President's Message

Greetings ANCDS members! 

I hope that your spring is off to a good start.  There are many exciting efforts going on within the organization, but I want to use my column to update you on one in particular.  It was discussed briefly at the Business Meeting in November, but I know that not all of you were able to attend that meeting.

In late 2017, then-President Richard Peach was contacted by the VA regarding whether we would be interested in partnering with them to develop and accredit a VA Residency Program in speech-language pathology.  In 2018, after further discussions that included representatives from the VA, President Julie Wambaugh, and myself (as President-Elect), the Executive Board voted to approve the formation of an Ad Hoc Committee for VA SLP Residency Programs to study the issue in more detail.  The Committee was comprised of Richard Peach, who agreed to chair the group, Heather Clark, Donald MacLellan, Malcolm McNeil, Janet Patterson, Julie Wambaugh, and Kathy Yorkston.

The Committee met several times over late summer and fall 2018, and they completed their report in early 2019.  It was shared with the Executive Board in early February.  The Ad Hoc Committee’s recommendation was to pursue the development of a residency program in SLP (not including dysphagia).  The benefits that the Committee identified included the opportunity to grow the membership, including the number of Board Certified members, an increase in the visibility of ANCDS, and a unique opportunity to advance our mission of enhancing the communicative lives of people affected by neurologic disorders.

After reading the report and discussing it at length during the February Executive Board meeting, the Board voted unanimously to support the Ad Hoc Committee’s recommendation.  They charged me and Richard Peach with constituting a committee to develop the details of the program.  We have identified five committee members who have agreed to serve, including Richard, Heather Clark, Karen Gallagher, Mikael Kimelman, and Donald MacLellan.

The Board recognizes that this is a major undertaking and involves some financial risk, but they felt that this could have wide-ranging positive effects on the lives of individuals with neurologic disorders.  In addition to helping veterans with neurologic communication disorders, the program can serve as a model that could be adopted by other organizations.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions about the program or would like to have a copy of the Ad Hoc Committee’s report.

Sincerely,

linda shuster

- Linda Shuster, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
  2019 ANCDS President