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  • 18 Oct 2023 1:29 PM | Barbara Wilson Arboleda (Administrator)

    What setting are you working in currently and what do you do?

    I am a Spanish bilingual speech-language pathologist working in the Boston Public Schools, with children and young adults, in the ages of 2;9- 22. My duties include performing speech-language assessments, writing IEP plans for students eligible for speech-language services and providing speech-language services for the students in my caseload.

    What excites you about your current professional projects?

    As a fluency and fluency disorders life-time specialist, I’m excited to help my colleagues in the Boston Public Schools to develop best clinical practices for children who present with stuttering disorders through professional development and consultations.

    What advice do you give to the next generation of speech pathologists?

    Some of the challenges in the field relate to unwillingness of some school administrators to acknowledge that SLPs need to be provided with a desk and an adequate working space to perform our professional duties. My advice to the next generation of SLPs is to take good care of themselves, including developing a strong professional support group, getting a good financial advisor to help you manage your 403b and/or Smart Plan, develop a specialization in the field that you enjoy the most, and develop leadership skills through organizing professional development activities for your colleagues.

    What do you value about MSHA Membership?

    I value my MSHA membership as it opens space for me to stay involved in professional development, network with colleagues, and participate in social events with local colleagues.

  • 17 Feb 2023 3:49 PM | Barbara Wilson Arboleda (Administrator)

    What setting are you working in currently and what do you do?

    I am an associate professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Northeastern University where I conduct research, teach, and engage in community service with my students.  I am also a clinical researcher as part of the Spaulding/Harvard Traumatic Brain Injury Model System.

    What excites you about your current professional projects?

    I am particularly excited about my projects focused on brain health, neuroplasticity, and cognitive exercise in neurotypical adults and adults with various neurologic diagnoses.  And, it has been wonderful developing collaborations with people who are interested in these topics!

    What advice do you give to the next generation of speech pathologists?

    Three pieces of advice:  1)  Always remember why you became an SLP, especially on bad days;  2)  Don't ask your patients/clients/students to do something that you are not willing to do yourself;  and 3)  Figure out a good work-life balance.  You're no good to anyone if you're not taking care of yourself!

    Congratulations on receiving the ASHA Fellow Award at the ASHA Convention in New Orleans in November!

    Thank you!  I am so greatly honored and humbled to have been nominated and chosen for this award by amazing professional colleagues and role models whom I greatly respect.  To be recognized for what a person has dedicated their life to feels really good

  • 06 Dec 2022 8:44 PM | Barbara Wilson Arboleda (Administrator)

    Sandy Reams is an Audiologist who works for Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital- Cape Cod in East Sandwich. At Spaulding I am  able to work with adults and children for audiology evaluations and hearing aids and auditory processing. Being with Spaulding almost since it opened has allowed me to develop programs as we feel the community needs them. A benefit of working at Spaulding is that I am able to be part of the rehabilitation team and provide insights to inpatient and outpatient therapists regarding their patients hearing.  I love the multi-disciplinary atmosphere. Prior to working at Spaulding I worked in a private otolaryngology practice.

    Why did you decide to become an audiologist?

    I feel like I was meant to be an Audiologist. When growing up my best friend’s brother was deaf after his mother contracted rubella while she was pregnant. He went to the Beverly School for the Deaf (which was an oral school at the time). My brother was also delayed in speech and language due to many ear infections. My sisters and I got to stay home with the babysitter while he got to go play with toys at the Audiologist. My mother also had a unilateral complete hearing loss that she developed when I was young. It is thought that she contracted a mild form of the mumps when we had it. Both of my parents were in the medical field  and I knew in high school that I wanted to follow their lead.  I found speech and hearing because of my many experiences. I completed my undergraduate degree at Worcester State. I chose Audiology because I liked the technical aspect and did not want to do lesson plans etc. on the weekends. I then completed my Masters in Audiology at CID/Washington University in St. Louis, MO. I completed my AuD program through an online transitional program.

     What excites you about your current professional projects?

    Over the recent years I have started to feel that I can give back to the profession and have volunteered to serve rolls with ASHA. Most recently I have been the Audiology Representative for Massachusetts for the Committee of Ambassadors (CoA). A benefit to that position is that I attend the MSHA executive board meetings as aa non-voting member. This coming year I will also be serving as the CoA chair. The CoA is a new committee that was created when the Advisory Groups were sunsetted by ASHA. 

    I will be the 3rd chair and the 2nd Audiologist in the role. The CoA is an ASHA committee with one SLP and one Audiologist from every state. We work closely with ASHA on advocacy and public relations. Our role is to promote our profession and it’s needs to officials, constituents, peers, and the general public. I have found the advocacy component to be very rewarding. We have been able to meet with the staff of our legislators and state why we would like them to support different issues.

    The CoA  has a fairly broad scope in that it is guided by the ASHA Public Policy Agenda and public events like World Hearing Day and May is Better Speech and Hearing Month.

    In addition to the CoA Audiology and Speech Language representative, Massachusetts also has the State Based Advocacy representatives that specialize in specific areas like Medicare (StAMP), Education (SEAL), and Reimbursement (STAR).

     What do you value about MSHA Membership?

    Why do I value MSHA? Over the past 2 years of attending the executive board meetings I have met some truly devoted professionals. I have learned the strength of having a state organization devoted to our professions needs in our state. Those needs include advocacy for provisional licensure and telehealth, working with our board of registration and keeping track of any changes that they are considering, continuing education, and simply professional networking. I learned that MSHA welcomes Audiologists and hope that with MAAA dissolving that Massachusetts Audiologists will find a home with MSHA.

  • 15 Feb 2022 2:00 PM | Barbara Wilson Arboleda (Administrator)

    Sasha Watson is a Speech-Language Pathologist who works for Boston Public Schools. She has a half time caseload working directly with students and is the Coordinator of the Feeding and Swallowing Program for the school system. This program requires her to assess students, as well as train, and support teachers, para professionals, and parents. In addition to her job in Boston, she works on the weekends at a skilled nursing facility.

    Why did you decide to become a Speech-Language Pathologist?

    My mother and grandmother worked with developmentally disabled adults. Growing up, I was always included in going to work with my mom or the clients would come to my sporting events for outings. Accepting people who were different, learning to have patience, and standing up for people who couldn’t stand up for themselves were lessons I didn’t know I would become passionate about. When I was 16 years old, I worked a summer job as a paraprofessional in a collaborative program for student with a variety of needs. I worked in a classroom with students that had Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Fragile X syndrome, and fetal alcohol syndrome. I loved participating in their therapy groups and watching them learn/explore access to communication. The following fall when I applied to colleges, I knew I wanted to be in the field, and I began my undergraduate studies at Northeastern University.

    What are some of the challenges that you have faced in the field?

    I have worked in a variety of settings starting with skilled nursing, outpatient adult, outpatient pediatrics, private non-profit school, and public school currently. I have faced challenges in all settings and have had to rely on my personal morals and ethics to guide my practice, advocacy, and peace of mind. I have felt the pressure of over performing and needing to “prove” I was competent enough, a struggle many of us face in underrepresented spaces. I think one of the biggest challenges has been to stand firm in my intelligence and professionalism and not fear backlash from people in power or with political connections within the field.

    What setting are you working in currently? (setting, kinds of students, groups etc.)

    I currently work in the public-school setting with students navigating intellectual impairments, physical impairments, and feeding/swallowing difficulties. I also work per diem in the skilled nursing setting. My patients have various diagnoses and vary in age range from 50’s- to late 90’s.

    What advice do you want to give to the next generation of SLPs?

    Honor your commitment. Not to your job but to yourself. Respect and show gratitude for the hard work, emotional labor, and success you have EARNED. Do not be afraid to shine and admit where you need to grow. Ask for help and be committed to the challenge of doing what is right for yourself and for your patients. Lastly, have fun and always be a student. I have learned so much from my patients/students/ clients that could’ve never been captured in a textbook.

  • 15 Feb 2022 1:50 PM | Barbara Wilson Arboleda (Administrator)

    Patrick Alexis is a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) who has been working for Boston Public Schools for 19 years. He is a graduate of MGH Institute of Health Professions. His current appointment in Boston is Speech-Language Pathology Liaison. This appointment is unique to Boston because of the number of Speech-Language Pathologists that Boston employs. In this appointment, Mr. Alexis mentors and supports fellow Speech-Language Pathologists and is a member of the leadership team, which provides professional development for all of the SLPs and specialized support for the Clinical Fellows (CF). In addition to his liaison duties, Mr. Alexis has a part-time caseload at an elementary school.

    When asked why he selected Speech-Language Pathology as a profession, Mr. Alexis shared that he had never heard of the profession throughout his school years in New York until he was in his third year of college. While working at a daycare center, he stumbled upon a student who was having difficulty speaking. A Speech-Language Pathologist began working with the student and allowed him to observe. After numerous observations, he found his passion. He continues to enjoy working with students as well as sharing his knowledge and expertise while supporting fellow SLPs. He feels that working in the profession in Boston has been a great experience in that he has been treated professionally and supported by the leadership in the department.

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The Massachusetts Speech-Language-Hearing Association will be recognized as an authority and resource in the fields of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology by legislative bodies, related professional associations and consumers.

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