Increasing the Momentum of Board Engagement

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Ernie CerdenaBy Ernesto A. Cerdena, PHDc, RT, CRA, FAHRA

Last month, I shared the delineation of responsibilities between the AHRA board and the CEO. By working in tandem and interdependently, our association’s strategic priorities will be accomplished. Full engagement all around is the cornerstone for success.

Evidence-based studies link engagement to better patient care and improved clinical outcomes. With limited funding in many healthcare institutions, establishing a culture of engagement is paramount to achieving better financial goals. For example, in the past, the annual budget is developed, approved, and deployed. Today, in order to sustain and meet the budget, both the leaders and employees must be engaged in monitoring and controlling costs such as overtime salary, overstocking of supplies, overproduction, and many others.

According to the Studer Group, there are three overarching elements of engagement:

  1. Alignment: Leadership goals and measures need to be aligned and cascaded to achieve organizational results and consistent experience for patients, physicians, and staff.
  2. Action: Everyone needs to take the right actions quickly and precisely. This depends on ensuring leaders have the right skillsets.
  3. Accountability: The organization needs transparent systems and processes that hold people accountable

Indeed, these elements of engagement are crucial to the delivery and execution of organizational missions and strategic plans. By definition, engagement is an individual’s sense of purpose and focused energy, evident to others in the display of personal initiative, adaptability, effort, and persistence directed toward organizational goals. Furthermore, individuals with a high need for achievement look for challenges, enjoy excellence in performance, and demonstrate competitive behaviors in work activities.

From a board perspective, when mission focus is heavily emphasized, board members better understand their contribution and are willing to engage. At the very least, research studies indicate that boards should aim to spend 60% of their time discussing strategic matters. Our AHRA board, being overachievers, are exceeding way more than expected. Since our board orientation during the Annual Meeting, the entire board has been fully engaged delving into our three major goals:


AHRA will be a valued career asset for imaging leaders seeking a primary source of knowledge, networking, and support in navigating the ever-changing medical imaging and healthcare environment.


AHRA members will be regarded as imaging leaders whose knowledge and professional expertise enable healthcare providers to realize operational and performance excellence.


AHRA will be a valued collaborator on key healthcare industry and professional issues, and its views will be solicited by policymakers and regulators.

As a member-driven organization, these goals are made by the members for the members. To dive deep into our objectives and strategies toward deployment of our goals, the board has recently implemented a monthly call. Not only does this enhance our communication, but it also helps us develop big ideas within the board. For instance, the AHRA board along with the EF directors have started reaching out to the volunteers and first-time meeting attendees to collect their viewpoints on what matters to them. Undoubtedly, the collective workmanship between the board and the members brings in a higher momentum of engagement to achieve our overarching “Big Audacious Goal”.

Please stay tuned as I share with you more of the board activities. I will use these monthly Link articles as the official avenue to distribute this information. Care to chime in? Please feel free to do so in the comments; YOU are an important member of our association!


Guerrero S, Sequin M. Motivational drivers of non-executive directors: Cooperation and engagement in board roles. Journal of Managerial Issues. 2012;24(1):61-77.

Macey WH, Schneide B, Barbera KM, Young SA. Employee Engagement: Tools for Analysis, Practice, and Competitive Advantage. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.

Studer Q, Hagins JM, Cochrane BS. Original article: The power of engagement: Creating the culture that gets your staff aligned and invested. Healthcare Management Forum. 2014;27:S79-S87. doi:10.1016/j.hcmf.2014.01.008

Ernesto A. Cerdena, PHDc, RT, CRA, FAHRA is the president of the 2015-2016 AHRA Board of Directors. He is the director of diagnostic imaging/radiology services at Waterbury Hospital in Waterbury, CT. He can be reached at


  1. Nice summary Ernie! And, adding a shout out and call for comments, feedback, and support from members! Please let us know what is on your mind, what the organization can do for you, and what you can do to help share best practices and/or advance our shared strategic goals!

  2. Has AHRA considered providing CRA members with an informational brochure that could be taken to interviews and HR departments. I want to brag about the achievement; however, find many do not know of the CRA or what it demonstrates. AHRA should start a campaign to educate hiring managers and recommend they make the CRA a job recommendation for future hiring decisions.

  3. Hi Jason,

    We do have a few CRA resources that may help you.

    There’s a “Why Hire a CRA” web page here:

    And we have an information sheet here that you can print out and distribute:

    You can also contact Kathryn Keeler with the CRA program if you’d like a packet mailed out to your management or HR department:

    I hope this helps! These resources aren’t the easiest to find on the website, so we will work to make them more easily found.

    Best regards,
    Kerri Hart-Morris
    Associate Editor, AHRA

  4. Hi Jason,
    Many thanks for your comment. One of the strategies that the board is working on under our Goal B is to “develop a campaign to market the CRA to employers”. More to come on this important action item. Thanks again for your engagement…

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