Group Learning and Career Rejuvenation

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David-J-WaldronBy David J Waldron, ELM Program Facilitator 

June 2013—AHRA’s year-long Executive Leadership and Mentoring Program (ELM) is comprised of four elements:

1. Four days of working case studies and problems in small groups at the Annual Meeting

2. A year of one on one mentoring with the program faculty

3. Permanent access to the ELM online Forum to share issues, problems, and ideas

4. Presentation of accomplishments at the next Annual Meeting

While the topics, materials, case studies, and problems in the work groups are pre-set, participants are encouraged to bring examples and situations from their own work environments that the group can address too.  Group learning through problem solving and sharing is one of the most valuable benefits of participating in ELM.  This team approach is extended into the online Forum, where the benefit for participants can increase exponentially.  It is really just like having a think-tank of peers – plus faculty – available whenever you need to brainstorm or share problems and concerns.

This approach continues into the year-long mentoring – participants can use as much or as little mentoring time as they choose and apply the time to any issue that they are confronting.  Time can be taken evenly over the year with regular meetings or in a week or month of intense working together.  There is tremendous flexibility.

Some examples of mentoring projects that ELM participants have worked on over the last two years include:

  • The integration of two departments into one
  • Developing a mammography service
  • Assessing and improving the efficiency and throughput for a radiology department
  • Assessing how to ‘right size’ the technologist headcount in a multi-modality imaging center
  • Interpreting financial reports and using variance analysis as a management tool
  • Developing a new manager and supervisor performance evaluation methodology and tools
  • Planning and implementing lean six sigma rapid improvement events
  • Developing and launching an interventional radiology service
  • Using process mapping tools to improve departmental workflow

Lorri Acheson is the clinical imaging manager at ProvidenceSt. VincentMedicalCenter in Portland, Oregon and is a participant in the 2012-2013 ELM program.  She shared her thoughts on how the program has benefited her as she is nearing the end:

I have been a manager for 10+ years, and I felt like I was losing my confidence and had hit a road block in my career- my personal job satisfaction was declining. Attending the 2012-2013 ELM program has rejuvenated me.  In the program, you are supported according to what your needs are. I am currently being mentored on fully understanding the financial aspects of imaging, including reviewing budgets and analyzing outcomes. The support is there; you just need to ask. We are never too old to learn something new if we give ourselves the opportunity.”

Registration is open now for the 2013-3014 ELM Program. Thanks to generous funding from GE Healthcare, participating in the ELM Program is now more affordable. Commit to investing in yourself, and register today.

David Waldron is Chief Executive Officer at Traction Business Development and the facilitator of the ELM Program. He can be reached at

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