Let Me Hear from You
The State of the Profession
Having just listened to President Obama’s State of the Union address, I wondered about the history of this event. It goes back a long way. George Washington was the first president to deliver an address before a joint session of Congress (clearly there was no television coverage!) and presidents through history either presented the address personally or provided a written statement, which was read by a clerk. President Franklin D. Roosevelt coined the term “State of the Union”—it was previously known as the “President’s Annual Message to Congress” and President Clinton was the first president to have the message broadcast on the Internet.1
These messages are ultimately about information sharing, a review of initiatives and programs, and they allow the president to lay out the road map for the legislature. It is in that spirit that I outline for you the work done by your board of directors at their recent board meeting in January. I know I’ve said this before, but this is one hard-working group of professionals and not only the volunteer leaders but the Academy staff as well. Preparing for these meetings takes a great deal of effort on everyone’s part and by doing all that preparation, we accomplish an amazing amount of work.
Always cognizant of our Preferred Futures, we focused on governance issues, policy, strategy and many other agenda items. In terms of governance, we had a productive and engaging discussion on conflict of interest scenarios, e.g., how do we manage situations in which we find ourselves in a conflicted position, especially when issues from our professional ‘day’ job clash with our Board responsibilities.
We reviewed the comprehensive policies and procedures of the Mid-Year Review. This is the process by which all of the Academy committees self-evaluate their progress for the year to date and determine if changes need to be made to the committee charge as well as identifying individuals who will take over the reins as the committee chair (if there is an outgoing chair). Under President-Elect Deb Carlson and Deputy Executive Director Ed Sullivan, this process will take several months and will result in the committees ready to start the New Year prepared to tackle all the initiatives and programs of the Academy.
We approved the financial and investment reports, a new antitrust policy and guideline and several well-deserving members for life membership. We discussed and updated numerous action items from monthly calls and quarterly Board meetings and each Board member exercised their due diligence to ensure that the resources and direction of the Academy, entrusted to us by the members, were capably and conscientiously addressed.
As we move through the winter months and head into AudiologyNOW! in Boston, I leave you with a reminder to continue (day in and day out) to practice the three As:
- Awareness: Increasing awareness in your local community, state, region, etc., of what we do and who we are as audiologists: the preferred provider for hearing and balance wellness—providing the highest standard of care for each patient and the professional who expands the breadth and scope of our knowledge base through cutting-edge research.
- Advocacy: (You know the drill)—contacting your duly-elected representatives to help them understand direct access legislation (H.R.2140) and how it can enhance cost-effective choice for hearing and balance care for their constituents. Additionally you need to help them understand how important it is to find an effective solution for the Sustainable Growth Rate and then find out what interests them and support them in their efforts to represent their constituents in Washington, DC.
- And lastly: Advancement of your lifelong commitment to continuing education through the use of eAudiology (online Web seminars presented by members, for members) and the JAAA continuing education program. By attending the premier audiology continuing education event of the year: AudiologyNOW! in March (28–31) in Boston, MA, and by attending state audiology meetings to support your local colleagues.
Super Bowl XLVI is right around the corner and regardless of your support for either the NY Giants or the New England Patriots, all I hope is that whichever quarterback wins, they hold up their little boy or little girl in grand celebration and that the little one is wearing hearing protection!