Belay On!

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By Chris Tomlinson, MBA, CRA, FAHRA

As we move into fall, the AHRA is hard at work on a number of fronts. Our newly created Diversity and Inclusion Task Force has kicked off under the leadership of Angie Bush and Ernie Cerdena. This group is hard at work identifying opportunities to advance our association and we look forward to reporting their progress to members in the near future. Jacqui Rose (President-Elect) is leading a team that is working diligently to align our policies & procedures manual and make needed updates. One area of focus will be to develop standardization and consistency across committee structures. The goal is to maximize the effectiveness of committee work and outcomes.

The AHRA and EF financials are better than budget through September which allows us to pursue and meet our mission-driven strategic goals. The AHRA Board of Directors meets this week for the Fall Board meeting and there are a number of agenda items supporting our transformation as an organization. The Board will also be visiting AHRA Headquarters to meet with staff and tour the office. The Board does this every few years which allows staff and the Board to interact outside of phone calls and the annual meeting. It also gives the Board an up close and personal view into the association operations. The last time the Board toured the office in 2015, they felt the computer equipment needed replacement, especially the CRT monitors that seemed to have outlived their usefulness. No pressure on the Board (this time) to recommend any new capital investments….

Carrie Stiles has been named Spring Conference Design Team Chair. Carrie and her team are already hard at work planning the meeting in San Diego. Be sure to mark your calendars for the 2020 Spring Conference being held March 26-28th. This is a great location for those in the cold weather climates for some much-needed warm weather and sunshine coming out of winter.

I want to recognize our Regulatory Affairs Committee for their outstanding work on the Appropriate Use Criteria Program and specifically the “AUC Program Clarification Comments” letter to CMS dated October 11, 2019.  As we all know, the key to navigating any new requirement is in understanding the details and ensuring we all know how to implement these changes; namely how the required AUC data elements should pass through the claims process. The Regulatory Affairs letter can be found here.

John Beal’s Annual Meeting Design Team is also gearing up for the Annual Meeting in Boston. I’m very excited that the conference will take place within the Boston Metro area where all the amenities are available close to the hotel. Members said they want to have a choice in food and other activities close to the conference vs. a resort that is isolated at a distance and where food can be expensive without many options. Well, we heard you!

As you all know, it’s Breast Cancer Awareness month. There are lots of activities nationally and locally to increase awareness and screening. This is always a great opportunity for Imaging Departments/Centers to shine. Breast cancer screenings, along with other screening programs, are important ways for imaging to positively impact the lives of our patients and their families. If you have not already, please visit AHRA’s Women’s Imaging Resource Center for articles, case studies and other valuable materials.

As always, please contact me with any feedback or thoughts you have on the direction of the AHRA.

In the words of our Annual Meeting keynote speaker, Manley Feinberg, Belay On!

Chris Tomlinson

Chris Tomlinson, MBA, CRA, FAHRA is the 2019-2020 president of the AHRA Board of Directors. He is Enterprise Vice President at Radiology at Jefferson Health in Philadelphia, PA. He can be reached at


  1. Well done, President Tomlinson! Great to hear the work the Board is Doing and the effort to spend time in the corporate business offices again. Thank them all for a job well done! Also, excellent job on the committee work for diversity & inclusion and the AUC letter to CMS. Keep up the great job and keep making a positive difference!

  2. FYI, for those who may not know (apparently Manley Feinberg knows), “Belay On!” is the phrase climbers call out to their partners who then take up slack in the climbing rope, anchor themselves as securely as possible and play out rope -or take it in- as their partner moves up a pitch on a cliff or other incline. It is a bilateral act of faith and mission. Without Belay On, there is no “safe” climb. Serves as a reminder that teamwork is everywhere in life. We all need to hold the rope, dig in, prepare for the falls our climbing partners may take, and stand ready and braced to assist in their recovery to climb further. Hope NRTW is and has been great in your facility!!

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