By Brenda Debastiani, MBA, CRA, FAHRA
Happy February!! I am in San Diego for AHRA CLIMB: The Conference for Leadership in Imaging Management and Business, and I cannot wait to hear the amazing keynote speakers and presenters, as well as meet both new and existing AHRA friends. In a past article, I promised you an update on where we are on strategic planning, so I have dedicated this article to strategic planning! The AHRA strategic planning task force was formed in early 2022, and plans were finalized in July 2022, the day after the AHRA Annual Meeting in Phoenix concluded. So why am I just now sharing all of the plans? Because it takes time to formulate the proper initiatives and steps for the AHRA staff to implement to get us to where we want to be.
Nancy Green stepped in as Interim Executive Director on January 9, 2023, and she has hit the ground running! She has helped evaluate and re-structure AHRA staff tasks to ensure that all current tasks are appropriate and necessary to implement our new strategic plan. Let’s face it, our healthcare industry has been in flux since 2020 after the pandemic hit. The AHRA has been going through changes, as well, since strategic partners were also going through major changes as a result of Covid-19. Workforce changes, challenges, and shortages have required the healthcare industry to rethink, restructure, and pivot. How we operated just three years ago will no longer work today. Supply costs, unknown threats, emerging technologies, and unknown opportunities from artificial intelligence have made us pause to rethink what our ultimate goals should be to best meet the needs of our members.
To assist imaging leaders to be prepared and equipped to respond to our changing needs, the AHRA is prepared to lead into the next three-five years with a ten-year vision. We have crafted a strategic plan using a three-pronged strategy: A laser-like focus on 1) innovation and adaptability, 2) renewed intention to grow our membership and 3) forging strategic alliances with our partners.
For innovation and adaptability, the AHRA will keep pace with the rapidly changing environment and will produce products and services to meet members’ needs. The use of data and analytics trends to inform decisions, the redesign of AHRA’s website to focus on networking and engagement and the focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are all underway. The AHRA Board of Directors has focused on including DEI in all policies and procedures, and has also woven DEI into all committees.
For membership growth, we want to be responsive, anticipate your needs, increase membership year over year, and achieve a higher retention rate. Speaking of membership growth, the mentorship program is under development. The software was purchased, the “first group” of mentors/mentees are being identified based on your response to a recent survey, and soon, we will have a mentorship program to help you grow. (You asked on last year’s AHRA Member survey, and we listened!) The AHRA staff have been very busy getting this program implemented prior to the 2023 AHRA Annual meeting. An imaging leaders’ program will be tailored to meet your needs and goals. And the AHRA will leverage new email marketing software to enhance communications with memberships. All of this is already in progress!
The last “prong” on our strategic goal is to build strategic alliances where it makes sense. We will align with new organizations and increase sponsorships. A feasibility study is already underway to define future initiatives with our vendor partners. We are working collaboratively with other companies to build engagement and increase opportunities for our members. We are also leveraging our Annual Meeting to build partnerships.
Again, every one of these goals are already underway. The AHRA staff are already making great headway towards meeting year one goals. Each year, we will add additional initiatives to meet our five-year goals. We have a roadmap on where we are and where we want to go. We are financially strong, have an engaged Board of Directors, and are committed to advance the AHRA to best meet your needs. The Leadership Development Committee, led by Kimlyn Queen-Weis (Past President) are lining up interviews to put forward the next AHRA Board of Directors and President ballots. Please be sure to vote when the ballot is open. Your voice is important!
On a personal note, I have integrated my “better work-life balance”, my increased physical activity, and spending more time in my “happy places” as daily habits. I am happy to report that my resting heart rate is now in the 70’s (instead of high 90’s), my stress level is much lower, and I am truly enjoying my job and my Florida life with my husband.
I hope to see you at the AHRA CLIMB leadership conference in San Diego this weekend, Feb 24-26, 2023! If you are unable to attend, I hope to see you in Indianapolis July 9-12, 2023 at the AHRA Annual Meeting.
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please reach out to me at Brenda.DeBastiani@BraveraHealth.com.
Brenda Debastiani is the AHRA 2022-2023 President and can be reached at the email address above.
Thank you for leading us through this exciting time for the AHRA. We have a bright future and collectively the AHRA family can make it happen. There has never been a more exciting time to be engaged and involved in OUR association!