Say Goodbye to 2011

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

December 2011—Can you believe another year is ending and we’ll soon close the calendar on 2011? It’s hard to remember last December and what was wished for in the New Year. The economy, our health, and the hope for world peace are always annual wonderments that affect each of us individually.  As managers in medical imaging we were buzzing about percentages in physician fee schedules, more multiple procedure payment reductions, and bundled imaging codes.  Here we are again, bracing for more collisions of government and medicine.

For me, this has been a year of great highs and deep lows. I’ve traveled the U.S. a lot this year, have gotten to see many of you in person, took an indescribable trip to southern Africa, and have the honor to serve as your 2011-2012 AHRA president. I count myself fortunate and thank God that my life is stable and blessed with so many true friends. However, the deepest pain I’ve ever felt struck back in July when my sister was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. These last six months have also been indescribable, beginning with the shocking news, then her extensive surgery, and now the rigor of chemotherapy. Thank you for all of the expressions of prayer and concern so many of you continue to send our way. I share each of them with Karen. It certainly changes our hope for the New Year.

As AHRA closes 2011, physically and fiscally, we’ve had a good year of education programs, events, Foundation support, collaboration, and member growth. Through the Serious membership campaign AHRA resources are now reaching the hands of several levels of leadership, from chief technologists to chief operating officers and even to chief radiologists. In 2012 you’ll see AHRA’s collaborative efforts increase with the ACR, RBMA, and others. No doubt topics such as Meaningful Use and the Sustainable Growth Rate have all of us trying to see our future through a cloudy crystal ball.  Our mutual leadership is engaging, and we must sort through these issues together for the strength of the profession.

Just recently, Michael Bohl, RBMA President, and I had the pleasure of welcoming everyone to the AHRA and RBMA jointly hosted reception at RSNA.  It was great to see so many of you and our vendor partners there.  Health Imaging announced the winners of the Best Practices in Radiology Awards, and Toshiba announced the 2011 grant recipients for the Putting Patients First program.  Congratulations to all of the well-deserved winners!  The reception was the perfect venue for celebrating these great facilities and sharing ideas for the future.

My AHRA Board of Directors spotlight this month is on Janice Eurton.  Janice is also one of the newest members of the board, as she just began her first of a three year term in August.  She has been an active member of AHRA for several years, volunteering in areas such as design teams and publications.  Janice is the manager of urgent care and outpatient imaging at Clark Memorial Hospital in Jeffersonville, Indiana. She is a registered technologist and has worked in nearly all modalities including mammography and radiation therapy. Her personal interests are golf, golf, and golf!  Please contact Janice at for anything about AHRA.  I’m sure she’ll also be happy to tell you about running her first marathon this past October and about her two grown sons, one of whom is presently serving in the U.S. Navy.

The AHRA Board of Directors meeting last month was full of great synergy and outcomes.  Approval of the automated benchmarking tool in collaboration with Regents Health Resources, Inc. has everyone even more anxious to get their hands on real-time, applicable data to help manage day to day operations.  This is a very exciting initiative and tool that is scheduled to be introduced by the 2012 Spring Conference in Seattle.  In addition to also developing more opportunities for increased member participation, we also reviewed an opportunity to participate in the International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists conference next June in Toronto.  We’ll reveal more about each of these as they are rolled out in 2012.

Say goodbye to 2011.  I hope 2012 brings us all health and happiness.



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

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