Events and Resources
Advocacy Tips for Calling Your State Legislators
To find your state legislator’s phone number, you may use our searchable online directory or call your state’s switchboard at and ask for your Senator and/ or Representative’s office. When you call, if you speak with someone other than your legislator, take down their name and title. Upon reaching your state legislator on the phone, it’s easiest to follow these four basic steps:
- IDENTIFY yourself by name and the organization (if any) that you represent or the town from which you are calling.
- EXPLAIN why you are calling: “I am calling to support/oppose House Bill: HB ##, Senate Bill: SB## “. Be polite and concise. Creating 1 or 2 talking points will focus the content of your message. Too much information may confuse your message. Ask your legislator his/her position on this issue. Don’t assume that your legislator has prior knowledge of your issue. Be calm, respectful, and be prepared to educate, using local examples to accentuate your point.
- REQUEST a written response to your phone call if you did not speak to your legislative member. If the legislator requires further information, provide it as soon as possible.
- THANK the person who took the phone call for their time and consideration.
Find Your New Jersey Legislator
Find Your United States Senator
New Jersey Legislative Information
ASHA’s New Jersey State Advocate for Medical Policy (STAMP)
The mission of the State Advocates for Medicare Policy (StAMP) Network is to enhance and perpetuate the advocacy, leadership and communication of ASHA members at the state level to influence administrative and public policy decisions that impact Medicare coverage and reimbursement of audiology and speech-language pathology services.
The New Jersey StAMP is appointed by the NJSHA President. There are up to two StAMP representatives per state. The StAMP representative is responsible for establishing or enhancing effective links to medical directors, consultants and key personnel with:
- Medicare administrative contractors (MACs) and regional office officials
- State health agencies (certified Medicare facilities)
- Consumer groups and other related professionals
The StAMPs representatives along with ASHA hold monthly conference calls, discussion groups and periodic in-person meetings. The New Jersey StAMP reports information to the NJSHA Board of Directors, the Healthcare Committee, during the Healthcare Update at the Annual NJSHA Convention and VOICES. The StAMP representative may also respond to questions from NJSHA members as well as the public.
ASHA’s New Jersey State Advocate for Reimbursement (STAR)
The State Advocates for Reimbursement (STARs) are ASHA audiologists and speech-language pathologists who advocate in their states for improved health care coverage and reasonable private insurance and Medicaid reimbursement rates. A New Jersey STAR is appointed by the NJSHA President. There are up to two STARs per state.
The STARs form a true network. They link states together with ASHA through monthly conference calls, a STARs-only e-mail discussion group and periodic meetings in person. STARs focus on key decision-makers in private corporations, public agencies and the local legislature, e.g., healthcare insurance executives, benefits administrators, state insurance department officials and state congress members.
The New Jersey STAR reports information to the NJSHA Board of Directors, the Healthcare Committee, during the Healthcare Update at the Annual NJSHA Convention and VOICES. The STAR representative may also respond to questions from NJSHA members as well as the public.
ASHA’s New Jersey State Education Advocacy Leader (SEAL)
State Education Advocacy Leaders (SEALs) are appointed by ASHA recognized state speech-language-hearing associations to advocate on education issues. These issues may include caseload/workload, salary supplements and maintenance of personnel standards in school settings. SEALs can be speech-language pathologists or audiologists. The SEALs were established in 1999 under ASHA’s Priorities. The mission of the SEALs network is to enhance and perpetuate the advocacy, leadership and clinical management skills of school-based ASHA members at the state and local levels to influence administrative and public policy decisions that affect the delivery of speech-language pathology and audiology services in school settings.
The New Jersey SEAL is appointed by the NJSHA President. The SEAL representatives along with ASHA hold monthly phone calls, discussion groups and periodic in-person meetings. The New Jersey SEAL reports information to the NJSHA Board of Directors, the School Affairs Committee, during the School Affairs Update at the Annual NJSHA Convention and in VOICES. The SEAL representative attends the SEAL Meetings at the ASHA Connect Conference (July) or ASHA Annual Convention (November). The SEAL representative may also respond to questions from NJSHA members as well as the public.
Visit our Webinar page in the Continuing Education Section.
Student Advocacy Day “In Their Words”
The annual NJSHA Student Advocacy Day was held March 7, 2019 in Trenton. Our NJSHA lobbyist, Lynn Nowak, led the event with assistance from Jacy Lance. We were fortunate to hear from NJ Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, 27th District, who shared her experience as an educator and her journey to become an elected member of the Assembly. Audiology students, Kaitlin Riall and Erica Alvarez, and Speech-Language Pathology students, Carol Bernal, Jessica Aleman, Nicole Supino, Amanda Vazquez, Patrycza Puzio, Annie Bucca, Sara DeMarco, Natalie Romano, Jessica Carney and Katherine Gasparino, were selected to attend by their university programs. Following the event each student was invited to complete a written reflection. Here is a sampling of student “Reflections” in their own words, illustrating the impact of Student Advocacy Day. As a result of my experience in Trenton… I better understand the legislative and advocacy process in the field of speech-language pathology and audiology. Prior to this experience I did not believe advocacy can be done by anyone, and therefore this experience taught me that I can bring positive change to the field.
Nicole Supino, SLP Monmouth: I felt inspired to voice my concerns regarding my clients and how-to better advocate for my profession!
Patrycza Puzio, SLP Montclair: One new thing I learned was… That I can advocate for my clients on a legislative level.
Katherine Gasparino, SLP WPU: That your voice is valuable and should be heard!
Sara DeMarco, Stockton [UG]: I was impressed with… The high school students from Camden, NJ who gave testimony in support of new healthcare legislation. All of their lives have been impacted by gun violence in some way. They sat there and gave their personal testimonials, which was so impressive to see. I was impressed with their courage and strength and determination to make a difference. It showed that you are never too young to stand up for what you believe in.
Jessica Carney, SLP WPU: I hope to spread the word at my school about NJSHA and the importance of advocacy by… By speaking to our NSSLHA chapter about my experience. Katherine Gasparino My goal is to discuss my experience at student advocacy day with the Dean of my school. I feel that advocacy is a component of the health sciences that is sometimes overlooked while we are in graduate school.
Annie Bucca, SLP Seton Hall: I will share the importance of fighting for what you believe in along with the fact that our generation needs to step up to the plate if we want to see changes in our country.
Natalie Romano, Stockton [UG]: I think it is important for NJSHA to continue to offer the Student Advocacy Day because… This was the first time I was exposed to a government setting and I appreciated being able to learn more about how bills and laws work. I also learned a great deal of information in the webinar offered before we met in Trenton which helped me brush up on prior knowledge. This was a very unique experience and I believe students should continue to be able to take advantage of such a great event!
Sara DeMarco, Stockton [UG]: Because it provides insight to the legislative process. It is also an experience that not many students have access to, so participating in this event was an educational privilege that I was proud to participate in.
Nicole Supino: It is critical to uplift students and teach them that they will have the power to advocate as well. Oftentimes students can feel detached from professional issues or feel as though they do not get a role in legislation.
Patrycza Puzio: If there was one thing I could change, I would recommend… speaking with more legislators.
Nicole Supino: possibly including other interest groups and work to better engage with other professionals in shared issues.
Patrycza Puzio: I recommend staying longer. I was very engaged by the hearing and did not want to leave, so maybe extend the day by a few more hours. Overall, it was a great experience and I was honored to be a part of it.
Jessica Carney: I wouldn’t change a thing!