Successful Area Meeting Held in Mississippi

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By Ron Volden, BS, RT

The first AHRA Mid Southern Symposium was held at St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital in Jackson, MS on February 25, 2014 with 38 attendees from Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Alabama. The day started at 7:30AM with breakfast provided by GE Healthcare and an opportunity to network with peers.

The first presentation began at 8:15 with Dr. Forrest Carson discussing the importance of effectively monitoring radiation dosage in today’s climate, with much focus on CT and other imaging modalities utilizing radiation and the new Joint Commission guidelines on radiation dose. He was followed by Dr. Scott McPherson, who presented on stroke care. St. Dominic’s is an Accredited Stroke Center, so there was much discussion about the importance of a collaborative effort to care for stroke patients in our region and the importance of quick intervention to avoid unnecessary brain damage (time is matter).

Following Dr. McPherson’s talk was a scheduled break. Ed Cronin, CEO of AHRA, used this as an opportunity to address the group. He provided an update on AHRA activities, future meetings, and membership information. Ed also discussed several of the benefits of belonging to a strong organization like AHRA. Everyone was very appreciative that Ed was willing to attend our symposium and take the time to address the group.

After the break, the keynote speaker, Bill Johnson, provided a very informative and entertaining program on patient experience. Reimbursements are increasingly being tied to customer satisfaction, and Bill was able to offer many effective approaches to ensuring that patients leave your facility feeling they have truly been provided the care they expected. It was obvious from the start of Bill’s presentation that he was passionate about his topic, and it was such a pleasure to have him as part of our program.

Bill’s presentation was followed by lunch, provided by Philips Healthcare, which allowed another opportunity to network and to visit with some of our sponsors who set up tables for the meeting.

The first afternoon session was presented by Ashley Smith, CT supervisor at St. Dominic’s. He discussed the advantages of being part of the Dose Index Registry with NRDR. He shared how it has enhanced St. Dominic’s CT imaging goal to limit radiation dose to patients and still maintain necessary image quality.

Charles Stanley from Guerbet then provided information on Dotarem and MRI contrast. We followed this presentation with an afternoon break, sponsored by Hitachi. The last presentation of the day was on Vendor Neutral Archiving, presented by Jason Williams from Philips. In total, we were successful in acquiring approval for seven CE credits for the day.

Going into this symposium our goals were to provide meaningful topics of interest, provide an opportunity for our peers to obtain CE’s without having to pay a registration fee, and provide an environment for networking. With the support of our sponsors, Philips Healthcare, GE Healthcare, Siemens Healthcare, Hitachi, and Guerbet, we were able to provide the symposium without charging a fee. Thanks to all our sponsors.

In addition, we had a terrific lineup of topics, good set up at St. Dominic’s, and great speakers, all of whom we want to give a big thank you to. We also want to give a big thank you to Ed Cronin, Jillian Nanof, and all the others who assisted us with planning what we feel was a very successful symposium.

I also want to thank the planning team who effectively put this program together in a short period of time. The planning team consisted of Ashley Smith, Alisha Cichirillo, Diane Mayo, Leann Crow, Peter Curcio, and Ron Volden from St. Dominic’s diagnostic imaging department.

Ron Volden, BS, RT is the director of diagnostic imaging at St. Dominic – Jackson Memorial Hospital in Jackson, MS. He can be reached at

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