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University of Cincinnati Department Chair to Assume Leadership of ASHA

(ROCKVILLE, MD-December 19, 2001) Nancy A. Creaghead, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Cincinnati, will begin her term as President of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) on January 1, 2002. A member of the Association for 30 years, Dr. Creaghead also is a certified speech-language pathologist (CCC-SLP) in private practice.

Children's issues are an important focus for Creaghead as the new president of ASHA. Specifically, helping children with literacy issues, identifying services for children in rural and urban settings, and providing needed services to children of poverty are critical to make sure children are prepared to learn in school. She recently participated in the White House Conference on "Early Childhood Cognitive Development: Ready to Read, Ready to Learn."

"Helping children learn to read is one of the many areas in which speech-language pathologists and audiologists play a critical role in collaborating with families, other professionals, and policy makers in meeting an important local, state, and national challenge," said Creaghead. "The White House Conference demonstrated the enormous need to begin in early childhood to provide children, especially children of poverty, with the language skills and experiences to prepare them to read."

Another important focus for Creaghead is the shortage of Ph.D faculty, researchers and research doctoral students.

"This is one of the most critical problems facing our discipline and must be addressed," said Creaghead. "The potential impact is the inability to educate future audiologists and speech-language pathologists, a possible reduction in number of programs, and the erosion of research to advance clinical practice."

Additional areas for which she will advocate during her term as president include improving the working conditions in many environments, such as the schools, where speech-language pathologists and audiologists practice, and legislation regarding service provision and reimbursement.

Creaghead has served as ASHA's Vice President for Professional Practices in Speech-Language Pathology, a Legislative Councilor for six years, and was president of the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders and the Ohio Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She has provided more than 275 workshops, conference presentations, and publications for the benefit of her colleagues.

ASHA is the professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 103,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language and hearing scientists. ASHA strives to ensure that all people with speech, language, and hearing disorders have access to quality services and to help them communicate more effectively.

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