By John Wallace, Editor
ICE is everything an imaging service professional or director needs to be successful in a sometimes overlooked profession. MD Publishing continues to build a specific community for these intelligent and hardworking professionals via a three-prong approach.
The Imaging Conference and Expo (ICE), the Imaging Community and Exchange (ICE) website (ImagingIgloo.com) and the ICE magazine all work together to empower imaging service professionals.
After four successful summer conferences, including this past July in the Washington, D.C. area, the Imaging Conference and Expo is moving to the early part of the calendar. ICE 2018 will be held February 16-18 in Las Vegas, Nevada at The M Resort. In other exciting news, the ICE magazine will be published monthly beginning in January 2018. These are all measures designed to continue to grow the ICE community.
ICE 2017 in Washington, D.C. showed continued growth with the ICE18 Leadership Summit, a reverse expo, top-of-the-line educational sessions and an exhibit hall full of industry-leading vendors.
Wendy Stirnkorb, director of imaging services at Regional West Medical Center, was impressed by the reverse expo. She was not alone as attendees and exhibitors shared their thoughts on what made ICE such a beneficial event.
“This kind of forum is enlightening from my perspective,” Stirnkorb said.
“ICE18 is a great way to network with a group of people you normally wouldn’t be able to. Having biomeds and imaging in one room is a great benefit,” said Mario Pistilli, director of imaging at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
“The panel discussion was great. The other speakers were great. I just saw this as a good place to get a widespread variety of information that pertains to the clinical engineer and the biomedical engineer and it’s not really available anywhere else,” Andrea D. Browne, Ph.D., DABR, Diagnostic Medical Physicist Department of Engineering, The Joint Commission said after her keynote presentation.
She also encouraged imaging service professionals and directors to attend ICE 2018 for a variety of reasons.
“First of all, it’s, I think, a good size,” Brown said. “You have an opportunity to visit all of the exhibitors that you can’t always get to at larger meetings. So, that is good. The exhibitors are very focused on what you are interested in, so the information that you get from them is valuable, focused and right on point.”
Exhibitors and attendees stressed the importance of the high-value networking at ICE 2017.
“It is a great opportunity to network because the variety of people who attend and the fact that a lot of the attendees are very influential and active in other advocacy organizations is just an added bonus,” Browne said.
John Garrett, clinical engineering manager at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, also praised the networking aspect of ICE.
“We have the opportunity to network with vendors at a level that is much more candid than trying to show up at your office. You can actually go and work with them – the people who actually have something to offer instead of waiting for somebody to come to you,” he said. “This also leads to finding new services. You are able to discover possible solutions to problems that you didn’t know existed – I actually had two of those happen to me this year.”
“I get to network with other professionals who understand the same challenges who maybe have better practices or better answers to issues and problems that I face or vice verse,” Garrett added. “I may have a solution to a challenge that they face. It is a great opportunity to sit and discuss what you are facing and how you are dealing with it and coming up with some best practices that help overall quality and capability of the industry.”
Jina Walls with the Department of Veterans Affairs in Indianapolis, Indiana made connections while at ICE 2017.
“The biggest benefit is networking. There is so much you can learn, especially from different companies, from training, from parts (suppliers) and also getting to know what other hospitals have in store for the future,” Walls said.
Walls also said the educational sessions were beneficial and that she learned something from one of the classes that she will be able to implement as soon as she returns to her facility to help with an issue they have been experiencing with MRI scans of patients with stents.
Ryan Kishun, BS, CBET, biomedical imaging engineer at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, said the education was informative and provided excellent insights.
“I’ve learned a lot through the educational seminars. It gave me exposure to different modalities that I did not have before including MR and CT. I am looking forward to heading back to work and applying what I learned,” Kishun said. “(ICE) is probably one of the best things you can do. It’s laid back, it’s fun, it’s informative. The networking opportunities here are tremendous.”
“I would definitely recommend ICE because it’s fun. There are a lot of networking opportunities, a lot of educational opportunities and I took away a lot of priceless information that I can’t wait to take back to my hospital,” he added.
April Lebo, director of sales and marketing at Trisonics Inc., said ICE provides great value for her company.
“For Trisonics, we are able to reconnect with our customers and to be able to attend sessions like the Dealer Meeting so that we are up to date on everything that is going on in the industry,” Lebo said when asked about the benefits of attending ICE.
Dick Branca with Cool Pair Plus said the conference provides a venue for meeting new customers.
“From a dealer perspective, it is probably twofold. First you are going to see new customers and potential clients,” Branca said when asked about ICE attendance. “And, also from a networking standpoint, you are here seeing and talking to a lot of different vendors who you might be doing business with as well.”
Summit Imaging Manager of Global Education and Training Kyle Grozelle pointed out several ways businesses benefit from ICE attendance.
“It is a great opportunity to be an exhibitor. We get a chance to connect with our customers,” Grozelle said. “We also always take advantage of the opportunity to do the reverse expo at ICE. It is a great time to sit down and be face-to-face with a group of leaders in the organizations that we work with and get some great feedback but also learn some ways that we can support them.”
Grozelle did not hesitate to encourage hospital employees to attend the conference every year.
“If you are a hospital employee, I would say one of the main reasons to attend an ICE conference would be to come to these seminars and take home knowledge of where the industry is going, especially around things like developing trends and our new quality management systems that are coming from the FDA or other governing organizations,” he said.
When asked what he would say to an imaging service professional who was thinking about attending ICE 2018 in Las Vegas, Garrett said simply “Attend!”
“There is not a wasted moment,” Garrett added. “You can get anything out of this that you decide you want to get out of it. If you simply show up and walk around and talk to people – that alone is worth the time you spent (to attend). Then, the educational aspect of it just takes it to the next level. There are so many opportunities for training that you can kind of pick and choose what serves your needs.”
For additional information about ICE 2018, visit AttendICE.com. If you are interested in participating in the ICE18 Leadership Summit, a precursor to the conference where a group of 18 plus hand-picked imaging leaders come together to network with the best and brightest in the industry to share invaluable knowledge which will help you and your department grow and prosper, visit www.attendice.com/ice18/ to apply.