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2018 Original Letter and Response

Read Marissa's Rocheleau's 2018 letter to the ASHA Board of Directors, with 350+ SLP signatures discussing the difficulties faced in the field and ways ASHA can help advocate for its members. Also read ASHA's full response. 

2018 Original Letter to ASHA

Marissa Artman, M.A., CCC-SLP

[Address Redacted]

(317) 225-8349


Board of Directors

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

2200 Research Boulevard

Rockville, MD 20850

Dear Board of Directors:

I am writing you today both as a concerned member of our profession, but also as a representative for a larger group of a speech language pathologists with similar concerns. My own experience in coming to this mindset grew out of several years of work in schools, private practice ownership, and telepractice contracting, with many unsuccessful attempts to grow my career in the medical and academic fields of speech. In preparing to bring the following points to your attention, I have also spoken with many dozen speech pathologists who themselves work in schools, outpatient clinics, private practice, skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, contract positions, and academic research. This is to highlight that the petition of this letter is not indicative of select disenfranchised clinicians, but instead a pervasive shift in the field felt by professionals and even students in all capacities of speech language pathology.

On online forums such as, you can find a swath of new posts each day from careworn clinicians asking for help, struggling with mental health, and even considering leaving the profession. As one of those clinicians myself, I know this decision comes with a heavy heart after the many passionate hours devoted to becoming a speech language pathologist and the pride we take in contributing to a field that truly changes lives. I would encourage you to read more about the status of our field from the perspective of these on-the-ground professionals, but below I have highlighted some of the most frequent discussions found in talking with other speech pathologists.

·       Many speech pathologists find it difficult to find full-time work with benefits. This results in highly trained clinicians and educators relying on spousal benefits, multiple part-time jobs, or supplementary work unrelated to the field to make ends meet.

·       There is an unsustainable model of productivity and practice driven by third party payers and cost-cutting measures that causes faster turnover and burn out in professionals. In turn, this adversely affects our clients by reducing the quality of their service and continuity of care.

·       While job reports indicate a growing need for speech pathologists, there is a disparity in the money available to fund these positions, resulting in lower paying positions, increasing contract positions without benefits, and a surplus of applicants in the job market.

·       An alarming number of positions are being filled by staffing agencies without regard to the quality of care or goodness of fit of the clinicians hired, thereby again increasing turnover. This also reduces the amount of money going into the pocket of clinicians, while increasing costs to schools, clinics, and hospitals. It is especially alarming to see ASHA directly partnering with and endorsing agencies.

·       At the bottom of all this, there is a lack of representation from our paid electors to lobby for appropriate workloads, healthcare coverage for clients, and licensure compatibility in an increasingly global world.

To address these issues, we strongly implore ASHA to more actively champion us as our leader in making meaningful change not only in the everyday lives of its members, but in the quality of services and impact that clients and the public experience because of our ability to succeed professionally.

We believe the following suggestions can help combat these concerns in an active, appreciable way.

·       Make direct recommendations on caseload and workload sizes to unions and employers.

·       Make strong lobby partnerships with healthcare and insurance organizations for better payment reimbursement for speech pathology services.

·       Look toward the future of telepractice regulations in relation to licensure and reimbursement.

·       Discontinue direct partnership with staffing agencies and disincentivize employers from using poor quality hiring practices resulting in high turnover.

·       Actively campaign for better work-life balance in the profession, including a push for more full-time jobs and/or jobs with benefits, mental health awareness, and public awareness for the breadth and importance of what speech pathologists do.

Thank you for reading this letter and its enclosed concerns. We know that in taking the time to do so, you are actively listening to your constituents and taking steps to address the needs of the profession in a time of great growth and change. We would not write you if we did not care deeply for the profession and believe it was worth working toward a better future of all aspects in speech, hearing, and science.



Marissa Artman, M.A., CCC-SLP

ASHA #14023891

  1. Nancy Neilan Schafer, M.A., CCC-SLP #01005037

  2. Jill Shook, M.S., CCC-SLP #12159813

  3. Carrie Steenbergen, M.S., CCC-SLP #12056119

  4. Leslie Fraser, M.S., CCC-SLP #01032823

  5. Jena H. Castro-Casbon, M.S., CCC-SLP #12101414

  6. Jeanne Farina, M.A., CCC-SLP #12096006

  7. Lisa Gargaro, M.A., CCC-SLP #14258830

  8. Christina Hanks LeBlanc, M.A., CCC-SLP #01101918

  9. Carol Lovelace Wadley, MCD, CCC-SLP #01080721

  10. Elisheva Samuels, M.S., CCC-SLP #12085421

  11. Sharon Weisberg, M.S., CCC-SLP #14115903

  12. Christina Morales, B.S., SLPA #35960

  13. Casey Ruffin, M.S., CCC-SLP #14078849

  14. Dino Atikovic, M.S, CCC-SLP #14115140

  15. Debra Carol Porter, M.S., CCC-SLP #12017978

  16. Lori Carozza, M.A., CCC-SLP #09141455

  17. Michelle Miller, M.S., CCC-SLP #14033432

  18. Nissa Harrell, M.S., CCC-SLP #14180891

  19. Christin Schroeder, M.S., CCC-SLP #14038850

  20. Sarah Karmacharya, M.A., CCC-SLP #14049944

  21. Mary Reynolds-Gilmore, CCC-SLP #01097764

  22. Aizel Agustino, M.A., CCC-SLP #14128411

  23. Alicia Martin-Cowger, M.S., CCC-SLP #14146960

  24. Stefanie Rutledge Apple, M.A., CCC-SLP #14029990

  25. Hadasah Chapman, M.A., CCC-SLP #14067007

  26. Lauren Pontoppidan, M.A., CCC-SLP #14055512

  27. Bryan Gilstein, M.A., CCC-SLP #14051737

  28. Lea A. Carey, M.S., CCC-SLP #12062379

  29. Jan Hobbs, M.S., CCC-SLP #12099274

  30. Roman Konovsky, M.A., J.D., CCC-SLP #14113692

  31. Amy Schiwitz, M.S., CCC-SLP #12156506

  32. Meghan Powers, M.S., CCC-SLP #12159864

  33. Vannessa Neunder, M.A., CCC-SLP #141008613

  34. Leslie Buck, M.A., CCC-SLP #12062854

  35. Leigh Carrico Mann, M.S., CCC-SLP #12061439

  36. Carrie Elliot, M.A., CCC-SLP #14038684

  37. Jessica Irving, M.S., CCC-SLP #12061211

  38. Paulina Louie, M.A., CCC-SLP #12129726

  39. Sabrina Shepherd, M.A., CCC-SLP #07121

  40. Sarah Sung, M.A., CCC-SLP #14093798

  41. Jennie Larsen-Fritcher, M.S., CCC-SLP #12103977

  42. Catherine Hambly, M.A., CCC-SLP #12060087

  43. Donna Moore, M.A., CCC-SLP #12138188

  44. Natalie Waldman, M.A., CCC-SLP #14056888

  45. Ellen Nee, M.S., CCC-SLP #12003690

  46. LisaRose McCabe, M.A., CCC-SLP #12153030

  47. Diana Harmon, SLP #01068245

  48. Kelly M. Kuehl, M.A., CCC-SLP #12073236

  49. Jayne Corey, M.A., CCC-SLP #12154010

  50. Kacy Kreger, M.A., CCC-SLP #14107520

  51. Elizabeth Guyer, undergrad in NSSLHA

  52. Kathleen C. Kelsay, M.S., CCC-SLP

  53. Amanda Orchekin, M.S., CCC-SLP #14039118

  54. Elizabeth Glover, M.S., CCC-SLP #12097535

  55. Jill Odle, M.S., CCC-SLP #12040446

  56. Amanda Lett, M.A., CCC-SLP, BCBA #12116252

  57. Janet Dudley, M.Ed., CCC-SLP #09126643

  58. Jennifer Hawkes, M.S., CCC-SLP/ATP #12083074

  59. Caroline Tobias, M.S., CCC-SLP #14089471

  60. Angie Chandlee, M.A., CCC-SLP/L #12141718

  61. Stephanie Price, M.A., CCC-SLP 14024003

  62. Amanda Myers, M.S., CCC-SLP #09147480

  63. Georgia Garcia, M.S., CCC-SLP #12148294

  64. Amanda Davis, M.A., CCC-SLP #14050457

  65. Lori Robinson, M.A., CCC-SLP #12057575

  66. Lauren Mossman, M.A., CCC-SLP #14039809

  67. Diane Merkel, M.A. CCC-SLP #01101921

  68. Kelly Williams, M.S., CCC-SLP #14090408

  69. Helen Long, M.S., CCC-SLP #14037378

  70. Denise Durbin, M.S., CCC-SLP #12033043

  71. Maureen McGuire, M.A., CCC-SLP #00777037

  72. Shana Dodgson, M.S., CCC-SLP #14091182

  73. Lucy Windevoxhel, M.S., CCC-SLP #12028356

  74. Mary Kathleen Galbraith, M.A., CCC-SLP #14064179

  75. Nichole Schrader, M.S., CCC-SLP #14032459

  76. Catherine Kadechka, M.A., CCC-SLP #14100767

  77. Jennifer Wagner, M.A., CCC-SLP #14053845

  78. Samantha Obermeyer, M.S., CCC-SLP #14176855

  79. Dawn Cotter-Jenkins, M.A., CCC-SLP #12026690

  80. Andrea Nigara, M.S., CCC-SLP #14172190

  81. Mary Treuer Del Ojo, M.A., CCC-SLP #14103254

  82. Anthony Steusloff, M.S., CCC-SLP #14116435

  83. Erica Hawks, M.A., CCC-SLP #14052447

  84. Kirsten Thomas, M.S., CCC-SLP #14297173

  85. Joselynne Jaques, M.Sc., CCC-SLP #01097618

  86. Quincey Lloyd, M.A., CCC-SLP, CAS #14056715

  87. Rebecca Mayes, M.S., CCC-SLP #14030478

  88. Elaine Rau, CScD, CCC-SLP #00179424

  89. Christina Bourland, M.S, CCC-SLP #01126723

  90. Samantha Williams, M.S., CCC-SLP #14040197

  91. Rhonda Kaczor, M.S., CCC-SLP #12039776

  92. Nicole Mossman, M.S., CCC-SLP #14176321

  93. Katrina Paschall, M.Ed., CCC-SLP #14010506

  94. Kaci Mueke, M.S., CCC-SLP #12158364

  95. Ashley Casucci, M.S., CCC-SLP #14047655

  96. Megan Pince, M.S., CCC-SLP #14094307

  97. Frances Quinn, MCD, CCC-SLP #12018220

  98. Stephannie Brajot, M.A., CCC-SLP #12154623

  99. Kayla Rivoli, B.A., Student Clinician #1424354

  100. Alycia Canavan, M.A., CCC-SLP #14031142

  101. Taryn Tatum, M.S., CF-SLP #14229688

  102. Michelle Lachman, M.S., CCC-SLP #14011080

  103. Sarah Waderich, Graduate Student

  104. Nazli Blackwell, M.S., CCC-SLP #14264731

  105. Kathleen L. DeYoung, M.A., CCC-SLP #001100172

  106. Tracy Ferguson, M.S., CCC-SLP #14194131

  107. Lilly Lichaa, M.S., CCC-SLP #14011466

  108. Renae Green, M.S., CCC-SLP #12128039

  109. Somary Vilaysing, M.S., CCC-SLP #12133414

  110. Michael Halsted, M.S., CCC-SLP #14131088

  111. Jennifer Dow, M.A., CCC-SLP #12050328

  112. Johnetta Hammonds, M.Ed, CCC-SLP #12153086

  113. Catherine Reynolds, M.A., CCC-SLP #01097429

  114. Ashton Standford, M.A., CCC-SLP #12157760

  115. Jennifer Porachan, M.A., CCC-SLPA #14148973

  116. Shelly Williamson, M.S., CCC-SLP #01107356

  117. Stacy Puckett, M.S., CCC-SLP #12111622

  118. Annie-Laurie Hoppe, M.S., CCC-SLP #12088304

  119. Maya Hill, M.A., CF-SLP #14244560

  120. Alease Holden, M.S., CCC-SLP #14128821

  121. Marissa Brenzer, M.S., CCC-SLP #14031153

  122. Christine MacManus, M.S., CCC-SLP #12003828

  123. Abigail Spiese, M.S., CF-SLP #14153716

  124. Donna Kay Locke Tracy, M.S., CCC-SLP #12056945

  125. Daphne Dawson, MCD, CCC-SLPA #12043521

  126. Alexis Bolivar, M.A., CCC-SLPA #12135637

  127. Katherine Powers, M.S., CCC-SLP #14089684

  128. Karen Alba-Madden, M.S., CCC-SLP #01020422

  129. Samantha Broyles Miller, M.S., CCC-SLPA #12158781

  130. Amanda Merlin, M.A., CCC-SLP #14029936

  131. Amy Mullins, M.S., CCC-SLP #12045187

  132. Haylee Hollifield, M.S., CCC-SLP #14117696

  133. Kortney Babington, M.A., CCC-SLPA #12158509

  134. Victoria Kerr, M.A., CCC-SLP #00947234

  135. Angela Cure, M.A., CCC-SLP, BCBA #12111707

  136. Stephanie Kriebel, M.S., CCC-SLP #14055373

  137. Julie Fechter, M.S., CCC-SLP #14046416

  138. Shannon Ward, M.A., CCC-SLP #14069887

  139. Kelly Wilson, M.A., CCC-SLP #14109463

  140. Noreen Tsai, M.S., CCC-SLP #111543

  141. Lauren Boyette, M.S., CCC-SLP #14175403

  142. Isha Vaishampayan, M.S., CCC-SLP #14179881

  143. Melissa Pana, M.S., CF-SLP #14133986

  144. Val Lorenzo, M.S., CCC-SLP #01113083

  145. Hannah Werner, M.A., CCC-SLP #14042101

  146. Vivian Tisi, M.A., CCC-SLP #14067749

  147. Jenna Stewart, M.Ed., CCC-SLP #14030311

  148. Amanda Kett, M.S., CCC-SLP #12120366

  149. Lindsey Tallerico, M.S., CCC-SLP #12084218

  150. Sabrina Hosmer, M.A., CCC-SLPA #14037043

  151. Stephanie Westinghouse, M.A., CCC-SLP #12072752

  152. Lisa Paxton, M.S., CCC-SLP #01122018

  153. Breanna Allor, M.A., CCC-SLP #12149948

  154. Randall Habovsky, M.A., CCC-SLP #14050677

  155. Casey Switzer, M.S., CCC-SLP #1411644

  156. Jamie Narkun, M.A., CF-SLP #1248923

  157. Cheryl King, M.A., CCC-SLP #01042393

  158. Carol Steffen, M.A., CCC-SLP #01006449

  159. Jessica Xander, M.S., CCC-SLPA #14114069

  160. Jessica Robinson, M.S., CCC-SLP #12154217

  161. Tonya Parsons, M.S., CCC-SLP #14087928

  162. Melanie Ramirez, M.S., CCC-SLP #12151263

  163. Ashley McCurry, M.A., M.S., CCC-SLP #14065879

  164. Kimberley Behling, M.A., CCC-SLP #12105745

  165. Kelly Worthy, M.S., CCC-SLP #12111111

  166. Kelsey Mealey, M.S., CCC-SLP #14086637

  167. Kristen LaBeau, M.A., CCC-SLP #14099121

  168. Laura Anderson, M.S., CF-SLP #14284220

  169. Blanca Hatem, M.A., CCC-SLP #12115929

  170. Morgan Le, M.A., CCC-SLP #12151091

  171. Vanessa Gonzales, M.A., CCC-SLP #12102850

  172. Jacquelyn Matthews, M.S., CCC-SLP #12158806

  173. Ceola Odom, MCD, CCC-SLP #6690

  174. Caitlin Jones, M.S., CCC-SLP #12149884

  175. Alexandra Boo, M.A., CCC-SLP #12064987

  176. Mary Cebalt, M.A., CCC-SLP #14089572

  177. Adam Reres, M.A., CCC-SLP #14053783

  178. Natasha Gordon, M.S., CCC-SLP #12087059

  179. Cheryl Ware, M.Ed., CCC-SLP #12117713

  180. Kathrine Keegstra, M.S., CCC-SLP #14033035

  181. Amanda Christensen, M.A., CCC-SLP #14073975

  182. Sondra Kohn, M.S., CCC-SLP #01092509

  183. Veronica Jaime, CCC-SLP #12115892

  184. Stephanie Cohen, M.A., CCC-SLP #12035014

  185. Meghan Betz, Ph.D., M.A., CCC-SLP #12040035

  186. Valerie Mason, M.S., CCC-SLP #12139241

  187. Andrea Manghiuc, M.A., CCC-SLP #12154316

  188. Lauren Fox, M.S., CCC-SLP #14225514

  189. Lyndsey Swaffar, M.Ed., CCC-SLP #14056428

  190. Jocelyn Davis, M.S., CCC-SLP #14060766

  191. Caitlyn Carey, M.A., CCC-SLP #12121777

  192. Natalie Lorbecki, MSEd., CCC-SLP #14044036

  193. Ellen Holloway, M.A., CCC-SLP #12034571

  194. Kimberley Hurley, M.A., CCC-SLP #12051359

  195. Elizabeth Griffin, M.S., CCC-SLP #14098343

  196. Laura Dabney, M.A., CCC-SLP #12156375

  197. Michelle Torres, M.A., CCC-SLP #12143288

  198. Michele Spiro, M.M., M.S., CCC-SLP #14094004

  199. Janelle Perkins, M.S., CCC-SLP #12126312

  200. Marina Vertleyb, M.A., CCC-SLP #12018988

  201. Amy Locke, M.S., CCC-SLP #14174417

  202. Rebecca Bristow, M.S., CCC-SLP #14108113

  203. Ruchi Kapila, M.S., CCC-SLP #14089288

  204. Christa Holloway, M.S., CCC-SLP #12071665

  205. Julie Bogaards, M.S., CCC-SLP #01095275

  206. Cecilia Vellozo, M.S., CCC-SLP #14111833

  207. Shauna Reynolds, M.S., CCC-SLP #14042614

  208. Caitlin Gallup, M.A., CCC-SLP #12158159

  209. Kim Stephens, M.Ed., CCC-SLP #12083146

  210. Theresa Powers, M.S., CCC-SLP #12116922

  211. Nancy Sheets, MSP, CCC-SLP #01105502

  212. Olivia Rhoades, M.A., CCC-SLP #14106561

  213. Amy Scott, M.S., CCC-SLP #12026281

  214. Alexandra Schechter, M.S., CCC-SLP, BCaBA #14067025

  215. Karen Pallies, M.A., CCC-SLP #01020992

  216. Rebecca Green, M.A., CCC-SLP #14064837

  217. Samantha Determan, M.S., CCC-SLP #14041403

  218. Sharon Jensen, M.A., CCC-SLP #12013750

  219. Samantha Meehan, M.S., CCC-SLP

  220. Laura I. Favela, M.S., CCC-SLP #12116906

  221. Tracey Warren, M.S., CCC-SLP #01068015

  222. Jacalyn Dungca, M.S., CCC-SLP #14111294

  223. Sarah Carter, M.A., CCC-SLP #14111975

  224. Andrea Hallfrisch, M.A., CCC-SLP #14099595

  225. Andrea M. Szwabowski, M.H.S., CCC-SLP #12040670

  226. Jamie Sager, M.A., CCC-SLP #14175416

  227. Melissa Schofield, M.S., CCC-SLP #12109989

  228. Monica Ayrod-Waasdorp, M.Ed., CCC-SLP #01089607

  229. Laura Strauch, M.S., CCC-SLP #01101770

  230. Sarah Sprague, M.S., CCC-SLP #14095469

  231. Teranya Boykins, M.S., CCC-SLP #12078999

  232. Heather Wynne, M.A., CCC-SLP #14037269

  233. Shondra Ferrell, M.A., CCC-SLP #12038311

  234. Kristin Golde, M.A., CCC-SLP #01111416

  235. Kailey Creech, M.S., CCC-SLP #12154659

  236. Jessica Kelley, M.S., CCC-SLP #12057974

  237. Andrea Ballard, M.S., CCC-SLP #14032249

  238. Megan Berning, M.A., CCC-SLP #12156529

  239. Jennifer Johns, M.A., CCC-SLP #09147679

  240. Denise Hernandez, M.S., CCC-SLP #12144249

  241. Jenna Hassanzadeh, M.Ed., CCC-SLP #12153033

  242. Kathleen Desiderio, M.A., CCC-SLP #12109548

  243. Lauren Morrison, M.A., CCC-SLP #14039873

  244. Elissa Polland, M.S., CCC-SLP #12079002

  245. Carla Schoonover, MCD, CCC-SLP #12058856

  246. Mandy Render, M.S, CCC-SLP #12125985

  247. Tiffany Trask, M.A., CCC-SLP/L #14037899

  248. Whitney Porter, M.A., CCC-SLP #12132632

  249. Veronika Radziwill, M.A., CCC-SLP/L #14034703

  250. Heather Brown, M.S., CCC-SLP #12070863

  251. Jill Lundgren, M.S., CCC-SLP #14053487

  252. Katie Golden, M.A., CCC-SLP #12149358

  253. Susan Roncevich Rose, MSP, CCC-SLP #01020936

  254. Valerie Saucer, M.S., CCC-SLP #12147164

  255. Alyssa Guthrie, Graduate Student

  256. Frances Weldon, M.A., CCC-SLP #12000355

  257. Sara Laughlin, M.A., CCC-SLP #12007506

  258. LeeShell Lewis, M.S., CCC-SLP #12061291

  259. Kasia Richardson, M.A., CCC-SLP #12118864

  260. Casey Quinn, M.S.Ed., CCC-SLP #14033482

  261. Lacy Vannorsdel, M.A., CCC-SLP #14105947

  262. Kelsey Paul-Charlson, M.S., CCC-SLP #14055260

  263. Sally Flynt, M.S., CCC-SLP #14084675

  264. Heather Treece, M.S., CCC-SLP #12152076

  265. Kat Tomas, M.S., CCC-SLP #24157

  266. Bailey Womack, M.S., CCC-SLP #14081582

  267. Brittany Jaramillo, M.A., CCC-SLP #14089718

  268. Amber Aschwanden, M.A., CF-SLP

  269. Tessa Rasmussen M.S., CF-SLP

  270. Meghan Ballis, B.A., Student Clinician #14181970

  271. Kera Coon, M.A., CCC-SLPA #14050772

  272. Sarah Henderson, M.A., CCC-SLP #12102531

  273. Janie Brown, M.S., CCC-SLP #14036155

  274. Kimberly Herrejon, M.S., CCC-SLP #14051186

  275. Brittany Hart, M.S., CCC-SLP #120749011

  276. Lauren Clabaugh, M.S., CCC-SLP #14114544

  277. Stephanie Betjemann, M.A., CCC-SLPA #12090810

  278. Lindsay Scherbarth, M.A., CCC-SLP #12156377

  279. Elizabeth Lynch, M.S., CCC-SLP #12065170

  280. Courtney Jacobs, M.Ed., CCC-SLP #12082038

  281. Mary Humphrey, M.A., CCC-SLP #01066214

  282. Megan Rains, M.S., CCC-SLP #12144220

  283. Jessica Lee, M.A., CCC-SLP #14037770

  284. Gretchen McGinty, M.A., CCC-SLP #12156937

  285. Katie Smith, M.S., CCC-SLP #12154445

  286. Sarah Roberts, M.S., CCC-SLP #12127468

  287. Jamie Leardi, M.A., CCC-SLP #09131364

  288. Chelsea Silverman, M.A., CCC-SLP #14088677

  289. Cerise Karmondy, M.A., CCC-SLPA #41YS0075600

  290. Kristen Desjardins, M.S., CCC-SLP #12109180

  291. Cassandra Pietrus, M.A., CCC-SLP #12158331

  292. Stephen Heacock, M.S., CCC-SLP #14079297

  293. Evelyn Szaflarski, M.H.S., CCC-SLP #14046542

  294. Julia Ng, M.S., CCC-SLP #14128253

  295. Debra Olberding, M.S., CCC-SLP #00637828

  296. Michelle Collier, M.S., CCC-SLP #146007742

  297. Kimberly Clanton, M.S., CCC-SLP #14082711

  298. Katherine Gigstead, M.S., CCC-SLP #12091091

  299. Jamie Blanchard, M.A., CCC-SLP #14050904

  300. Sarah Lewis, M.S., CCC-SLP #01095434

  301. Samantha Dickinson, M.A., CF-SLP

  302. Crystal Carroll, M.S., CCC-SLP #14063462

  303. Mara McLoughlin, M.S., CCC-SLP #12153250

  304. Sara Castro, M.A., CCC-SLP #14034359

  305. Rashida Lake, M.A., CCC-SLP #14109248

  306. Nicole Walfall, B.S., SLPA #3360

  307. Rachel Platt, M.S., CF-SLP #14095589

  308. Christine Generous, M.S., CCC-SLP #01023772

  309. Sarah Sexton, M.A., CCC-SLP #14001884

  310. AnneMarie Hendren, M.A., CCC-SLP #01071080

  311. Patricia Stith, M.S., CCC-SLP #01107631

  312. Jamie Harlan, M.S., CCC-SLP #12136066

  313. Lori Smith, M.A., CCC-SLP #09148474

  314. Mardee Kohlmann, MsEd., M.A., CCC-SLP #14098706

  315. Hadley Regal, M.S., CCC-SLP #14030975

  316. Claire Mulligan, M.S., CCC-SLP #14042589

  317. Rachel Ryan, M.A., CCC-SLP #14039387

  318. Nichole Baldwin, M.A., CCC-SLP #25552

  319. Karelys Carrion, M.S., CCC-SLP #14043398

  320. Elizabeth Diaz-Moreno, M.S., CCC-SLP #12075740

  321. Judith Hale, M.A., CCC-SLP #00834333

  322. Latifah Alexander, M.S., CCC-SLP #14116123

  323. Amanda Gleeson, M.S., CCC-SLP #12113309

  324. Jessica Hatterman, M.S., CCC-SLP #14052988

  325. Sandy Ritts, CCC-SLP #12144559

  326. Lillian Bischel, M.A., CCC-SLP #12059763

  327. Marissa Campbell, M.S., CCC-SL #14069455

  328. Julie Jackson, M.S., CCC-SLP #09125758

  329. Shemeka Cusack, CF-SLP #5190

  330. Shannon Hanes, M.S., CCC-SLP #12055031

  331. Lauren Koczarski, M.S., CCC-SLP #12132442

  332. Kasena Kafka, M.A., CCC-SLP #14037505

  333. Samantha Rehe, M.S., CCC-SLP #14197559

  334. Rhonda Malinksy-Rockwell, CCC-SLP/CED #12049521

  335. Sarah Annunziata, M.S., CCC-SLP #12127992

  336. Teresa Sadowski, M.A., CCC-SLP #0102487902

  337. Rachel Neugroschel, M.A., CCC-SLP #14159134

  338. Mackenzie Graham, M.S., CCC-SLP #14091169

  339. Christina Semonick, M.S., CCC-SLP #14147080

  340. Caitlyn DiJoseph, M.S., CCC-SLP #14197860

  341. Karen Jacobsen, M.S., CCC-SLP #01099109

  342. Kathleen DiLella, M.Ed., CCC-SLP #12006247

  343. Susan Phillips, M.S., CCC-SLP #01061045

  344. Michael Maloney, CF-SLP #14244635

  345. Nancy Spivey, M.S., CCC-SLP #01001390

  346. Katelyn Castillo, B.S., Graduate Clinician #14255165

  347. Tamika Liddell, MA., CCC-SLP #12094861

  348. Kelly Allison Kalus, M.S., CCC-SLP #1105322

  349. Kathleen Rose-Le, M.S., CCC-SLP #09142340

  350. Shunnae Baker, M.S., CCC-SLP #01131818

  351. Ann Marie Johnston, M.S., CCC-SLP #14007666

  352. Gail Walter, M.S., CCC-SLP #12122591

  353. Angela Mooney, M.S., CF-SLP #14256085

  354. Katrina Stahl, M.A., CCC-SLP #14064408

  355. Lisa McDermeit, M.Ed., CCC-SLP #01114214

  356. Diana Shiroky, M.S., CCC-SLP #14179479

  357. Karena Martin, M.S., CCC-SLP #12069928

ASHA's Initial Response


Dear Marissa, 

Thank you for your thoughtful letter via the InTouch contact system. We value all feedback from members, and are working to respond to your letter. Since it covered a lot of ground in terms of the workplace and practice issues mentioned, I'm working with some other staff members to hopefully address your concerns in a meaningful way, with an equally thoughtful response. Please know that your concerns have been added to the full report to the Board on all InTouch queries and concerns, which is to be presented at the August board meeting. 


Lisa Cole

Lisa M. Cole

Chief Staff Officer, Communications

American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA)

Thank You Response to ASHA


Thank you, Lisa. I know that I and the many members who have signed on to this letter and watched its development appreciate you taking the time to craft a thoughtful response. I would encourage the board to review the website for an updated list of signatures, as the list has grown significantly since I initially submitted it. We are very hopeful that this opens up a true dialogue between ASHA and its constituents with productive, appreciable ways that we can all make a difference in our field.



ASHA's Full Response


Dear Ms. Artman,


Thank you to you and the additional ASHA members that signed on to your letter to the ASHA Board of Directors (BOD).  Your letter was shared with the BOD and I coordinated with several staff across the office to provide information that addresses your concerns.  Please connect with us to continue to work on these professional practice and work place issues that are affecting speech-language pathologists.  Please see the attached letter and share it with the other speech-language pathologists.


Lemmietta McNeilly

Lemmietta McNeilly, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, CAE, ASHA Fellow, FNAP

Chief Staff Officer, Speech-Language Pathology

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)  



pdf version

August 15, 2018

Dear Marissa,

Thank you for contacting the ASHA Board of Directors with your concerns about several issues within the profession of speech-language pathology (SLP). We appreciate your thoughtful comments you shared on behalf of the other ASHA members. Clinical practice in SLP certainly presents several challenges in the current climate of policy changes, fiscal and human resource limitations that affect service delivery in both educational and health care settings. SLPs are making huge differences in the lives of students, clients and patients every day. As a member-centric organization, ASHA is committed to supporting you and all of our members in meaningful ways. Please allow me to provide some information about the work ASHA staff and volunteers do related to your concerns. 

Advocacy and providing access to tools and resources that enhance professional practice are core elements of ASHA, which is the national, professional, scientific and credentialing association for speech-language pathologists and audiologists. ASHA works to advance the influence and demonstrated value of services provided by our member speech-language pathologists to lawmakers and policymakers in Washington, D.C., as well as state capitals across the nation. As we live in a time marked by political uncertainty, sharpened ideological divisions, and shrinking budgets, it is especially important that both the value and quality of SLP services are understood and reflected in relevant laws and regulations.

ASHA employs government affairs and public policy experts that advocate on behalf of our members. These experts undertake a number of critical activities including:

  • building strategic relationships with influential lawmakers and policymakers;

  • engaging in robust policy analysis and development;

  • communicating with ASHA members, lawmakers, policymakers, and the general public;

  • creating opportunities for ASHA members to become advocates, and;

  • building and sustaining strategic coalitions with allied stakeholders.

ASHA is actively addressing several issues of critical importance to speech-language pathologists, which include equitable reimbursement for services rendered, robust school funding, and reasonable productivity standards. While recognizing the challenges of the current political environment, ASHA continues to seek opportunities to advance these issues with members, who offer critical clinical expertise and compelling stories. We also have a multiyear Value of the CCCs campaign that targets employers to educate them about the certificates of clinical competence.

In advocating for the professions, ASHA also understands the challenges created by unreasonable expectations of productivity applied by many employers in certain settings. Unrealistic productivity standards and administrative demands for service delivery driven by reimbursement rather than the needs of consumers is a fundamental problem with aspects of the current health care system. In addition, challenges are also visible in educational settings. ASHA has engaged actively with industry leaders in health care to address this problem. For example, ASHA led the effort to collaborate with AOTA and APTA to develop the Consensus Statement on Clinical Judgement to support its members in efforts to push back against unreasonable administrative mandates.

Such mandates infringed on their clinical judgement and drove the focus on productivity as a reflection of billable minutes rather than the full scope of work that is meaningful to client care. Similarly, ASHA led the development of the Compliance Reporting document to provide additional information and resources for members to address problematic circumstances they are faced with in their employment settings. While these resources are helpful in addressing problems in clinical settings, ASHA also has engaged with industry leaders and stakeholders such as the Department of Justice, when for example, administrative mandates from companies have illegally usurped the clinical judgement and authority of speech-language pathologists to determine the course of treatment for their clients. 

Recent developments and changes in the way of post-acute care services are reimbursed by Medicare provide opportunities for speech-language pathologists to demonstrate value to health care systems and outcomes beyond discrete therapy minutes. ASHA is working aggressively with other stakeholders to take advantage of the changing payment incentives to eliminate the emphasis on productivity as a reflection of billable minutes but rather to consider the overall impact of member services on quality service delivery and patient outcomes. While productivity considerations are unlikely to go away entirely under the new payment systems, there is an opportunity to use the changes to the advantage of members and the clients they serve, and to define the value metrics for the profession.

Staffing shortages due to inadequate funding at the local, regional, state and federal levels contribute to the pressures speech-language pathologists experience regarding caseload and workload metrics. As the national association representing audiologists and speech-language pathologists, ASHA is best suited to address larger scale policy and funding issues that are influenced by federal policies and programs. To that end, ASHA continues its advocacy efforts to increase dedicated federal funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) [link provided unavailable] as well as several other funding streams and programs critical to improving funding for school-based services at all levels. These efforts have helped to establish the resources necessary to address one of the main pressures resulting in unreasonable expectations for the workload of school-based members.

Additionally, ASHA regularly meets with Department of Education officials as well as Medicaid decision-makers at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to discuss the importance of adequate funding for school-based services. However, the recent tax legislation enacted by Congress places increase pressure on school funding by making it harder for local and state governments to raise revenues. ASHA's advocacy team is working diligently with Congress to highlight this problem and to urge the investments necessary in education to ensure students receive the public education to which they are entitled. We lobby members of Congress, provide comments and feedback to federal agencies and work in national coalitions focused on education and education funding. The connection between manageable workloads and funding is direct; funding is a priority within the ASHA Public Policy Agenda [link provided unavailable].

Several ASHA teams include speech-language pathologists (e.g. Government Affairs and Public Policy, Clinical Issues, Health Care Services, School Services, as well as the Office of Multicultural Affairs) that provide professional consultation and technical assistance to members. ASHA staff regularly provide information based on education and expertise.

The content of ASHA's Professional Development opportunities is informed by the common issues noted during professional consultations, such as ASHA survey results, and other sources of member data that describe clinical and professional needs. An example of a recent collaboration with decision makers that brought longstanding issues of school-based members front and center is the ASHA Schools Virtual Town Hall, which occurred during the second week of August. School leaders (two principals), district leaders (former assistant superintendent and a superintendent), state leaders (two state education advocates), and a National Education Association union representative comprised the panel that presented feasible solutions to the issues as well as describing how individuals in their respective roles could collaborate to foster systemic change. The longstanding issues addressed were school funding, high caseloads, excessive paperwork, and barriers to varying service delivery methods. The town hall was recorded and will be made freely available to interested parties in the Trending Topics section of the School Service Team's webpage by the end of August. We encourage the use of this resource by ASHA members, ASHA staff, and other stakeholders to adopt or adapt solutions posted to address similar issues faced by SLPs in schools across the nation.

ASHA recognizes that productivity demands and high caseloads put undue stress on speech-language pathologists and lead to burnout. While we have highlighted several advocacy efforts that are happening at the federal, state, and industry-wide levels, we know that you are fighting to demonstrate the value of your services each day to administrators in different clinical settings. ASHA has resources for school-based and health care-based speech-language pathologists that can support your grassroots advocacy efforts and clinical practice.

Please also connect with the ASHA professional practices staff of speech-language pathologists anytime via phone (800-498-2071) or email (; We absolutely want to work with you in your efforts and help you create meaningful change in your workplace and are open to ideas. 

On a different note, you also inquired about ASHA's corporate partnership program. This program offers companies marketing opportunities and the chance to develop a relationship with ASHA members. However, partnership is not an endorsement or recommendation of any product, service, program or organization. The goal is to generate revenue beyond member fees that provides funding for ASHA to offer more programs, services and opportunities for members. We would be happy to talk to you more about the corporate partnership program and the nature of relationships with the different organizations if you have additional questions. 

We hope the information presented in this response letter is helpful to you and other speech-language pathologists that added their names to your letter. We would like to continue to engage with you to effect lasting changes in clinical practice. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance. 


Lemmietta McNeilly, PhD, CCC-SLP, CAE, FNAP

Chief Staff Officer, Speech-Language Pathology

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

2200 Research Boulevard

Rockville, MD 20850-3289

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