By Carlos Vasquez, RT(R), CRA, FAHRA, FACHE
October 2012—All the leaves are brown, and the sky is blue; we are enjoying wonderful weather and witnessing the beautiful seasonal transformation here in the Midwest, a constant reminder that change is natural, inevitable, and necessary to stimulate a healthy life.
My organization’s fiscal year is the same as calendar year, which means operational budgets must be finalized and submitted prior to the beginning of the fourth quarter. Budgeting season is one of my favorite times of the year; it is a time when I am most intimately involved with operations and knowledge of every cost and revenue center is at an all-time high. Subsequently when I present to the executive team there is a sense of excitement mixed with anxiety that contributes to having an answer, reasoning, or justification for every question asked with operational confidence. I am a firm believer that budgeting is a privilege for leaders and a unique opportunity to “walk the walk” on behalf of those you’re entrusted to lead, and of course a time to connect your budget to the mission and core values of the organization.
Fall is also a time when AHRA staff under the leadership of our CEO is busy preparing the 2013 budget to present to the AHRA board for approval at our scheduled November meeting. A great portion of our time at the November board meeting is dedicated to the next fiscal year budget. The role of the AHRA board in the budgeting process is to provide oversight from a strategic point of view; provide feedback from the member, owner, and customers’ perspective; and then vote to approve the budget with the confidence that it supports AHRA’s strategic plan, strengthens the mission, and sustains key programs of greater benefit to our members. AHRA’s finance director, Jason Newmark, visited the AHRA office last month to become more familiar with AHRA’s finances and evaluate reports to the Finance Committee and board of directors.
Each month I will highlight the wonderful work our members have done and are doing by serving on a variety of committees, teams, and task forces and being exemplary role models of AHRA. Allow me to share the vital work of the AHRA Curriculum Committee. Once you know its origin, you will immediately relate to its current success. In 2008, Penny Olivi and the board of directors asked Robbie Edge to chair the Curriculum Committee with the aim of standardizing the content and outline for the Leadership Institute basic management track courses and the CRA workshop, creating a credentialing method in which entire faculty is certified, and establishing a succession plan for the committee. The charter members of the Curriculum Committee were: Sandy Anderson, Jay Mazurowski, Tom Saladino, Peggy Pust, and Corinne Jackson. Robbie’s first three year term turned into five, and Jay has gracefully agreed to chair the Curriculum Committee for the next two years along with current committee members Corinne Jackson, Patrice Mitchell, Kevin Smith, Louise Saxby, Tom Saladino, and Terry Dowd. So the next time you attend one of our meetings, rest assured that the topics and content of the presentations has been evaluated and the speakers have been certified by the Curriculum Committee. Thank you, Curriculum Committee!
Did you know that Nuclear Medicine Week is observed in October? And if you live somewhere near New England, you probably heard the biggest pumpkin festival in the world takes place in Keene, NH this month. Additionally, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Sadly, this touches all of us from the reality of our profession and the emotions of personally knowing someone afflicted by breast cancer.
I hope to see many of you at our Fall Conference in New Orleans. We will be gathering right in the French Quarter from October 16-18. Take some time to satisfy your thirst for learning and reflect; after all that is what autumn is about, to “fall back” and savor the landscape of shorter days and descending temperatures.
Carlos Vasquez, RT(R), CRA, FAHRA, FACHE is president of the 2012-2013 AHRA Board of Directors. He is the division director of radiology services at Franciscan-St. Elizabeth Health in Lafayette, IN and can be reached at Carlos.firstname.lastname@example.org.