September 2010 — In my first President’s Post, I’d like to reiterate my acceptance comments during the installation of officers at the 2010 Annual Meeting Closing Luncheon. I am humbled and honored to accept this position and to fulfill this task. I will utilize my best efforts to meet the expectations of the membership and Board of Directors.
As we closed out yet another fantastic AHRA Annual Meeting & Exposition recently, the atmosphere reminded me of one of my favorite Disney characters: Tigger. Lots of energy, plenty of smiles; always positive, no matter the news. Being in DC, the heart of healthcare reform, we could certainly feel the issues of changes in healthcare, both good and bad. It will be an interesting year for all of us, I’m sure.
In addition to the routine tasks of this office, there are three items I’m interested in promoting this coming year:
1. Appreciation of our AHRA historical perspective
2. Thoughts on how we can extend beyond our traditional “market” to increase membership
3. Improving our percentage of members regularly and routinely contributing to our Education Foundation
The first item is our heritage. They say, “If you want a new idea, read an old book.” This quote has prompted a focal point I’ll be placing into this year’s President’s Post column, that being a reflection on AHRA’s history. As I spent some time during the Annual Meeting looking at the monuments in the US Capitol, it reminded me that many of our members might also appreciate insight from some of our early leaders, with their thoughts on how membership in this association has facilitated their professional careers. My hope is that their footsteps will broaden our perspective on the scope of a “typical” radiology administrator’s role and open our professional minds to expanding our opportunities.
My second item is membership growth. Last year, I had an opportunity to attend a lecture given by Dr. John Patti, Chairman of the Board of Chancellors for the ACR. His presentation focused on supporting advocacy for radiology and finding more synergy within and outside our industry. He quoted a statement that hit home for me: “Volunteers are seldom paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.” This past May, AHRA CEO Ed Cronin and I met with Dr. Patti and the ACR senior leadership, seeking ways to improve relations and synergies between our associations. We had a good meeting and that work will continue.
The third item is our Education Foundation. The “Get Pinned Too” campaign was very successful at the Annual Meeting and it was fun challenging each other to wear the 2010 Education Foundation pin with pride. Our goal is to improve the percentage of members contributing to our own EF. At 20 years old, the EF provides the fuel for our engine, “no money, no mission.” Likely we’re not all driving the car of our dreams, as we’ve decided other items have priority. Our commercial partners are in the same shape, and when we seek funding from them, often their first question is, “What percentage of your members is contributing to your own Foundation?” They want to know how engaged each of us is in our mission and vision: do we put our money where our mouths are? Each of us likely supports our own staff when their kids are walking, biking, or running for some charity, right? It is incumbent on us to do the same for our own EF. Currently we are at 8% -10% and we have a goal to get to 20% at least. When we reach that goal our commercial partners will be more willing to support the EF with such an engaged membership Please add the EF to your annual giving plan and talk it up to your peers; it will make a big difference.
AHRA appreciates and encourages more direct and indirect volunteerism. What do I mean be “indirect volunteerism”? In Washington, I wore a personal reminder of that process—a Kukui Nut necklace given to me by Ben Tuua who, as an AHRA member years ago, asked the association to provide financial support to establish mammography on the island of Samoa. His sister died from breast cancer there because there was no early detection breast imaging anywhere on the island. Ben accepted this challenge and changed that. I applaud his effort to leverage his AHRA network beyond the traditional and make a huge positive impact for his heritage homeland. I don’t know if this has directly impacted our membership growth, but don’t you think it should have?
I challenge each of you to seek ways to improve our collective networking beyond our traditional boundaries. With the just released digital edition of Radiology Management, we are in a position to reach our global peers very cost effectively. How can you help? Who do you know abroad that could benefit from our association, or where their processes could provide improvement to us? Please do think on this and advise how you can get involved.
I encourage you to pull up the AHRA website, have it open daily, stay in touch, and help with these three items:
1. Learn and teach our AHRA history—use it to mentor
2. Focus on membership growth—engage and promote AHRA
3. Help with Education Foundation growth—through personal commitment at a minimum
As I enter my year of service as president, I look forward to your support and recommendations. We’ve got another big year of change, so stay positive, keep your energy tuned up, and, as Tigger says, TTFN—ta ta for now!