By Cindy M. Winter, PhD, CRA, FAHRA
Many of us have been following Gordon Ah Tye, FAHRA through his Radiology Management column, “On That Note,” for numerous years. Having had the opportunity in the past to witness Gordon in action, commanding the stage floor in his own unique way, I knew I was in for a treat at his session, “On That Final Note.” As attendees entered the room, Gordon was playing beautiful melodies on the keys for all to enjoy. Soon the crowd started calling out requests, and he was fully engaged in a medley of Beatles tunes. Gordon’s introduction started with recognition of him authoring over 150 articles and being a cornerstone to the AHRA leadership community.
It was at this point Gordon informed us all that he would be retiring in January of 2018 to pursue his passion of music and becoming a driver for Uber! Okay, maybe not Uber, but again this was Gordon’s way of telling us it was time to move on. The true meaning of the word Final stood out to me in the title of this session. But why? The question of age versus the growing complications of healthcare in today’s world came up. As I was deep in thought contemplating where I stood in that mix, Gordon reminded us all that we are here because we care about people, but we need to remember to care about ourselves too. This is one of the main reasons I attend the AHRA Annual Meeting. I needed to remember to create balance between my home life and my work life. Throughout the session, Gordon discussed leadership, change, and inner peace.
Leadership in imaging services has changed significantly over time. The evolution of the radiology administrator began in the dark ages, literally. Chief technologists led the department and were the gurus of the dark room and masters of the film alternators. As computer driven modalities developed such as CT, ultrasound, nuclear medicine and MRI, the chief technologist evolved into the radiology manager. With continued focus on big business, revenue production, and technological expertise, the imaging director was born. Gordon summed up the progression of leadership into a song titled “Revenue,” sung to tune of The Carpenters’ song “Close to You.”
CEO’s suddenly appear… Every time…You are near,
Just like me, they need to see… Re-ven-ue.
Why do Codes Bundle in the Sky… Every time…CMS Walks By?
It’s just Cash… They want to slash… Re-ven-ue.
On the day that you were born, the Angels got together,
And decided you should know how codes should pay!
So they sprinkled moon dust in your hair,
And you chose to become a CRA…
That is why Vendors here in Town… Follow You… All Around.
They can see… You hold the Key to… Re-ven-ue.
They can see… You hold the Key….
During the second segment, Gordon discussed change in imaging leadership and the progression of the AHRA. A history lesson ensued of the “AHRA Legends of the Five Regions” and how they came together as a national unit. The members were strong because they were team players supporting each other. They were also solid leaders because they could step up to the plate and make the decisions that were not easy. It is in this sense that we continue to see AHRA’s growth to meet and support new requirements in the industry.
Finally, Gordon reflected on the relationship of leadership and inner peace. He stated:
“Leadership is about responsibility, and although our work is important, it is not the ‘key’ of life. We must take care of ourselves and keep our own inner balance. Like the bamboo, we must stay flexible and bend with the wind.”
Ten recommendations Gordon shared to maintain zen and inner peace are:
- Don’t Be Judgmental
- Embrace Acceptance
- Don’t Be a Victim
- Make Choices
- Be Open Minded
- Appreciate What You’ve Got
- Do Nothing Sometimes
- Stop Worrying About Things You Can’t Control
- Life is Fun and an Adventure
- Have a Positive Attitude
Gordon, thank you for your insight, your music, your humor, and your contributions. You are truly the face and spirit of the AHRA. Next stop… The Great Wall of China!
Cindy Winter, PhD, CRA, FAHRA is the director of medical imaging services at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare in Tallahassee, FL. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.