AHRA Pacific Northwest Group

Northwest Regional Meeting Photos
Friday, May 6, 2016

October 11, 2013

The AHRA Northwest Regional Meeting was held in the beautiful education facility at Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center in Tualatin Oregon. This event was supported by Bayer/Medrad, Core Medical Imaging, Datcard, Fuji Film, Hitachi, Hologic, and Siemens. The ongoing support of our vendor partners for local meetings as well as the AHRA is much appreciated.

The meeting agenda was an ambitious one with a goal to inform attendees on current and future developments in imaging. The meeting was attended by seventy-nine imaging professionals from the northwest region. Presentations at the meeting included: Best Practices for Data Analytics’ Integration in Health Care, by Brian Cole Director of Informatics Fuji Medical Systems; Breast Density Assessment and Risk, by Denise Davidson, Women’s Healthcare Specialist with Hologic: Low Dose CT Applications, Trends, Techniques, Technology by Keith Mildenberger, Project Manager for Neusoft Medical Systems; The Past, Present, and Future of Radiology, by Tariq Gill MD, Director and Founder of Radiologists Without Borders, Assistant Professor of Radiology at Albany Medical Center Albany New York, Director of Network and Practice Development at Community Care Physicians.

Attendees were very graciously treated to meals and snacks by our vendor partners which included a cocktail reception featuring wine tasting from local Oregon vineyard Zerba Cellars. The catering department at Legacy Meridian Park did an outstanding job providing and serving the food and beverages at the event. The number and variety of vendors was also a record for any regional AHRA educational session.

January 31, 2013

Olympia, WA

The Pacific Northwest AHRA groups from Oregon and Washington State held their second regional meeting this past week in Olympia, Washington.  Hitachi Medical Systems, Core Medical Imaging and Toshiba Medical Systems generously sponsored the meeting.

The members were treated to a presentation “The Role of Radiology in The Healthcare Continuum” by Ingrid Lund from the Advisory Board.  Ingrid presented many concepts on the future of imaging and members took vigorous notes.  As Ingrid departed for her flight back to the East Coast, the attendees enjoyed a delicious lunch catered for the event. 

Following lunch and dessert we enjoyed our next informative presentation on “Tomosynthesis/ slot beam and pediatrics” presented by Robert Irvine of Core Medical Imaging.  With his background as a technologist, military and professional travel Robert had several examples to share with the group.

Although many were still full from lunch, we had a short break with more desserts and beverages while we prepared for the final presentation, “Restoring Healthcare Imaging after the disasters in Haiti” presented by Dr. William Crenshaw.  Although Dr. Crenshaw admitted he had never spoken for 90 minutes, he kept the crowd enthused and eagerly following his slides to the very last one.

After each presentation, the speakers held question-and-answer sessions with the audience and the audience had time to network with each other.

As the final presentation concluded, the members transitioned to another room in the hotel for cocktails and appetizers.

An excellent session!  We hope to see you at the next AHRA regional events, one in early June in Leavenworth, Washington and another in October in Tualatin, Oregon.

Summary provided by Art Tasaka

Download Presentation Slides:

A Growing Mandate: The Role of Radiology in the Care Continuum (pdf)
Presented by Ingrid Lund, Senior Consultant, The Advisory Board Company

“Tomosynthesis and Slot Radiography” Changing the Image of Imaging (pdf)
Presented by Robert Irvine RT(R), SonialVision Product Manager

AHRA Washington Group Fourth Quarter Meeting
Monday, November 14, 2011
Evergreen Hospital Medical Center
Kirkland, Washington

The Washington State Group AHRA regional fourth quarter meeting brought diagnostic imaging medication safety to the forefront of discussions. Evergreen Hospital Medical Center hosted this evening of thought provoking presentations delving into the details of regulatory compliance and the delivery of medications with a focus on patient safety.

The event was held on a Monday evening, November 14th in the Evergreen Education Center. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments sponsored by Evergreen Healthcare started off an evening of networking and education, bringing together imaging leadership from throughout the Pacific Northwest. Dennis Marlow, Imaging Director at Evergreen, opened the sessions with an introduction of the volunteers Erin Johnson, and Karen Adams, our planning team Mark Kochan, Rosemary Fisher, Steven Bradshaw, Renee Decourcy (AHRA corporate) and myself, along with introductions of the Seattle “Core Team”, all of those who put in the overtime to make the evening possible.

A call to AHRA membership, “Get Serious” about learning, sharing and leading was presented by Washington Group’s Brenda Reinhart. The benefits of membership, highlighting networking, learning and management resources encouraged the audience and their involvement with the AHRA organization. Bringing forward many new financial membership options, Brenda emphasized the lower cost opportunity for individuals, for organizations a la carte or for multiple memberships at one low price. In closing, with the AHRA 2012 Spring Conference coming to Seattle this April 3-5, Brenda encouraged the group to mark their calendars and plan on this opportunity to see Seattle shine.

The educational presentations, the highlights of the evening, began with Chhang Chhay, Pharm D, bringing us the latest information from a pharmacist’s perspective, jumping right into the JC standards and National Patient Safety Guidelines related to Diagnostic Imaging Medication Safety. Chhang’s presentation comprehensively covered medication labeling, dating, medication reconciliation, pharmacist review, order review, documentation, drug events, storage and security as well as the formulary process covering the keys to our success. His presentation brought many answers and numerous questions addressing this timely topic.

After a break busy with interactive networking and refreshments, the group was ready for the next speaker, Kristan Harrington, sponsored by Bracco. Kristen, on staff with the education department of Emery University, flew in from Atlanta for the event bringing us the latest in MR contrast media. Basic concepts in clinical safety, highlighting the differences of various types of contrast agents, their molecular design, adverse events and renal impairments were presented. Her lively presentation highlighted medications with an emphasis leaning toward vendor specific breakthrough products. Closing her presentation with T1 relaxivity spin parameters and alterations with medication, the audience also now in a relaxed state gave applause in appreciation for her talk.

The event closed with a special thank you to Evergreen Healthcare and Bracco for their generous support.


AHRA Washington Group Third Quarter Meeting
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Swedish Edmonds
Edmonds, WA

The WA state regional AHRA meeting on September 15th was a big success! We had members in attendance from up to three hours away! Maurice Santillanes and his team at Swedish Edmonds did a fantastic job hosting the quarterly meeting. The event began with refreshments sponsored by Core Medical at 5 PM and went until just after 8 p.m. The meeting drew over 50 attendees from all over Washington state.

The first speaker, Brenda Rinehart, Medical Imaging Director from Overlake Hospital, spoke about TRACE (Tools for Radiation Awareness and Community Education.) Mrs. Rinehart’s presentation covered an important area of our radiology practices and raised good discussion amongst the audience. This presentation is available for viewing on-line and CE credits are available in the July/August issue of Radiology Management Magazine published by the AHRA.

Following Mrs. Rinehart’s presentations the audience enjoyed an intermission with refreshments. The intermission always serves as an excellent opportunity to network with fellow colleagues and vendors.

The 2nd speaker, Bill Daly, MRI and CT supervisor from Overlake Hospital spoke about MRI safety in the view of "management accountability." In addition to keeping his audience lively with laughter throughout his presentation, Mr. Daly provided specific details to both past and present MRI safety issues. 

The meeting was closed by Art Tasaka, Manager for Swedish Medical Center, where he asked the Washington state AHRA “Core Team” to stand t demonstrate an integral part of what makes being a part of AHRA so valuable: Although each of the core team members work at competing facilities, they and everyone in the audience are able to use the benefits of the AHRA to cross boundaries, innovate, and improve patient care together. This makes each of our jobs easier because we don’t have to waste our precious time reinventing what has already been done.

This was Seattle's 4th area meeting since they began a core group for regional meetings in late 2010. Future meetings are scheduled through Summer 2012, including the AHRA spring conference in Seattle in April 2012. 

Please contact one of the Washington area group's core team if you are interested to host an event. The core team is here to support you in any way that we can and the support at the AHRA makes hosting a breeze.

Special thanks to Swedish Edmonds Hospital, and Pete Saufferer and Jon Jacobson with Core Medical for their generous support!

Summary Provided by Art Tasaka and Brenda Rinehart

Download Presentation Slides:
TRACE (Tools for Radiation Awareness and Community Education) (pdf)
Presented by Brenda Rinehart, R.T. (R) (M) (CT), MBA, Medical Imaging Director

MRI Safety (pdf)
Presented by William Daly, BS, ARRT (R) (MR), MRI/CT Supervisor


AHRA Washington Group Second Quarter Meeting
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
GroupHealth Headquarters (GHQ)
Seattle, WA

By Roland Rhynus, CRA, FAHRA
2010-2011 AHRA Board of Directors President

The AHRA Washington Group Second Quarter Meeting was held on the evening of Tuesday, May 31 at GroupHealth Headquarters in Seattle, WA. I kicked off the meeting discussing the benefits of AHRA membership benefits. Then things really got going with a panel discussion titled “The Impact of Accountable Care Organizations in Radiology.” Panelists include Dr. Norm Beauchamp, Chair, UW Department of Radiology; Dr. Brenda Bruns, Executive Medical Director, GroupHealth Plan; Joe Camaratta, Manager for ACO, GE Healthcare; and Wendy Wilkins-Russell, Executive Director, Washington Managed Imaging (WMI). Discussion points in this rousing conversation included integrated care and who we hold accountable for patient centered care. The vision of GroupHealth—the host of this event—is two fold: (1) to provide the best group practice in the country and (2) to have the best overall network for members. Its affordability goals include how to “bend the trend”: better quality equates to cost savings. Appropriate reductions in high end imaging via the ACR guidelines were also stressed. GroupHealth is working towards more owned integration to ensure best practice at affordable cost.

Dr. Norm Beauchamp provided great slides which were available to the group (see below to download slides from all presenters). Wendy Russell talked about the 12 independent radiology groups that she manages and the impact of ACOs will have on them. She explained that radiologists should seek out ACO planning and be involved in the process, but they also need to be diligent based on past history with capitation in the state. Russell then detailed how to find a good ACO partner and the legal, administrative, financial, and clinical structures associated with the process. Regarding the legal structure, anti-trust is potentially a big issue; should competitors come together, they will need to have careful safe harbors. This is where Stark laws, anti-kickback statutes, and physician incentive plan laws come into play. It is also extremely important to have exceptional IT structure for all phases from reporting to regulatory. Russell added that we must trust those who have “skin in the game” with you; in her experience, Washington State got burned by many consultants who were brought in for this process. Joe Camaratta added that ACOs ask providers to assume not only the clinical risk, but a community health outcome risk.

Other discussion points included the importance of having a culture of appropriateness in evidence based medicine (how we must be able to issue a strong “no” without offending referring physicians), instead of waiting for regulators to mandate this. We must really push on coordinated care, such as using cloud based PACS so images are always available. And trust must exist between typically non-trusting specialties/facilities/organizations. We must work to generate our own accepted evidence, employ more of a long term clinical approach—we can utilize industrial engineering, as in other industries, to help figure this out.

Much appreciation to meeting coordinator Mark Steffen and GroupHealth for their gracious sponsorship at their beautiful new downtown offices. I’m positive that Mark would be pleased to advise on how easy it is to put on a local area meeting, so please do connect with him and start the trend in your local area.


Pediatric CT and Associated Radiation Exposure and Risk of Childhood Leukemia
Presented by Diana L. Miglioretti, PhD, Group Health Research Institute - Download Presentation Slides (PPT)

The Impact of Accountable Care Organizations in Radiology – Panel Discussion
Norm Beauchamp, Chair, UW Department of Radiology
Dr. Brenda Bruns, Executive Medical Director, GroupHealth Plan
- Download Presentation Slides (PPT)
Joe Camaratta, Manager for ACO, GE Healthcare - Download Presentation Slides (PPT)
Wendy Wilkins-Russell, Executive Director, Washington Managed Imaging (WMI) - Download Presentation Slides (PPT)

AHRA Washington Group First Quarter Meeting
February 23, 2011
Overlake Hospital Medical Center
Bellevue, WA

By Brenda Rinehart CRA, MBA, ARRT(R)(M)(CT)

Our radiology environment continues to be transformed with advances in technology, the changing regulatory climate, and economic struggles. It is difficult to always remain current and up to date with standards and trends.  Our AHRA regional meetings provide an opportunity to network, learn, and earn CE credits.  When you get serious about your career and the direction you are going, AHRA is the single best resource for achieving your goals.  The AHRA Washington Group quarterly meetings provide us the network of support from our peers that is critical for our success. 

The AHRA Washington Group First Quarter Meeting was held on February 23, 2011 at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, WA. The Washington Group plans to hold one AHRA meeting each quarter this year.  Our first meeting was held in Seattle at Swedish Medical Center last November and the momentum from that meeting grew!  Hold the date cards for the second quarter meeting in Seattle at Group Health were dispersed at our first quarter meeting so we can keep that momentum going.  If our growing attendance at these meetings is any indication, we will have a full house.  We had 46 attendees at our February meeting even in the midst of a snow storm!

The first quarter meeting was fantastic and we received many positive comments.  We were honored to have AHRA CEO Ed Cronin fly in from Boston to attend the event as our special guest, in which he gave an introductory presentation on the value of AHRA membership.  We served a full dinner with a variety of delicious food, which the crowd really seemed to enjoy.  There was plenty of time before the event and during intermission to network with colleagues, which honestly is my favorite part.

We were fortunate to have William Shuman, MD, radiologist from the University of Washington, as our first speaker.  Dr. Shuman has a remarkable way of engaging his audience and truly capturing his passion for radiation reduction in CT.  Dr. Shuman provided a very thorough understanding of a variety of measures that can be taken to reduce CT dose, from the very basic precise positioning to the very advanced ASIR technologies.  The audience was given the opportunity to interact with Dr. Shuman throughout the presentation.  One statement made by Dr. Shuman in the beginning of his presentation truly resonated with the administrators in the audience: he posited how different things would be if administrators and radiologists could work together toward a common goal and understanding.  In this changing climate of proposed ACOs and growing physician employment, how much more necessary is that going to be?
Our second speaker, Mario Ramos, spoke in tandem with Dr. Shuman, but from a technologist’s standpoint.  Ramos is the CT supervisor for the University of Washington, teaches CT physics and instrumentation as an adjunct professor at Bellevue College, and as a trusted advisor on CT for many administrators in the Seattle area.  His perspective on dose reduction provided a clear and complete picture from an implementation and benefit perspective.  His presentation addressed dose reduction from an operational standpoint.  In tandem with Dr. Shuman’s presentation, Ramos provided a completed picture.

Our third speaker, Erin Angel, PhD spoke on CT dose reduction from a technology standpoint.  Angel discussed the many technologies available and their overall impact on CT dose reduction.  Her presentation was very interactive and she received many questions and comments at the end of her session.  Angel was able to provide a clear understanding of what is available in the market, what’s likely coming in the future, and cleared up some misunderstandings that exist in regards to dose measurement.

We would like to offer a special thank you to our sponsors, Overlake Hospital Medical Center, Toshiba, and Core Medical who, in addition to their sponsorship, had representatives in attendance.  It’s through our partnerships with our vendors that we are able to conduct these special quarterly sessions.

AHRA Seattle Area Meeting
October 28, 2010
Swedish Medical Center, First Hill Campus
Glaser Auditorium
Seattle, WA

The Seattle AHRA Regional Meeting on was a huge success judging by the positive comments received from those that attended this special three hour event. Sponsored by ETS-Lindgren and hosted by Swedish Hospital, the event started in the late afternoon with refreshments and time for socializing. AHRA member Art Tasaka, manager at Swedish First Hill Diagnostic Imaging, welcomed everyone to the meeting and asked, “How many are here to improve patient care? How many are here to get CEUs?” Fortunately for those in attendance, the meeting was designed to provide both CEUs and education on patient care! He also noted that there were representatives from 20 competing hospitals present who could partner through the AHRA to take advantage of the learning opportunity offered by this regional meeting.

The first speaker, Danna Beal, marketing director at Northwest Hand & Orthopedics, gave a presentation called, “The Extraordinary Workplace: Creating Harmony and Ending Drama.” This lively, interactive presentation thoroughly engaged the audience. Beal provided insight on how to build teamwork, cooperation, and synergism in the workplace, as well as how to restore trust and compassion. With the current economic climate, the presentation was especially timely and informative.

Following this presentation, attendees enjoyed appetizers and networking time. 

The second speaker, Jay Clark, Western regional sales manager for ETS-Lindgren, gave a presentation called, “MRI Shielding Applications and Design.” This presentation provided information on the RF shielding required for optimal MRI performance and tips on how radiologists may be assured of a successful MRI installation. Clark covered a new MRI installation from the first meeting with the architect to the first visit by an MRI patient, and the potential problems to avoid in between, during construction.

When the meeting adjourned, all agreed to have another AHRA regional meeting in the future. In fact, there was discussion to have the future AHRA annual meeting in Seattle! 

By Brenda Rinehart, CRA, MBA, ARRT(R)(M)(CT)

To view more photos from these events, please visit our Facebook page! 


AHRA Northwest Regional Meeting