Message from the President

Welcome, Missouri Speech-Language-Hearing Association Members!

As the MSHA Executive Board continues to rise to the unprecedented situations that are upon us, I often find myself reflecting on the mantra: Don’t Get Bitter, Just Get Better. The global COVID-19 pandemic has evolved and the MSHA Executive Board has continually chosen to get better despite the unfavorable situations. We launched the first ever Virtual Convention, a virtual Town Hall Empowerment Series and, with the partnership of our lobbyist Brent Hemphill, advocated for the health and safety of membership across the state, all while maintaining a healthy financial stance.

Looking ahead, the 2021 MSHA Convention will be focused around the theme, The Power of Progress. We are excited to offer presentations to help push us forward. While progress and change can be uncomfortable at times, it is mandatory in our fields of practice. Progressing our clinical skills, growing understanding of diversity and bias and gaining new personal skills are critical for us to be highly competent employees. This year, the Convention will invite short course speakers who can impact all attendees, regardless of work setting, to highlight how powerful progress can be.

I encourage you to join our recently enhanced networks and committees. Now that MSHA has an increased tech IQ, the leaders of the committees have new avenues to collaborate with the members. I am filled with pride to acknowledge that MSHA’s strategic plan will soon be updated to include a robust diversity and inclusion section developed by a recently established task force. At this point, it is pretty clear that COVID-19 will be with us through the foreseeable future, so it is more important than ever to participate in our 2021 Legislative Day (date to be announced) to advocate for our field and help escalate our work settings concerns.

I am thrilled to have the privilege to lead the membership through this uncertain time. I am honored to have the opportunity to learn from MSHA past president, Pat Jones, and to lead with MSHA president-elect, Jennifer Stevenson. Uncertainty lies ahead, so we commit to remaining nimble and responsive to the current state of affairs. We will lead with love to keep our membership’s safety in the forefront. Staying true to the mantra, rather than becoming bitter when challenges arise, the entire Executive Board commits to choosing the path of continuous improvement.

Thank you for all that you are doing as speech and hearing professionals. Each MSHA member makes a difference in the lives of others and I am so proud lead this incredible organization.

Heather Lazarides, MHA, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S
MSHA President 2020-2021