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What's New

Presidential Mid-Year Board Meeting Update

 January 2020

Happy New Year and welcome to the start of another academic semester! The AEIRS Board of Directors met in Jacksonville, FL on January 9 – 11, 2020. This site was chosen so that we could conduct a site visit of the Jacksonville Hyatt where we will be hosting our Annual Meeting in July 2021. Since the AEIRS fiscal year is April 1 – March 31, one of the most important tasks during the Mid-Year Board Meeting is to review the current year’s budget and review the activity of our investment accounts, as well as creating and adopting the following year’s budget. During this discussion, in addition to looking for additional sources of revenue, the Board looks closely at ways to decrease expenses. During the finance discussion, the Board made a decision to cap Board travel expenses for both the Mid-Year Meeting and Annual Meeting. Additionally, a motion was passed stating that effective for the 2020 Annual Meeting and going forward, Board members are responsible for their own meal expenses at all AEIRS functions. 

Our Event Planner, Shirley Douglass, provided an update on 2019 RSNA and the Associated Science Consortium (ASC) activities. We are happy to announce that Quentin Moore has been chosen to serve as the AEIRS presenter at the 2020 ASC Educator session and Theodore Vanderlaan was chosen to present at the 2020 ASC Student Theater. Our Education Committee hosted a webinar for new clinical instructors in November 2019 with 44 attendees. They will be repeating this CE event on February 20th from 8-9 pm, EST. If you were unable to attend the November session, please join us in February!

The Ad Hoc Advocacy Committee has been hard at work drafting Medical Imaging and Radiologic Sciences Educator Practice Standards. The draft was shared with the Board of Directors and the edited 2nd draft will be sent to our membership for review and feedback in February. We plan to hold an Advocacy Open Forum to discuss and hopefully finalize the Practice Standards at the 2020 Annual Meeting. Please be looking for this information and be sure to send us your comments!

 

The AAPM CARES Committee continues to meet via a monthly web conference to discuss the discontinuation of patient gonadal and fetal shielding. AEIRS is working in conjunction with ASRT, ARRT, and JRCERT to provide a strong, unified voice to this committee and we are fortunate to have a seat at the table. The AAPM recently published a “Frequently Asked Questions” publication which is available on the AEIRS website. Look for additional information in the upcoming edition of Radiologic Science & Education.

 

Our Membership Committee has been hard at work creating and disseminating marketing materials regarding educational sessions and the benefits of AEIRS membership.  Our Scholarship Committee has transitioned the International Presentation Scholarship to a Professional Presentation Scholarship. Please check out the AEIRS website for specifics. Our President-Elect, Debbie Poelhuis, is currently building her AEIRS Committee and Liaison appointments, so please do not hesitate to contact her if you are interested in serving on an AEIRS Committee. I am sure she would be glad to hear from you! Also, the AEIRS Elections will open February 15, so please be sure to cast your vote!

 

Lastly, plans are well underway for our 2020 Annual Meeting which will be held July 8 – 11, 2020 at the Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor's Conference Center located in Madison, Wisconsin. Registration is currently open, so check out the information online. Annual Meeting Co-Chairs, Mari King, and Charlie Drago have put together an awesome conference! JRCERT will be hosting a pre-conference site visitor workshop and assessment session at no extra charge. Please make plans now to join us for this wonderful event!

 

Best wishes for a wonderful winter and an early spring… Nina

President's Message Fall 2019

Happy autumn…I am sure you are all well into the fall semester and I hope you are taking some time to enjoy the cooler weather! The AEIRS Board of Directors and AEIRS Committees have been hard at work since the close of the 2019 AEIRS Annual Meeting in July. The Board of Directors held a fall WebEx Board Meeting on September 30, 2019 and will meet for the Mid-Year Board Meeting January 9-11, 2020. As I mentioned in my previous column, we adopted a new 5 year Strategic Plan in January and are working hard to meet our strategic goals.

In terms of our first goal to “Promote academic excellence” we are happy to announce that we have sponsored two AEIRS representatives, Stephanie Vas, MA, RT(R)(CT)(MR) and Rimmon Greenidge, MSRS, RT(R)(MR) to serve on the ASRT MR Curriculum Revision Taskforce.

The Ad Hoc Advocacy Committee is hard at work creating a draft Medical Imaging and Radiologic Sciences (MIRS) Educator Practice Standards document. We hope to share the first draft with our membership in the spring for your input and plan to host a Practice Standards Open Forum during the 2020 AEIRS Annual Meeting in Madison, Wisconsin.

In in an effort to create formal educational opportunities specific to new faculty members, Tiffany Roman, MA Ed, RT(R)(CT)(MR)- Chair of the Education Committee and her committee members will be conducting a one hour CE webinar for Clinical Coordinators on November 14. The fee for this webinar is $15 and additional information will be posted on the AEIRS website by November 1st. We hope to offer the same webinar again in the spring for faculty members who are unable to participate in the November 14th event.

Our second strategic goal is to “Enhance membership communications” and I am happy to report that we now have a new and updated AEIRS website thanks to the hard work of our AEIRS Operations Manager, Kenya Haugen. Her work is amazing and she continues to improve the new site to enhance communications and update our opportunities to keep in touch with membership, as well as streamline association activities. If you have not already done so, please check it out.

Our Membership Committee has been working closely with Medical Imaging Consultants, Inc. (MIC) and our Operations Manager, Kenya Haugen to improve our marketing efforts and to enhance the membership portion of the AEIRS new website. Many committee chairs are also working with Kenya Haugen to enhance our social media presence.

Our third and final strategic goal is to “Foster networking and collaboration opportunities” and we have been making steady progress in this area as well! I have had the honor and privilege to serve as the AEIRS representative on the American Association of Medical Physicists (AAPM) Communicating Advances in Radiation Education for Shielding (CARES) committee developed in response to the release of the AAPM position statement regarding use of patient gonadal and fetal shielding in diagnostic x-ray imaging.  In August, I sent all AEIRS members an open letter from AAPM requesting your feedback. Based on the information received, CARES is currently creating a document of FAQs to be shared with the radiation sciences community and AEIRS will be listed as a contributing association to this document. Additionally, as AEIRS President, I will be attending the ASRT Educator Institute on October 24 & 25, 2019 to serve on the faculty panel. This is a great networking opportunity for our association!

Ashley Balliet, MEd, RT(R)(M)- Chair of the Membership Committee  and her committee members are also working closely with MIC on a membership retention and recruitment project in an effort to increase AEIRS membership by 10% by 2024.

Deb Leighty, M Ed, RT(R)(BD)- Chair of the Scholarship Committee and her committee members are currently revising the International Travel Scholarship to become a Professional Presentation Scholarship, as well as creating a formal sponsorship program for AEIRS representatives attending the ASRT Educator Institute. Watch for the upcoming information!

Last, but not least, our 2020 Annual Meeting Co-Chairs, Charles Drago, DHEd, RT(R)(CT) and Mari King, EdD, RT(R), FAEIRS, and our AEIRS Event Planner, Shirley Douglass, are hard at work planning the 2020 AEIRS Annual Meeting to be held July 8-10, 2020 at the Madison Concourse Hotel in Madison, Wisconsin. In addition to our regular CE sessions, we will be expanding scholarly opportunities by adding targeted concurrent breakout sessions and open forums, as well as hosting the JRCERT pre-conference workshop. We hope you will all join us in Madison!

Best Regards,

Nina Kowalczyk, PhD, RT(R)(CT)(QM), FASRT, FAEIRS

2019-2020 AEIRS President

Earlier this summer we received comments from our AEIRS members regarding AAPM Position Statement on the Use of Patient Gonadal and Fetal Shielding. The Board of Directors listened to your concerns and discussed the next steps at our Pre-Annual Board Meeting in July. 

 

As the current president of AEIRS, I reached out to Rebecca Marsh, AAPM, regarding our concerns and to discuss the background and development this position statement. I was graciously offered the opportunity to join the Communicating Advances in Radiation Education for Shielding (CARES) Committee as a representative of AEIRS. Please find an important letter attached to this email regarding the role of the CARES Committee and your opportunity to provide input. 

President's Message July 2019

    Thank you for the opportunity and honor to serve as 2019-2020 AEIRS President.  This is an exciting time for our association as we initiate our new five year strategic plan. This strategic planning process was expertly facilitated by Paula Pate-Scholder and was very deliberate, rigorous, and thoughtful.  The outcome of this current 2019- 2024 Strategic Plan is the result of the commitment and professionalism of those members who provided feedback via our Strategic Planning Survey as well as the dedication and integrity of those individuals serving on the 2018-2019 AEIRS Board of Directors.  Thank you to all who participated, we greatly appreciate those of you who took the time to provide honest feedback! This new plan will provide direction for my presidential goals and initiatives. 

    In terms of demographics, the survey included responses from an equal distribution of our

constituents in terms of years of membership. In terms of employment, the majority of

respondents were faculty at a 4-year college or university (54%), followed by faculty at a

community or 2 year college (40%). In terms of academic position, the majority of respondents

were program directors (53%), followed by didactic faculty (24%) and clinical coordinators (20%). We are happy to report that the Strategic Planning Survey results identified that 97% of the respondents were “generally satisfied with AEIRS”, but we are still working toward improvements to better meet our members needs.

 

      The Board of Directors are committed to improving communications regarding AEIRS continuing education activities, finances and budgeting. As part of the strategic planning process, the Board of Directors updated the mission statement and added values to support our strategic goals and initiatives. Our updated mission is “To support the transformative development of exceptional medical imaging and radiologic science professionals through the promotion of academic excellence” and our core values state that “We operate ethically with honesty and transparency”; “We are responsible stewards of the association through our financial, professional, and personal actions”; and “We are committed to supporting all individuals equally and fairly”. 

     The survey responses related to our membership’s perception of the areas of professional development AEIRS should offer to educational leaders include helping leaders develop and improve pedagogical skills; preparing new educators for the workforce; helping educators develop technological competence; and helping educators develop writing and publication skills. To respond to these suggestions, we plan to expand opportunities for scholarly activities through hosting regional meetings and webinars, as well as the inclusion of concurrent educational sessions at the AEIRS Annual Meetings to better meet the needs of our diverse membership. We have revised the role of the Education Committee to include the development of educational opportunities for new educators and to encourage AEIRS members to increase representation on national professional organization curricular committees and task forces.  

     In terms of networking, outreach and communication, AEIRS will continue to offer opportunities to connect educators to their peers and our professional community, offer formal networking opportunities, and promote the use of social media to improve educator collaboration. Our Operations Manager is committed to redesign the website to add online discussion boards, volunteer forms, and an event calendar to enhance communications. We will also are working with partners to increase awareness of AEIRS and to increase membership. Additionally we have created an Ad Hoc Advocacy Committee to investigate the feasibility of and possibly begin the development of national Practice Standards for educators, as well as investigating possible methods for educators to demonstrate the competencies required for developing exceptional medical imaging and radiologic science professionals. To meet these strategic goals, our AEIRS leadership must remain open to feedback; take time to reflect, analyze, and assimilate the implications of the feedback; and be willing try news ways of doing things. 

    So what is your role in helping us move forward with our strategic initiatives? Please stay connected, provide on-going feedback to the Board of Directors, be an ambassador for AEIRS helping us increase membership, be a proactive problem-solver, be a perpetual learner, and advocate for excellent educators in the medical imaging and radiologic science professions and the association. Communication and openness are central to our association’s growth and development.  This takes time, energy, trust and ownership, but this sense of connection is what makes AEIRS strong and will help us continue to prosper. Together we can make great things happen!