April 3, 2009

Bill Wilkerson Center’s Hale to lead national hearing, speech sciences group

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Vanderbilt’s Sue Hale has been named president of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (photo by Anne Rayner)

Bill Wilkerson Center’s Hale to lead national hearing, speech sciences group

A highly regarded member of Vanderbilt's Bill Wilkerson Center is serving as president of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 130,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language and hearing scientists.

Sue Hale, director of Clinical Education and assistant professor in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, will serve a one-year term and succeeded Catherine Gottfred, Ph.D., who will continue to serve on ASHA's 2009 board of directors.

“I am so proud that one of Vanderbilt's finest faculty leaders, Sue Hale, is taking on this highly influential national leadership position in hearing and speech sciences,” said Jeffrey Balser, M.D., Ph.D., dean of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Hale is one of the developers of national standards for clinical education in audiology and speech-language pathology.

She is a frequent presenter in the areas of clinical supervision, counseling and professional ethics. Her teaching areas are counseling and professional issues.

“As ASHA president I am particularly interested in continuing our focus on high standards for clinical education, ethical conduct and evidence-based professional endeavors,” she said.

Hale recently completed a three-year term as ASHA vice president for Quality of Service in Speech-Language Pathology, where she monitored the work of the Council for Clinical Certification, the Council for Clinical Specialty Recognition and the Board of Ethics.

She has also served as a member of the Council on Professional Standards and was the chair of ASHA's Council for Clinical Certification. She assisted in writing the current educational standards and developing a plan for implementation.

Hale was a faculty member and director of the Speech and Hearing Center at the University of Mississippi for 24 years before joining Vanderbilt in 2000.

The role of ASHA president requires frequent trips to state association meetings, to Capitol Hill to lobby on issues, as well as numerous meetings at the ASHA National Office. She will represent the association at a meeting in Slovenia this May.

“We celebrate the achievements and high-impact efforts of Sue Hale in her national position,” said Ron Eavey, M.D., director of the Bill Wilkerson Center. “Sue so very much benefits communication-impaired patients and her professional ASHA constituents as well as all of us at Vanderbilt Medical Center.”

Hale said her Vanderbilt colleagues, including Hearing and Speech Sciences Chair Fred Bess, Ph.D., have been very supportive.

“The faculty members in the department, particularly our chair Dr. Bess, have been extremely supportive of this role for me,” she said. “And I'm grateful for their enthusiastic encouragement.”