The Leaves Are Changing

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Ed YoderBy Ed Yoder, MBA, MHA, RT(R), CRA, FAHRA

November 2013—Fall is here, evident by the changing leaves and the arrival of AHRA’s Fall Conference, which was held in Baltimore. It was the first time I had been to the city and during the middle of the government shut down! (It only added to the intrigue and excitement.)  I arrived Monday night to kick off Tuesday’s CRA Exam Workshop, Marketing Track, and Basic Management Track. Being a baseball fanatic, I took the opportunity to walk over to Camden Yards, where I came upon a courtyard where the Baltimore Orioles have honored their many great players with statues of their retired uniform numbers – a very cool thing to see!

Camden Yards Cal Ripken

The Fall Conference was loaded with great educational sessions, including coding, Just Culture, using Six Sigma for customer service improvement, risk management in radiology, and dose management. As you can see, there were many great sessions being offered in the advanced track! We had 198 total attendees. Mike Suddendorf did a fantastic job planning and developing the second annual Marketing Track, and it went off without a hitch. The 39 attendees were treated to a lot of great marketing information. We had 57 participants in the Basic Management Track. It was great to meet these managers who are trying to get a foothold in their imaging careers.  We also had 41 prospective CRAs taking the CRA Exam Workshop. We wish them all the best of luck on the exam!

What would a conference be without our good news, bad news girl Melody Mulaik educating us on what reimbursement cuts our very dear friends in the government have been creating, despite the fact they were deadlocked, shutdown, and drawing lines in the sand over budgets and healthcare?  Rob Reilly and John Schaeffler from GE also updated us on the future of our imaging business. These ideas gave us food for thought on where imaging will be going and what to look for as we navigate through the future.

As always, networking opportunities were present. It was great to see a lot of old friends and meet some new friends as well. In particular, I have to give a shout out to Kim Turner from FranklinMemorialHospital. I haven’t seen Kim in a few years, and it was great seeing her at the conference and getting caught up. Kim was a mentor and coach of mine when I worked at Franklin Memorial, and she helped guide me through many issues. If not her for her help and guidance, I would have lost my mind! That’s what makes these meetings so great: catching up, sharing stories, and knowing you are not out there on your own!

The vendors that exhibited were great and the smaller exhibit space really was conducive to productive conversations and opportunities to really learn about products. Thanks to all of our vendor partners, especially conference sponsor GE!

Mark Feeley and his all-star team (Betty Roakes, Mark Brown, and Gara Colelli) did a fantastic job of attending to everyone’s needs, guiding us through getting our credits, introducing the speakers, and being around for questions. There is a lot of planning and coordination that goes into these meetings, and this team did an awesome job! I can’t thank them enough. We cannot do what we do here at AHRA without our volunteers. I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who has volunteered this year; you are so valuable to us! Thanks for all you do.

Fall brings days of relaxing by a fire and listening to some mellow music. Besides instruments, which take us to another level, I also appreciate vocals. I am not a big Crosby, Stills, and Nash fan, but I do like their tunes Southern Cross, Wasted on The Way, and Delta. When talking harmonies you can’t leave out The Eagles; check out the a capella Seven Bridges Road, wow! There are many others that nail harmonies, but I’d like to leave you with one of my favorites, Cage the Song Bird, on Elton John’s album Blue Moves. It’s very unlike his other songs; it’s acoustic oriented and has CSN on background vocals….check it out!

Rock on!

Ed Yoder, MBA, MHA, RT(R), CRA, FAHRA is president of the 2013-2014 AHRA Board of Directors. He is the director of imaging services at Lexington Medical Center in West Columbia, SC and can be reached at  

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