NJSHA’s Standing Committees
All committees are open to all NJSHA members, with the exception of those stating specific criteria.
NJSHA is always looking for committee volunteers to provide of their expertise for as much time you are willing to offer. Your involvement is two-fold, giving back to your organization as well as learning new skills and increasing your knowledge about professional issues.
For more information, please contact email@example.com.
Committee News – September 2020
The Audiology Committee of NJSHA and some of the leadership of the New Jersey Academy of Audiology and a few other audiologists from around the state met online on August 12th. The purpose of the meeting was to brainstorm ideas for potential upcoming CEU events for audiologists and to consider ways to increase engagement of audiologists in both organizations. The discussion yielded may good suggestions and ideas for the committee to pursue. Stay-tuned as the Audiology committee will be meeting again in the next few weeks to finalize some plans for a CEU event. The event will include our usual Committee Update that we missed because the Convention had to be cancelled. We are always interested in having new members join the Committee please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know of your interest.
Look for possible new opportunities to earn CEUS this summer as the Convention and Continuing Education Committees have partnered for this special endeavor. Save the date – NJSHA Convention 2021 – April 22-23, 2021 – at Ocean Place Resort and Spa in Long Branch, NJ, where we will be Sea-zing the Future!!
Continuing Education Committee
The Continuing Education (CE) committee is looking for new members. If interested please reach out to email@example.com.
We have exciting news! The Convention Committee partnered with the Continuing Education Committee to bring our members the first ever “Virtual Mini-Convention” this past August. Dr. Valerie Johnson and Dr. Jose Centeno shared their wealth of knowledge regarding the topic of Multicultural Issues. Julie Hoffmann was riveting as she addressed Apraxia and R and Frontal/Lateral Lisps. Jennifer Drenchek-Cristiano presented crucial information as she enlightened her audience on the topics of Telespeech and Tele-AAC. If you were unable to view the live workshops, please know each was recorded and will be available, for a small cost, until the end of October. What a great way to expand your awareness and understanding of these topics while earning CEUs! We do hope many of you will take advantage of this unique opportunity. We also would like to share our save the date – NJSHA Convention 2021, April 22 – April 23, 2021. Join us as we once again plan to be “Sea-zing the Future”.
On July 28th the Healthcare Committee held a webinar, Grassroots Advocacy: NJSHA is Listening! Some of the highlights were as follows:
Lynn Nowak, NJSHA’s lobbyist also spoke at our meeting providing information regarding Telehealth/Medicine during Covid 19 and the Healthcare Transparency Act.
Mary McArdle, an Early Intervention (EI) Regional Manager in NJ conveyed that on March 17, 2020-The New Jersey Early Intervention System (NJEIS) was closed in response to COVID-19 pandemic. When it reopened on April 1, 2020 all services were offered via telehealth. The Department of Health shared that as of July 31. 2020, 61% of families are receiving at least one service from their current Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) via telehealth 20 % of families have opted to “stand by” their IFSPs services until a return to face to face services can be offered. NJEIS has begun to update policies yet again to prepare for a return to face to face services.
Catherine Curtis, Healthcare Vice-Chair, discussed the ever changing effects of COVID-19 on speech therapy in an outpatient setting. She indicated that it has been five months since New Jersey has felt the impact from the worldwide pandemic. There have been many changes in all aspects of society, with one of the biggest being in healthcare. Speech pathologists are one of the many healthcare professionals who are experiences the effects of COVID-19 on insurance coverage and provision of services.
Mary Treuer Del Ojo, who has helped to set up the Dysphagia Subcommittee, had the opportunity to provide an update on NJSHA’s role in advancing the practice of Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) in NJ.
There will be an opportunity to hear this webinar for CEUs if you missed it on July 28th. It will also be offered as a recorded presentation for members and non-members to watch starting in September upon registration.
Please reach out to info@NJSHA.org for information regarding this.
Wondering what ASHA has done to ensure that telehealth be made permanent even for federally funded plans?
Two letters have be posted on the NJSHA website to advocate for the permanency of Medicare coverage for telehealth (a federal plan) and self-funded plans in NJ beyond the pandemic. There is a State Association Advocacy Letter Permanent Telehealth Coverage 2020 and a Member Advocacy Letter for Permanent Telehealth Coverage from ASHA to be accessed. For more information regarding insurance coverage and laws regarding teletherapy coverage also refer to the website.
Higher Education Committee
Higher Ed continued to work with the Board to keep our members informed regarding updates to supervisory and licensing issues associated with the pandemic. We sponsored an exciting and informative Supervisor’s webinar on telepractice and telesupervision that was very well attended. Our fall meeting will be scheduled soon, so any members involved or interested in higher education programs in NJ are encouraged to reach out to join us!
Multicultural Issues Committee
We will bring back the book club/journal article club started by Linda Tucker years ago. This will be an enjoyable activity for both causal and avid readers. Participation will allow us to connect and engage as a MIC community. This will be an informal and minimally structured environment.
2020 summer reading:
Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in A Racially Unjust America, By Jennifer Harvey (New York Times Best Selling Book)
Media is working closely with the Public Relations Committee on initiatives to increase our social media presence by frequently using these channels to provide professional updates, information and resources through these channels in addition to the website.
We continue to keep the new website current with committee resources and professional resources and links. Our COVID-19 page is also updated regularly to reflect guidance from accrediting bodies on service delivery, insurance reimbursement, and practice considerations across settings. There is also a wealth of COVID resources for practitioners.
The Media committee is also collaborating with the Membership committee on a Membership drive in which social media and the website is being used to share the many NJSHA benefits and exciting facts about NJSHA’s history.
The new website is celebrating a one year anniversary in September!
Private Practice Committee
The committee continues to:
- research and update COVID-19 information for private practices and healthcare
- support private practitioners with tele practice
- actively monitor insurance policies/procedures and reimbursement for our services
Please feel free to reach out to us firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and/or concerns you may have related to the above or any other private practice issues.
School Affairs Committee
In late July School Affairs Committee published School-Based Speech-Language Pathology Services During Emergency Situations: A Guide for Practitioners and Districts (link within website). Be sure to check it out before school starts.
SAC welcomes new members. To find out more please email email@example.com subject line – Interested in joining School Affairs
“In times of significant social or civic change, linguistic creativity not only reflects the major preoccupations of the time, but also shows how people gather to talk about new challenges and contexts. As coronavirus rages on, understanding the language surrounding it will be ever more important.” Robert Lawson, April 28, 2020 The Conversation.*
We’ve learned a lot of new terms/expressions over the last several months such as, “flatten the curve”, ”herd immunity” ”social distancing”, “self-quarantine”, “aerosolized droplets”, etc. Neologisms for “Coronaspeak” have not failed to emerge as well including, “doom-scrolling”, ”Blursday”, “quarantine”, “COVID 15”, “Zoom-bomb”, and more. As linguists explain, language evolves as a way of uniting people. We have been immersed in a new digital world as professionals with new ways to communicate, as our skills also continue to evolve. Thankfully, NJSHA and ASHA continue to keep us abreast with recommendations, guidance, and resources. Uniting with our state association has never been more vital so we can continue to practice with fidelity and confidence.
With all of the changes going on, mostly significant to our profession, telepractice, there is one thing that has not changed (as of the writing of this article in August 2020). Adherence to N.J.A.C. 6A:14 continues to be required, even remotely. One example includes timelines and even maximum group sizing of 5 students, as shared on NJSHA’s August webinar entitled, “Grassroot Advocacy in Schools: NJSHA is Listening!” (recording available on NJSHA.org). The School Affairs Committee also referred SLP/SLSs to access the newly created document, “School-Based Speech-Language Pathology Services During Emergency Situations: A Guide for Practitioners and Districts”, to help clarify and provide information regarding many recently asked questions (https://www.njsha.org/pdfs/slp-emerg-sit-071420.pdf).
ASHA continues to host teleconference calls with SEALs from across the country to provide information from the national level. These occur monthly along with ongoing dialogue among the online community. During the August conference call, it was apparent that many of the states were experiencing similar challenges to New Jersey in regard to start-up. In many states, individual schools were opening using different plans while in others, schools have remained completely remote. As in New Jersey, much division and uncertainty seemed prevalent among many other states.
Telepractice- Tim Boyd, Director State Health Care & Education Affairs of ASHA presented information about telepractice. Many questions have arised regarding provision of services from across state lines. ASHA created the document, “COVID-19: TRACKING OF STATE LAWS AND REGULATIONS FOR SCHOOL-BASED TELEPRACTICE” (https://www.asha.org/uploadedFiles/State-Laws-and-Regulations-for-School-Based-Telepractice.pdf), in order to help practitioners track these regulations.
Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Interstate Compact (ASLP-IC) -Susan Adams, Director State Legislative & Regulatory Affairs of ASHA presented information about the development of the ASLP-IC. This compact works like a driver’s license, allowing professionals to practice among participating states. New Jersey currently is not participating in this compact. It is NJSHA’s opinion that this will take away positions from those who are within the state/those holding current certifications/licensure.
Medicaid and Medicare – Laurie Alban Havens, Health Care Policy, Medicaid, and Private Health Plans of ASHA, and Sarah Warren, Health Care Policy, Medicare of ASHA shared updates on Medicaid and Medicare. With the expansion of telepractice, more people are becoming eligible for Medicaid. However, although a state may authorize the provision of telehealth, this does not necessarily mean the payer will provide reimbursement for it. State-by-state tracking of Medicaid for telepractice is available at https://www.asha.org/uploadedFiles/COVID-19-State-Medicaid-Telepractice-Policy-Tracking.pdf. NJSHA also continues to provide up-to-date information at https://www.njsha.org/professionals-resources/response-to-covid-19/.
There are proposed changes to Medicare for 2021 including significant cuts. As all agree, primary care physicians are currently undervalued. However in order for Medicare to implement increases to physicians, they have to take away money from other providers types. “CMS projects a 7% decrease in payment for audiology services and a 9% decrease for speech-language pathology services beginning in 2021’” (https://www.asha.org/News/2020/2021-Medicare-Part-B-Proposed-Rule-Includes-Coding-Changes-Significant-Payment-Cuts/). ASHA advocates are trying to convince congress to increase funding since this would be unsustainable.
Federal Education Policy Updates –
Eric Masten, Director of Federal Affairs, Education of ASHA discussed updates related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed by President Trump. This provided $30.75 billion for education stabilization. The Act also included waivers for ESSA, GEPA, HEA. More information may be found by visiting: https://www.asha.org/News/2020/President-Trump-Issues-Executive-Order-Memoranda-Related-to-COVID19/. Additional resources may be found in the guide that NJSHA’s SAC recently made available, referenced above.
Erik Lazdins, Associate Director, Federal Affairs of ASHA provided information regarding a new priority in advocacy efforts to fund Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In July 2020, “The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a funding bill, which includes increases for the IDEA, level funding for Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) programs, and increased research funding for fiscal year (FY) 2021” (https://www.asha.org/news/2020/house-passes-fy-2021-funding-bill-includes-idea-ehdi-and-research-funding/).
For more information, questions or to share your concerns, please do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have a new “Members Corner” and encourage all NJSHA members to submit articles of interest.
Looking for previous Committee News? Visit our Committee News Archives page.
The chair of the Audiology committee shall be appointed by the President for a two-year term, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. A vice-chair shall be appointed by the chair of the committee. The Audiology Committee works to serve as a source of information for NJSHA members and the individuals we serve. The committee advocates for the association members by monitoring, discussing, and engaging legislators to address key public policy issues at the state level that affect audiologists and the consumers we serve. The committee members also work collaboratively with the New Jersey Academy of Audiology (NJAA) to ensure that the annual NJSHA convention provides opportunities to learn from national leaders in the field of Audiology. The committee suggests continuing education topics, serves as a resource for the audiology program for NJSHA’s annual convention, and presents the Audiology update at the NJSHA Convention.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication Chair
Kate Flaxman, MS, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee shall be appointed by the President for an initial term of two years, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. A vice-chair shall be appointed by the chair of the committee. The Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Committee works collaboratively to promote evidence-based practices in AAC assessment and intervention. The committee provides resources and support for members of NJSHA through regularly scheduled online meetings and goal centered projects. A variety of AAC topics are addressed regarding those with complex communication needs along the age continuum and across clinical as well as educational environments. The committee is open to all NJSHA members desiring to grow their AAC knowledge base.
Continuing Education Chairs
The chair of the committee shall be appointed by the President for a two-year term, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. A vice-chair shall be appointed by the chair of the committee. The committee will work cooperatively with NJSHA’s management company and continuing education consultant to plan, promote and deliver NJSHA sponsored and co-sponsored continuing education events within the parameters of the annual budget. The committee will provide continuing education programs to meet the needs of NJSHA members through regular professional development offerings and generate revenue to allow NJSHA to provide continuing education as an on-going service.
Convention Committee Chair
Cindy D’Antonio, MS, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee shall be appointed by the President and shall hold this position for a two-year term, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. The vice-chair also shall be appointed by the President in conjunction with the committee chair and will be expected to take over the role of chair after a two-year term as vice-chair. The committee will plan the program for the following year’s convention and will submit a quarterly article to VOICES regarding convention updates.
Ethics Committee Chair
Linda Tucker-Simpson, MS, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee shall be appointed by the President for a two-year term, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. A vice-chair shall be appointed by the chair of the committee. The Ethics Committee is charged with researching, deliberating on, and responding to questions of an ethical nature from the membership. The role of the committee is to provide information to the membership, as well as the public.
Finance Committee Committee Chair
Joan Warner, MS, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee is the Treasurer. The members are the President, President Elect, Secretary, Immediate Past President, and two NJSHA members at large. The Finance committee is responsible for developing a balanced budget to present to the Board of Directors for approval, reviewing proposed expenditures that are not in the budget and making funding recommendations to the Board, reviewing and presenting to the Board the financial implications of suggested new projects. The Finance Committee follows the procedures and policies as delineated in the Financial Policies document.
Barbara Schwerin Bohus
Healthcare and Early Intervention Committee Chair
Barbara Schwerin Bohus, MS, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee shall be appointed by the President for a two-year term, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. A vice-chair shall be appointed by the chair of the committee. The committee shall serve as a source of information on healthcare and early intervention issues for members. The committee will discuss current healthcare issues affecting individuals across the lifespan. The committee monitors issues related to healthcare funding, including early intervention, Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance; and provides information and advocacy to members and consumers. The committee suggests continuing education topics to the Continuing Education committee and presents the Healthcare update at the NJSHA Convention. The committee will collaborate with the ASHA State Advocates for Reimbursement (STARs) and the State Advocate for Medicare Policy Network (StAMP) representing New Jersey.
Higher Education Committee Chair
Kristen Victorino PhD, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee shall be appointed by the President for a two-year term, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. A vice-chair shall be appointed by the chair of the committee. The committee will make recommendations to the Board regarding student and academic issues and will promote developments in higher education including, increasing and promoting the student advocacy initiative and supporting student research projects. The committee will actively collaborate with the Student Involvement committee. The committee will remind each college or university to select its program’s recipient of the Marni Reisberg Student Award and the Outstanding Doctor of Audiology Student Award.
Honors and Awards Committee Chair
Kathleen Palatucci, MA, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee shall be the President Elect. The President will appoint committee members to include one audiologist and two current NJSHA members who were previous award recipients. The committee will review the categories and criteria for honors and awards, review all nominations submitted, and recommend award recipients to the Board.
Legislative Committee Chair
Mary Faella, MA, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee will be the Immediate Past President or his/her appointee. The President shall serve as vice-chair. Members of the committee shall consist of the chairs of the following committees: Alternative/Augmentative Communication (AAC), Audiology, Healthcare and Early Intervention, Higher Education, Multicultural, Private Practice, Public Relations, and School Affairs. The committee shall address legislative, regulatory, or other related issues for the Association, and work directly with the legislative agent. The committee members will present the chair with concerns regarding issues that might require legislative action. The primary point of contact for the legislative agent is the Legislative Chair. The chair need not submit a committee report, but rather will relate details of the legislative agent’s report to the Board if the legislative agent is not present during the meeting.
Media Committee Chair
Natalie Neubauer, MS, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee shall be appointed by the President for a two-year term, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. A vice-chair shall be appointed by the chair of the committee. The committee will coordinate the distribution of information to members and the larger community through social media outlets and electronic communications, including the website. The chair and vice-chair will coordinate all information updates on the website. Members of the committee will collaborate with chairs of all NJSHA committees to support distribution of information to all NJSHA print and electronic outlets. The committee will oversee compliance with the NJSHA Social Media Disclaimer.
Membership Committee Chair
Kathleen Palatucci, MA, CCC-SLP
The Membership Committee shall be chaired by the President Elect. The committee will engage in activities to attract new members to the organization and retain current members.
Multicultural Issues Chair
Stacey Johnson, SLPD, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee shall be appointed by the President for a two-year term, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. A vice-chair shall be appointed by the chair of the committee. The committee’s goal is to raise awareness of multicultural issues related to the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology. The committee works to increase knowledge of appropriate assessment and treatment procedures for culturally and linguistically diverse populations (CLD); promotes multicultural topics through VOICES articles and other communications to the membership; and suggests continuing education topics to the Continuing Education committee.
Nominations and Elections Committee Chair
Mary Faella, MA, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee shall be the Immediate Past President. The chair appoints five members, consisting of one representative from audiology and no more than one from each of the following professional settings: healthcare, schools, higher education, and private practice. This committee identifies prospective candidates to run for positions on the Board of Directors.
Private Practice Chair
Christina Luna, SLPD, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee shall be appointed by the President for a two-year term, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. A vice-chair shall be appointed by the chair of the committee. The committee shall serve as a source of information on private practice issues concerning audiologists, speech-language pathologists and consumers. The committee will provide resources and references that address private practice issues, concerns, and ethics. The committee will propose continuing education topics to the Continuing Education Committee and collaborate with the ASHA State Advocates for Reimbursement (STARs) for audiology and speech-language pathology to address scope of practice issues.
Public Relations Committee Chair
Donna Spillman-Kennedy, MS, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee shall be appointed by the President for a two-year term, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. The goal of the committee is to increase NJSHA’s visibility as a premier health and educational resource among key stakeholders (e.g., school personnel, health care-providers, populations served, legislators, media, and general public) The committee develops a campaign to increase public awareness of speech-language and hearing disorders, and services provided by speech language pathologists and audiologists, as well as its efforts in advocacy and contemporary topics and issues. The primary point of contact for the public relations consultant will be the Public Relations Chair.
School Affairs Committee Chair
Nicole Ford, MS, CCC-SLP
The chair of the committee shall be appointed by the President for an initial term of two years, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. A vice-chair shall be appointed by the chair of the committee. The committee will address the needs of school-based members who are speech-language specialists (SLSs) and audiologists employed in New Jersey schools. The committee will work with the legislative agent to advocate for SLSs, audiologists, and the students they serve, as well as function as an information resource on school-based issues. To accomplish these tasks, the committee will engage in a variety of activities related to monitoring and responding to changes in the New Jersey Special Education Code, other codes relative to education, and legislative bills; addressing individual members’ concerns; presenting the SAC update at the NJSHA Convention; meeting annually with the NJDOE, along with the legislative agent, to discuss concerns; and educating consumers about the roles SLSs and audiologists play in the schools. The committee will collaborate with the ASHA State Education Advocacy Leader (SEAL).
Student Involvement Committee Chair
Demi DeAngelis, SLP Graduate Student- Stockton University
The chair of the committee shall be the student member appointed to the Board of Directors by the President for a non-voting, one-year renewable term, not to exceed two years. The mentor to the chair shall be a representative on the Higher Education Committee from the program in which the student is enrolled. The liaison to the Board is the liaison to the Higher Education committee. The committee chair shall select six additional student liaison members to represent each of the New Jersey university training programs. The committee’s charge is to establish, maintain, and enhance an active, current network among students from all New Jersey audiology, speech-language pathology, and communication sciences and disorders training programs to help increase student membership and awareness of the benefits and activities available to NJSHA members. The committee will collaborate with the Membership Committees; contribute material to VOICES and the website; work with the Higher Education Committee to plan and execute the student advocacy initiative; and share information with other NJSHA committees that address topics relevant to students. The committee will establish and maintain contact with ASHA’s National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NSSLHA) to help merge national and state associations’ efforts.
VOICES Editorial Board Chair
Robbie Lazarus, MA, CCC-SLP
The chair of the Editorial Board shall be appointed by the President and will serve as editor of VOICES. The chair will serve for an initial term of two years, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. The Editorial Board consists of six members: the editor, the President, and four additional members appointed by the editor. There will be one representative from each of the following work settings: Audiology, Healthcare, Higher Education, Schools and a member-at-large. Each member of the Editorial Board will be appointed for an initial term of two years, renewable for a maximum of two additional terms. One of these members shall serve as vice chair. The Editorial Board will oversee all content in VOICES.