A September to Remember

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By Luann Culbreth, M Ed, MBA, RT(R)(MR)(QM), CRA, FSMRT, FAHRA

September 2011–September is one of my favorite months of the year. Perhaps for a few reasons – it’s still warm during the day, but cool at night and in the early morning, kids are back in school, hockey season will soon start again, good TV returns, and it’s my birth month so I feel compelled to celebrate all month! I’ve heard others say they only acknowledge birthdays that have either a 0 or 5 in them, but I like them all. A sense of prerogative I guess. And since this year there’s a 5 and an 0 I’m celebrating in wild style – a safari, that is. If you’ve been on one before, please send me some travel tips!

September is also a time the AHRA Board of Directors is focuses on the year ahead. The annual meeting in Texas last month was great, with a lot of education, energy, connections, fun, and networking. Now your newly elected board harnesses those dynamics and works toward synergizing the resources and needs of the organization. We had our first meeting together the day after the conference. Even after much line dancing the night before, everyone was at the table by 8:00 AM ready to work. You should know that you have a very engaged team representing the membership. We spent the morning reflecting on why AHRA is so valuable to each individual member. We focused on the role of the board and our responsibility to the membership as a whole. We talked about why AHRA matters and our big audacious goal to be the indispensable source of professional support, information, and shared knowledge for medical imaging leaders. We know there are challenges ahead, but we also know we’re stronger together and commit to stay servant leaders of and for AHRA.

A question of significant strategic importance is: “What can be done to encourage greater member engagement and commitment in an environment where members may not support us because their organizations don’t support them?”

One simple way to be connected is to make sure you have full awareness of and access to each board member. I’m not into governmental politics, believe me! But the AHRA board is investing your money into your future. Whatever the reason you belong to AHRA, it’s an investment in your future. This year I’ll use Link to highlight areas of our strategic plan and spotlight a board director each month. I encourage you to ask them what they’re working on and how that matters to your future. Here’s the basic structure of the board of directors:

  • The AHRA board has 13 members: president (Luann), past president (Roland), president-elect (Carlos), finance director (Kevin), and nine directors-at-large (David, Ed, Cathy, Ernie, Terry, Janice, Jason, Russ, Peggy). 
  • The Executive Committee is comprised of the president, president-elect, finance director, two directors elected by the board, and the CEO (Luann, Carlos, Kevin, David, Terry, and Ed Cronin).
  • The Finance Committee is comprised of the finance director, president, president-elect, and three appointed directors (Kevin, Luann, Carlos, Terry, David, Ed Yoder).
  • The AHRA Education Foundation board has seven members: chair (Ernie Cerdena), vice-chair (Maureen Firth), finance director (Kevin), and four directors (Roland, Luann, Carlos, and Ed Morgan).

We’re all listed in the member directory at www.ahraonline.org so please contact any of us at any time.

September also has very personal significance to me – it’s National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. My sister, Karen, was diagnosed with Stage III ovarian cancer in July and had surgery nine days later at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. On the last day of the annual meeting in Texas Karen finally got home to Chattanooga, TN for six days. There are no words to describe the generous love and support from the AHRA family during this painful time. Your thoughts, prayers, hugs, words of encouragement, offerings of companionship, and shared tears mean so much to me. Karen is now back in Rochester, receiving chemotherapy and in a clinical trial at Mayo for the next eight months. Karen knows about you and as I sit here with her she wants you to know how grateful she is for your prayers and positive energy. They are making a difference.  Her prayers for you are to be valued for your knowledge and expertise and be critical to the efficient and effective delivery of healthcare. A vivid description of best care for AHRA.

May you all have a great September to remember.


Luann Culbreth, M Ed, MBA, RT(R)(MR)(QM), CRA, FSMRT, FAHRA is president of the 2011-2012 AHRA Board of Directors. She is executive director of cardiology, medical imaging, radiation oncology at Saint Thomas Health in Nashville, TN and can be reached at Luann.Culbreth@stthomas.org.

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