PROF. PRAKASH BOOMINATHAN (L11040521)
55TH ISHACON, 19TH JAN 2024, KOLKATA
“The future depends on what you do today” - Mahatma Gandhi
Bridging the past to the future – Reflect, Consolidate, and Promote Quality
Respected Chief Guest, my friends on the dais Prof. S P Goswami, Past President, and Dr. Suman Kumar, Gen. Secretary of ISHA, Mr. Achaiah, Treasurer and other honourable members of the EC of ISHA, ISHA awardees this year, organizing chairperson, secretary, and members of the organizing committee, resource faculty, my senior colleagues and teachers, member delegates and student delegates, invitees, ladies and gentlemen: Vanakkam!
I am humbled and at the same time honoured and delighted to take the leadership passed on to me today as the President of this tall association. This coveted responsibility was charmed by several giants in our field, and ‘I am standing on their shoulders to look ahead’ and deliver to the changing time and needs of our members. I have had the privilege to participate and witness the past half-life of our association, i.e. from 1995, I have been in some form associated with activities of ISHA. I began as a ‘student member’ like several of you today – attending the conference, presenting papers, and meeting the doyens of our field. Later, as a member delegate to contribute in the scientific fiesta, and learn the advancements and transformations in the industry. I also had the chance to serve ISHA on its Executive Committee in various capacities such as EC member, Chairperson Committee of Ethics and Educational Standards, and as its Hon. Treasurer in the past. Being a witness to ISHA’s evolution over time, I think one of the important tasks of the generation I represent is to serve as a bridge to the experiences of past, and the need of the future.
One of the activities I want to initiate as the president is to find avenues to gauge and improve the Peer-percept and the General Public Percept of our fraternity and the various activities of ISHA. This will require a joint effort of several of us as individual ASLP practitioners, as members of state chapters and branches of ISHA, members of teaching community in the academic institutes, and student members who are the future of our profession. The idea is to look for and create partnership avenues to work together and help improve the perception about ISHA.
To this effect, the EC of ISHA has come-up with several proposals, my predecessor Dr. Goswami has initiated a few, I hope to continue, shape it further, and develop new ones to help achieve its purpose in the coming year. To name a few:
Over the last five decades, our colleagues have produced several test tools, therapy aids, and materials that are not readily available or accessible easily. ISHA as an activity to consolidate resources will initiate a drive to pool resources across the country, and provide a platform to host the list of various vernacular resource material, contact person and a way to access these materials. This will be the next phase of the already initiated ‘uniform terminology’ document that is available on the ISHA website. The terminology document provides proforma format, the recommended assessment tools and also a reporting format that befits medico legal requirements. I appeal to all clinicians/private practitioners and training institute to put this in to regular practice, so that it becomes the ‘standard practice of care’ for the Indian scenario. Once the list of tools and materials are consolidated, we will initiate the process to publish it if the authors are willing to have it as an ISHA publication.
The third aspect of my proposed work is to institute and to layout a framework of working guidelines for a ‘quality cell’ of ISHA, that will work independently on various activities to influence ‘quality’ in academic training and evaluation, and patient care and clinical service. Today, the government emphasizes and encourages heavily to transform the curriculum based on the NEP 2020. RCI had recently constituted a high-committee task force to develop a curriculum for speech and hearing in both UG and PG programs based on NEP 2020, UGC’s NCrF 2022 and incorporation of the RPWD act 2016 in the admission policies of our training programs. This will soon be rolled out and with a mandate to implement from AY 2024-25 onwards. To support this transition and transformation, and to partly address the concerns of quality compromise and issues in patient care, encroachment of our practice by less qualified or unqualified persons in various parts of the country, ISHA proposes to have a quality cell that will train, evaluate and certify ‘quality’ of our clinics and academic programs based on certain yardsticks, metrics and benchmarks. The quality cell of ISHA will also involve in creating modules for training on quality benchmarks and periodically assess to provide guidelines on matters related to quality. Participation to certify ourselves on these quality parameters shall be completely voluntary. The quality certifications of institutes and clinics shall be publicized on ISHA website, and also will be permitted for public display in any form. This is a new initiative and will, I hope evolve with all your support, to address many of our future needs.
All the three aspects – improving the perception about ISHA, consolidation of resources, and promotion of quality are inter-linked in its conception and execution. I hope, my team and I will be able to deliver and further advance the activities of ISHA in the coming year.
I take this opportunity to thank all my teachers, senior colleagues, peers and the members of ISHA for your faith in me, and having provided me this chance to serve for ISHA. Before I conclude, I want to assure you that my team shall stay on top of affairs, will hear you out, and facilitate communication with all of you, and also keep track of how far we have come and how far we have to go.
Everything starts in a small way. Today as I assume this responsibility as the president of ISHA, I too believe this small beginning will add to the path of evolution of this great association. I quote Mahatma Gandhi, “The future depends on what you do today”, so here I am set to bridge the past to the future via Reflection, Consolidation, and Promotion of Quality.
I humbly accept this honour and solicit all your cooperation to deliver the best to all of you.
Thank you, Jai Hind!