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Exclusive: Q&A with AHRA president Luann Culbreth

by Diana Bradley, Staff Writer | August 10, 2012
From the August 2012 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

It’s not just having an annual meeting or a spring conference every year. While those events are tangible, extremely valuable resources, we look at what intellectual things we need to do to bring value to our members.

DMBN: As president, what has been your focus?

Culbreth: My main focus this year has been bringing the AHRA Strategic Plan to life. Everything we do as a board is supported by this plan, which includes three primary goals: quality, professionalism and collaboration. Each of those goals is broken down by objectives and strategies.

The collaboration goal is freshest on my mind and one of its objectives is to increase awareness internationally. In June, AHRA had the opportunity to be in Toronto at the 2012 International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists (ISRRT) World Congress, held in conjunction with the Canadian Association of Radiation Technologists. We not only exhibited, but also sponsored a daylong event about leadership and management. Being at an international meeting was a rare opportunity for us, giving us a chance to show our Canadian members we support them. Patient care is very similar no matter what language or country it’s in. We just want to be a catalyst for health care improvement.

DMBN: What are this year’s must see events?

Culbreth: Last year we introduced the Exhibitor Symposium, which includes exhibitors who have seen so much value in the AHRA meeting that they come in and sponsor their own specific symposium. For example, at this year’s event, there is an Exhibitor Symposium sponsored and hosted by Siemens Healthcare called: “Can Imaging Equipment Impact Patient Satisfaction? Creating a Healing Environment in Radiology.” And Hologic, Inc.’s symposium topic is, “Practical Considerations in Implementing Breast Tomosynthesis in a Clinical Setting.” So you can see that no matter who is doing these symposiums, they make it something that is pertinent to who they are as an exhibitor. The exhibitors have recognized the value of the attendees and vice versa.

Another highlight is our Basic Management Skills Program – a fantastic program that has been going for six years now, involving four days of sessions, focusing on everything from HR to finance to budgeting to operations to management, because AHRA recognizes that there is a need for leaders in medical imaging who may have worked their way up the ranks because they were good clinically and got tapped to become a supervisor. But they become supervisors with limited opportunities to train and learn about project management or business management or policies and procedures or marketing and negotiating. So this program helps bridge that knowledge gap.

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