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Louis M. DiCarlo Award for Recent Clinical Achievement Recipients

The Louis M. DiCarlo Award for Recent Clinical Achievement recognizes an individual's significant accomplishments in the advancement of clinical service in speech-language pathology and/or audiology. The recipient is chosen from among individuals nominated by state speech-language-hearing associations. This award is supported by the Louis M. DiCarlo Fund.


Awarded $2,000

Leslie_2016_DiCarlo_State_CAA_PAPaula Leslie
Program Director, Doctor of Clinical Science
Professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Paula Leslie is recognized for her leadership to integrate speech-language pathology services into palliative care services at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Over the past six years, she has applied her expertise in speech-language pathology and dysphagia to develop interprofessional protocols, with both speech-language pathology clinical staff and palliative care providers, to benefit patients who are near end of life, resulting in enhanced communication and care for patients throughout the UPMC system. She has impacted many patients, providers, and students through her roles as a clinician, mentor, educator, and continuing education provider.


Awarded $1,500

2015-Gifford-DiCarloRené H. Gifford
Associate Professor, Vanderbilt University 
Director, Cochlear Implant Program, Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center
Associate Director, Implantable Hearing Technologies
Nashville, Tennessee

René Gifford is recognized for innovation in the area of cochlear implants, specifically, in the advancement of research on hearing preservation and electroacoustic stimulation. Until recently, individuals with residual hearing were either not considered candidates or would have lost their hearing during the surgical process of receiving a cochlear implant. Her work, based on original ideas and scientific rigor, and tested in the clinic, is significantly transforming surgical approach and rehabilitation of those with hearing impairment.


Awarded $1,500

2014_Simpson_DiCarloDiane Simpson
Northcentral Learning Center
Great Falls, Montana

Diane Simpson is recognized for her instrumental role in crafting and passing Montana's "Telepractice Bill (SB 230)." Concurrently, she developed telepractice training opportunities to ensure that professionals benefit from learning procedural and technical information critical to successful implementation on behalf of consumers. This specific achievement with a governmental agency resulted in significant outcomes for clinical service delivery, opening statewide access to speech, language, and hearing services for all citizens, including those in the most remote areas.


Awarded $1,500

2013_Kleinert_DiCarloJane O'Regan Kleinert
Associate Professor
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky

Jane O'Regan Kleinert is recognized for developing and implementing an interprofessional team project, Teaching Age-Appropriate Academic Learning via Communication (TAALC), a state-wide initiative to improve communication services for all students with significant disabilities in Kentucky. Funded through a federal state personnel development grant, this training/coaching model has resulted in 36 school-based teams (with participating parents or caregivers) across rural and urban school districts. The research-based project provides students who have complex communication needs, ages three years to adolescence, with augmentative and alternative communication systems to access the general academic curriculum. Targeted students have a customized communication mode, with full communication and learning potential now within reach. This integrated work is being replicated in other states through the National Centers and State Collaborative alternate assessment consortia.


Awarded $1,500

2012 Smiley - DiCarloDonna Fisher Smiley
Arkansas Children's Hospital
Conway, Arkansas

Donna Fisher Smiley is recognized for leading a systems change that has culminated in a statewide collaborative effort bringing educational audiology services to schools in Arkansas. The EARSs Program, named for Educational Audiology/Speech Pathology Resources for Schools, is an outreach of the Arkansas Children's Hospital with support from the Arkansas Department of Education, Special Education. With onsite consultation, technical assistance, and professional development, the program aims to improve the outcomes of students who are deaf/hard of hearing. Smiley's efforts were pivotal in moving the concept to reality, creating access to services, and establishing recognition amongst schools professionals of the necessity for specialized services in public schools for students with deafness and hearing loss.


Awarded $1,500

2011_Fridriksson_JuliusJulius Fridriksson
Associate Professor, University of South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina

Julius Fridriksson is recognized for translating research in aphasia recovery to practice in serving individuals who suffer the effects of stroke. With over $3.5 million in federal funding, he is investigating the relationship between cortical integrity and treatment of anomia (difficulty in recalling words and names). The significance of his achievement lies in three primary areas—motor speech perception, brain stimulation, and anomia recovery—with new knowledge leading to clinical application. His research includes the world's largest study using neuroimaging of stroke patients struggling to regain ability to communicate. His findings, publishes in well-respected peer-reviewed journals, show that brain cells outside the damaged area can take on new roles, offering hope to patients of "chronic stroke." His work has served to understand not only which patients are likely to benefit from treatment, but also to seek new ways to provide additional "push" for those patients who do not respond to treatment. The ASHFoundation recognizes Fridricksson for his groundbreaking efforts to shape aphasia treatment approaches and improve the quality of professional services and outcomes for patients and families.


Awarded $1,500

2010DiCarlo-PeggyAgeePeggy C. Agee
Longwood University
Farmville, Virginia

Peggy Agee is honored for creating literacy initiatives to serve at-risk children in rural southside Virginia. Over several years, she developed four structured intervention programs, Camp Jump Start, Project Emerge, STAR, and CREW. Each initiative is aimed at developing skills that the National Early Literacy Council has identified as predictors of future literacy success: alphabet knowledge, concepts about print, phonological awareness, invented spelling, oral language, and name writing. Through fundraising activities, she provided support for needy families to access services. She also designed mentoring experiences for CSD students who participate in these programs as part of their clinical practicum, thereby training the next generation of professionals. The ASHFoundation recognizes Dr. Agee for her dedicated efforts to enhance the oral and written language skills necessary for children's long term success in literacy.


Awarded $2,000

Lynne F. Harmon Lynne F. Harmon
Parent-Child Services Group, Inc.
Knoxville, Tennessee

Harmon is honored for her leadership in facilitating legislation within a coalition to assure insurance coverage for communication intervention for Tennessee's children with autism. Once the Autism Equity Act of Tennessee became law, she developed a reference manual presented to insurance agency medical directors throughout the state to assist with appropriate implementation. She also developed parent education materials on the law and disseminated national guidelines for evidence-based clinical service delivery by speech-language pathologists to raise awareness of preferred practice patterns in service to children with autism. The ASHFoundation recognizes Harmon for her untiring advocacy which has increased frequency and intensity of services by communication professionals for children with autism throughout the state.


Awarded $1,500

Jeff Hoffman Jeff Hoffman
Health Program Manager
Nebraska Newborn Hearing Screening Program
Lincoln, Nebraska

Jeff Hoffman is honored for his instrumental role in managing the successful Nebraska Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program. In 2000, just 16% of the birthing hospitals in Nebraska were conducting targeted or universal newborn hearing screening and just 36% of newborns were receiving hearing screening during birth admission. Today, 100% of the birthing hospitals have programs, and 99.4% of all newborn babies in Nebraska receive hearing screening during birth admission. Almost half of all the newborns receive both otoacoustic emissions and auditory brainstem response assessments. The ASHFoundation commends Mr. Hoffman for his expert coordination of data and services, for raising awareness of the program's importance, for implementing critical follow up for families with infants who have hearing impairment, and for expanding clinical education opportunities for state audiologists.


Awarded $1,500

Deborah Hwa-Froelich Deborah Hwa-Froelich

Deborah Hwa-Froelich is honored for creating and coordinating the Saint Louis University International Adoption Clinic. One of the few developmental adoption clinics in the nation, this interdisciplinary setting is designed to assess the needs of children and their families in the areas of adoption adjustment, child communication, symbolic play, and social-emotional development. The collaborative team offers intervention services in both speech and language treatment and child/family counseling, and provides annual follow-up testing to monitor future development progress. The clinic is an outgrowth of Froelich's longitudinal research documenting the acquisition of English during the first 12 months post-adoption, and she continues to collect data and feedback on the assessment protocol. The ASHFoundation commends this clinical pioneer for addressing the lack of research and comparison models with this population and for taking a socio-communicative view that ultimately will help to ensure best practices for internationally adopted children and their families.


Awarded $1,500

Janet A. Norris, PhD Janet A. Norris, PhD

Janet A. Norris is honored for developing an innovative intervention approach for visual language learning that teaches phonemic and print awareness as a natural part of reading. Children who have difficulty learning through traditional methods are experiencing success with this evidence-based approach called Phonics Faces. The method enables them to learn the meaning of letters by attaching the visual form of the letter to the visual mouth position used to make the sound. This work has been disseminated to practitioners at local, national and international levels, has led to funded grants from the Louisiana Department of Education, and has had special impact on public school reading programs in the southeastern region of Louisiana. The Foundation commends Dr. Norris for her research and intervention protocols used to address a critical need in language and literacy development for prekindergarten to third grade children who do not receive special education services in the schools.


Awarded $1,500

Teresa Ann Cherry-Cruz Teresa Ann Cherry-Cruz

Teresa Cherry-Cruz is honored for her efforts as founder, fundraiser, and director of the T.O.T.A.L Program: Teaching Others to Achieve Literacy . This annual summer camp program serves children and adolescents from the inner-city community of Bridgeport who are judged to be at risk in the areas of language and reading. Activities in the program blend individual and group instruction in oral language, phonological awareness, reading and writing, with structured recreational activities in a highly motivational context. Started in partnership with a local church, the program engages an all-volunteer staff of speech-language pathologists, parents, regular and special educators, high school and college interns funded through AmeriCorps, and graduate interns from the communication disorders program at Southern Connecticut State University. With 200 children now participating annually, Ms. Cruz is commended for establishing an innovative urban service delivery program that is an exemplary prototype for replication in other communities.


Awarded $1,500

Kathy Privratsky Kathy Privratsky

Kathy Privratsky is honored for her efforts to promote and provide assistive technology to students with special needs throughout the challenging environment of remote regions of Alaska. She is specifically cited for co-founding the Assistive Technology Library of Alaska (ATLA), a service that makes equipment available on a short- or long-term loan basis to any individual in Alaska. The ATLA has served 909 patrons/students. All 53 school districts of Alaska plus numerous local and state organizations borrow from this library, and data reveal that 2,022 items were checked out of the library during fiscal year 2003. Traveling by plane to rural areas, Privratsky has directly provided evaluation, training, and consultation services to 10 school districts and obtained state grants to ensure that assistive technology and augmentative communication devices opened the door to communication for previously underserved students with special needs.


Awarded $1,500

Carol Hustedde

Carol Hustedde is honored for her humanitarian outreach to provide hearing services to unserved or underserved Vietnamese children with hearing impairment. When the founder of the Lexington Speech & Hearing Center brought this pressing need to her attention, Dr. Hustedde took the lead in organizing a 12-day intervention trip. Over a year's time and many obstacles, she identified the Saigon Children's Charity as an appropriate collaborating agency, developed a project budget, and sought funding. Her determination to find resources to support the trip resulted in three grant submissions before a donor was found and acquisition of numerous hearing aid devices to bring to Vietnam. In addition to testing children and fitting hearing aids, she also provided training for teachers and the children's parents. She has been responsible for opening the doors for ongoing hearing aid service to children in Vietnam and for providing current information on educational management of these children to their educators.


Awarded $1,500

Charlotte Ducote Charlotte Ducote

Charlotte Ducote is honored for her efforts to establish the first comprehensive speech pathology services in Vietnam, a country of 78 million people who previously had little or no access to services. In 1998 she co-founded Operation Smile's Speech Therapy-Vietnam Project, a not-for-profit, non-governmental agency which provides reconstructive surgery and related care to indigent children and adults in developing countries and in the United States. She mastered the Vietnamese language and developed an articulation screening tool, handouts, protocols, and other materials for the Vietnamese population. She has been responsible for advancing the knowledge and skills of medical and allied health professionals in the north, south and central regions of the country, for educating the public, and for obtaining equipment and funding.


Awarded $1,500

Sandra Tattershall

Sandra Tattershall, director of Language and Learning Center in Florence, Kentucky, has developed an effective and collaborative Reading and Listening Comprehension course for students with academic language difficulties. Her adaptation of this theory-based course has enabled fourth- and fifth-grade students to improve language processing strategies before they experience academic failure associated with increasing language expectations of middle school.


Awarded $1,500

Emily Homer Emily M. Homer

Emily Homer is recognized for her instrumental role in developing a new school-based Dysphagia Team, officially known as the Swallowing Action Team (SWAT). This model program for dysphagia assessment and intervention was developed to assure safe nutrition and hydration for students at risk for swallowing dysfunction during school hours. Through the SWAT program, organized training sessions have allowed related professionals in the area of dysphagia to gain further knowledge and skills in therapy and management of the disorder. The Foundation honors Ms. Homer for her innovation and persistence in developing a team which assures that children will achieve optimal development and academic gains.


Awarded $1,500

Gretchen M. Spring Gretchen M. Spring

Gretchen Spring was the first speech-language pathologist in the state of Arkansas to conduct laryngectomy rehabilitation using telemedicine technology. The use of this innovative service delivery model has allowed patients who live in rural and remote parts of the state to access rehabilitation services. It has also allowed speech-language pathologists throughout the state to advance their clinical skills in this area of expertise under her supervision.

The Foundation commends Ms. Spring for her vision and initiative in addressing unmet needs and underserved areas through the use of telemedicine technology. She has subsequently become the "master clinician" for rehabilitation with head and neck cancer patients in Arkansas. Her pioneering efforts served as a springboard for an $868,000 grant proposal funded this year by the Health Resources and Service Administration's Office of Rural Health Policy.


Awarded $1,500

Dorothy D. Craven


Awarded $1,500

Judith M. Kuster


Awarded $1,500

Catherine H. Gottfred


Awarded $1,500

Annette McKenzie Anderson


Awarded $1,000

Sandra Hobson


Awarded $1,000

Linda Fairchild Peavie


Awarded $1,000

Mary Mills


Awarded $1,000

Annabel Porter Anae


Awarded $1,000

Margie Medrano Biddick


Awarded $1,000

Jo Lynn B. Drury


Awarded $1,000

Rick Bollinger


Awarded $2,500

Robert G. Turner


Awarded $2,500

Gwenyth Vaughn


Awarded $2,500

Jan Snavely


Awarded $2,500

Robert Blakely

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