Rockville, Md — Paul R. Rao, PhD, CCC-SLP, has taken office as the 2011 president of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), effective January 1.

ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 140,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists.

In addition to his elected duties at ASHA, Rao, 64, currently serves as vice president of operations and compliance at the National Rehabilitation Hospital, Washington, DC, and as visiting professor at the University of Maryland.

Rao succeeds Tommie L. Robinson Jr, PhD, CCC-SLP, who continues to serve on ASHA’s Board of Directors.

In a press release, Rao stated that his goal is to better position ASHA members to serve their clients and to improve reimbursement and access for all. “As ASHA’s president, I look forward to working with ASHA member-advocates to see that the Association continues to be a significant player in the new health care reform legislation in order to help bring the promise of more freedom to individuals with communication disabilities," he said.

Rao has more than 25 years of volunteer experience with ASHA. He has served on a number of ASHA committees and boards, such as the Board of Ethics, the Committee on Honors, and the Special Interest Divisions Board of Division Coordinators. He has also served as president for both the Maryland Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the District of Columbia Association for Healthcare Quality. In 1991, Dr Rao became an ASHA Fellow, one of the highest honors of the Association.

SOURCE: The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association