Special Interest Group 15, Gerontology I’m a member of quite a few SIGS but have been a member of SIG 13 and SIG 15 the longest—I joined 15 in 2009. SIG 15 is very important to me because gerontology is such a multifaceted clinical population. Gerontology encompasses normal and disordered aging, so SLPs who ... SIG Spotlight
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SIG Spotlight  |   June 01, 2017
Special Interest Group 15, Gerontology
Author Notes
  • Pamela A. Smith, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a professor of speech-language pathology at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. She is an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Groups 2, Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders; 10, Issues in Higher Education; 13, Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia); 15; and 18, Telepractice. psmith@bloomu.edu
    Pamela A. Smith, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a professor of speech-language pathology at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. She is an affiliate of ASHA Special Interest Groups 2, Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders; 10, Issues in Higher Education; 13, Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia); 15; and 18, Telepractice. psmith@bloomu.edu×
Article Information
Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / ASHA News & Member Stories / SIG Spotlight
SIG Spotlight   |   June 01, 2017
Special Interest Group 15, Gerontology
The ASHA Leader, June 2017, Vol. 22, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.SIGS.22062017.np
The ASHA Leader, June 2017, Vol. 22, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.SIGS.22062017.np
When did you join your SIG—and what made you want to join?
I’m a member of quite a few SIGS but have been a member of SIG 13 and SIG 15 the longest—I joined 15 in 2009. SIG 15 is very important to me because gerontology is such a multifaceted clinical population. Gerontology encompasses normal and disordered aging, so SLPs who work with this population must understand language, cognition, swallowing, hearing and—more important—how all of these interact in older people. We watch health care evolve and practice settings change, and part of our role in working with older people is also advocacy. SIG involvement is great tool for both clinical education and advocacy.
How has your involvement with the SIG helped you in your career?
Volunteerism with the SIG provides direct contact with professionals who share this passion. It provides leadership opportunities in a practice area that is so broad, but where there is such a need for continuing education. My involvement in this SIG has greatly impacted the work I do in teaching, student mentoring and program development at Bloomsburg University.
How do you carve out time to volunteer with the SIG while working in your full-time job and balancing other commitments? What advice would you give to someone who’d like to get more involved in the SIG, including how you get support from your supervisor/institution?
Organization and time management are ever-developing skills and everyone has different commitments in their lives. I’m fortunate that I work in a setting that values service to our professions, but even so, one has to prioritize activities, and it is not easy. Someone who would like to get involved might start small, serving on the SIG’s Professional Development Committee and contributing through conference calls to the educational goals of the SIG. Or they might serve as reviewer for Perspectives. See how these can fit into your schedule and go from there.
What upcoming events related to or sponsored by your SIG should everyone know about? Chats, conferences or convention events?
We will have a presence at ASHA Connect in July. Our Perspectives articles are planned to go live in September and December. And of course we will have our short course and invited session at the ASHA convention in November. Our short course—“Empowering, Strengths-Based Approaches to Working with Older Adults With Communication Challenges”—will be presented by Brooke Hallowell. And our invited session, by Emily Rogalski and Becky Khayum, will be on “Person-Centered Treatment Research: Building a Bridge between Academia and Practicing Clinicians.” Great stuff!
What is your favorite recent Perspectives article, and why?
I can’t select a single article. Our authors bring so much experience and talent to Perspectives. Personally, I am most excited about articles about clinical decision-making, end of life, and ethics, because the information needs to be out there, especially for students who will be our next clinicians. What a great way to teach my students about these important issues while at the same time showing them the benefit of SIG involvement!
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FROM THIS ISSUE
June 2017
Volume 22, Issue 6