Director of Operations Steve Kinkead, SLP and Area Manager Jean Herauf, SLP attended this year’s ASHA (American Speech-language Hearing Association) Convention in Los Angeles this past week. This year’s theme was “Focus on the Big Picture,” and more than 14,000 professionals were in attendance for the three-day event.
Actress Goldie Hawn was the keynote speaker. She created a foundation that developed an evidence-based curriculum and teaching model for grades K-12 that provides tools to help children self-regulate and understand their own emotions. “Her message to us, though, was that we need to take care of ourselves,” Steve said. “As caregivers, we’re always giving care to others first, but we need to be mindful of our own needs.”
The conference included continuing education courses on every SLP-related topic from pediatrics to geriatrics. Jean and Steve attended CE classes on aphasia, dysphagia and assistive technology for cognition. “I thought the quality of the courses were excellent this year,” Steve said. “They really embraced the big-picture theme and there was a renewed focus at looking at not only clinical knowledge base but considering the patient’s environment, functional needs, and practical applications when designing treatment plans. A huge focus was also on interactions with caregivers to maximize desired patient outcomes.”
“The convention is much bigger though than just going to speakers and educational sessions,” he said. “It’s an excellent chance to network with other professionals from a clinical aspect but also discuss legislative concerns, regulatory issues and the future of the field.”
“It’s a perfect combination of networking, learning and laughing with like-minded people,” Steve said.