What are YOU Looking Forward To?

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By AHRA Staff

February 2013—We recently caught up with the Spring Conference (April 9-11 in Los Angeles) Design Team. Read what they had to say and add to the conversation in the comments!

1. What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Spring Conference? 

Art Tasaka: Hearing some of the great presenters we have lined up and networking with old colleagues and friends.

Mark Steffen:  I am looking forward to reconnecting with colleagues and meeting new members. I’m also excited about the number of great speakers we have lined up. I’m presenting budgeting for business management in the Basic Track, and really enjoy the interaction with attendees….plus I share some tools that other attendees find valuable. Art Tasaka and I were members of last year’s Spring Conference Design Team, and I have enjoyed getting to meet Sandra Edson and Terry Bucknall as the new members.

Terry Bucknall: I’m looking forward to networking and getting to know more AHRA members, especially the members that live in the LA area. I’m also excited to be working as a Design Team member for the first time after being an AHRA member for many years.

2. What local sights are you itching to check out while you’re in LA, or if you’re from the area, what would you recommend our attendees check out? 

AT: I am not planning to visit too many sites since I’m originally from LA, although a couple cool ones are Venice Beach, Hollywood, or Melrose Blvd if you’ve never been.  I’ve got some serious home food cravings and am itching for a roast beef dip sandwich from Philippe’s near Union Station downtown. It has been there since the early 1900s.  If you are taking your family, in addition to the usual Disney / Knot’s visits, my kids used to really enjoy the California Science Center that now houses the space shuttle Endeavour.

MS: I previously lived in LA, so I have been to many of the popular sites. I am looking forward to checking out the infamous Biltmore Hotel and seeing how downtown LA has changed since the early 1990s. I’ll also be spending the weekend following the conference in Palm Springs.

TB: Here are some of my recommendations for out-of-towners:

The Original Pantry Restaurant  http://www.pantrycafe.com/

Griffith Observatory  http://www.griffithobs.org/

The Nokia/Staples Center entertainment area:

The Staples Center: (4/8 Rhianna Concert) , (4/9 LA Lakers vs New Orleans Hornets), (4/10 LA Clippers vs  Minnesota Timberwolves), (4/11 LA Kings vs Colorado Avalanche), (4/12 LA Lakers vs Golden State Warriors)

Pershing Square (very near to the hotel) http://pershingsquarebuilding.com/entertainment-venues.php

Sandra Edson: If you’re planning on attending, you may want to extend your trip and visit a few other places just outside downtown Los Angeles. A great way to spend the weekend is to visit one of our local beaches. The South Bay is the home of Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo  beach communities and is located just south of Los Angeles International Airport and less than 30 miles from downtown.  So if you decide to unwind before or after the conference, remember this as an option!

3. What are the top three program sessions you’re looking forward to, and why? 

AT: Gee, we have really good sessions lined up with several exciting speakers so this is a very difficult decision. With HCAHPS in our midst, a couple that I’ll be particularly interested in are Bill Johnson’s patient satisfaction and Danna Beal’s enlightened healthcare leadership sessions. I believe they will help build strong teams and improve patient satisfaction. The third one is on radiation dose reduction by William West.

MS: While I think all presentations on the Advanced Track are timely and interesting, I am looking forward to hearing Brenda Debastiani speak on culture change, as I believe that all leaders need to be aware of change management and how it affects our staff. I’m also looking forward to Carole South-Winter’s presentation on succession planning, incorporating the CRA exam. Carole’s presentation was based on her dissertation project and uses the 5 domains utilized in the CRA as a foundation. Finally, I’m looking forward to Bonnie Rush’s take on dense breast tissue program development. Bonnie has passion and energy, and I feel that other states may follow California’s lead on this issue and want to be prepared if my state moves forward with similar legislation.


a. Wanda Coker’s session: The Midnight Hour: Time Management Tips

Everyone can always use helpful information on how to manage our busy schedules and learn tips to help organize our office space and files.

b. Bonnie Rush’s session: The Dense Breast Tissue Issue: Notification and Early Detection Program Development

Since I’m the director of a breast imaging center in California, this topic is HOT, HOT, HOT! It will be helpful to know whether or not I’m doing everything that I can to help our patients and be in compliance with the new state regulations.

c. Carole South-Winter’s session: Staff Engagement through Succession Plan

Many of us in the industry are Baby Boomers and are anticipating retirement in the next several years, leaving us with the task of planning for our replacements as well as examining the imaging needs of our communities and the populations that we serve.

SE: While there are a number of sessions offered at the Spring Conference, here are a few that I found particularly interesting: “ Enlightened Healthcare Leadership in Challenging Times,” “ Are You Ready to Change Your Culture?,” and “Staff Engagement through Succession Plan.”

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