Leadership During Challenging Times

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David FoxBy David R. Fox, CRA, FAHRA

Leadership always matters, especially during challenging times. Recently, many people challenged each other to complete the ALS ice bucket challenge. I’m thinking about the true meaning of why many of us have chosen to participate and embrace in such a challenge, and how great it is to bring attention to such a tragic and debilitating disease. By taking the challenge, you lead by example to elevate the awareness and resources necessary to fund a possible cure. The same could be said for the Ebola concerns we’re currently witnessing in the media, or perhaps for some of you, very close to home. As we intently listen for the next diagnosis, my hope is that a cure or antibiotic is quickly found to help those afflicted. Our colleagues undertaking these patients’ care are our heroes. You are a part of these people, risking a lot for the benefit of others, and you should be proud of your role of caring for the sick and doing your part to help your fellow man.

To quote a current leader in our healthcare industry, Rich Umbdenstock, the current President and CEO of the American Hospital Association: “Every hour of every day, an army is at work to improve the health of their neighbors and treat those who do not enjoy good health. They are the men and women of America’s hospitals – not just doctors, nurses and other clinical staff, but also food service, facilities and security personnel and more. Right now, they are justifiably concerned about Ebola, a particularly challenging and deadly disease that demands vigilant adherence to exacting protocols that have and likely will continue to change as we learn from those with experience treating it.”1 So where does one, like me or Mr. Umbdenstock come up with our antidotal advice on how to lead others while in the midst of a crisis? One could argue that life is full of lessons if you’re willing to learn. You can prepare for times such as these through effective educational sessions on the very topic I’m focused on: leadership during challenging times.

Last week at the Fall Conference in St. Louis, attendees listened and learned from professionals such as Mr. David Waldron, who spoke on this exact topic, ”Leadership During Challenging Times”; John Beall, First Sergeant/Chief Radiology NCO at San Antonio Military Medical Center/Brooke Army Medical Center, who discussed the readiness needed for crisis management while traumas come rolling in; and Danna Beal, who spoke on her topic of ”Enlightened Healthcare Leadership” specific to strong team building and unity, especially during chaotic times. Common themes all were focused on leadership, with an emphasis on leading when it matters most – when others are depending on you.

The AHRA Board is meeting this weekend to better prepare for 2015 and beyond. We will review our leadership characteristics to determine our own leadership strengths and will tap into those strengths to make our association better for you, our members. While together for the weekend, we will also utilize our own situational leadership and emotional intelligence to craft our vision for the next year with an effective strategy planning session to advance our AHRA mission. We have a fun and exciting year ahead, and I hope you’re already planning on joining us at our Annual Meeting in Las Vegas to help build your leadership strength and improve your organization’s imaging leadership. Remember – if you register by December 31, you’ll save $100 off your registration fee!


1. Umbdenstock R. Heroes Every One. AHA Stat: An American Hospital Association Blog. 2014. Available at: http://blog.aha.org/post/heroes-every-one. Accessed November 4, 2014.

David R. Fox, CRA, FAHRA is president of the 2014-2015 AHRA Board of Directors. He is the president of Saint Vincent Health-North Hospital in Sherwood, AR and can be reached at Dfox@stvincenthealth.com

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