Checking in with the ELM Program

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By AHRA Staff 

March 2012—Last year, you read about the start of the Executive Leadership and Mentoring (ELM) Program, which kicked off at AHRA’s 2011 Annual Meeting in Grapevine, Texas. Now that the inaugural class has reached the halfway point of the year-long program, Link is checking in with one of the participants to see how the program is going. Rudy Apodaca, CRA (Mercy Gilbert Medical Center, Gilbert, AZ) agreed to be interviewed about his experience with the program thus far.

Link: Why did you decide to participate in the ELM program? What expectations did you have going into it? Has the program met your initial expectations?

RA: AHRA is a premiere organization with programs specifically designed for today’s radiology administrators. Once I was made aware of the ELM program and its objectives, the decision to join was a “slam dunk” for me. Mentoring is a key element in a leader’s journey to success. I have been very fortunate to have had direct mentoring from colleagues and executive leaders in my career – having that brain to pick, ear to listen to, and a push in the right direction are invaluable.

This program has exceeded my expectations. The modules on strategy, financial performance, leadership, process improvement, and marketing have provided me with real-world applications for use in today’s healthcare setting, as well as a wise and trusted counselor in David Waldron, the program’s facilitator.

Link:  Tell us about the project you’ve been working on.

RA:  I am a big fan of ROI. I wanted to get a return on my investment in this program. Applying the mentoring support in real-life situations, testing solutions, and implementing strategies has worked very well for me. I have a passion for developing leadership skills and encouraging staff. We often talk about succession planning in organizations, but how to effectively implement it in the hectic healthcare world we live in today is not an easy task. With David’s support, I have developed an effective tool that is measurable and hits the key elements I feel are important in our organizational culture.

Link: What has it been like collaborating with the ELM instructor and your peers in the 2011-2012 class?

RA: Our cohort is a very diverse group of talented individuals. It is great to hear how others approach situations and the logic they apply to achieve solutions, complete projects, contribute to individual and organizational growth, and innovate.

Link: At this half-way point, have you learned any new skills or gained any new perspectives? What goals do you hope to achieve in this second half of the program?

RA: One of my personal leadership goals from this program is time management. In today’s electronic world where so much information and so many demands are placed on us as administrators, it is easy to drift from the important and key objectives of our roles. Learning how to prioritize my time, delegate work, and being able to “just say no” is starting to gel for me. I am seeing results from my own personal practice changes, and I am hopeful that by the end of the second half of this program I will have these modifications hardwired.

Link: What would you say to someone who is considering registering for the ELM program?

RA:  It is an investment well worth the expense. You must continue to invest in your own self development to achieve continued success. This program reinvigorates the spirit of why I went into leadership – to share your knowledge and perspective with others as well as benefit from the experiences of others. It is an opportunity to enjoy the inspiration from David Waldron through his encouraging and motivating techniques. This mentoring program provides participants with a sense of contribution and community. Evaluating participation from each leader should clearly define the areas of the program they are interested in and put themselves into the mindset to succeed. Focus on the expertise and experience you want to achieve. This program can provide you with new competencies and polish the ones you already have.

Click here for more information about the ELM Program, including registration for the 2012-2013 class.

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