By Roland Rhynus, CRA, FAHA
December 2010–Worldwide. Global. International. At this year’s RSNA, those words were communicated frequently. You probably would expect that, as this meeting is the largest radiology meeting in the world, so I’ve been told. Seems that all companies and associations are in tune with the fact that the web eclipses continental and country borders. One continent’s routine radiographic techniques and procedures soon become another’s, once regulatory hurdles are overcome. As AHRA CEO Ed Cronin, President-Elect Luann Culbreth, and I visited with our current and future commercial partners to thank them for their support and seek continuance, it was very clear they are willing to help us expand. Joe Robinson, Senior VP, Global Sales and Service North America, indicated Philips is pleased to assist AHRA as we grow, explaining how their global network can facilitate networking for our peers. Our other partners communicated similar messages, as well.
Swissray and Sentinel graciously co-hosted our annual Monday evening reception, where close to 200 members and friends dropped in to network new friends and greet long time colleagues. We were pleased to greet leaders from SDMS, ARRT, ASRT, RBMA, and many commercial partners. I had a nice chat with Ueli Laupper, EVP at Swissray who lives in northern Switzerland. He told me all about imaging there and elsewhere in Europe. He recommended that AHRA attend the “second largest radiology meeting,” the European Congress of Radiology, which takes place next March in Vienna, Austria. From his comments, it sounded like our peers are having some of the same challenges we have, as you might suspect. Wouldn’t it be great to have some top radiology leaders from Europe come to our 2011 Annual Meeting in Grapevine and provide insight on some of their best practices? I wonder if Ueli could help us implement that . . .
Our booth was busy and very nicely covered by AHRA Member Services Coordinator Emily Ryan. I was able to give her a break every so often, and during one of those periods, Dr. Sean Seak from New Zealand stopped by to see how we could assist him and his team in improving their operations. After 20 minutes of dialogue, reviewing our textbooks, and Online Institute, I’m pretty sure we have a couple new members and candidates for the CRA exam. Looks like our team in Australia will have company as they make those long flights to the annual meeting (or we’ll all have an opportunity to host an AHRA meeting abroad?). Speaking of which, our good commercial partner ETS-Lindgren was so pleased with their interaction with Art Tasaka and his team surrounding their sponsorship of last month’s AHRA Seattle Area Meeting that they have offered to assist with sponsoring future AHRA regional meetings, including one in the UK. How great is that? Sounds like our globalization is gaining traction.
In August I laid out my focus for this year with three points, remember? Reflect on our heritage, promote global presence, and grow individual annual member contributions to the Education Foundation. So far in this post, I’ve hit on number two.
For our heritage discussion, I asked Loretta Hanwell, my long-time friend and AHRA mentor to comment on how the AHRA impacted her career. I think you’ll see my intent after your read her comments (and find yet another AHRA international opportunity). We need to provide each member with recruitment tools for colleagues who may be on the proverbial fence about joining. Please review her comments with your pals—it might just change their lives.
“AHRA will always be a special part of my life, as it provided more than 10 years of educational opportunities, organizational challenges, active board meetings, meeting and mentoring new radiology administrators, and of course, building relationships that continue to be strong. Radiology was a powerful tool that led me to the AHRA, where I was able to meet colleagues and share information with a closely formed group that came from all over the country, but shared a common goal: to enhance the field of radiology and radiology administration. I was fortunate to be the first woman president of the AHRA and led the organization through a dynamic period of growth in 1988. Hopefully the tradition that was started several years ago will continue to advance the radiology profession to the well deserved top position in the healthcare arena.
“While my career has moved from radiology into international business development for University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), radiology was the foundation upon which my career was built. I use my clinical and administrative experience extensively as I foster relationships with new partners. It is the backbone for me to effectively do today’s job. When I say that I have a radiology background, I generally get a very positive reaction and an immediate bond. I am proud to say I was a radiology administrator.”
Finally, as year end approaches, and you need that additional tax break for a contribution big or small, please do jump online and continue supporting your association! With everyone helping, our finances will be strong (you know, to help with growth here and abroad).
With the holidays upon us, let’s all commit to global, worldwide, and international joy and peace.
Roland Rhynus, CRA, FAHRA is President of the 2010-2011 AHRA Board of Directors. He lives in Loma Linda, CA and can be reached at email@example.com.