Welcoming Our 2016 Journey with a Bang!

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

Welcome to 2016! When I was growing up in the Philippines, the tradition for saying goodbye to the old year and welcoming the New Year included setting off loud firecrackers, banging pots and pans, dragging empty tin containers attached to bikes, and jumping around while yelling “Happy New Year!” out to the neighborhood and on the streets. According to the old folks, the significance of this tradition is to scare away the malevolent spirits from the old year and welcome the New Year with a blast. The sound of the loud firecrackers still incites pure elation in me, and reminds me of a big family spending time together, the reaffirming of bonds, and the marking of one year to the next.

AHRA is a family that works together to achieve our common goals. This past year has brought enormous excitement and great successes for the association and its members. The board of directors has worked vigorously to strengthen the governance, leadership effectiveness, and communication within our organization. Following is a list of our “Top Ten” accomplishments that we achieved as an association in 2015:

  1. The development of a revised strategic plan which includes short term and long term goals and objectives focusing on members, healthcare systems, and industry stakeholders of the AHRA.
  2. An increased membership to over 5,300.
  3. An increase in CRAs to approximately 1,150.
  4. The recruitment of Capitol Associates, Inc. to work with our regulatory affairs committee to enhance our membership’s education and reinforce our regulatory, advocative, and legislative representation.
  5. Our successful and very first virtual Fall Conference held in fall of 2015 with over 350 attendees.
  6. Continued solid support from our corporate partners to fund leadership development.
  7. An online CRA Exam Workshop was made available to all future CRAs.
  8. An online Basic Leadership Track was made available to upcoming imaging leaders.
  9. The development of our membership outreach, including the “Test Drive” free membership trial program to demonstrate the value of AHRA membership to potential members.
  10. The solidification of individual and collective board accountability and engagement.

For 2016, on top of continuing to implement items on the above list, more excitement is in store for us. As of this writing, Ed Cronin, CEO, Deb Murphy, Deputy Executive Director, Jason Newmark, President Elect, and I are attending the American Society of Association Executives symposium. The purpose of our attendance is to learn about significant issues that professional associations such as AHRA and its leadership face. For example, the attendees will discuss contemporary associations’ leadership models, environment, drivers and barriers to success, trust in governance, and clarity of the board’s roles and responsibilities.

AHRA will also hold its Spring Conference March 15-17 at the historic Palmer House in Chicago. The Spring Design Team has selected a group of first-rate speakers to build upon important topics in medical imaging such as post ICD-10 implementation, regulatory affairs, performance improvement using Lean principles, patient experience, healthcare economics, and much more.

The nominations committee is gearing up for the selection of AHRA’s future leaders. There will be three open spots on the Board of Directors as well as the President-Elect position. Please exercise your rights by nominating the proper individuals for these vital positions in our association. Nominations are open until January 29, and the election will take place in May. I will provide additional information about the AHRA board’s roles and responsibilities in a future article.

As we head forward with strong ambitions for 2016, AHRA will plan to achieve above and beyond its goals. We will work together to create a brighter future for all of healthcare by providing resources for the members of the AHRA family and gaining success for the association as a whole. Our journey continues!

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 ecerdena@wtbyhosp.org.

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