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November 18, 2013

My Take Home – ASHA 2013

Post Contributed by: Amy L. Svensson M.A., CCC-SLP


For the 3rd year in a row, I had the opportunity to attend the American Speech-Hearing Association’s national convention.  This year, the Convention was held in Chicago.  Thankfully the city held up to its “Windy City” reputation for only 1-day.  There was so much to see, do and restaurants to try that a return trip will have to be planned.

This was my 5th ASHA convention attended over my 13 years of clinical practice and I must say this was one of the best I have attended to date.   There was so much collaboration amongst the many professionals I met which energized and motivated me.

Lunchtime rolled around that first day of classes.   The food court was inundated with ASHA attendees.  I needed to break away from the bustle between classes and preferably not wait an hour in line for food so I landed myself off the grid a bit.  I found a quiet place within the hotel attached to the Convention Center to plop down, look at the scheduler and grab a bite. There sat 2 other SLPs seeking for the same respite.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I am an extrovert and like to chat. So, sticking with that personality trait, I introduced myself and put myself ‘out there.’  Voila.  I met Melissa Gillmer  and Jennifer Beall from Florida.  Melissa is the Owner/Director of North Florida Therapy Associates, LLC.  Jennifer is the Owner/Director of Dysphagia Decision Solutions, LLC. Instantaneous collaboration and teamwork began.

ASHA Pic 2013

Melissa Gillmer, Jennifer Beall & Amy Svensson

Here we are, complete strangers from opposite corners of the country all three in private practice, but with varying set-ups.  We spent the next 2 days collaborating and helping each other ignite further motivation and passion for what we do to help others and helping one another at the same time.  Level playing fields, no competition, and no pressure.  We just rolled it out sharing ideas, experiences, insights, and even Employee Policy and Procedure manuals.

Yes, we live thousands of miles apart, but grateful for technology so that we can continue the collaboration and team building.  In fact, we are scheduling a teleconference for next week.  We are part of each other’s teams in that we are SLPs serving others with a common goal – providing hope for improvement AND rooting for one another.

In the midst of this collaboration and in my quiet moments and reflections, I was reminded that I need to continue the collaboration and team building at home, not only amongst the therapists within the practice, but also with the other SLPs in its vicinity. I think we do a fabulous job of this; always reaching out to the SLPs co-treating our patients in the schools or in other clinics in our area, but I feel we can do this even better.There is always room for improvement.  We have so much to learn from one another.  We have so much to give and gain from one another.  Put competition aside. There are so many children and people who need us.  Our goal must always remain the same.  We must never lose sight of our ability to provide hope.  That is all that matters.

Oh, and stay tuned for a guest blog post by Melissa…. ~ Amy

Therabill Pic ASHA 2013

Amy Svensson at ASHA collaborating with Joe Dundas, CEO of Therabill ~ our new cloud based billing and Electronic Medical Records (EMR) software company.





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