Back to School

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Jason NewmarkBy Jason M. Newmark, BA, MHA, CRA, FAHRA

Being a born, bred, and proud New Englander, there is nothing I love more than the time between the end of summer and the beginning of fall for four key reasons:

1. The Weather

The heat and humidity of summer give way to those crisp and perfect days – cold enough for a fleece jacket at night (or yellow vest for those of you who know what I’m talking about!), cool mornings with the dew glistening on the yard, and perfect days in the high 60s and low 70s.

2. Professional Sports

This time of year represents that last few weeks of the MLB season and watching games that actually count! It’s also the start of the NFL season and Sundays full of football games (Go Pats!), fantasy pools, and comradery.

3. Kids’ Sports

Admit it: all of you who coach your kids’ various teams love September! The lazy days of summer give way to the chaos and emotions of youth sports with carpools; races from work to home, to the fields for practices; travel games; and parents acting as though 10 year olds are playing for a gold medal. In our family it’s all about soccer – seeing my girls practice together and make crazy dribbling moves is what it’s all about!

4. Back to School

A few things I love: The shopping and fashion shows I get to judge; being “nervous-cited” (per my daughter) as I take the ceremonial first day photos; and the idea that every September my kids get a fresh start with friends and goals with such optimism.


Adding to my personal enthusiasm for the fall, I’m excited to share that many AHRAers have taken hold of the AHRA “conch shell” and heeded my call to action to truly EARN THE RIGHT to be a member. They’ve stepped up and are organizing events, writing articles, and simply working hard to be the best leaders they can be. A few examples:

1. Local Area Meetings

  • Hitachi was the main sponsor for two recent local area meetings, Chicago on 8/31 (organized by Julie Kaufield and Mark Steffen, CRA, FAHRA), and Denver on 9/8 (organized by Brian Lentz, CRA), that had 45 and 29 attendees respectively.
  • Topics presented ranged from dose management, to vendor neutral archives, to enterprise-wide imaging.
  • Best of all, AHRA members networked, potential new members were ‘wowed,’ and we continued to enhance our relationships with our vital vendor partners.

2. Aunt Minnie Imaging Leadership Semi-Finalists

  • The 2016 “Minnies” campaign to recognize the best and brightest leaders in medical imaging (over 215 candidates in 14 categories) was announced a few weeks ago. Of the 11 candidates for “Most Effective Radiology Administrator/Manager,” 7 of them were AHRA members! How great is that?! Congratulations to the members who were recognized!

3. AHRA’s Melody Mulaik in the News


I also want to remind everyone of two major events coming up:

1. 2016 Virtual Fall Conference

  • Back by popular demand, we’re offering you a chance to catch the season’s back-to-school fever with a refreshed outlook on learning – join us online at our Virtual Fall Conference from October 14 to 28.
  • There will be 10 sessions with an opportunity to earn 10 CE credits.
  • All sessions will be available on-demand (ie, you can watch them any time during the two weeks of the conference, and well beyond), with scheduled live Q&As. Topics range from an imaging market update to data mining to exceptional patient experience best practices.
  • There will also be two LIVE sessions, too:
    • “Patient Centered Care” by Ezequiel “Zeke” Silva III
    • “AHRA Regulatory Affairs Update” by Sheila Sferrella and Melody Mulaik
  • Please register AND promote the virtual conference to your staff, peers, and colleagues. Register by 9/30 for a chance for your whole team to win free registration!

2. 2017 Annual Meeting Call for Presenters

  • The 2017 Annual Meeting Design Team is seeking session proposals for the 2017 Annual Meeting, July 9-12 in Anaheim, California.
  • The application can be found on the AHRA website, and the submission deadline is October 12.
  • Share your best practices! Share your stories! Be a presenter!


In closing, let me offer an official WELCOME TO THE FALL SEASON! Our association is running strong, and our members are being recognized nationally for their talents and ideas. We have momentum… let’s keep it going!

Oh, and did I also say, GO PATRIOTS?!!!!!

Jason M. Newmark, BA, MHA, CRA, FAHRA is the president of the 2016-2017 AHRA Board of Directors. He is the vice president, diagnostic services at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA. He can be reached at

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