Let Me Hear from You
Pigs Are Flying!—Taking the Audiology World by Storm
Pigs indeed are flying! Some unimaginable happenings are occurring. As of this writing, for example, the East Coast experienced a 5.9 magnitude earthquake and Hurricane Irene is barreling down on the coastal towns of North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, as well as inland to New York, Connecticut, and Vermont. Regardless of how the storm hit, it was huge and its impact was felt by millions. The impossible, the unexpected, the unlikely is pretty much how we all have to live our lives these days. I’m not clear if that is a good thing or not, but it is our reality—so we deal with it.
The Academy is making great strides in our “PAF” (Pigs are Flying) plan. Our preferred futures (outlined in my July AT E-news column), are up and running, and everything we do supports and advances those futures. All of the committee work, the task force work, the alliances with other entities, the board work—it all aligns with our preferred futures and these futures have been developed to ensure that our members’ vital interests are advanced. The July board meeting was jam-packed. Your board reviewed and approved several large-scale task force reports—one from the Academy/HLAA Lopping Task Force, one from the Humanitarian Task Force, and one from the Gold Standard Summit Task Force. So many knowledgeable and dedicated professionals working toward common goals: supporting our patients and the consumers of our services, looking beyond our borders toward global initiatives, and defining and refining the delivery of contemporary educational standards respectively.
Additionally, the board reviewed the Academy’s current financial status. Through the hard work of the staff in trimming budgets and the volunteer leadership’s savvy use of the resources provided to us to do the work of the Academy on behalf of the membership, I can tell you that the fiscal health of the Academy is improving. Again, so many people pulling hard in the same direction—amazing what can be done when we come together and support each other.
We currently have 30 co-sponsors for our legislative initiative—direct access (H.R. 2140, introduced by Audiology’s friend, Rep. Mike Ross from Arkansas). We only need the remaining House Members to hear from you, and sign on to this common sense and contemporary legislation. You are the key to making this happen. Your duly elected officials need to HEAR from you, their constituent. Simply go to the Academy’s Legislative Action Center Web page and take 90 seconds to send a letter to your representative—all the information you need is there. Pull a “Nike” and “Just DO It!”
The board also spent time over the last year doing its own CE! We dedicated ourselves to learning about processes for effective association performance and reviewed the “Eight Characteristics of Exceptional Boards.” These characteristics were issues related to organizational intelligence, relationship-building, stewardship, board development/renewal, strategic thinking, transparency, ethics and integrity, board policies and practices, and board culture. After working on these, the board graded itself and, although we didn’t “ace” the review (we hold very high standards for ourselves), the outcome allowed us to see the areas we needed to strengthen. After all, we are audiologists by training and practice, not association executives, but it is very cool to learn about that engaging and dynamic profession of association management.
Finally, as I write this article, I have just completed attendance at the Florida Academy of Audiology meeting—a great educational opportunity—and I was privileged to attend and participate in the White Coat Pinning ceremony. Those wonderful, young (!), energetic, and enthused faces I saw staring back at me made my heart melt. Our future staring back at me…it doesn’t get much better than that for our profession. I encouraged the students to challenge the status quo, to engage with their professors and preceptors, and fully participate in their education—not to act like a vessel that just accepts information but to truly connect and make each class, each research paper, each journal group matter and make it matter, because the patients they will care for depend on them. The difference will be we will have future colleagues who are not complacent, not “old school” but rather are dynamos who will take the audiology world by storm…you know, kinda like Irene!