From the President

I am excited to represent the Arkansas Academy of Audiology this year as your president.  One of my main goals for this year is to help the audiologists of this great state become more involved in both ArAA and in the profession of audiology.  Many of you might be thinking what does being involved in ArAA do for me and do we have a lobbyist?  If we have someone lobbying for us, why do I need to be involved?  

It is time for audiologists to stop thinking of what others are doing for us and start thinking what we can do to help the profession.  In these often uncertain times it is more necessary than ever that we standup and show that we are the healthcare professionals for hearing and balance.  You may or may not be aware but already there are other professions looking at taking over areas of our scope of practice.

We need to clearly show that as audiologists, we are so much more than the hearing test and hearing aid fitting.  No other profession is as uniquely qualified and educated to provide the care we do.  Become an advocate who helps people understand what our whole scope of practice covers:  Hearing conservation, diagnostics, hearing aid fitting, vestibular assessment/treatment, aural rehabilitation, cochlear implants, auditory processing.

Through the years ArAA has written letters to legislature on the local and national levels to advocate and support all aspects of Audiology.  ArAA also has developed a great relationship with American Academy of Audiology.  By developing this strong relationship we have had the support from The Academy's Government Relations Committee and lobbyists. The Academy does a great job at monitoring not just national but also local legislation across the states.  Working in our favor to help maintain that strong relationship is the fact that our founding President, Dr. Lisa Vaughn Christensen, is the current president of The Academy. What a great example of someone who started at the local level and took it national.

I implore you to take the time to get involved.  If you are unsure how to get involved please reach out to any of your board members. We are happy to assist. If you feel that you would like more education or training in a specific area please let us know. We would love to host more educational events to improve your practice or we could look into adding something specific to these goals at the state conference.  Join ArAA and help us advocate across this great state and at the national level.

Respectfully,

R. Hope Gillison, AuD, CCC-A/FAAA, President of Arkansas Academy of Audiology