By Carlos Vasquez, RT(R), CRA, FAHRA, FACHE
August 2013—During the Annual Meeting the president of AHRA gets to spend lots of time backstage, so naturally I got to know the three great keyote speakers at a personal level in Minneapolis. Erik Wahl has passion flowing in his veins; there was no surprise when during one of his onstage paintings he said “unlock and unleash your fearless creativity.” Liz Jazwiec gave us her formula for positivity: “Customer Service + Job Satisfaction= Pride,” and called on us to “make time for pride and excellence.” Scott Christopher could not stop laughing behind stage at the closing session and jokingly recommended that on your next spouse’s birthday, don’t just celebrate his or her birthday; make it a recognition banquet for the entire year’s worth of special days, just like the one you have at work. He cautioned us that only a once a year recognition may be a problem at home (and it is at work, as well).
As I write my last President’s Post, I won’t say goodbye; simply because goodbye means departing from something you love, and there is no way my heart can bear the thought of not having AHRA as a part of my life. I left my native country of El Salvador at the tender age of 17 and did not go back until 32 years later – now that was a goodbye.
I want to thank you, AHRA members; you are the reason AHRA was created, exists, and will thrive in the future. It has been an honor to serve alongside a very engaged board of directors, each one of whom has contributed in the last year and was part of a strategic initiative on your behalf. At the beginning and end of my presiding year I asked the board of directors to go back and read their own candidacy statements and see if they were indeed doing what they told us they were going to do. I read mine before every board meeting, and it helped to keep me focused.
I must acknowledge those who have helped me along the way, and there are many – around 5,200 of you. First I must salute and congratulate the 2013 President’s Award recipient, Hazel Hacker. Thank you, Hazel, for always believing in me and for extending a helping hand when I was down. You compose the fabric that makes AHRA successful and possess the ingredient that makes AHRA unique in the industry – passion.
It was particularly special to introduce new members to Monte Clinton at our Annual Meeting. If you joined after 2005, the year Monte retired, you probably haven’t heard about this remarkable man. Monte touched so many AHRA members, and I am fortunate to be one of them and privileged to have had Monte as my mentor. Monte is lovingly referred by some of us as “the Godfather of radiology administration” and a pioneer of the CRA. I first worked with Monte in 1999 on the Delineation Panel, developing questions for the initial CRA exam.
Thank you to AHRA’s founders and past presidents, the 2012-2013 Board of Directors, and the great and enthusiastic AHRA staff.
AHRA Nation, I treasure the trust and confidence you placed in me during the last year as your president. I am grateful for the opportunity to have served.
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.