Nova Southeastern University’s SAA Travels to Capitol Hill

Nova Southeastern University’s SAA Travels to Capitol Hill

By: Rachel Kansky, B.S.

On Friday, May 11, 2018, five AuD students from Nova Southeastern University (NSU) traveled to Capitol Hill, accompanied by three faculty members, Erica Friedland, AuD, Patricia Gaffney, AuD, and Alyssa Needleman, PhD. NSU’s Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) helps send students to Washington, DC to advocate for the profession of audiology and raise awareness for current legislation affecting the field. This is the fourth consecutive year NSU’s SAA has contributed to student advocacy. Advocating on Capitol Hill was a first for each student who attended this year. The small group of dedicated students represented Florida, New Jersey, and Nevada. The SAA chapter at NSU strongly believes that promoting hearing health, spreading health care awareness, and participating in advocacy opportunities are necessary to become more involved in Academy initiatives. The doctoral students had a great time expressing their voices for their future profession.

From left to right: Lisa Grovenstein, B.S., Rachel Kansky, B.S., Jonny Lawrence, B.S., Ali Silverman, B.S., and Brianna Milke, B.A.

NSU SAA’s Government Relations Chair, Rachel Kansky, coordinated with Adam Finkel and Becky West, members of the American Academy of Audiology’s Government Relations department, to ensure NSU would have a strong voice on the Hill. These staff members significantly contributed to the NSU SAA’s success of planning the trip and during meetings with the legislative representatives. Meetings were attended with representatives for each of the home-state districts per student who participated; the offices of Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV-02), Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ-06), Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL-22), and Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL-04) were represented. The student advocates attended meetings individually or with a partner, which allowed each participant to independently have a voice and bring their personal stories to the table. The PROSPER Act (H.R. 4508), The Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2017, and the Access to Frontline Care Act of 2017 (H.R. 2042) were emphasized during each meeting. Each student had the opportunity to share how these critical issues are contributing positively and/or negatively to the audiology profession.

Jonny Lawrence, B.S. advocating for the state of Nevada

This trip greatly impacted the students’ awareness of legislation and the positive and negative impacts that legislation has in the field of audiology. The students expressed that this trip encouraged them to feel empowered. They stated that they will continue to advocate in the future as well as help audiology remain well-represented on Capitol Hill. The students and faculty would like to thank everyone involved in the planning of this trip and those who contributed to its success!

From left to right: Lisa Grovenstein, B.S., and Ali Silverman, B.S. advocating for the state of Florida

From left to right: Rachel Kansky, B.S., and Brianna Milke, B.A. advocating for the state of New Jersey 

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