By Bruce Hammond, CRA, FAHRA
December 31 marks the end of my service on the Radiology Administrators Certification Commission (RACC), which makes this article my final CRA “state of the union” for Link. First, let me say “thank you” to all of you for your support and confidence in electing me to serve twice. I also would like to thank all the commissioners I have worked with over the past seven or so years who have taught, guided, and led me. I’d especially like to thank them for electing me to serve the RACC, first as Secretary/Treasurer, then as Vice Chair, and finally as Chair.
It is very bittersweet to be writing this article and contemplating not being on the RACC next year – the last meeting was surreal as I realized “we” will be “they” in a short time. I am very confident in the RACC’s ability to continue to lead the credential forward. The current commissioners are knowledgeable, intelligent, and eager to advance the credential for the future of medical imaging management. Our returning public commissioner, Sheryl Jackson, is engaged and willing to fulfill her role. Her expertise in business and healthcare has proven invaluable during her first term.
A relatively unseen but very important position is that of the AHRA Board liaison. The Board liaison communicates the viewpoints and perspectives from the AHRA board to the RACC and facilitates communication between the RACC and the AHRA. This year and most of last year our liaison has been Wanda Coker. Wanda, there are no words to express not only my gratitude but that of the entire RACC to you. You not only filled the role you were given, you participated in every task your time and our rules would allow, and your willingness to share your knowledge and experience with the RACC has helped us consider a broader view and consider things that may affect CRAs in a wide range of facility types. You are such a fantastic resource for the RACC, the CRA, and the AHRA.
This year, the RACC completed an update of the CRA exam with the assistance of CRA volunteers who served as item writers. At the AHRA Annual Meeting we completed the “cut score” process used to psychometrically validate the exam questions and set passing scores. This is a complicated and involved process that requires many hours of work, discussion, and interaction with our contractor Castle Worldwide. The work is vital to insure the test is current, valid, and applicable to the constituency of potential candidates. The new exam will debut in 2017 – thank you to all of the volunteers who gave their time to put it together!
I want to encourage all current CRAs to work on developing others to reach their own potential and encourage them to take the exam. I can tell you one of the greatest things to see is the giant grin of someone who has just passed the exam. I also encourage you to support your RACC and communicate with them about your needs – these are great people who are here to help you get the most out of your CRA.
The CRA is more widely accepted today than it was even a few years ago. The goal now is to have it accepted as credit for coursework on a college level. There are a few who already accept the credential, and we want many more.
I must say one final “thank you” to Kathryn Keeler, the CRA staff resource at the AHRA office. The RACC’s success and the job of all commissioners, particularly the Chair, is made so much easier by this “secret weapon” we have. Kathryn does so much more than serve as a staffer or liaison; she is like an unofficial commissioner, and our jobs would be much harder without her. Kathryn, on behalf of myself and all the RACC Chairs who have worked with you in the past, we say thank you.
Bruce W. Hammond, CRA, FAHRA is the Chair of the Radiology Administration Certification Commission. He is also the CEO of The CailcoGroup in Fort Worth, TX. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.