By Erin Register
Over 900 medical imaging leaders and exhibitors recently came together in Denver, Colorado to network and gain insight into the latest health care services, tools and trends. The 47th Annual AHRA Conference and Exposition was held July 21-24 at the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center.
AHRA offered a wide array of opportunities for attendees, including continuing education, special events, leadership workshops and an exhibit hall. ARRT Category A Continuing Education (CE) credit was available, as well as CE credit for states with licensure for radiologic technologists. With more than 70 educational sessions, attendees were able to learn a variety of information while having fun at the same time.
In addition to the continuing education opportunities, AHRA provided a Certified Radiology Administrator (CRA) Exam Workshop designed to facilitate the attendees’ study and preparation for the CRA Exam. Attendees used the course to identify their areas of strength and weakness in preparation for the actual CRA Exam.
AHRA’s leadership workshops were also a great success at the conference. The four-hour, interactive workshop allowed attendees to discuss challenges facing radiology leaders and identify solutions, enhance leadership skills, invest in their individual “personal brand” and create an environment that results in staff bringing their “A” game everyday!
The AHRA annual meeting and exposition also featured an exhibit hall of over 150 vendors from all over the country. The exhibit hall gave attendees an opportunity to learn more about the latest products and network with exhibitors.
Also, attendees were able to participate in the 20th Annual Imaging Classic Golf Tournament, which raised money for the AHRA Education Foundation. Other activities and events included a Cultivating Accountability Workshop, a welcome reception for new members and first-time attendees and an AHRA “Rockin’ in the Rockies” party with lots of glam, heavy, thrash and 1980s-inspired costumes!
“We received very positive feedback from attendees regarding the educational sessions,” AHRA CEO Dan Kelsey stated. “The highlights were the keynote speakers, especially the final keynote (Manley Feinburg) who compared leadership with his experience in climbing mountains and providing others with enough rope to climb.”
Other highlights and big takeaways from the show included the exhibit hall and the networking.
Steve Anspaugh, a program manager at GE Healthcare, noted, “My biggest takeaway was being able to engage with the senior level contacts in radiology from all the visiting hospital systems.”
“The 2019 AHRA Annual Meeting and Exposition was amazing! I learned so much and was able to network with so many imaging leaders,” Mon Health Medical Center Director of Imaging Brenda DeBastiani, CRA, FAHRA, said.
“I am humbled and honored to get to know, and work with, such amazing imaging leaders from all over the country and the world. I had the pleasure of speaking with a radiologist and his imaging manager from Chilé at the 2019 First Time Attendee & New Member Reception. While sharing stories and information, I learned that while our cultures are very different, our issues are the same! Imaging is such a small world,” DeBastiani added.
“This was my first AHRA conference, and I was very impressed by the overall energy surrounding the meeting,” Kelsey added. “This energy was evident in attendees, leadership and volunteers. When I was interviewing for the CEO position, many people told me to wait for the annual meeting, and I would be overwhelmed by the sense of family. I was not disappointed and was very much impressed by the number of people who truly value the relationships they have made through the AHRA and how they value the opportunity to connect annually while also receiving education they can take back to their hospital or imaging center.”
AHRA also has an eye on the future. “The board placed much emphasis on hearing from our members and held multiple focus groups with members of varying longevity at the annual meeting. We will also be conducting a member survey which will also help us gauge where to place our improvement efforts. We will be refreshing and revising our strategic plan of the AHRA in the coming year, and the feedback from the annual meeting will help shape the future of the organization,” said Mario Pistilli, a member of the AHRA Board of Directors.
For more information about AHRA, visit www.ahra.org.