Cultivating Personal Connections in an Email-Driven Age

ACPAACPA News, Water Cooler Chat

Wendy-Jo Toyama, MBA, CAE headshot

Wendy-Jo Toyama, MBA, CAE

This month, the National Office Team and Membership Committee are reaching out to members, encouraging those who have not yet renewed for 2018 to do so. The opportunity to connect with our members is powerful and helps us better understand how we can serve. We are also reaching out to teams that are applying for ACPA Team Approval to provide helpful information for the application process. In this computer-driven communication era, an old-fashioned phone call can be refreshing. It may feel expedient to email someone, moving the work off your plate to someone else’s, but is it really? I marvel at the information that gets emailed around organizations, when a simple conversation may be easier, faster, and more effective. As interdisciplinary teams that include speech-language pathologists, you understand the neurological implications of a conversation versus electronic communication, as outlined in popular press by Ross McCammon. My quick research on the topic of communication effectiveness of email versus a conversation, whether in person or on the phone, did not garner much. So, I would invite those of you who follow this topic to share pertinent research with me.

I spoke to members, assistants, and voicemails. I connected with a team that has worked to expand care and coverage in its state, another that reached out to me when it began the process of applying for ACPA Team Approval, and a nurse/coordinator who has served on our Program Committee.

Henry Baddour and Wendy-Jo Toyama

Turning to our connections with patients and families–this year, one of our scholarship recipients, Henry Baddour, is a Chapel Hill local. Working with his family, we arranged to surprise him with the announcement at his graduation party. I was honored to join family and friends to celebrate the amazing journey this young man has made. His father thanked everyone gathered, who supported the student throughout his life. These connections, whether with teams, members, or patients and families are reminders of the fundamental and varied role that ACPA plays in ensuring quality of care for those affected by facial differences.