affecting 3 to 7 percent of the population and costing billions in lost productivity—Cookman championed ways to publicize this issue. She was instrumental in helping ASHA develop a podcast on the topic, which served both to raise public awareness and to help put pressure on insurance companies to cover services.
Kate McConville, MS, CCC-SLP: Capitalizing on a newsworthy issue, this speech-language pathologist at the University of Wisconsin Health Voice and Swallow Clinics made a number of effective media appearances on the speaking styles of the presidential hopefuls and their levels of vocal strain, including this piece on Wisconsin public radio.
Nan Bernstein Ratner, PhD, CCC-SLP: A professor in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at the University of Maryland, College Park, Bernstein Ratner has served as an expert source for media on many communication topics, including stuttering songbirds. In particular, her work has helped raise public awareness about research breakthroughs in the field of communication sciences and disorders. Ratner also played a key role in ASHA’s efforts to promote CSD-related research at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, designed to bring media attention to scientific discovery.
Laura Smith, MA, CCC-SLP: After this Colorado-based SLP and mother of a daughter with apraxia of speech read about famed MMA fighter Ronda Rousey’s (never diagnosed) childhood struggles with communication, Smith approached Rousey at a local book signing and made her aware of apraxia. That led to national and even international media attention, including Good Morning America and USA Today—raising significant awareness about the disorder. Smith has continued her education efforts.
Janice Trent, AuD, CCC-A: The first member to be recognized twice for an ASHA media award, audiologist Janice Trent has consistently embraced any opportunity to raise awareness about hearing loss and to promote her profession. A longtime spokesperson for Listen To Your Buds, Trent also has been an essential part of ASHA’s Value of the CCCs campaign, as the subject of both print and digital ads.
ASHA celebrate these members at the 2016 Convention in Philadelphia. If you are interested in getting involved in this type of work, read about how you can become an ASHA media source here; email pr@asha.org with your contact information; and/or stop by the PR Lounge at the ASHA Convention, located in the Grand Hall of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
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October 2016
Volume 21, Issue 10