President’s Message

keeganI am humbled and honored to serve as the president of this association. During the past few years as a member of this board, I have come to realize the power and strength of Pennsylvania speech-language pathologists and audiologists and the resourcefulness and capacity they possess, to incite positive change in these professions. In this role, my goal is to support these efforts and enthusiastically serve as an advocate for professionals (including their families and loved ones), clients and the next generation of clinicians.

My primary goals during my term as president are to facilitate the continued great work of this organization, and develop a state level leadership program to enhance engagement in the organization.

In the last year, the executive board has been very busy. Here is a summary of some of the work your executive board has been involved in:

  • Board Meetings
    • Four Quarterly Executive Board meetings (three over Zoom and one hybrid at the Annual Convention in April).
    • Monthly leadership calls (presidents, PSHA Office and select participants)
  • Membership Events
    • Annual Business Meeting and Professional Roundtable Discussions at the Convention
    • Virtual Fall Event on pediatric feeding and swallowing with a Town Hall
    • In-person Spring Convention in Pittsburgh with a newly developed student track
    • Launch of an online PSHA Merchandise Store
    • Annual awards – presented at President’s Reception at Convention
    • Better Hearing and Speech Month contests
    • President’s Activities (past-president, president and president-elect)
      • Council of State Speech-Language-Hearing Association Presidents (CSAP) meetings – two in-person meetings (Washington DC and Cleveland, Ohio)
      • ASHA forums for state association leaders
      • Interprofessional meetings with physical and occupational therapy (PPTA and POTA).
    • Communication
    • Increased social media activity
    • Social media member spotlights
    • Two Keystater newsletters
    • Monthly InBrief newsletters
    • Additional email announcements
    • Legislative and Advocacy issues PSHA was involved in monitoring or contributing information to:
    • Music Therapy Bill SB1239
    • Telepractice Bill SB 705 and emergency waivers
    • Interstate Compact
    • Lifeline Scholarship Education Bill – HB2169
    • Insurance issues (including preauthorization concerns and empaneling)
    • Department of Education Certification
    • School caseload/workload
    • Licensure

Advocacy continues to be an essential part of our responsibilities as professionals, and we are striving to enhance the involvement of students in this process. Our new graduates entering the field must have the knowledge and skills to work toward positive change. PSHA hosted a Student Advocacy social media competition in the spring that was a great success. This was supported by an ASHA grant, and culminated in an advocacy event at the Convention where students had the opportunity to learn about the legislative process and how to advocate for the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology and those whom we serve. Much thanks to our student representatives, to Angie, our lobbyist from the McNees-Winter Group and to Rep. Brandon Markosek and Rep. Dan Miller who presented to the students and energized them to continue with advocacy efforts in their local communities.

Despite the efforts of our board members, the pandemic has proved to be extremely difficult financially for our organization, and we have had to rely on our reserves to offset our losses. This past year we initiated a capital campaign and are so grateful to those of you who contributed. We plan to continue this capital campaign, as well as boost our membership and add additional continuing education offerings in this coming year in an effort to improve the finances of the organization.

The work of the PSHA Board has been very fruitful this past year. All members of the Board tirelessly volunteer their expertise and support to the organization, to advocate for our professions. We are so grateful for the efforts of our board members and to Craven Management Associates for their support with managing the organization. With additional engagement we can make a greater difference and initiate positive change in our professions. So, consider getting involved. PSHA needs you and your expertise!

Here are a few ways to begin:

Contact your state legislators. Do you know who your state representatives and state senators are or their voting records regarding legislation impacting the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology? Have you ever contacted them? Take a few minutes to find out and give them a call. They do listen. 

Join a PSHA committee.  We are continually recruiting members, including student members for the following committees,

  • Convention Planning Committee
  • Government Relations Committee
  • Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee
  • Schools Committee
  • Telepractice Committee
  • Healthcare Committee

Join a PSHA regional group (SWPSHA or NESHAP)

Stay updated about PSHA by following and engaging with our social media outlets on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Be an advocate for building PSHA membership. Encourage colleagues to join PSHA.

Present at the Convention. You make a difference in the lives of your patients and students every day. Maybe others can learn from your expertise. Look for the call for papers that is open now.

Attend PSHA Events such as the fall event, our Spring 2023 Convention in Valley Forge, our Town Hall events and other offerings.

Look out for our upcoming Leadership Development opportunities.

Thank you all for the important work you do to make a positive impact on those you serve. Please reach out to me with comments and suggestions about how we can best support the great work of audiologists and speech-language pathologists in Pennsylvania. I look forward to hearing from you.

Louise Keegan
PSHA President