Building a Better Future through Partners in Learning

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By Robin Johnson 

November 2009 — Planning the construction of a new imaging department within a hospital is a daunting task, just ask any imaging manager.  But with the help of the Partners in Learning (PIL) program, I have the resources to face this challenge with confidence.  Earlier this year, through the PIL program, I was partnered with a mentor from a facility that had first hand experience planning space and moving existing equipment. For 2 days this past October, I shadowed Peggy Pust, imaging director at Monongahila General Hospital in Morgantown WV.  Peggy’s facility had recently completed construction and installation of new and existing equipment.  She was eager to share her experience with the whole process from preplanning focus groups to the end result.

Monongahila General is a beautiful facility with an expansive lobby area and a hotel like atmosphere.  At first glance, one can surmise the depth of planning that went into this project and everyone involved should be proud.  All was not perfect, but definitely more was right than wrong, and Peggy had no problem sharing the triumphs along with the mistakes.  After I was lead into the department through a patient bathroom since construction was not quite complete on a key hallway, I was given carte blanc to interview staff and every question was answered honestly and directly.  Candid conversations left me filled with confidence to return to my facility and forge ahead.  Little details that were somehow overlooked were brought to my attention so that hopefully I would not make the same mistake. But there was much to be praised: the storefront look to each clinical area, the inviting waiting areas, spacious dressing rooms and restrooms, staff corridors, and break rooms.  The resulting facility is a pleasure to both patients and employees.  The anxiety I had felt was diminished; I was now armed with the information shared by such an enthusiastic host.  I have returned to my task with renewed spirit and comfort in the fact that Peggy is just a phone call or email away, ready and willing to help me achieve a positive outcome for my organization.  I have made another lifelong friend and mentor through one of many resources available from AHRA.  Utilize your benefits from the AHRA; there is no other imaging organization that gives back so much to its members.  Thanks GE, AHRA, and Peggy. 

Robin Johnson is radiology department manager at Barrett Hospital in Dillon, MT.  Robin can be reached at

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