Kathleen Pichora-Fuller elected into the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences

SAC would like to congratulate SAC member M. Kathleen Pichora-Fuller on her election as a fellow for the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. In 2021 Kathleen Pichora-Fuller was the recipient of SAC’s Eve Kassirer Award for Lifetime Achievement. She was chosen for this award in recognition to her long history of distinguished and dedicated service to both SAC and the profession of  audiology. Her work has fostered the development and advancement of audiology nationally and internationally. She is also currently the Chair of SAC’s Audiology Services in Long Term Care Working Group.

She is also joined by SAC member Susan Rvachew, who has received national and international recognition for outstanding professional achievements in the field of speech-language pathology practice and research.

Fellowship in the Academy is considered one of the highest honours for individuals in the Canadian health sciences community. This announcement has important implications for audiology and SAC because it provides an opportunity to lead new initiatives on various policy deliberations concerning hearing in later life, including the national dementia strategy, ageism, new models of inter-professional primary health care delivery, LTC, etc.

The Canadian Academy of Health Sciences brings together Canada’s top-ranked health and biomedical scientists and scholars to make a positive impact on the urgent health concerns of Canadians. The fellows have been drawn from all disciplines across our nation’s universities, healthcare and research institutes, evaluate Canada’s most complex health challenges and recommend strategic, actionable solutions.

 

Click here to learn more and see the full list of 2022 fellows.

SAC and Extended HealthCare Professionals Statement for Parliamentarians

As part of the return to Parliament, SAC alongside our coalition of Extended HealthCare Professionals released the following statement for Parliamentarians :

As Members of Parliament return to Ottawa for the House of Commons fall session, the Extended Healthcare Professionals Coalition (EHPC) looks forward to collaborating with federal leaders and policy makers to address some of the most pressing healthcare issues facing Canadians. 

First and foremost on the agenda: Canada is in the middle of a healthcare human resource crisis. While much attention has been paid to hospital closures and access to primary health care, the issue is much broader and affects all parts of the healthcare delivery system, across the public and private sectors. EHPC members are committed to providing innovative solutions to address longstanding systemic pressures noting that current system challenges extend beyond physicians and nurses.
 
“The EHPC represents over 100,000 of Canada’s regulated healthcare professionals who are grappling with these challenges and have a crucial role to play in terms of identifying and implementing solutions,” said Ondina Love, Chair of the EHPC. The EHPC looks forward to working with key federal decision makers in the coming weeks and months to improve timely access to care and overall system performance for all Canadians.”
The four key recommendations which EHPC will be advancing this Fall are:
 
Address the health human resources crisis by investing in short and long-term retention and recruitment strategies for all healthcare practitioners. This includes expanding the Canada Student Loan Forgiveness Program, supporting provincial and territorial recruitment strategies, and expanded funding for educational institutions.
 

  • Ensure the long-term resiliency of the healthcare sector by improving the collection of workforce data to identify and understand labour trends and challenges within and across the public and private sectors.
  • Reduce the reliance on in-hospital care by improving access to preventative and early intervention interdisciplinary community-based primary care that includes the services provided by EHPC members such as Audiologists, Chiropractors, Dental Hygienists, Dentists, Denturists, Dietitians, Occupational Therapists, Optometrists, Pharmacists, Physiotherapists, Psychologists, Speech-Language Pathologists, and Social Workers.
  • Explore models that require Canadian employers to provide their employees with health and dental benefits to cover their health and wellness needs that are not covered by Canada’s public healthcare system.

 
“We encourage decision makers to broaden their understanding of Canada’s healthcare landscape and bring extended professionals into the conversation”, said Ms Love. “Addressing the many challenges facing healthcare in Canada, including the human resources crisis, will require all hands on deck, and our members offer the expertise and perspective needed to keep Canadians healthy and productive.”

Saskatchewan Advocacy Update August 2022

SAC Saskatchewan Members, 

We collected and analyzed the results of the survey that was distributed to you earlier this summer. These results were shared with your regional advisory committee to set immediate priorities. We are encouraged and excited to have such accomplished and exciting committee members working on your advocacy needs!

 

The top three advocacy issues by rank were:

  1. Advocate for increased government funding for FTE positions in Speech-language Pathology and Audiology
  2. Recruitment/retention issues
  3. Advocating for expanded coverage/reimbursement from third parties

 

The top three workplace issues by rank were:

  1. Caseload/workload issues (by a wide margin)
  2. Length of waitlists to access services
  3. Lack of insurance coverage for services

 

Actions that would have the most immediate impact by rank were:

  1. Caseload/workload issues (by a wide margin)
  2. Greater recognition by third parties/other professionals/public
  3. Increased renumeration

 

It should be noted that several audiology members highlighted use of the title ”Dr.” for those with earned degrees and direct referral to ENT as priority items.

Our first meeting focused on prioritizing and brainstorming both short- and long-term advocacy goals. To that end, your Advocacy Managers for Saskatchewan have worked on the following this summer:

  • Finalizing our provincial advocacy plan, focusing on key stakeholders and messaging aligning with federal priorities such as Early Learning and Child Care, Long-Term Care, and addressing backlogs caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. To that end, we have written to and are beginning to meet with MLA’s and Assistant Deputy Ministers from several Ministries.
  •  Meeting with contacts from the U of S to determine how we can work together to address issues such as professional recognition, continuing education, and recruitment and retention issues.
  • Connecting with CAA to request an update on progress with direct referral to ENT in the province of Saskatchewan. CAA is leading this initiative for Audiology in Canada. Dave Gordey reported initial contacts have been made with key stakeholders within the province and will provide periodic updates on the status of this project.

Hearing Health Services for Older Adults: A Survey for SAC Members and Associates

SAC’s Audiology Services in Long-Term Care Working Group is conducting a survey to gather information about the current and future possibilities for hearing care for older adults, including services in the long-term care setting. This is a part of our advocacy efforts in response to the development of the National Long-Term Care Standards.

Please respond by Sunday, February 6, 2022.

The survey link can be found here.

 

Apply to Become an SAC Audiology Adsivor – Tinnitus

Speech-Language and Audiology Canada logo Communicating care

 

POSITION TITLE:                          

Audiology Advisor – Tinnitus (7 hours/week for 18 months)

 

REPORTS TO:                               

Director of Audiology

 

SCOPE OF POSITION

The part-time Audiology Advisor – Tinnitus provides assistance, expertise and guidance to SAC staff, members and associates regarding issues related to tinnitus and sound tolerance disorders. They will facilitate an ad hoc committee serving as the staff liaison.

 

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

General

  • Provides staff support to the Tinnitus and Sound Tolerance Disorders Ad Hoc Committee to facilitate the preparation of a position paper on that topic.
  • Advises the Director of Audiology on issues related to tinnitus and sound tolerance disorders.
  • Prepares background materials in areas of responsibility.
  • Participates in staff and board meetings as required.
  • Contributes to the SAC publications as appropriate.
  • Prepares reports for the Board and committees as needed.
  • Provides staff support and facilitates ad hoc committees in the development of position papers, statements, etc.
  • Contributes to the SAC professional development program.
  • Supports the Communications Department by developing content for and reviewing audiology materials such as infographics, webpages, blog submissions, information sheets, Speech & Hearing Month materials and other documents, as needed.
  • Responds to requests from members and associates regarding audiology issues in tinnitus and sound tolerance disorders.
  • Manages additional assigned projects for audiology as needed from time to time.

 

CONTACTS

Internal Contacts

  • Staff at all levels

 

External Contacts

  • National and Provincial/Territorial associations, regulatory bodies and international professional associations
  • Related professional bodies
  • Members and associates
  • Public

 

DECISION-MAKING AUTHORITY

  • Organizes workload and sets own priorities to meet deadlines on concurrent activities.
  • Recommends actions and procedural and policy changes as appropriate and necessary.
  • Makes independent decisions, as appropriate, related to the above responsibilities.

 

FORMAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING

  • Minimum of a master’s degree in audiology or equivalent.
  • SAC member.
  • Registered with the applicable professional regulatory body.

 

EXPERIENCE

  • A minimum of 3 years clinical experience in tinnitus and sound tolerance disorders.
  • Research experience is an asset.

 

KEY SKILLS

Proficiency in:

  • Knowledge of the scope of clinical practice for audiologists providing services to people with tinnitus and sound tolerance disorders, as well as trends in professional development.
  • Superior written and oral communications skills.
  • Project management.
  • Ability to make decisions and work independently and collaboratively.
  • Ability to research, analyze and synthesize information.
  • Superior organizational and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to respect strict confidentiality.
  • Discretion and sound judgment.
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines on multiple projects.
  • Ability to work with professionals of many different levels.
  • Ability to delegate responsibility and supervise.
  • Computer literate.

     

DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS

  • Bilingual (English and French).
  • SAC Clinical Certification.

 

SPECIAL CONDITIONS

The work within the scope of this position requires an individual with a flexible work schedule, who can work some evenings/weekends, when required. This is a remote position. The individual may be based anywhere in Canada

 

HOW TO APPLY

Please send a cover letter along with your résumé to Amy Childs at amy@sac-oac.ca with SAC Advisor Application in the subject line.

The closing date for applications is January 25, 2022.



SAC encourages applications from members who identify as First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, members of visible minorities, persons with disabilities, and those who identify as gender diverse. Members with experience working with marginalized populations and knowledge of cultural safety and humility would also be helpful to support our work.  SAC is committed to achieving a diverse representation on all committees and working groups and being inclusive towards all.

Please note: We thank all applicants for their interest in this position. However, we will only contact candidates we have selected for an interview. 

 

 

Introducing Team Audiology!

SAC has a new Director of Audiology, Lynda Gibbons, and has recently welcomed two new members to the Audiology Team, Charlotte Douglas and Yinda Liu. They are thrilled to be part of the SAC team and look forward to supporting our members and associates.

 

Lynda has been working for SAC since 2014. Prior to her current position, she worked for several years as SAC’s Audiology Advisor. During that time, she assisted with the development of several audiology resources, including position papers and statements, Speech & Hearing Month materials, and the Professional Development program. Lynda completed her M.Sc. in Audiology in 2003 from Dalhousie University. She spent several years working as a clinical audiologist providing services to children and adults at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital in Fredericton, NB, as well as a brief time in private practice in Charlottetown, PE. She is thrilled to be taking on this new role within the association, and she really enjoys connecting with SAC members and associates.

 

Charlotte completed her M.Sc. in Audiology in 1988 at UBC and moved to Saskatoon where she worked in the hospital setting until opening a private practice in 2018. Over the course of her career she has been involved in program development and implementation including The Saskatchewan Cochlear Implant Program and the Saskatchewan Newborn Hearing Screening Program. Areas of special interest include early hearing detection and intervention, tinnitus and sound tolerance, central auditory processing disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Service delivery to northern/remote communities. Charlotte completed her Au.D. in 2011 through Central Michigan University. She has volunteered for audiology organizations at the provincial and national level and is actively involved in clinical teaching and mentoring of audiology students and new professionals. She looks forward to this new role as an audiology advisor with SAC.    

 

Yinda received her Au.D. in 2011 from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She currently works as a clinical audiologist at Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility. The centre is a B.C. based, multi-service, registered charity that aims to reduce communication barriers by providing access and inclusion for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Yinda provides diagnostic hearing evaluations and treatment solutions to the adult population. In addition to her clinical work, she actively participates in research initiatives at the centre. Yinda is recognized as a Clinical Assistant Professor with UBC and is committed to taking students regularly for clinical placements. She has also volunteered for the UBC Clinical Faculty Advisory Committee. Yinda provides Audiology services in English and Mandarin.

 

Watch SAC’s Virtual Recognition Event

The What:

Each year, Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC)’s Award & Recognition Program recognizes members and associates who have made significant contributions to the association, the community, and the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology.

This Virtual Recognition Event will honour the recipients of SAC’s 2021-21 Award & Recognition Program, as well as announce an important change to this year’s awards cycle.

Visit our website to view a list of the 2020-21 award recipients.

The Why:

This year in particular, given the limited opportunities to meet in person and the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, SAC has decided to host a Virtual Recognition Event to properly acknowledge our award recipients in a significant way and in the presence of their peers. Everyone at SAC recognizes the immense contribution our members and associates make to their professions and communities, and we want to celebrate this dedication and determination.

Hosting an event of this nature became a priority for SAC, in order to properly recognize the boundless contributions our members and associates have made and continue to make. We wanted to create a celebration dedicated to recognizing our award recipients in a way that they truly deserve.

We will also be announcing an important change that has been made within the 2021-22 Awards & Recognition Program.

The When:

  • Wednesday, September 29, 2021, at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The How:

SAC’s Virtual Recognition Event has now passed. Watch the video recording below.

 


Make a Nomination for the 2021-22 Awards Cycle

Do you know a colleague, peer, fellow professional or mentor who goes above and beyond for the profession, their communities and/or SAC? Consider nominating them for an award through SAC’s 2021-22 Awards Program!

 

So You Want to Learn About Speech-Language Pathology? New Student Resource Guide

Credit: Evonne Syed & Imad Ali, McMaster University

Two students from McMaster University have developed a student resource guide which serves as an introduction to the profession of speech-language pathology for high school students, youth and all aspiring speech-language pathologists.

Written and designed by Evonne Syed and Imad Ali, in consultation with their professor and SAC member, Dr. Lyn Turkstra, the guide aims to inspire generations of speech-language pathologists to come.

The guide answers questions like:

  • What is a speech-language pathologist?
  • What do they do? Who do they help?
  • How much money can I expect to make?
  • Is this career right for me?
  • … and more!

Access the student resource guide now.

Report on the Impacts of COVID-19 on Communication Accessibility for Adults with Hearing Loss

Credit: Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility

The Survey & The Report

Earlier this year, the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA), University of British Columbia (UBC), and Wavefront Centre for Communication Accessibility worked together to collect information from Canadians who experience hearing loss and deafness about how the pandemic has impacted their daily lives.

They received insights from close to 700 responses who noted the demand for universal captioning, impacts of masks on communication, and the ability to receive accessible information from the government and media outlets on COVID-19.

The results from this report will provide a foundation to better understand the impact the pandemic has had on our communities and to ensure that moving forward, we can address these challenges as we continue to manage COVID-19 throughout the recovery phase and beyond.

Click here to read the full report.

Key Findings in The Report

  • More than 80% of individuals with hearing loss found it difficult to understand others with face masks.
  • 60% of individuals reported that their mental health has been negatively affected as a result of the pandemic.
  • At least one-quarter of individuals with higher severity of hearing loss were unable to obtain hearing health services due to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Only 16% of respondents reported obtaining hearing or hearing aid services remotely from a specialist such as an audiologist or hearing instrument practitioner.
  • Over 60% of respondents reported difficulty in understanding others who are behind plexiglass barriers.
  • At least 60% of respondents indicated that having captioning available would help improve communication with others in video calls and at virtual events.

The Webinar

In May 2021, the research team hosted a webinar where the principal investigators, Dr. Brenda Poon, Wavefront Centre Senior Research Fellow and Assistant Professor at UBC, and Dr. Lorienne Jenstad, Associate Professor at UBC School of Audiology & Speech Sciences, presented the preliminary findings from their work.

Watch the recording of this webinar.