Headquarters Report: Member Input Shapes New Year’s Resolutions Contained in ADA Strategic Plan

The ADA Members-only Strategic Planning Meeting, held on November 12th in conjunction with the 2016 AuDacity Conference, confirmed members’ commitment to current ADA advocacy initiatives and produced some outstanding insights on other areas of opportunity.

More than 120 ADA members were in attendance for this exciting event, which was facilitated by Gary Rush, IAF, CPF, who succeeded in producing a fast-paced and productive session with actionable outcomes.

Attendees were randomly assigned to tables of six to ensure a great mix of diversity in ideas and backgrounds in each small group. The energy and engagement demonstrated by participants was unprecedented, and each attendee was encouraged to weigh in at each point in the discussion. Members who could not attend the event in person also had influence, since the starting point for the discussions centered on results from the comprehensive ADA Member Survey fielded in September/October.

Priorities are Identified
During the strategic planning meeting, each group assessed the current landscape of audiology and related industries, the current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as those are applied to ADA and its members, and thoughtfully constructed the foundation for ADA’s Strategic Plan.

As an observer, I was amazed to see the consistency in decision-making from each group as the meeting progressed. The most important issues rose quickly to the top of the list. From there, ADA members reached a consensus on the following five priorities for ADA’s Board of Directors to consider as it formalizes a strategy for the next two years (and beyond):
  • Protect audiology’s scope of practice from encroachment by other occupations and professions.
  • Achieve professional parity with other clinical doctoring professions through LLP status (or equivalent) and direct access under Medicare and all public and private payors
  • Create/Facilitate a co-op, group purchasing organization (GPO), or buying group to leverage the lowest cost of goods for hearing aids and other products.
  • Petition the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to remove regulations that pose barriers to patient access to audiologists.
  • Provide tools, education and resources to assist audiologists in successfully expanding their service portfolios and creating innovative, sustainable, profitable models of care.
Member Commitment is Key
ADA members also took ownership for success of the initiatives, which will be instrumental for success. Fellow, associate and student members all stepped forward in large numbers to sacrifice time and resources toward achieving the goals.

Members also pledged to seek support from friends and colleagues to help raise the hundreds of thousands of dollars that will be required to sustain the effort. The group recognized and reiterated that if every member will donate time, energy and money to advocate for audiology, we will achieve these goals and many more.

Don’t delay—there are numerous opportunities to volunteer and become active in these causes! Please contact me at 866-493-5544 or sczuhajewski@audiologist.org to find out how you can make a meaningful impact on the future of audiology today.