NMSHA PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
January 23, 2017
Happy New Year! I wish you all a very happy and healthy start to 2017. The NMSHA executive board aims to keep you informed about issues that matter to SLPs and Audiologists from around our state.
Here are the NMSHA quarterly updates and highlights:
1) Speech-Language Pathology Assistant Licensure Update
The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Committee on Speech-Language Pathology Assistants (SLPAs) met January 8, 2017 to review the SLPA licensure draft. The Committee is comprised of licensure board members Bridget Guenther and Victoria Schmidt, and NMSHA Board Members, Shelley Kastler Davis and Michael Kaplan. The committee reviewed all comments to the initial licensure draft that was circulated in November, 2016, along with ASHA guidelines for SLPAs and SLPA licensure requirements from at least four states. We appreciate the input from a number of NMSHA members and subgroups, along with comments from our state university Communication Disorders programs regarding the initial draft. The second draft of the SLPA licensure will be released soon for further review and comments from constituents from around the state. It is anticipated that the licensure draft, along with the Audiology Assistance draft will be presented to the NM legislature in January 2018.
NMSHA will be taking the lead on an “SLPA Best Practice” document that will be forthcoming this year. NMSHA also encourages members from around the state to review and comment on future drafts of the SLPA licensure document. Updates regarding the SLPA licensure will be posted on the NMSHA website as we receive them. Go to www.nmsha.net > Issues and Advocacy> NM Licensing Bureau.
My sincere thanks to the licensing board committee for working collaboratively with NMSHA on this effort and for their consideration to all feedback regarding the draft.
2) NMSHA Day at the State Legislature: Friday, February 24, 2017
NMSHA day is an annual event attended by NMSHA members and university students with an effort to become knowledgeable about the legislative process and to offer a voice regarding legislation and bills that are relevant to SLPS and Audiologists in our state. Representative Sheryl Stapleton will be presenting two memorials during the legislative session in recognition of NMSHA day and Better Speech and Hearing Month in May.
Attending NMSHA Day will:
- Provide an opportunity to meet and talk with our state legislators.
- See the legislature in action.
- Get a bird’s eye view of the reading of the proclamation that February 24th is NMSHA Day.
- Provide information about our profession to people attending the events at the State Capitol.
- Meet with our lobbyists to discuss issues and bills related to speech, language and hearing.
I extend a special thanks to Representative Sheryl Stapleton and our lobbyists, Richard Romero and Sue Griffin, for informing us about relevant legislation and supporting NMSHA on February 24th and throughout the year.
Additional thanks goes to our VP of Governmental Affairs, Celestina Martinez and Adrienne Bratcher, VP of Professional Affairs, for taking the lead in organizing NMSHA day.
We would love for you, NMSHA member, to attend this exciting event with us! If you plan to attend, please let me know so that we can involve you in the day’s agenda.
3) 2017 Legislative Bills of Interest to NMSHA
NMSHA is in support of a memorial requesting the Public Education Department to support the testing of an alternative system to evaluate the performance of school-based instructional support providers, including school-based SLPs and audiologists. Specifically, the memorial will allow NMSHA in cooperation with Regional Educational Cooperative (REC) five to test an alternative evaluation system to the NMTEACH Group D. The bill is posted on the NMSHA website www.nmsha.net under “Legislation and Advocacy.” We welcome comments from the membership regarding the bill.
We will be consulting with our lobbyists about additional bills and legislation that are of relevance and importance to our membership. Updated information will be posted to the website so please check for any new information about additional bills and legislation.
4) Fri-Yay Happy Hour!
NMSHA members, join us for happy hour in Ruidoso on Friday, February 3 from 5:30-6:30 at Inn of the Mountain Gods in Ruidoso. The invitation with information is attached. We welcome co-hosting happy hours and meeting with SLPs in your area to network, discuss issues of pertinence to you and NMSHA and have fun! If you are interested in hosting an event in your area, please contact me at email and/or phone number below.
Thank you all for your membership and participation in NMSHA. Have a good rest of your week!