Dear colleagues and friends,
I'm very proud to serve all of you as the new president of the WSRS. I wish to offer my sincere appreciation and gratitude to the efforts of all my fellow volunteer officers and executive committee members, our board members, as well as our WSMA administrative staff for their strong support and good will.
I would also like to take this opportunity to extend an extra special note of thanks to our now immediate past-president, Jonathan Medverd for his superb leadership these past two years.
We enthusiastically welcome our new Vice President, Pooja Voria, our new Treasurer, Ruben Krishnanathan, and Sammy Chu, as our new Secretary. I look forward to working together with our leadership executive team, for the benefit of our members and Society.
And one more note of thanks…to you our supportive members!
We have a growing and ever more engaged, vibrant society that strives to serve its members through our annual meetings, our government relations and advocacy efforts, payor relations, political action and lobbyist, and through intersociety relations. We also have enthusiastic resident/fellow and young physician sections; our future leaders. These many efforts are providing a clear and strong voice for our members and for radiology, in the state of Washington, and at the national level through the ACR.
I have many new ideas that I hope to see to fruition for the benefit of our society and members during my two year tenure. Rather than fit our many activities into our existing organizational structure, it is time to adapt to our current and future environment by re-thinking the way we are organized. Along with better coordination and alignment of our existing WSRS organizational structures and resources, we will develop some new committees and task forces, for better leverage with our national organization, the ACR.
In considering how best to align our efforts with the ACR, I will explore adding new state level organization around the domains of Quality and Safety, Women and Diversity, Economics, Small and rural practice.
One of my first initiatives will be to develop a strategic plan for our society for the next 5 years. This is critical to provide strong proactive direction and focus for our efforts in the face of limited resources. Once in place, we will have a Long-Range Planning Committee to review and update our strategic plan so that our current and future society activities and goals stay aligned with business and political realities.
In addition, we plan to create a new advocacy committee, to identify and promote opportunities and activities related to domains that will increase the stature, advance the interests, and convey important messages of the Society and its members. This will align with the Radiology Advocacy Network (RAN), which is a group of radiologists across the country ensuring that radiology's voice is heard at the local and federal levels. This new advocacy committee will serve as the liaison between the state, your practice, and the ACR Government Relations group. Through this advocacy committee, motivated fellow radiologists can take an active role in the defense and support of our specialty.
Through these advocacy efforts, we will also look to developing a series of public position statements and comments on issues of societal and public interest, such as the recently released breast tomosynthesis statement, and our strong support of the lung cancer screening agenda, that we promoted through the resolution and policy process at the recent WSMA council meeting. These advocacy efforts are meant to extend the positive influence and impact of the WSRS within the larger radiology community and the public. I invite you all to send me your ideas, comments, and thoughts about how we can be successful in these advocacy efforts.
We will explore new cooperative relationships with other organizations, as we have previously benefited from such as with the ACR, PNWRS, as well as the UW. I intend to explore opportunities with our ACR Western States Caucus members such as the California Radiology Society, and work to establish liaisons with our sister organizations within the WSMA, and stronger ties to the ACR Council Steering Committee.
It is important to remember that the WSRS encompasses not just diagnostic radiology. Our many efforts above also align with the needs and interests of our valued colleagues and fellow members in radiation oncology and medical physics.
As the public face of our society, the WSRS website is of growing strategic importance as we evolve into a mature and vibrant society, especially in light of some of our new initiatives. I will charge our communications committee with a major makeover of our website to include our new programs, collaborative efforts, and initiatives.
Please look for and affirmatively respond to our "call for service" to the society. We will need a strong willingness from our members to serve the society in these various society committees. Thank you in advance to all of you who step up to support the society through your volunteer efforts. We are indeed all very fortunate to have such a talented and engaged membership.
In conclusion, I'm very fortunate to stand on the shoulders of our prior presidents and over 750 members. The last few years have seen our society reach unprecedented levels of maturation, growth, and success. With the help and support of all of our volunteer members, I plan to build on all of these past efforts, promote the mission of the society, and lead us in the new and exciting initiatives above. I will be sharing updates on our progress in future newsletters.
We have accomplished much in recent years, and I look forward to continuing our progress with our executive team in leading our organization to further heights and greater impact.
Eric J. Stern MD