By Brenda Debastiani, MBA, CRA, FAHRA
As I sat down trying to decide what to write about for my first Link article as President of the AHRA (and what my future articles would be about), I decided to just share my “LIVE” experience with you. From the AHRA perspective, the AHRA strategic planning task force has been very busy. We met on Thursday immediately after the 2022 AHRA annual meeting to nail down what our new mission, vision and strategies should be.
We have identified 3 Strategic Planning pillars with measurable goals to keep us on task. These pillars include: 1) Innovation and Adaptability: AHRA will remain relevant and be a thought leader in the medical imaging profession. 2) Membership Growth: Grow the Membership by providing value added services- As a member-centric organization, AHRA will retain and recruit members by meeting and anticipating the needs of medical professionals. 3) Strategic Alliances: Focus on Key strategic alliances to increase offerings- Collaborating brings more resources to serve our members. Of course, these are not final, but I wanted to begin introducing the information to you as soon as it was available.
The next thing that I decided to share with you is about my own personal journey and “LIVE” experiences. You see, I decided a while back to “reinvent myself”. I shared during my president’s acceptance speech at our 2022 AHRA annual meeting in Phoenix that I worked my way up from a Radiologic Technologist, to a CT Technologist, to a supervisor, and eventually to a director at a community hospital in Morgantown, WV, while finding my pathway to leadership. But what I failed to share with you during that speech is that while I loved my job and my department for the past 33 years, I decided to resign. Yes, I decided it was time to try something new, time to work somewhere else, and time to truly reinvent myself. For those of you who know me, I am 100% committed to whatever I am doing, so deciding to make this change did not come easily to me. So what sparked me to make this change? It was time for me to take care of “me”!
Taking care of “me” is not something that Imaging leaders typically do well. Our jobs seem to be taking care of others. (Am I right?) So, by stepping outside of my comfort zone and possibly leaving home, I decided to throw my name into the hat and try for a new job in sunny Florida! The rest is history. I start my new job next week! I am super-excited to meet everyone in my new hospital and to learn new ways of doing things, etc. But most of all, I am super-excited to reinvent myself! Who do I want to be at this facility? Well, that’s easy, I want to be the genuine version of myself without biases and without pre-conceived notions on how something should be. I want to find joy in all that I do again (as well as be the best imaging leader that I can be).
For the record, I am not encouraging you to pack up your belongings, jump into a car with your loving spouse (and your dog), and drive 1000 miles away from home to reinvent yourself. But, I recognized a while back that I needed to take better care of myself. A change was necessary. Here are my three goals that I have set for myself: 1) Have better work-life balance, 2) Get more physically active, and 3) Enjoy my “Happy Place” (aka beach for me).
To have a better work-life balance, I plan to work fewer physical hours, stop checking my work emails at all hours of the day/night, and remember that I work to live (and not live to work). This goal will not be easy for me, as I am very committed to whatever I do. To be successful, I am going to set a timer on my watch to remind me to leave work. Why do I need to leave work at a decent hour? So I can become more physically active, which is my next goal. I want to swim, ride my bicycle, take my dog for a walk, and just enjoy nature. These simple things “fill my cup”, which will, in turn, make me a happier human being, a better partner in my relationship, as well as a stronger leader. Considering the fact that I now live 6 miles from the beach, there is absolutely no reason for me to not meet my third goal. The beach has always been my “happy place”, so why not take time to enjoy? In order to help others, your cup needs to be filled. You can not fill others’ cups if yours is empty!
I am going to use my article to hold myself accountable moving forward. (I don’t like to fail at anything, so if I have to write next month that I have not met any of my three goals, I will surely be disappointed in myself and embarrassed). Of all of the things that I love about my AHRA family, the one thing that stands out is that we are all here to support each other. I know that you will be cheering me on for success. The reason that I am sharing all of this with you is for you to start thinking about yourself. Are you taking good care of yourself? Could you make even minor adjustments to better “fill your own cup”? Work-life balance is crucial to finding personal happiness and to ensure happy relationships. Yes, I am now 1000 miles from most of my family; but thankfully, we have learned to use virtual face-to-face meetings that help us spend time with each other and to share our joys. As a matter of fact, I called my family just last night to conduct a virtual walk-through of our new home.
Let’s think outside of the box on how to better connect with others, even if they are not right next door. The AHRA forum is a great place to do just that, and I love it! In-person AHRA meetings are always so rewarding, and they get me “revved up” to be better at work! Next year’s AHRA CLIMB spring meeting will be on February 24-26, 2023 in San Diego, CA. The 2023 AHRA Annual meeting will be July 9-12 in Indianapolis, IN. I hope to see you in person there. Until then, I’ll just keep sharing my personal stories and hope to inspire you to become more resilient on your daily adventures.
Brenda Debastiani is the AHRA 2022-2023 President.