The CRA: A Decade of Excellence!

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By Kimlyn Queen, CRA, MS and Enrico Perez, CRA, FAHRA

June 2012All of the top achievers I know are life-long learners… Looking for new skills, insights, and ideas. If they’re not learning, they’re not growing… Not moving toward excellence.” — Denis E. Waitley, is an American motivational speaker and writer, consultant, and best-selling author.

Twelve years ago AHRA had a dream: to create a certification that would exemplify the true qualities and competencies of radiology administrators across the industry. That dream became a reality when the first Certified Radiology Administrator (CRA) exam was administered on July 20, 2002.

The definition of excellence in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary is: “The quality of being excellent; state of possessing good qualities in an eminent degree; exalted merit; superiority in virtue. An excellent or valuable quality; that by which any one excels or is eminent; a virtue.” With the administration of the first CRA exam in 2002, a commitment to excellence in healthcare leadership began, and that commitment has continued to grow stronger and stronger with the addition of each new CRA.

Can you believe a decade has gone by since many of us rose to the challenge of taking the first CRA exam? The inaugural exam, which had many of us terrified with the thought of, “what will happen if I am not successful?” started a decade of excellence.

As part of developing the CRA exam, AHRA had to create a governing body to oversee the credential and ensure the integrity of the exam. In order to accomplish this task, the Radiology Administration Certification Commission (RACC) was developed. The elected commissioners of the RACC continue to make strides in growing the acceptance of the CRA credential and increasing the number of CRAs in the healthcare arena. After a decade, we have successfully grown to over 900 CRAs across the country.

The RACC is also responsible for ensuring that future CRAs have an exam that is fair, relevant to current issues and practices in imaging/healthcare, and delivers value to our future leaders and our patients throughout the world. For this reason, in 2010, the RACC released a new, completely updated exam that replaced the periodically updated versions based on the original 2002 exam.

As your chair and vice-chair of the RACC, we would like to invite all CRAs to join the RACC at the CRA Reception, held during the AHRA Annual Meeting in Orlando, to celebrate this milestone. In honor of our “Decade of Excellence” and commitment to the CRA credential, the RACC has created a special pin to be given out to the 2002 class of CRAs and to each CRA in attendance to celebrate 10 years of excellence and success experienced by the RACC, AHRA, and all past, present, and future CRAs.

We would also like to ask you to show your commitment to the CRA by encouraging new managers to continue their education and challenge them to take the CRA exam. Refer them to for exam information. As the number of CRAs continues to grow, so does our commitment to excellence as healthcare leaders.

It is amazing how fast time is moving in these changing, difficult times in healthcare. As you look back over time, you begin to realize that in order to be successful we have to constantly and quickly adapt to change. As we move forward, our challenges and opportunities lie in our abilities to cultivate the ongoing successes of the past decade, promote continuous learning, pave the way for new successes by mentoring future leaders, and exemplify the qualities, competencies, and excellence that define the CRA.

In an effort to continue to promote the importance of the CRA credential throughout the healthcare community in the next decade, the RACC would like to encourage current CRAs and future CRAs to educate their HR executives and promote the value of having a CRA credentialed professional as part of the healthcare team by providing them a copy of this one page document:

You can obtain a full color copy here.

We also encourage all of you to become involved with the CRA and AHRA by voting for your leadership and volunteering your time as we move into the second decade of our credential.

Thank you for your continued support of the RACC and the CRA credential. Remember, together we can continue to raise the bar of quality and provide exceptional care and service to the patients, physicians, and other customers within our communities.

Become part of the already over 900 strong by becoming a CRA.

Kimlyn N. Queen, CRA, MS is the director of imaging and cardiac cath services at Marion General Hospital in Marion, OH. She is the chair of the RACC. She can be reached at

Enrico M.  (Rick) Perez, CRA, FAHRA is the director of radiology at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, NY. He is the vice-chair of the RACC. He can be reached at

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