By Chris Tomlinson, MBA, CRA, FAHRA
It’s been a tumultuous time in the healthcare industry. As leaders, our focus has been caring for our patients, protecting our staff and planning for the second pandemic; caring for the patients who didn’t get the healthcare they needed during this time for non-COVID-19 conditions. We are also tasked with re-opening strategies as our health systems/organizations are facing massive losses and the prospect of cost cutting.
My sincere hope is that the AHRA has been a resource for you and your staff during this time. We have created a COVID-19 landing page to access all of our resources including webinars, forum posts, links to CDC/WHO and other resources as well as regular updates from our Regulatory Affairs Committee. We want to ensure we are providing maximum support to you during this time. I know many of you have used these resources as the number of visits to the AHRA site is at an all-time high.
As you may have seen, we are moving our annual meeting to a new format. We heard from our members that their facilities are restricting/prohibiting travel, and that funding has been pulled for travel and conferences and they risk quarantine if they do travel, often as unpaid time. The Design Team, Board of Directors, AHRA Staff, our conference managers and fundraising partners have been working tirelessly to ensure a new format that allows you to feel the family aspect of the AHRA and the connectedness folks value in meetings with programming that meets your needs. Stay tuned for some very exciting announcements forthcoming on the platform we will use to accomplish this.
Our association and the association industry in general have been tasked with new ways of connecting with their members. As new generations enter the workforce, their definition of what is means to be an association and how content is delivered continues to evolve. This pandemic has forced the association industry to rethink its approach to members and delivering content. This change was already underway prior to COVID-19 but now it’s accelerating. I want you to know that your Board of Directors and staff have been working on this as part of our strategic planning process. We plan to use this “new reality” coupled with the changes already in motion to adjust our mission to realities of the day. Additionally, we have to rethink the finances of our organizations. The AHRA’s funding base it largely derived from sponsorships and the onsite meeting as well as memberships. There have been no onsite meetings this year which will radically change the economics of our association. We are looking at all our expenses and programs to ensure they are still relevant and meet the needs of our members. We are essentially reimagining the AHRA which isn’t a result of COVID-19, but it’s definitely speeding the process.
We have lost individuals in our imaging industry and within the AHRA to COVID-19. Many families have asked we respect their grieving process and not call them out by name, but I want to recognize them and their sacrifice to our patients. I also want to recognize the imaging professionals who are on the front lines and supporting the care of our patients. They are Healthcare Heroes and there is no higher calling than helping our patients in their time of need.
I also want to recognize my four radiology directors at Jefferson Health for their leadership, sacrifice and excellent service to our patients:
Joseph Gargin CRA, Jefferson Center City Division
Joan Diaz, Jefferson Abington Division
David Dimarcantonio, Jefferson Northeast Division
Judith Adirzone CRA, Jefferson New Jersey Division.
Each of these directors has multiple hospitals and outlying clinics and had to manage through staff quarantines as well as delivering care to their patients and protecting their staff. Thank you to them and all the Healthcare Heroes of the AHRA!
Chris Tomlinson, MBA, CRA, FAHRA is the 2019-2020 president of the AHRA Board of Directors. He is Enterprise Vice President, Radiology/Imaging, Clinical Lab & Pathology, Emergency & Hospital Medicine Service Lines at Jefferson Health in Philadelphia, PA. He can be reached at Christopher.Tomlinson@jefferson.edu