Glancing Back, Looking Forward
It’s been an eventful few months for our specialty. Most notably on the national front, as I am sure you are aware, CMS made a positive coverage decision for low dose CT screening for lung cancer detection, opening up this valuable service to millions of Americans. There are several important pieces being developed nationally that must be in place as part of providing this new service, such as data registries, proper low dose techniques/protocols, patient tracking, scoring systems, etc. At the time of this writing, the payents and codes for this service are not decided. The WSRS will be helping members stay up to date on any important news, education, and changes related to this hot topic.
This past February, more than 24 WSRS leaders and government relations team members, including some of our best and brightest radiology residents in the RFS section, stormed Olympia to meet with our state legislators to discuss and provide opinions on a variety of Bills under consideration related to our specialty. With the help of our lobbyist, Brad Boswell, our team met with 18 different legislators, and spoke with a unified voice on pending legislation related to radiology benefit managers, telemedicine, and breast density reporting. Overall, our group was warmly received by our lawmakers, and we all felt that our time was well spent on behalf of our society members. I extend my deep gratitude to immediate past president and Government Relations Committee chair, Jonathan Medverd, and all of those who gave up a day away from their practices or training to impact the laws being created in our state. You will find more information on these efforts elsewhere in this newsletter.
WSRS leaders, along with a large contingent from the Residents and Fellows Section, took a break between meetings with legislators during their busy Day in Olympia on Feb. 24, 2015.
The past few months have seen our new leadership teams established and begin their work on your behalf. I hope you took note of the recent call for interested members to volunteer their time to our efforts. Updates on the work of these committees will be provided periodically. As our society flourishes, we are also establishing a few new committees. The first one is the Historical Committee being chaired by Dr. Bill Warren. The WSRS has a long and rich history, and we feel it is important to capture and archive the past activities of our society. If you have stories, photos, or other reminiscences to share, please send them our way.
Speaking of the richness of our society, in keeping with parallel efforts from our national organization, the ACR, we are establishing a new Woman and Diversity committee. This new committee will be examining the tapestry of our profession throughout the state, looking carefully at expected topics such as race, gender, and ethnicity, but also cultural competency, age, veteran’s status, hiring, retention, etc. If you receive a survey in the future, please make the small effort to complete it and send us the needed information.
This summer, the WSRS leadership will have a formal strategic planning meeting to help us thoughtfully engage our volunteer member efforts and prudently use your membership dollars. It is our hope to proactively guide our future rather than react to issues as they come up. The session will be led by a formal strategic planning facilitator, Donna Cameron, of Melby, Cameron & Anderson. We will also have the great privilege and opportunity to have outside consultation from Dr. Paul Ellenbogen, the current ACR President.
Every non-profit society must ensure against fluctuations in its revenues and assets. The WSRS, while staying acutely aware of our fiduciary responsibilities for members’ resources, is instituting a new investment strategy for society assets. Thanks to Ruben Krishnananthan, our Society Treasurer, for leading this effort.
We are once again planning an annual meeting…Saturday November 7, 2015…please save the date. The program is being ably developed by Drs. Doug Green and Gautham Reddy. We will once again be focusing on socioeconomic issues that are important to our members. In addition to our local talent, we again fully expect to have national speakers from the ACR and the RLI, as well as from some of our lawmakers. Look for announcements and details in the near future.
We hope you enjoy this newsletter as we strive for ways to communicate with you, our staunchly supportive members. Thanks to Dr. Sammy Chu, our WSRS Secretary, for leading this newsletter effort.
Once again, thank you for your support.
Eric J. Stern MD