I am honored to begin my term as PSHA President. I am confident that the Executive Board will have a productive year. I wanted to give you some behind-the-scenes insight into what the board does. As in previous years, the board meets four times throughout the year (April, June, September and December). We meet face-to-face at the PSHA Convention (April) and electronically via Zoom meetings for the other three meetings. The president, president-elect and past president also have a monthly leadership call with the PSHA Office, and invited select board members, so that we keep forward momentum in our advocacy efforts.
Our priority tasks this year are to continue to advocate for an easier process for provisional licensure and the transition from provisional to full licensure. We continue to provide feedback to our state to assist in streamlining these processes. We have engaged the National Office of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and have an active Lobbyist group to support our efforts. I would continue to encourage everyone who has been through the application process to continue to provide feedback. We will share your input as we meet with the State Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology to discuss the application process.
We are also continuing our work with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) on providing additional clarification regarding the Educational Specialist Certification versus the Instructional Certification. PSHA has advocated extensively for the Educational Specialist Certification so that those working in the public school system have met the same standards as those working in other practice settings. We continue to communicate with PDE electronically and face-to-face to ensure that the Educational Specialist Certification is possible for all qualified graduates and practitioners and provides the same advancement possibilities as Instructional Certification.
PSHA has become highly engaged with legislative actions that impact the practice of speech-language pathologists and audiologists across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. From encroachment issues to insurance reimbursement, we will vigilantly support our scopes of practice with the guidance of our new lobbyists, The McNees-Winter Group. Please let us know if there are issues that you want us to keep an eye on!
We also continue to advance our continuing education opportunities for PSHA members. We are enhancing the PSHA Convention to allow for even more high-quality continuing education hours. We are also discussing other ways of providing ASHA CEUs and ACT 48 credits to our members.
We are always seeking additional volunteers to be successful with all of the efforts. We have formed several committees, including: Social Media Committee, Membership Committee, Awards/Scholarships Committee, Continuing Education Committee, Professional Issues Committee and Publications Committee. If you would like to volunteer, please contact the PSHA Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a membership organization, I express a hearty thank you for all you do to advocate for our professions and for those that we serve. I hope that you provide input throughout my term as president so we can help you with the issues you face in our work settings. We would also love to hear about your professional success stories throughout the year. If you have a story to share or a professional question, please send it to the PSHA Office.
Robert W. Serianni, MS, CCC-SLP