2017 Honors of the ANCDS Award Winner: Edythe Strand

Honors of the Academy

This year, the Academy of Neurologic Disorders and Sciences recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to people who have neurologic communication disorders and to the professionals who work with them for more than 40 years.  In a career that has encompassed clinical and academic settings, this person has served as clinician, administrator, teacher, researcher, consultant, and mentor.  Our honoree is someone who has provided service and leadership in the workplace and in professional associations.  This individual’s work is widely respected, as evidenced by productive collaborations with colleagues in many disciplines.

The distinguished recipient of the 2017 ANCDS Honors:

  • Has mentored undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students who have embarked on their own clinical and research careers
  • Has received funding from government and medical organizations as Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator for research projects
  • Has published more than 60 refereed journal articles, co-authored 6 books, and authored or co-authored 17 book chapters
  • Provided 6 articles and 1 video presentation for professional continuing education
  • Presented more than 50 papers and an additional 197 invited presentations to state, regional, national, and international conferences
  • Has been an invited Visiting Professor at 9 institutions in the United States and other countries
  • Has served as a reviewer for 11 scholarly publications
  • Has reviewed grant applications for the federal agencies in the United States and Canada,
  • Has provided professional service on review panels, executive or advisory boards, or as program committee chair for 4 professional organizations (not including ANCDS),
  • Has been designated as a Fellow of ASHA
  • Has received the Honors of ASHA
  • And has served ANCDS 
    • as a member of the Board of Ethics and the Certification Board,
    • as a Chair of the Scientific Affairs Committee,
    • as an Executive Board member,
    • as President
    • and as Chair of the Nominating Committee

Our honoree’s expertise in motor speech disorders is recognized across the country and around the world.  She is one of those rare individuals who has developed, maintained, and applied research and clinical skills to both adults and children throughout her career.  Among her many accomplishments are the development of an evidence-based treatment method for children with severe apraxia of speech and the first reliable and valid dynamic assessment tool for children with severe motor speech disorders, which has allowed better differential diagnosis and prognosis for these children.  She and colleagues have recently identified the pause marker as a diagnostic marker that discriminates childhood apraxia of speech from speech delay.  Our honoree’s work with adults has focused on stroke-induced apraxia of speech, primary progressive apraxia of speech, progressive dysarthria, and primary progressive aphasia.  She and her colleagues have developed the Apraxia of Speech Rating Scale, which describes the features of apraxia of speech and quantifies their prominence.  Last but not least, she has generously shared her expertise with practicing clinicians across the country and around the world through her always popular and well-attended professional education presentations.

We are extremely pleased to present the 2017 Honors of the Academy of Neurologic Communication Sciences and Disorders to our distinguished colleague and valued friend, Edythe A. Strand.

Interview with Edythe A. Strand

What aspects about ANCDS have been valuable to your career?
I got involved with ANCDS shortly after the organization was founded, and have benefited in so many ways.  The colleagues I have met and friends I have made provide a constant source of information and support.  The continuing education opportunities at our annual meeting, the webinars and podcasts, and the systematic reviews are all terrific ways to keep up with the evidence base for clinical practice.  I also believe the organization provides a crucial resource for the SLP community at large as well as patients in terms of finding clinicians with specific expertise in neurologic communicative disorders.

What roles have you held within ANCDS?
I’ve been fortunate to contribute to ANCDS in a number of ways, including serving as a member of the Board of Ethics and as Chair of the Scientific Committee.  I have served twice on the Certification Board and worked to improve how we evaluate those who seek board certification.  I have been an executive board member, and was honored to serve as President of ANCDS.  I encourage all members to consider volunteering for committees and running for elected office.  It’s a terrific way to be involved and a great service to the organization.

What are some of the most important lessons you have learned in your career?
The ability to communicate- to convey thoughts, feelings, and needs, to exchange information – to be connected and understand each other is probably the most important aspect of being human.  As SLPs, we are incredibly fortunate to be trained to help those who have problems developing or using speech and/or language.  This is such a privilege, yet such a responsibility.  What we do is hard.  I’ve learned how important it is to stay informed as our clinical research proceeds.  We need to keep up with a large knowledge base, but also continue to hone our clinical skills.  This takes commitment.  Probably the most important thing I’ve learned is to really listen to our patients – both the children and adults.  They teach us so much about our craft – if we pay attention.

What have been some of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your career?
Time management is one of the most challenging.  In every position I’ve had, including public school clinician, private practice, University Professor, and Speech Pathologist at the Mayo Clinic, I’ve had difficulty managing the many responsibilities we have.  I often felt inadequate at meeting the needs of my patients or students, keeping up with the literature, necessary administrative or billing work  oh, and the report writing!  Setting priorities and working hard to keep them is important.  But even with all those challenges, hearing a child say their first word, or giving a patient with degenerative disease the ability to communicate in light of progressing problems – provide incredible rewards.

What suggestions do you have for a clinician looking to engage in research or a researcher looking to engage in clinically-relevant research?
To keep talking to each other!  We need to understand and respect each other’s role in the profession.  Clinical research is greatly enhanced through the partnership of clinicians and researchers.  The ASHA website provides information regarding avenues and support for clinicians and researchers to collaborate.

 The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the ANCDS.

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