A Message From CAA President June McCullough
On behalf of the Board of Directors, welcome to CAA! It is an honor to serve as your President for 2011. Before I recap our activities from 2010 and present my goals for 2011, allow me to introduce myself.
I am a native Californian, born and raised in Los Angeles. I attended UCSD (Linguistics major), CSU Fullerton (BA, MA, Audiology), and the University of Iowa (Ph.D. in Hearing Science). I have been a Professor of Audiology at San Jose State University for my entire professional career, which now spans 22 years. I am also the co-owner of an audiology private practice in San Jose. I have two grown children who are studying the humanities, and a husband who is an experimental psychologist (and a cochlear implant recipient). My tennis and golf games are marginal but hey, they are improving.
During the last two decades, like many of you, I have witnessed a number of changes in health care in general and the profession of audiology in particular that have convinced me of the need for a strong, unified, and vocal organization that represents the interests of California audiologists. I am proud to have been a founding member of CAA in 1993 and hope I can provide support for audiologists and our causes one more (last?!) time in 2011.
Most of you know that CAA focuses its efforts on professional development and legislation. On the education front, I am pleased to report that we had a record number of attendees at our 2010 annual conference in San Francisco. We instituted a number of new sessions, including panel discussions, evidence-based industry updates, breakout sessions for educational audiologists, and even Friday night entertainment. On the legislative front, we continued to work with the newly minted SLPAHDB board to “clean up” the language in the legislation that we sponsored in 2009 that eliminated dual licensure and regulated audiology aides. We also lobbied against a new bill that would have required audiologists to counsel parents of children with hearing loss about all communication options, regardless of their appropriateness for a given hearing loss. Through the efforts of our legislative committee, led by Jody Winzelberg and Marcia Raggio, we were successful in convincing the Governor to veto this well meaning but ultimately poorly written legislation.
I am committed to incorporating the views of member audiologists into the educational and legislative agendas for CAA. To that end, our board sent a survey to all audiologists in California last December. We collected data on preferred conference topics, speakers, and locations. We also received over 70 suggestions for our legislative agenda, including tackling the Song-Beverly act and restoring/protecting audiology and hearing aid benefits for Medi-Cal recipients. A comprehensive analysis of the survey data will be posted shortly on our webpage. On a side note, the survey asked audiologists to rate CAA on its past performance regarding our conference and our legislative efforts. It was gratifying to see that the overwhelming majority of audiologists rated CAA as good or excellent on both fronts. I am committed to keeping up the good work.
It goes without saying that we cannot host a conference and lobby for our causes without the necessary finances. We have been fortunate that, even in the midst of the poor economy, our membership numbers have held steady. There is no doubt that we could accomplish so much more if our membership numbers were to increase. Our membership campaign last year offered a $65 discount on CAA conference registration or membership dues to any existing CAA member who brought in a new member. We plan to continue this offer through 2011. Take the “CAA challenge” – Invite a friend or colleague to join us this year.
Finally, we are looking for a few good audiologists. Seriously. Many of us on the board are convinced that our organization needs to identify and mentor future officers and board members for CAA. We will be instituting a mentoring committee this year whose goal will be to do this. If you are one of these individuals, or if you can recommend one of these individuals, I invite you to email me. I am looking forward to hearing fresh perspectives and catching that youthful enthusiasm, optimism, and passion. It may even help my tennis game.
Hear and Be Heard!
June McCullough, Ph.D., F/AAA
CAA President 2011