2012: A Year of Action, A Year of Change, A “Decade of Excellence”

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Kimlyn QueenBy Kimlyn N. Queen, MSM, CRA, FAHRA, RT(R), CT, MR 

January 2013—In the words of James Allen, “Work joyfully and peacefully, knowing that right thoughts and right efforts will inevitably bring about right results.”

For CRAs across the country, 2012 will be remembered as a “Decade of Excellence” in honor of the 10 year anniversary of the CRA exam. Together we celebrated our “Decade of Excellence” during the CRA reception at the 2012 AHRA Annual Meeting. CRAs received special “10 Years Strong” pins provided by the RACC and special chips provided by RACC Commissioner Bruce Hammond, CRA, CFAAMA, CNMT. Since the initial exam in 2002, we have grown to 945 CRAs and CRA-Retired strong. These are the right results that emerged from the right thoughts and right efforts of the original RACC, the AHRA and CareStream (formerly known as Kodak) over ten years ago. A decade later the hard work and dedication of the RACC continues. 2012 was a busy and successful year for RACC and the CRA; this past year, 190 CRAs renewed their credential or converted to CRA-Retired, and in November 50 individuals passed the CRA exam to become CRAs.

The beginning of 2012 brought new and exciting changes to our RACC team structure; these changes will provide the RACC and the CRA with a strong foundation for continued success as we move into 2013.  Capt. Benjamin G. M. Feril, MSC, USN joined the RACC as the new Public Commissioner on January 1, 2012 and Mark W. Steffen, CRA, FAHRA, who was elected by CRAs in the 2011 RACC elections, also began his three year term on the RACC on January 1, 2012. In August Terry A. Dowd, CRA, FAHRA finished her term as the AHRA board liaison to the RACC, and Brenda Rinehart, CRA, FAHRA joined the team as our new liaison. We are fortunate to have Benjamin, Mark, and Brenda on the RACC team, and we want to thank Terry for all of her hard work and dedication to the RACC and AHRA during her time as the liaison.

The 2012 RACC Nominations Committee selected candidates for the October-November CRA-only election.  As a result of that election, Rick Perez, CRA, FAHRA, and Jacqui Rose, CRA, were each re-elected to another three year term beginning January 1, 2013. Congratulations to Rick and Jacqui! The RACC and the CRA will benefit from their leadership greatly moving forward into our second “Decade of Excellence” for the CRA.

In February 2012 the RACC began a new CRA exam question writing process that involved the selection of an item writing team comprised of CRAs from around the country, representing a wide range of facility types and sizes. This team engaged in item writing, review, and validation. The introduction of the new version of the CRA exam was set for the November 2012 exam window and was completed in late December with statistical validation of the new exam. As part of the item writing process, commissioners Bruce Hammond, Rick Perez, and Jacqui Rose, were appointed to review the current role delineation study. They completed the review and determined only minor changes to language were required; thus determining that the current CRA exam domains are appropriate and relevant areas of competencies for CRAs. The RACC also performed a comprehensive review of the RACC Policy and Procedure Manual to ensure it continued to represent the goals of the commission and best practices for certifying bodies.

Marketing continues to be a primary focus of the RACC. In 2012, we continued to send out information packets to imaging societies, human resource (HR) staff, and with the help of our new Public Member, Benjamin Feril, we began sending our CRA information packets to military contacts. If you would like more information about these packets or if you would like one mailed to your organization’s HR executive, please contact any RACC Commissioner or Kathryn Keeler, CRA Certification Coordinator at KKeeler@CRAinfo.org.  RACC Commissioner contact information can be found at www.CRAinfo.org.

In 2012, we continued providing a CRA booth and promotional materials at the AHRA Spring and Fall Conferences, the AHRA Annual Meeting, the RBMA’s Radiology Summit, and at RSNA. A special CRA PowerPoint presentation was developed to provide fellow CRAs with a tool to educate colleagues about the CRA during local AHRA meetings across the country. CRA logo items (shirts, caps, bags, etc) will soon be available to purchase online.  For access to additional CRA marketing and educational materials such as CRA Facilities Certificates and information on “Why Hire a CRA,” please go to www.CRAinfo.org.

The CRA exam is offered in electronic format twice a year during the months of May and November at testing facilities across the country, and at select international centers as well. The next available CRA exam will be the spring administration offered May 1 thru May 31, 2013, at testing facilities across the United States. The application deadline is March 4. If you would like more information about CRA testing dates or other CRA related topics please visit the CRA website at www.CRAinfo.org. Also, remember to check out and “like” the CRA Facebook page

As we move into the beginning of our 2nd decade, I look forward to working with the dedicated and extremely talented 2013 RACC Commissioners to make 2013 an even more successful year than 2012.

Kimlyn N. Queen, MSM, CRA, FAHRA, RT (R) CT MR is 2012 Chair of the RACC and the director of imaging and cardiac cath services for Marion General Hospital in Marion, OH.  She can be contacted at queenk@ohiohealth.com. 

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