Choosing Happiness

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

Let me get right to it and offer a sincere and heartfelt Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to our AHRA family! From Thanksgiving, to RSNA (for many of us this feels like a holiday!), and to any and all holidays celebrated in December, this is a time of year to celebrate family, friends, colleagues, and even ourselves.

For me personally, it is also a time for me to reflect on the past year and consider what I did well, what I can do better, and what I am most proud of. It is a time where I recommit myself to my personal relationships and family, rekindle my passion for what I do every day, and do all I can to find and stay in my own “happy place.”


In November, we held two full days of meetings for the AHRA and AHRA Education Foundation boards of directors. The boards elicited the support of an executive association leader, Gabriel Eckert, to facilitate a session on the roles of the board in governing our association, which prompted some outstanding dialogue and outcomes among the boards. Gabriel also helped us to clarify our key strategic priorities.

We spent the remainder of our time together assessing our association’s financial stability and finalizing our FY17 budgets, discussing member needs and current trends in our industry, and reconfirming our broader strategic goals for 2017 and beyond. I am very HAPPY to share that both the AHRA and AHRA EF are performing on or ahead of targets and are positioned extremely well for the coming year(s).

Let me remind all of you about three key activities/events coming up in 2017:

1. Annual Board Elections

Nominations will be open for board of director candidates in January. Please nominate a colleague, peer, or mentor who you feel can help govern and drive our association to continued success. Our association needs your nominations and votes!

2. Spring Conference

The Spring Conference will be held March 9-11 in Savannah, GA. Check out the website to read up on the session offerings and to get to know the speakers. Registration is now open!

3. 45th Annual Meeting & Exposition

Next year’s Annual Meeting will be held July 9 – 12, 2017 in Anaheim, CA. The Design Team met up in Anaheim this past weekend to review speaker applications, so keep an eye out for the schedule and brochure in the comings months! If you register before 12/31, you’ll save $100 off your registration fee with the Early Bird discount.


I want to share some perspectives from a recent TED talk, “The happy secret to better work,” that my entire diagnostic services management team watched and discussed at our recent “advance” (we use the term “advance” vs. “retreat” to remind us to constantly move forward). At a high level, what the speaker, Shawn Achor, suggests is that success is not necessarily the basis for happiness; rather, each one of us can control our happiness by making time for ourselves and truly choosing to be happy.

Mr. Achor goes into further detail around the tremendous impact of telling/sharing positive stories and changing our personal ‘lenses’ from focusing on the normal to the abnormal (the outliers), where truly interesting and innovative ideas can be found. He has concluded that 90% of our happiness is based on our own internal processing. An extremely powerful statement, and to me it’s right on the mark! It aligns perfectly with one of my favorite quotes from Charles Swindoll, which I carry with me in my wallet every day:

“I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

And, so it is with you…we are in charge of attitudes.”

During this holiday season, I encourage you to be happy! You deserve it and will be a better leader for it!

In closing, and as a call for personal resolutions for 2017, let me reference one more of my favorite quotes:

“Real leaders are ordinary people with extraordinary determination.” 

Each one of you has extraordinary determination to be a better leader, and that is why you have chosen to be a member of AHRA. Keep investing time in your education and growth, keep sharing your stories and being an engaged member of our association, and keep earning the right to lead. Thank you to all of you for being part of this fantastic association. I could not be more “HAPPY” to be help lead our association forward.

As we all ring in the New Year, listen up for a very loud, proud, and “HAPPY” New Year BLAST on my AHRA conch shell! Here’s to a great 2017!

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


  1. Well said Jason! Thank you for your dedication to the organization, your leadership on the board, and your reminder to be happy and share your happiness with others! Love ya man! W

  2. Jason, where is this quote from? “Real leaders are ordinary people with extraordinary determination.”

    I LOVE that!

  3. Love the article! Sometimes when you feel like the wheels are turning but going nowhere, the choice of happiness is forgotten for a moment. Thanks for reminding us….

  4. Excellent article Jason! Thanks for great reminder that we decide our direction and the holidays are certainly a time to reflect on how well we have done just that over the past year.

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