AHRA’s Tour of Texas

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AHRA’s Tour of Texas, a series of five local area meetings in cities across the state of Texas, took place from May 16-20. Joe Ortega, MBA, RT(R)(MR), who attended the Houston area meeting on May 20, said that “this meeting was a great way to network and meet new people, some with years of experience and some with a new set of eyes. Where else can one gain insight and knowledge for problems that plague us in the workplace? I feel this is a fantastic way to ask questions and opinions without the ridicule.”

Here’s a look inside some of these meetings, as reported by attendees:

May 16: El Paso

This was El Paso’s first AHRA local meeting, offering free CE credits to about 25 technologists, imaging supervisors, and area directors. It provided a taste of how AHRA can keep industry leaders up to date on current issues and leadership techniques. We left reenergized and excited for this year’s upcoming Annual Meeting in Anaheim.

Jerry Ortiz, the Southwest University Imaging Program Director welcomed attendees and spoke about Southwest’s newest programs, including an online CT program with on-site clinical opportunities and their Baccalaureate degree in radiology management, which is greatly centered on the Certified Radiology Administrator (CRA)’s five core domains. Rick Noel of Philips Healthcare educated everyone on CT dose tracking requirements and the technology available to meet them. Melody Mulaik, President of Coding Strategies Inc., provided the group with a “Regulatory Affairs Update,” which was well received as there are many changes to healthcare reimbursement on the horizon. Our closing speaker, Curtis Bush, provided strategies on how to manage employees.

May 17: San Antonio

The San Antonio meeting was held at the College of Health Care Professions, attended by about 20 radiology leaders. Kaylee Jelinek from Skyline Medical provided a demonstration and presentation on their Streamway system, a bottleless fluid removal system, designed for efficiency and cost reduction for fluid drainage procedures. Tonya Brightmon from the College of Health Care Professions presented on the new guidelines, regulations, and challenges surrounding certification and licensure in Texas. Her presentation was very insightful, and attendees realized that many of us are facing the same challenges.

After lunch, I presented on how to engage committed, passive, and detached team members in conversations about growth and how to re-level expectations for detached or declining performance in team members. The final presentation was delivered by Melody Mulaik via Webex on the regulatory changes and challenges facing the healthcare industry.

May 18: Austin

Nearly 30 attendees from multiple leadership levels and facilities around the Austin area attended this free event at the Clinical Education Center on the University Medical Center Brackenridge campus of Seton Health.

Mahesh Krishnan of Carestream Health presented on the physics, history, benefits, and future of cone beam CT technology. Rick Noel of Philips Healthcare presented on the available technologies and strategies for radiation dose management and reduction. The final presenter was Jordan Hefferan from GE Aviation… yes, that’s right, aviation. Jordan presented on how aviation is leveraging the digital space, how they utilize non-traditional think tanks to develop ideas and programs very quickly, and how the healthcare industry can benefit from many of the same implementations.

May 19: Dallas

Directors, managers, supervisors, and technologists of all leadership levels were invited to attend this free event. It was a great experience and allowed team leaders of all levels to gain knowledge from one another, share ideas, socialize, and see what systems other hospitals are implementing.

Jef Williams from Paragon Consulting spoke about the Affordable Care Act and its effects on the healthcare industry, budget, and innovations in healthcare delivery. He also spoke about the need to define limits on how much information is stored in a patient’s EHR and how far back the data should go.  Jennifer Schmitt from Philips Healthcare discussed CT dose management and showed how newer technologies allow us to use lower dose on patients. Future technologies hope to track dose within all hospital systems to gain the most accurate dose records for patients and better determine the type of care needed.


The AHRA Tour of Texas would not have been possible without the generous sponsorship of Coding Strategies, Inc., GE, Philips, Southwest University at El Paso, Skyline Medical, The College of Health Care Professions, Carestream, Hitachi, Baylor Scott & White Health, and Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital. AHRA would also like to acknowledge the following volunteers who played an integral role in organizing these five local meetings: Angelic McDonald, Curt Bush, Jose Rodriguez, Tonya Brightmon, Paul Dubiel, and Dennis Indiero.

El Paso recap by Jose E. Rodriguez, CRA, Director of Radiology, El Paso Specialty Hospital, El Paso, TX; San Antonio and Austin recaps by Curtis R. Bush, FACHE, MBA, CRA, Director of Imaging Services, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX; Dallas recap by Giselle Sanchez, RT(R), MRT, AAS, Radiologic Technologist I and Cindy Celmer, RT(R)(ARRT), Tech ll and Shift Coordinator, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas TX.

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