Alaska <br>  Speech-Language-Hearing <br>         Association

2017 AKSHA Award Winners!

Thank you everyone for your nominations for AKSHA Awards! We are thrilled to recognize the following people for their achievements:

AKSHA Award Winners at the 2017 AKSHA Convention from Left to Right:

Anne Ver Hoef, Katy Rice, Laura Young-Campbell, Nancy Knutson, Maya Dunham, Eric Wichorek and Rhonda Neill.

Legislative Champion Award

This was awarded to Lisa Murkowski and will be given to her this spring when Nancy Lovering & Jennifer Laack are in DC. Senator Murkowski has been instrumental in the continuing discussions regarding healthcare with her steadfast position on bipartisanship and the necessity for debate and discussion on healthcare issues. Her commitment to working with both parties in Washington DC and with Alaskan health care officials to optimize healthcare is commendable and represents her statesmanship. She advocates for health services for all Alaskans from the most rural, and remote parts of our State to urban areas. Her commitment to the health of Alaskans and the health care policy that drives coverage and services is tireless. Her stand regarding healthcare policy has protected Medicaid coverage for speech, language, and hearing services, including habilitative and rehabilitative services, under Essential Health Benefits in The ACA.

Nominated by: AKSHA Board Members

Lifetime Member Award: Lifetime Achievement

This award recognizes an outstanding history of clinical practice in the field of speech language pathology and/or audiology within Alaska and AKSHA. Nominees must have practiced at least 20 years as an Audiologist and/or SLP and been an AKSHA member for 10 or more years.

Anne Ver Hoef

Anne has been a staple of both AKSHA and the private practice community. She was innovative in establishing a practice working with neurological/cognitive communication disorders in adults. Anne’s professional contributions include supervising graduate students, mentoring new practitioners, working to establish the private practice group and collaborating with other professions during the enormous Medicaid audits. Anne has held leadership positions in AKSHA, having served on the Board in various positions for approximately 20 years. She has always been willing to help from finding speakers for convention, providing a ‘home’ for Association meetings and socials and even arranging those prized fly-overs. Anne is most deserving of the Lifetime Award. She has always been there for us and it is time we recognize and thank her.

Nominated by: Laura Young Campbell and Nancy Lovering

Laura Young-Campbell

I met Laura Young-Campbell in Fall 2010 when I moved to Alaska and began to work for the Mat-Su Borough School District. Laura mentored me, as she has done for many other SLPs in our district over the 30+ years that she has been working there. Laura has helped to evolve the MSBSD Speech Therapy department with procedures for appropriate evaluations, therapy, updating the group with critical information from ASHA related to Evidenced Based Practice, among other information she has acquired while working as the Coordinator of the ASHA Special Interest Group (SIG 16) for school-based services. All of this, while still providing quality speech/communication therapy to students ranging from 3 years to 21 years of age. Laura has been an advocate for SLPs at the local (MSBSD), state (AKSHA, UAA Clinical Instructor), and national level (ASHA Fellow, ASHA SIG 16).

Her devotion to the field of Speech Language Pathology is evident with all she has done to advocate for SLPs and students who are in need of quality Speech Therapy. Laura has earned this Lifetime Achievement. Alaska SLPs have benefitted from having LYC in our state!

Nominated by: Mary Dooher and Monica Glen

AKSHA Sourdough: Long-Term Dedication and Outstanding Contributions in Speech Language Pathology and/or Audiology

This award recognizes an Audiologist and/or SLP who demonstrates long-term dedication to issues in the state, advocacy, leadership, or outstanding clinical practice.

Maya Gamez Dunham

Maya is a bilingual SLP who provides comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic services to Spanish speaking children and young adults. She creates a knowledgeable and supportive environment for her clients and their families – putting them at ease with her ability to speak Spanish and English with native proficiency. Maya is extremely knowledgeable regarding the process of typical speech and language development for both bilingual and monolingual Spanish speakers and competently and clearly conveys this understanding to the families she works with. Maya works hard to remain up to date and well informed regarding the ‘best practices’ in this area and excels at recognizing cultural factors that may impact services. She is passionate about educating her colleagues and the families she works with on the differences between communication disorders and normal linguistic variations; and works tirelessly to advocate for her clients to ensure they receive appropriate intervention. Maya is truly an asset to our therapeutic community in a geographic area where her level of knowledge and clinical expertise is rare.

Nominated by: Kathie Morgan and Sarah McWilliams

AKSHA 49’er: Excellence in Clinical Practice

This award recognizes an Audiologist and/or SLP who demonstrates innovative ideas in speech language pathology or audiology; may include service delivery, programs, or services.

Kim Wright & Nancy Knutson

These ladies have worked diligently to research and bring new service delivery models to the Mat-Su Schools district. This was not an easy task as it took a few years for administration to even allow them to pilot a 3:1 service delivery model. Kim and Nancy had to pilot the 3:1 model for approximately 3 years before the district would allow others to utilize this evidenced based service delivery model. After collecting resources from ASHA and others, Kim and Nancy also developed and adapted protocols to utilize in their practices. These ladies have been generous in sharing this information annually with the SLPs at Mat-Su, while continuing to provide the administration updates on effectiveness of services and data on student progress. In addition to developing and providing the district trainings, Kim and Nancy developed and presented a poster session for AKSHA members last year. (Aksha 2016) 

It is never easy to convince a school district to change something, especially the traditional thoughts on how services should be implemented. The 3:1 model allows for greater flexibility in providing both direct and indirect services, allows for more collaboration amongst staff and greater inclusion of curriculum in student goals. This change has been slow but it would not have happened if Kim Wright and Nancy Knutson were not integral in leading the efforts to move our district forward in incorporating what is now considered an standard model of service delivery.

Nominated by: Laura Young Campbell and Mary Doomer

President Award: Given by the association president for service to the association

Rhonda Neill

As a committee chair for a variety of AKSHA committees over the years, Rhonda has

made an enormous contribution to our association! She takes on a position, figures it out and expertly implements great ideas. In addition, she frequently offers assistance and can always be counted on to lend a hand!

Katy Rice

Although Katy Rice is a graduate student, she has spent this past year helping the president pretty much daily! No matter the task she is given, she does it thoroughly, cheerfully and completely. In addition, she is always willing to help, super efficient, and I wouldn’t have made it to this point today without her.

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