Cowboys, Collaboration, and Continuing Education at the 2011 Annual Meeting

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By Bill Algee

June 2011–You know the saying, “Everything’s bigger in Texas”?  Well, just imagine what happens when AHRA rides into town! The Annual Meeting Design Team (AMDT) has been working to provide you with the most comprehensive meeting ever over a condensed amount of time. So saddle up partners—here we go!

As all of us are working in an era of constant change and innovation; the AHRA Annual Meeting is no different. Though this year marks a change in the meeting length, it does not reduce the number of overall education offerings. This year’s event will be from Sunday, August 14 and will end with the Wednesday night theme party on August 17. As in years past, you will be provided with the opportunity to visit vendors in the Exhibit Hall from 11 am–2 pm on Monday through Wednesday. These changes were based on suggestions from AHRA members on ways to reduce costs for your organizations. This will allow you to attend the entire event, get back a day earlier than usual, and take advantage of the same number of education offerings.

A theme of collaboration is key to this year’s meeting. AHRA has worked closely with two associations to broaden our education sessions to provide more unique, in-depth educational opportunities. First, the Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA) has assisted with the direction of the Practice Management Track by selecting key sessions (labeled “PM” on the Annual Meeting schedule) that address challenges faced by both hospital and radiology practice managers. And for the second year, the Association of Radiology & Imaging Nursing (ARIN) is working with the AMDT to create sessions that are unique to radiology nursing for the Leadership in Imaging Nursing Management Workshop. Lastly, the Annual Meeting would not be possible without the support of our corporate sponsors. This year we will be holding five vendor led and sponsored symposia to provide a wide array of unique educational opportunities. The symposia are scheduled in the mornings and evenings, available in addition to scheduled breakout sessions. CE credits are also available for these sessions.

Our keynote speakers will provide us with a variety of topics at the forefront of our everyday work: Inspired care, motivating a multi-generational workforce, and goal setting. All three can be very challenging and the speakers will provide us with a unique perspective and some new tools to use. The days are filled with informative breakout sessions covering radiation dose, cost reduction techniques, molecular breast imaging, and so much more.

The Annual Meeting also offers a great opportunity for all of us to give back a little bit to the AHRA through volunteering. There are many opportunities, but one of the easiest is volunteering to assist with a session. You can even pick a session you are planning to attend. It is very easy; scan badges as people enter and exit, introduce the speaker, and keep time for the speaker. It takes no special training, other than holding your hand just right while scanning! If you are interested in volunteering, please click here.

Social events are always an important part of the Annual Meeting and this year will be no different. The Twelfth Annual Imaging Classic Golf Tournament and Second Annual Fun Run return to start things off on Sunday, August 14. This year to help promote a welcoming, inclusive experience, we will be hosting the welcome reception for first time members and new attendees immediately prior to the President’s Reception on Sunday evening. There will be a CRA and Volunteer reception as well. And finally the much-loved theme party, “Party at the Ranch,” on Wednesday night.

The Grapevine, TX area brings us some unique points of interest as well.  Grapevine is the heart of Texas wine country, as well as home to the biggest mall in Texas, Grapevine Mills. Both are within a short driving distance from the Gaylord Texan. For those of you bringing family members, we are working to provide you with unique experiences, like fishing on Grapevine Lake, Six Flags Over Texas, a visit to the historic JFK/Sixth Floor Museum, and a tour of Cowboy Stadium. Even though I am not personally a Dallas Cowboys fan, I did take this tour and I can tell you it is an amazing structure that everyone should see.

August will be here very soon, so please make your reservations! We look forward to seeing you in Texas!

Bill Algee is the radiology manager at Columbus Regional Hospital in Columbus, IN and is serving as the 2011 Annual Meeting Design Team Chair. He can be reached at

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