President's Message: Gotta Wear Shades

Author: Angela Morris, Au.D.

In my first note as President I want to take this time to say THANK YOU for allowing me to serve in this capacity. I am so passionate about ADA and Audiology, and I am honored to be one of the leaders to continue to advance our profession.

Coming back from the first AuDACITY conference, I am feeling renewed, not only with Audiology, but with ADA member engagement as well. We had an excellent Strategic Planning meeting and I hope all the members that were there felt that their voices were heard. This provided a great opportunity for everyone to see, hear and understand more about where the board has been going—and also provided time for our members to express where they want ADA and our profession to go. The board gathered lots of great information and thoughts and will apply it to endeavors in the New Year.

Disruptions are all around us and I am proud to see that our ADA members are ready to respond to anything that tries to get in their way. If there is one thing that the strategic planning meeting taught me is that ADA members are AWESOME! We are not afraid of a challenge and we are able to think outside the box. We are nimble and can make decisions on a dime. This is what sets up apart from any other organization. Our responses to IHS in their many attempts to move into the Audiology scope of practice, our forward thinking in regards to the PCAST, IOM and NASEM response, our willingness to try and provide a solution to our members' requests for help in competing with the Costco’s, Wal-Mart’s and Best Buys of the world, and our continued efforts in pursuing audiology’s 18 X 18 initiative are quite amazing for the smallest of Audiology organizations.

I ask each and every one of you…What other Audiology organization is doing ANY of this for you? What other Audiology organization is protecting your right to practice your profession by providing the best care for your patients?

We all support organizations first by our memberships. If we pay dues to an organization, we are telling that organization that we are supporting its efforts. It always amazes me that the smallest of Audiology organizations is the one who actually “pays” the most to defend Audiology. The work that is done by ADA is not free. The lawsuit we had to file against IHS was not a budgeted expense for ADA. Each and every year we have to pay our lobbyist in Washington to work on our legislation. We need at least $150,000 each year just for budgeted advocacy efforts. These efforts are for EVERY audiologist, not just the ones who show up at AuDACITY. A big shout out to all of our members and student members at AuDACITY who donated. We raised, in 20 minutes, approximately $80,000 from less than 100 people. We still have a need for support and have over 1000 more members who were not there to give.

We need support from every audiologist even if they are not members of ADA. If you feel these efforts are important to you and you take your profession seriously, please consider giving to our Advocacy fund. Please share our advocacy efforts with your colleagues that are not ADA members, and first encourage them to become members, then ask them to support their profession by donating.

As a board, we heard from our members at the strategic meeting and all the above-mentioned efforts were at the top of your list of importance. We have heard you loud and clear! So now you need to speak with your support. We can’t do those things without it. So many people said they had no idea how much money it really took to work on our efforts and they appreciated having a real number to understand. I hope that by sharing this information with all of our membership that many more will step up and take their spot in helping out their profession. It is not the time to sit back and say someone else will “handle it”, we all need to be responsible and do our part. As our wise Past President Rita Chaiken said…… Who? But ADA, will take care of the profession of Audiology. Our future is so bright, WE GOTTA WEAR SHADES!