Stepping Up

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

With a loud and long blast of my AHRA conch shell at the closing session of last year’s Annual Meeting in Nashville, I signaled my personal call to action for all of you (including myself) for this year. I challenged each of us to:

1. Work hard to be the best leaders we can be by seeking out ways to enhance our skillsets and dedicating time for self-reflection and development of our core strengths and capabilities.

2. Earn the right to lead our staff by rolling up our sleeves, setting aside time to mentor and develop others, and inspiring our teams to be the best they can be.

3. Truly earn the right to be a member of this fantastic association by being an active and engaged member: reading or writing articles; participating in our online forum, AHRA Connect; sharing ideas, best practices, and stories with each other; presenting at a conference; volunteering/supporting various activities; and attending virtual and in-person local and national events where possible.

Jason blowing on the conch shell at the 2016 Annual Meeting closing ceremony.

Over the course of the year I have been absolutely amazed by how many of us heeded this call to action and stepped up! We had many first time writers and presenters, increased traffic/activity on Connect, received 161 submissions for presentations at our Spring and Annual Meetings, held 17 local and regional events hosted by members, added several people who raised their hands to become members of our various committees, and most recently, received 40 nominations for our 2017-18 board of directors. As my buddy David Fox would shout out, “WOW!”

One specific area that I am most proud of is seeing so many of our members challenging themselves to earn their Certified Radiology Administrator (CRA) designation this year. We added 37 CRAs last November, and last month we had many more take the exam (watch Link in the coming weeks to find out who our newest CRAs are!). How great is that?!

2017 marks the 15th anniversary of CRA! Did you know we now have 1,128 current CRAs and 47 CRA-retired? Seeing over 20% of our membership achieve this designation is something we should all be proud of. This shows a true commitment by these members to raise the standard of achievement for medical imaging leadership, and in turn, helps add validity and strength to the credential overall.

To all of you CRAs: congratulations and well done! To those working on their CRA: good luck and please lean on the resources of AHRA and your fellow AHRAers as you prepare.

For any of you attending our Annual Meeting coming up in just a few short weeks in Anaheim, CA, please be sure to join us in our CRA celebratory events and other activities:

– We will be running a CRA Exam Workshop on Sunday from 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM to help future CRAs prepare their study plans for the exam. Click here to register.

– We will have a CRA Booth (#610) in our exhibit hall on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Come meet the members of the Radiology Administration Certification Commission (RACC) and get answers to all of your CRA-related questions!

– The RACC will have two special offerings during the meeting:

  • A raffle for a FREE CRA exam for the November 2017 or May 2018 exam.
  • Coupons for members who register by August 1, 2017 to take the November 2017 exam at the original 2002 rate!

– We will have a celebratory event for all current CRAs on Monday night at 6:30 PM. Click here to RSVP.

For those that have heeded my call to action: THANK YOU. For those who are still considering where to jump in – there is still time before the year is over! Grab your conch and blow (click here for a list of volunteer opportunities)!

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 Jason – your “call” with the conch shell was a call to arms and many have taken up the cause to excel. 15 years I have presented at the annual meeting – now feel privileged to know CRA has the same start date. My favorite conference due to the commitment of the attendees to their profession. Thanks for all you are doing Jason. See you there.

  2. Love it! The Annual Meeting in Anaheim is going to be awesome. Thank you Jason for your passion and commitment to AHRA!

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