Big Lessons from a Small Facility

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pam-zieglerBy Pamela M. Ziegler, RT(R)(M)(ARRT)

I had the most amazing experience visiting Blue Ridge Mountain hospital in John Day, Oregon as part of AHRA’s Partners in Leaning program. I am the radiology manager of a multispecialty clinic in Los Angeles County, so visiting this small town was very eye opening. The hospital was much smaller than I was used to back in LA; I think they only had about 10 patient rooms.

I met my contact, Dan Goldblatt, and I was immediately at ease and knew this was going to be a great experience. By the end of the first day I was convinced that the facility that I work in back home and our patients would greatly benefit from adding a CT scanner to the radiology department. Dan helped me see the potential revenue that a CT scanner would generate that we are currently sending out the door by having our patients go elsewhere for these exams. Not to mention, it would increase patient satisfaction if patients were able to get the scan done in the same building they see their provider in: a win-win in my book! Dan let me borrow a copy of AHRA’s Asset Management in Radiology textbook that I have begun to read and take notes on to figure out how to best accomplish this huge task. I will need to demonstrate to our board of directors and administration team that a CT scanner is a must have. I am excited for this challenge.

The next couple of days I was able to sit in on some MRI and CT scans. We don’t have MRI at our facility either, and I realized how challenging and intense it can be. I am blown away at the talent of Dan Goldblatt. He manages the radiology department and also performs x-rays, DEXA scans, CT scans, and MRIs. Blue Ridge Mountain hospital is lucky to have such dedication and talent on their staff.

I also worked with Danielle, who does all of the mammography, QC, and site accreditation. She doesn’t have another mammographer to bounce anything off of, step in to help with positioning, or all the other things that I have taken for granted, since we have a team of mammographers who share the many tasks that mammography entails. She is her own team and does it all – kudos to her! The care and compassion that I witnessed in her interactions with the patients, as well as the rest of this small radiology department staff, was heartwarming.

I want to thank the AHRA Partners in Learning program and GE Healthcare for allowing me the opportunity to grow and learn in the radiology field. Also, I want to thank Dan Goldblatt, the imaging director of Blue Ridge Mountain hospital for putting me at ease and encouraging me to dig into the process of seeing what it takes to add CT to my facility.

When I arrived at this small town hospital that didn’t have anywhere near the patient load that we do, I wasn’t sure that I was going to learn much: silly me! I have come away from the experience having learned more than I could have imagined and have gained a few friends as well.

Pamela M. Ziegler, RT(R)(M)(ARRT) is the radiology manager at Magan Medical Clinic in Covina, CA. She can be reached at

One comment

  1. Pam Ziegler is quite the storyteller. LOL. It was great having her as a guest. I was glad to help and am always willing to do the same for anybody. What a great person she is.

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