By Ernesto A. Cerdena, PhD, RT, CRA, FAHRA
Belated Happy 4th of July! July 4th is celebrated to commemorate the birth of American independence, when the second continental congress voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776. Present day July 4th celebrations include festivities ranging from fireworks, parades, and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues. For me and my family, it was a very busy holiday weekend. I took Friday off to set up tents, chairs, and the grill, and arranged for 30 guests for my son Jacob’s graduation party. The party was a blast, the kids and adults alike enjoyed a dunk tank and other outdoor games. Since we invited guests of multiple backgrounds, my wife and I prepared Asian, Italian, and American food. All guests satisfied their appetite. It was a home run.
Speaking of celebrations, I can’t believe that my AHRA presidential term of office is nearing expiration. We have many accomplishments to celebrate. This fruitful yearlong journey would have not been possible without the full support of the membership. The past 12 months have brought enormous excitement and great successes for the association and its members. The board of directors, with assistance from the AHRA staff and our member volunteers, has worked vigorously to strengthen the governance, leadership effectiveness, and communication within our organization. In collaboration with the AHRA staff and the association committees, we have achieved the following accomplishments during the 2015-2016 term:
- The development and implementation of a new strategic plan which includes short term and long term goals and objectives focusing on members, healthcare systems, and industry stakeholders of the AHRA.
- An increased membership to almost 5,300. We have established a goal of reaching 6,000 by next year.
- An increase in CRAs to 1,179 and rising.
- The recruitment of Capitol Associates, Inc. to work with our regulatory affairs committee to enhance our membership’s education and reinforce our regulatory and legislative representation.
- Our successful and very first virtual Fall Conference held in October 2015 with over 350 attendees.
- Continued solid support from our corporate partners to fund leadership development.
- An online CRA Exam Workshop, made available to all future CRAs.
- An online Basic Leadership Track, made available to new and future imaging leaders.
- The further development of our membership outreach, including a “Test Drive” free membership trial program to demonstrate the value of AHRA membership to potential members.
- The solidification of individual and collective board accountability and engagement.
- The go-live of AHRA Connect, which has increased the number of member forum discussions relevant to our day to day medical imaging management and operations.
- Increased traffic on our website, with members accessing resources such as scholarships and awards applications, CE Quick Credits, local area meetings, and a host of other valuable resources available to the members like you.
- Enhancements to our publications such as Link and Radiology Management, addressing the critical and top issues in medical imaging operations.
Additionally, high satisfaction ratings from our members, the board of directors, and the AHRA staff have led to favorable financial performance, including exceeding budget surplus and a positive operating margin. Our association is stronger than it has ever been. We are able to bring people together as we continue our journey during the transformational changes of healthcare. Many thanks to all of YOU! See you all at the Annual Meeting!
Ernesto A. Cerdena, PhD, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.