Professional Relevancy

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Sheryl Jackson HeadshotBy Sheryl Jackson 

When I last wrote to you in May 2014, the focus of my article was “Leadership in Changing Times.” We can’t have a conversation about the healthcare environment or strategy without sharing driving values, reflecting on the past, and even challenging ourselves about the future, including new directions, strategic partnerships, growing organizations and expanding networks. Today’s focus is on you and me as individual professionals; more specifically our ongoing relevancy and how we might better connect to the matters at hand and challenges in our professions today.

Out of sheer curiosity I went to our contemporary online dictionary and I also pulled out the First Edition of the 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language by Noah Webster.  Interestingly, in exploring our word relevancy, there has been no modification or edits between these two definitions, as both speak to being “pertinent, applicable and sufficient to support the cause.”1,2

So are we relevant, pertinent, and able to support the cause? How do our colleagues describe us? The real question is how do our inherent attributes bring added value to our position, to our department, and to the organization or networks where we serve and lead? Professional knowledge developed on the individual level collectively raises the overall knowledge and capabilities of the entire organization and the community organizations with which we are affiliated. What are you doing this year to raise your intellectual quotient? How about taking the CRA exam? This year I have decided to complete an Executive Certificate in Non-Profit Governance through University of Texas, Dallas. This is something that will assist my effectiveness in serving on various community boards, but also in my work as your RACC Public Commissioner.

Along with all of you, I will be reviewing my own relevancy metrics.  In doing so, I will be asking myself what I am doing to advance or improve my profession. In medical imaging, technologies are combining to create new capabilities. Keep a close eye on trends, and look for the new entrants who weren’t there five or ten years ago. What makes them unique?  What vendors or service providers are becoming less relevant and why?  What opportunities are there now for you, your patients, and the communities you serve that didn’t exist previously? Whenever possible, seek out and step up to serve on any new technology initiatives. Learn about the IT strategy of your organization and become proactive and a strong contributor as new capabilities are being planned and rolled out within your organization.

Who in your department is currently engaged in obtaining their CRA?  Are you or others in your department attending AHRA Annual Meetings?  Are you presenting or publishing soon? All of these are ways in which we can share our knowledge and improve others and ourselves, establishing our own professional relevancy.

I hope we get to continue this conversation.  Please feel free to reach out.  I would love to hear from you and learn about your current projects.


  2. Webster N. American Dictionary of the English Language, First Edition.  1828.

Sheryl Jackson is Public Commissioner for RACC and a resident of Dallas, Texas.  In additional to serving as RACC Public Commissioner, Sheryl is also a Board Member serving as Director of Governance for Empowering Women as Leaders, which supports women in achieving their highest potential through education, mentoring, and networking. You may reach out to Sheryl at:

One comment

  1. Super-well-said, Sheryl Jackson!!
    Loved this article and the engagement of future CRA’s to take up the challenge of completing their own CRA or challenging someone, perhaps a colleague or peer within their own organization or a local, but competing organization, to improve themselves professionally and albeit, our associations industry, by completing their certification in Radiology Administration. Excellent job!!

    I say it, but you have shown it, leadership matters, and your leadership on our RACC as the Public Commissioner and penning articles such as this one brings relevance to us all! Super-well-said-and-done!! Keep up this excellent example of leadership and thank you for your time and commitment to improving who we all are as leaders.

    Warm regards,

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