WSRS President’s Viewbox: November 2017

By Pooja Voria, MD, MBA, President, WSRS

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Pooja Voria MDThank you to all who attended our very first joint annual meeting with the WSMA on October 14th. Once again, I would like to thank Dr. Puneet Bhargava for a very successful program. This meeting also provided an opportunity to mingle with referring clinicians and put forth a “face of radiology” in the house of medicine. A special thank you to Dr. Diana Lam, Dr. Anika McGrath and Dr. Meghan Macomber for their efforts in developing the resident/fellow and medical student sessions.

In addition to our annual meeting, we have been very busy this fall hosting a variety of events across the state. We held our first networking event with the Young and Early Career Professional Section (YPS) at Puzzle Break, a local “escape room” experience. Unfortunately, we didn’t “escape,” but it was a fun opportunity to meet other YPS members in the radiology community. We will continue to host events for the YPS in the upcoming year. Our next event will be a dinner discussion regarding financial planning on January 27th (more details on this event are included in this newsletter).

November 8th 2017 has been proclaimed as the Washington Day of Radiology by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and Spokane Day of Radiology by Spokane Mayor David Condon. This is also the day celebrated world-wide as International Day of Radiology (IDoR), commemorating the discovery of the X-Ray by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen on November 8, 1895. This year IDoR celebrates the essential role radiologists play in the emergency room. The WSRS sponsored a networking event in Spokane where radiologists from Radia, Inland Imaging and other local practices gathered to celebrate IDoR as well as the International Day of Medical Physics (November 7th).

The WSRS Committee on Women and General Diversity is working with the University of Washington Radiology Department to host a mentoring program for residents and fellows early next year. If you are interesting in being a part of this mentoring event, please let us know. A survey asking female members of WSRS has been set up and invitations to participate in it went out earlier this month.

Finally, our annual Olympia Advocacy Day is set for February 1, 2018. Please join us and make the “Voice of Radiology” heard loud and clear in Olympia. It’s a fun and unique experience that I encourage all radiologists to participate in at least once in their career. Please contact our office to let us know if you can attend.

As always, the WSRS board is open to suggestions from our membership. So if you have an idea, want to help out at an event, or get involved, please do not hesitate to contact me at wsrspresident@gmail.com or Debra Alderman, our executive director, at debra@wsrs.org. Have a wonderful upcoming holiday season!

Warmest regards,

Pooja Voria, MD, MBA, President, WSRS


WSRS President’s Viewbox: September 2017

WSRS President Pooja Voria MDBy Pooja Voria, MD, MBA, President, WSRS

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

While our beautiful summer must come to an end, we have an exciting fall schedule! The WSRS board has been diligently planning several activities for this fall, including our annual meeting. The 2017 WSRS Annual Meeting will be held in conjunction with the WSMA’s Annual Meeting on Saturday, October 14th at the Seatac Hilton. I would like to thank Dr. Puneet Bhargava for his efforts in developing the program. We have several local speakers as well as national speakers from the ACR and the RLI, including Dr. Timothy Swan and Dr. Larry Muroff. This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Lucy Kalanithi, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Stanford School of Medicine, who will be speaking on end of life issues. She is the widow of Dr. Paul Kalanithi, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir When Breath Becomes Air, a meditation on mortality and meaning. This year’s joint meeting is unprecedented, and I am looking forward to seeing you all on October 14 th.

In addition, we are hosting a networking event for our young physicians on October 7th. See below for details. Radiologists who are within their first eight years after completing their training or less than 40 years old are considered to be part of the Young and Early Career Professional Section (YPS). The WSRS is committed to parallel the efforts of the national ACR by connecting young professionals and those early in their careers and empowering these members to get involved. The future of radiology depends on the involvement from YPS. Thus, we have appointed two ambitious young physicians in our community, Dr. Diana Lam and Dr. Brad Fehrenbach to our board. Welcome!

We are also working on hosting networking events around the state to celebrate the International Day of Radiology on Wednesday, November 8 th. This year the theme of IDoR is emergency radiology and the essential role radiologists play in the emergency room, increasing the quality of care in the ER. Please look for announcements and details in the near future.

Finally, do please save the date for our annual Olympia Advocacy Day on Thursday, February 1, 2018. More details will follow later this year.

I would like to thank Dr. Kathy Choi Chinn for her efforts with this newsletter. It is of utmost importance that we communicate with you, our members, and keep you informed of our current activities.

Looking forward to seeing you all this fall at our annual meeting. Thank you again for your support!

Warmest regards,

Pooja Voria, MD, MBA, President, WSRS


WSRS President’s Viewbox: Summer 2017

Pooja Voria, MD, MBA, President, WSRSDear Colleagues and Friends,

It’s an exciting time to be a radiologist! We had a delegation of 25 attend the 2017 ACR Annual Meeting and Capitol Hill Day in Washington D.C. in late May.

At the ACR meeting, much of the emphasis was on the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in future of radiology. While I don’t think AI will replace radiologists in the near future, it’s clear that it has the potential to revolutionize our field. The ACR has created a new ACR Data Science Institute (DSI) to work with government, industry and others to guide and facilitate the appropriate development and implementation of AI tools to help radiologists improve medical imaging care. It’s important that we continue to develop deep learning programs in order to enhance our profession and work.

Capitol Hill Day was quite a success, as we met with Senator Maria Cantwell, members of Congress Derek Kilmer, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Denny Heck, Jaime Herrera Beutler and key healthcare policy staff members of members of Congress Pramila Jayapal, Adam Smith, Rick Larsen and Senator Patty Murray. We held discussions around CT colonography screening, maintaining coverage of preventive services, and preserving the current NIH budget.

WSRS also held a successful inaugural Annual Women Radiologists’ Brunch on June 4th at Salty’s on Alki. Thirty individuals attended and we received strong feedback on the event. It was a fantastic opportunity to network across the community.

Finally, thank you to those of you who filled out our membership survey, as we take your feedback seriously. The number one ask was for more networking activities, similar to the women’s brunch. The WSRS plans on hosting a variety of networking activities throughout the state, including in Eastern Washington (Spokane) and Southwestern Washington (Vancouver). Given that these are border cities, we will be reaching out to both the Idaho Radiological Society and Oregon Radiological Society to potentially hold a joint networking event. Please keep an eye out for future details.

Thank you again for being a member of the WSRS and ACR. Your dues truly do make a difference as they provide us with the ability to advocate on your behalf. Have a wonderful summer!

Warmest regards,

Pooja Voria, MD, MBA, President, WSRS


WSRS President’s Viewbox: Spring 2017

Pooja Voria, MD, MBA, President, WSRS

Pooja Voria MDDear Colleagues and Friends,

I am honored to serve as the new President of the Washington State Radiological Society, and to represent 881 radiologists in our Evergreen State. I’d like to extend an enormous and heartfelt thank you to our immediate past president, Dr. Eric Stern, for leading our organization for past two years. I sincerely appreciate his mentorship during my years as President-Elect, and I look forward to his wise counsel during my term as President.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our Executive Director, Debra Alderman, as well as our executive board, officers, and committee members. Please welcome our new Vice President, Dr. Ruben Krishnanathan, Treasurer, Dr. Sammy Chu, and Secretary, Dr. Kathy Choi-Chinn. I look forward to partnering with my new leadership team, as well as each of you.

The healthcare environment is rapidly changing. It is an exciting time with many unknowns. Our society will continue to be at the forefront of these changes and I will strive to be a strong advocate for our members at the state level and national level, through the ACR. The board plans on revisiting and updating the strategic plan, which was developed two years ago, so that our goals remain in alignment with the changing business and political landscape.

As President, I would like to grow our society by engaging our membership, particularly the younger generation including the residents, fellows, and young physicians. The board is considering expanding to include 2-3 seats for young physicians. If you are a physician recently out of training or have any recommendations, please contact me. To facilitate member engagement, we will be sending out a survey to gather your feedback and suggestions on future member activities, topics of interests, etc.

We have already kicked off 2017 with another successful Annual Advocacy Day in Olympia on January 26. As always, meeting with the legislators and their staff provided us with a “face” and increased our visibility. We were able to facilitate discussions on balanced billing and breast density legislation. Thank you to our members, including residents and fellows, who attended this important event.

Later this year, we will host our annual meeting in conjunction with the WSMA annual meeting on October 14, 2017. We are looking forward to joining forces this year. In fact, our very own radiologist, Dr. Shane Macaulay, is the current WSMA President. Please save the date!

This is a unique time in our history where our direct involvement is critical in advocacy efforts, payor relations, and governmental/regulatory affairs. I encourage you to reach out, contribute, volunteer and get involved. Thank you for the opportunity to serve. I look forward to two exciting years ahead.

Warmest regards,

Pooja Voria, MD, MBA, President, WSRS


WSRS President’s Viewbox: Summer 2016

MedverdDear colleagues,

How many of you are pleased with the current state of advanced imaging authorization?

To address inadequacies in this process, in 2014, the Washington State Legislature passed ESSB 6511, an act relating to prior authorization of health care services. This bill directs the Insurance Commissioner to develop recommendations designed to improve how prior authorizations of healthcare services are administered. The Insurance Commissioner is now considering rulemaking to regulate issuer’s prior authorization processes, with the intent to streamline the prior authorization process, making it easier for consumers to get prior authorization for covered services. As interested stakeholders, the WSRS has contributed comments on this rule-making process on your behalf.

Because advanced imaging is so crucial and essential to modern healthcare delivery, a delay in diagnosis and subsequent treatment due to delays in authorization can literally mean the difference between life and death. If or until there is a complete shift away from fee for service healthcare to accountable care, risk-based, payment models that will essentially eliminate the need for prior authorization, IT tools can now integrate radiologists more tightly into the care delivery process streamlining the benefit review process. Such tools support closer collaboration between the radiologist, the referring physician and the patient. Ordering of advanced imaging can be guided in real-time by the latest in medical and clinical effectiveness research, the patient’s radiation dose history, and the patient’s prior health and imaging records. That is why we communicated to the OIC how crucial it is to streamline the prior authorization process by having advanced electronic data interfaces to allow for immediate auto-authorization, at the point of care.

As members, I hope you will plan to attend our State Chapter annual meeting this fall to learn more about issues like this, among the many issues related to our practices. Please mark your calendars; Saturday Nov. 5, 2016 at the W Hotel in downtown Seattle. This should prove to be our biggest and best meeting yet. The meeting is dedicated to our colleague Doug Green, who passed away so unexpectedly this past winter. I am delighted to share with you that Dr. Geraldine McGinty, the new Vice-Chair of the ACR Board of Chancellors, will be one of our special guests!

Wishing you all a great summer,

Eric

Eric J. Stern MD
President, WSRS


WSRS President’s Viewbox: Winter 2016

MedverdDear colleagues,

After a very successful annual meeting in November 2015, with our highest registration ever, we began the New Year on a terribly sad note. Our WSRS meeting program chair, Dr. Douglas Green, a UW radiologist, died tragically in an avalanche while skiing in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Utah. He was 49. Doug was in the initial stages of planning our 2016 meeting, which will be dedicated to his memory. As many of you know, Doug was a wonderfully thoughtful, intelligent, and forward thinking radiologist with a deep understanding of our specialty and how it related to the many aspects of day-to-day work, business, and a vision for our future. For the past several years, Doug had a regular column in the JACR called a “Reading Room with a View”. It was here that we were witness to the insights into his very clever mind. I urge you all to revisit these many editorials.

For more information about Doug and the tragic accident that took his life, click here

Dr. Doug Green, center-right, cuts an x-ray-decorated cake at the November 2015 meeting of the Washington State Radiological Society. (left to right, Ruben Krishnanathan, DJ Perry, Pooja Voria, Anne Roberts, Doug Green, Eric Stern)

 

On a brighter note, I want to bring to your attention the tremendous success of the American College of Radiology this past year and ask for your help in making 2016 even better.

I want to urge more radiologists to get involved in the ACR and WSRS. If you have colleagues who are not yet members, please invite them to join ACR. Why? Just look at the tremendous success from ACR advocacy just this past year alone, spearheading a rollback of the Multiple Procedure Payment Reduction (MPPR) to Medicare reimbursement for interpretation of advanced imaging scans performed on the same patient, in the same session, on the same day. Reducing the MPPR cut from 25% to 5% equals roughly $352 million over 10 years in reimbursements not cut. This equals $1,600 per radiologist for 10 years, or $16,000! In addition, the ACR spearheaded a two-year delay of recent U.S. Preventive Services Task Force draft mammography recommendations. This extends insurance coverage to millions of women.

These victories are possible because thousands of radiologists joined together to make them happen. ACR member dues pay for advocacy efforts. We could accomplish so much more if all of our colleagues join the College and work with us to advance our profession.

Together, we can do even greater things!

Radiology matters.

Yours truly,

Eric

Eric J. Stern MD
President, WSRS


WSRS President’s Viewbox: Fall 2015

MedverdDear colleagues,

This past June, your WSRS leadership held a strategic planning retreat. This was the first time in recent memory that your leadership team has done so. The purpose of our retreat was to envision and set our organizational direction, which included reviewing the organization’s mission, setting the vision for the future, and establishing the organization’s values and ethical culture. As stewards for the organization, your board is responsible for setting major goals and developing strategies for achieving those goals. The board also approves operational and annual plans based on the direction set by the strategic plan.

Our meeting was facilitated by Donna Cameron, CAE, a consultant to organizations on preferred future planning/execution, board effectiveness, and organizational structure.

We also had the great fortune of having outside input and consultation from Dr. Paul Ellenbogen, of Dallas Texas, the past president of the Texas Radiology Society, and past president and past chairman of the board of chancellors of the ACR.

Some of our input for our strategic planning retreat was based upon a member survey which we conducted in April 2015. Your input was essential and extremely valuable in helping us set the direction for the future of our organization.

No good strategic planning session ever took place without visiting the organization’s mission and vision statement. I will report to you in future communications the final form of our mission and vision statements. However, one tagline that we strongly supported is that “radiology matters”. Maybe we should make some T-shirts to that effect?!

Some of the long term goals that I wish to share with you from our retreat are the following:

Governance and Fiscal Position – WSRS is fiscally healthy and has strong and effective governance processes—including leadership development, succession planning, effective meetings, active and productive committees, and staff support.

Membership – Broaden membership and begin a pattern of growth that will result in achieving a goal of 1000 members by 2025, with at least 50% engaged at some level.

Advocacy – WSRS is recognized nationally and locally for its strength in advocacy and lobbying on behalf of the radiology profession

Alliances and Partnerships – WSRS expands its reach through partnerships and alliances and is a leader on both the state and national levels; having members in key positions within the ACR and WSMA.
Visibility – WSRS recognizes the value of investing in assuring that the radiology profession is recognized, respected and highly regarded within the health care community and general public.

While ensuring the articulation of the desired future is a primary responsibility of leadership, we can’t stop there. Planning is the easy part. Equal or greater focus and attention must be placed on execution. Otherwise, we’re just making a laundry list of to do items with no follow-through. Execution is a systematic process of carefully discussing the whys, hows and whats, steadfastly following through on decisions and directions, and ensuring accountability. We intend to incorporate a culture of execution into all of our strategic discussions and decisions.

Radiology matters.

Yours truly,

Eric

Eric J. Stern MD
President, WSRS


WSRS President’s Viewbox: May 2015

MedverdGlancing 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.

Capitol

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

Eric J. Stern MD
President, WSRS


WSRS President’s Viewbox: January 2015

MedverdDear 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
President, WSRS


WSRS President’s Viewbox: September 2014

Medverd

Dear Members:

I hope your summers were filled with adventure and replenishment. Please read below to learn more about things happening and opportunities for you this fall:

2015 WSRS Leadership Scholarship – Build skills & capabilities
WSRS Leadership Opportunities – Serve & Influence: WSRS Wants You
WSRS Olympia Day – Feb 24, 2015 – Make a difference
WSRS Annual Meeting – Nov 8, 2014, Heathman Hotel, Kirkland, WA – Learn & interact

2015 WSRS Leadership ScholarshipLegislative Day
Applications now being accepted through November 1, 2014. Recipients to be announced November 8th at our Annual Meeting (see further details below)

The WSRS Leadership Scholarship has been created to promote and support the development of radiology leaders in Washington State. I hope you share my excitement about this benefit for members! Any interested member is encouraged to apply. Find more information and application instructions here.

(Note: eligibility is limited to full members. Members-in-training have opportunity to apply for a similar scholarship offered directly through the ACR; click here for details.

Two (2) $1,000 Scholarships are available to support member participation in one of three ACR Radiology Leadership Institute events/courses of the scholarship recipient’s choosing:

1) RLI Expedition: Feb 13 – 15, 2014; Dallas, TX. Learn more here
2) Harvard Emerging Leaders Seminar: Weekly webinar program; Tuesdays, Feb 3 – April 28, 2015. Learn more here
3) RLI Annual Leadership Summit: Aug 6 – 9, 2015; Babson College, Wellesley, MA. Learn more here

WSRS Leadership Opportunities
Influence the practice of diagnostic radiology, radiation oncology and medical physics in our state through participation on WSRS committees and/or Board. Times of change are windows of new opportunity. Get in touch with me (president@wsrs.org) or anyone on our leadership team or contact our association executive, Debra Alderman, debra@wsrs.org

WSRS Olympia Day – Feb 24, 2015
Save the date! Make your voice heard, literally, Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015. This will be our 3rd annual membership advocacy event. Member participants at previous Olympia Days have provided strongly favorable feedback in regard to access, impact, enjoyment and logistics. It is critical for the radiology perspective to be included in all relevant discussions in Olympia, and legislators appreciate hearing from and visits from their constituents. WSRS political advocacy efforts focus on and promote issues that we all share as imaging professionals so as to bring us together and build the strength of our professions. Please block your schedule now and prepare to enjoy a productive Olympia Day on Feb 24, 2015.

WSRS Annual Meeting – Nov 8, 2014, Heathman Hotel, Kirkland, WA
All members are encouraged to attend this year’s annual meeting! Plan to network, socialize, learn and earn CME. This year we are delighted that Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is teaming up with us to provide a program in the afternoon geared to the specific learning needs of radiation oncologists.

See our annual meeting page for details and to register online. Print brochures will be mailed out soon, so watch your mail box.

Kind regards,

Jonathan Medverd, MD
President, Washington State Radiological Society

 


WSRS President’s Viewbox: May 2014

Dear Members:

Medverd

Happy Spring. I am happy to update you on opportunities and recent WSRS activities pertinent to your practices.

The WSRS Leadership Scholarship has been created to promote and support the development of radiology leaders in Washington State. I hope you will join me in my excitement about this benefit for members! All interested members are encouraged to apply. You recently received a separate email announcement and call for applications. Visit the WSRS website for the application form and full information. Note: Application deadline is May 30, 2014.

Members should also be aware that applications to be considered for ACR Fellowship are due completed by June 30, 2014. ACR Fellowship is one of the most prestigious formal recognitions available to long-time ACR members and symbolizes exceptional achievements in the fields of radiology, radiation oncology or medical physics. More information and application instructions can be found on the ACR website.

Legislative DayYour society has continued to actively promote membership interests in the legislative and policy realms. Your WSRS board, accompanied by several state radiology residents, delivered the message of radiologist, radiation oncologist and medical physicist expertise and value to all 7 of our Representatives and both Senators during ACR Day on the Hill, held on April 30th in Washington, DC. In addition to thanking our members of congress for passing this year’s SGR patch, we highlighted the positive impact that will be realized from the imaging-related provisions within the patch. We also requested each congress person put their signature on letters being circulated within the House and Senate urging CMS to provide reimbursement for low-dose CT lung cancer screening. In the aftermath of MEDCAC’s bewildering unsupportive determination of benefit from CT screening for lung cancer (issued May 1st), congressional influence will be important to achieve access to this life-saving service for high-risk Medicare patients.

In state politics, as predicted, Washington State SB6050 concerning mandatory breast density communication died in committee. (See April 2014 President’s Viewbox for details.) However, this issue is not dormant. The evidence associated with cancer screening in women with dense breasts will be examined by both the Bob Bree Collaborative and the HCA Health Technology Assessment committees and the issue will indubitably try to return to our State House soon. WSRS remains engaged in this and other active imaging related issues – including radiation dose and CT rules writing, for example – and will advocate for the best interests of our patients and practices. All members are encouraged to engage with these and other state and federal legislative activities through communication with your Society and elected politicians. If you need any further information, please contact me at president@wsrs.org or Debra Alderman, WSRS Association Executive at debra@wsrs.org.

Finally, do avail yourself the opportunity to network and learn at the upcoming WSRS Annual Meeting to be held at the Heathman Hotel in Kirkland on November 8, 2014. Save the date! More details on this important meeting will follow later this year.

Kind regards,

Jonathan Medverd, MD
President, Washington State Radiological Society


WSRS President’s Viewbox: April 2014

Dear Members:

Legislative Day

Below is a brief update of some recent WSRS activities pertinent to your practices. As always, all members are invited and encouraged to get involved and contribute to their professional Society. Contact myself or our association executive, Debra Alderman, debra@wsrs.org, for more information.

WSRS continues to promote membership interests in Olympia and Washington DC. Consistent with the tenets of Information, Interaction, Advocacy and Membership Value, we strive to maximize opportunities for our profession in the current political, economic and societal environment.

Breast Density mandatory communication legislation was proposed in our state this year (SB 6050). Your Society has been impactful answering to the demands of this issue. A WSRS Breast Density Task Force composed of prominent regional breast imagers was rapidly organized, and a WSRS Statement on Breast Density Communication was issued. Advocacy continued during the 2nd Annual WSRS Day in Olympia (January 29, 2014). A contingent of 22 radiologists, nuclear medicine physicians, radiology oncologists and members-in-training educated legislators as well as key aides, such as Jason McGill, our Governor’s Health Care Policy Director, regarding the current science and nuances relevant to breast density and breast cancer imaging at 20 face-to-face meetings. Injection of our expertise into this emotional issue was critical in maintaining a rational framework for discussion and guiding legislator response to this bill. At the time of this writing, it is predicted that SB 6050 will die in committee this session.

Other topics pursued in Olympia this year included support for prior authorization reforms and telemedicine, as well as the general message that WSRS is present and always available to assist policy makers with information and expertise pertaining to medical imaging and image-guided therapies.

On a national level, members are encouraged to review and support The SGR Repeal and Medicare Beneficiary Access Act (H.R. 4015/S. 2000). Use the convenient ACR Take Action link. Remember to send out both messages (Message 1 to your House representative; Message 2 to your Senate representatives). The action link guides you through the entire process and it only takes a minute or two to support this important legislation.

Finally, do please Save the Date of the upcoming WSRS Annual Meeting to be held at the Heathman Hotel in Kirkland on November 8, 2014. More details on this important meeting will follow later this year.

Kind regards,

Jonathan Medverd, MD
President, Washington State Radiological Society


WSRS President’s Viewbox: December 2013

Dear Members:

Warm Holiday wishes to you and yours this Season.

1) Please commit your voice and presence to the 2nd Annual WSRS Day in Olympia, January 29, 2014. Last year’s event was both enjoyable and effective. Numbers garner attention in Olympia. Your participation will be influential. Last year, 24 members held in-person constituent meetings with legislators emphasizing actions to maintain patient access to safe and appropriate high quality imaging services in Washington state.

WSRS will provide round trip coach transportation between Seattle & Olympia, lunch, and will coordinate all constituent meeting logistics. Talking points and resource materials will be provided prior to the event. RSVP today to Debra Alderman at debra@wsrs.org.

2) Your Society actions are always guided by the tenets of Information, Interaction, Advocacy and Membership Value. Let us know your opinions so that your Society can best advocate for your views as our state Department of Health considers rule changes for the use of computed tomography and potential changes to the scope of practice for Radiologist Assistants. Your Society is at the table for both discussions providing a strong voice for sensible regulations and the preservation of patient access to quality imaging services. Contact us through our association executive, Debra Alderman, debra@wsrs.org.

I look forward to seeing you on January 29th!

Happy Holidays,

Jonathan Medverd, MD
President, WSRS


WSRS President’s Viewbox: September 2013

Dear Members:
I hope everyone had opportunity to enjoy and relax with friends and family during our outstanding summer weather this year. Your Society remains committed to the tenets of Information, Interaction, Advocacy, and Membership Value. Two more Society firsts towards these goals will occur this fall. I urge your participation in both.

1) Monday September 16th, 6:20 PM. Please email Debra Alderman at debra@wsrs.org to RSVP and receive your log in information to virtually attend our WSRS Meeting of the Board from the comfort of your home or office. We will conduct two important discussions that you can both view and contribute to via live video stream and real-time chat interface.

  • First guest will be Mr. Daniel Van Gent of the Washington Department of Health. WA State is currently creating new rules for the use of computed tomography. Each of you is an expert in the applications and safe use of ionizing radiation. Your questions, comments and feedback will assure that your Society representation in this process will be inclusive and comprehensive.
  • Second guests will be WSMA President, Dr. Nicholas Rajacich, and CEO, Ms. Jennifer Hanscom. State legislative priorities, agenda and opportunities for collaboration will be discussed.

2) Wednesday October 9th. WSRS will sponsor a fundraiser for State Senator Nathan Schlicher, MD JD. Senator Schlicher is the incumbent and viable candidate on the November ballot in the 26th district. He is the only physician member of our legislature. He understands and is a strong supporter of issues important to patients and doctors, including imaging specialists. We invite you to attend and urge you to support this worthy cause.

While political action is inherently controversial, it is critical for the radiology perspective to be included in all relevant discussions in Olympia. Predictably, you will not agree with every position on every issue that supported candidates and congress people may take. Political party predilection and significant social issues divide us. Political advocacy efforts will focus on and promote issues that we all share as professionals so as to bring us together and build the strength of our profession.

I look forward to being with you on September 16th and October 9th.

Warm regards,

Jonathan Medverd, MD
President, WSRS


WSRS President’s Viewbox: April 2013

vintage photograph

Dear Members:

You are enthusiastically invited to attend the upcoming joint Washington State Radiological Society/Pacific Northwest Radiological Society Annual Meeting June 1-2, 2013 at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center. Schedule and Brochure.

This first of its kind meeting for these organizations promises program depth and synergistic value to participants. It draws energy and purpose from the common roots of both Societies. The attached photo is from a meeting of the Pacific Roentgen Society, circa 1925.* Depicted are some of the earliest practitioners of radiology in the region, gathered with their families at Mt. Rainier. The Pacific Roentgen Society was a predecessor of both the PNWRS and WSRS.

The June meeting will provide exceptional opportunities for educational CME as well as informative healthcare policy and economics updates. In addition, we will gather as a Society to proudly bestow our Gold Medal upon William Marks, MD for his lifetime of service to our profession. Finally, several amendments to our by-laws require the certification of your membership vote at the annual meeting. You are encouraged to review the proposed amendments prior to the meeting. Existing Bylaws and Proposed Bylaws.

Your Society recently sponsored another first this year. The first annual WSRS Day in Olympia February 15, 2013. Summaries and photos of the successful day at the state Capitol can be found here. The tenets of Information, Interaction, Advocacy and Membership Value will continue to guide the exploration of new activities and events for our Society membership. Your ideas and energies are welcome. Please contact us with your suggestions or to express interest in greater participation in your Society.

I look forward to seeing many of you June 1-2.

Warm regards,

Jonathan Medverd, MD
President, WSRS

* Special thanks to Wally Ovens, former Victor X-Ray Corp (subsequently absorbed by GE) salesman and Reiley Kidd, MD for maintaining and sharing this superb historical photograph.


WSRS President’s Viewbox: February 2013

Dear Members:

Our Society sponsored the first annual WSRS Day in Olympia on February 15, 2013. The message that Washington State radiologists and radiation oncologists are the diagnostic and therapeutic imaging physician experts was successfully delivered. Our concern for the safe and appropriate delivery of high quality imaging was emphasized. Our support of common sense legislation to provide sustainable patient access to life-saving medical imaging and to simplify the administrative burdens of health care delivery was voiced.

Consistent with the tenets of Information, Interaction, Advocacy and Membership Value, our Day in Olympia provided a reintroduction of our Society to our state legislators. Our advocacy efforts will focus on facilitating legislation favorable to imaging and medicine through information, education and collaboration with our elected leaders. As a volunteer society, participation by you, the membership, will be key.

Your practice, big or small, will be contacted this spring as part of an effort to build a nimble communication network of radiologists and radiation oncologists in Washington State. We ask that you identify a “point person” within your practice that can participate in two-way communication with your Society to share information and ultimately maximize the strength, content and reach of our Society message. This WSRS effort will be supported by the ACR General, Small & Rural practice initiative (more information regarding this in a future communication).

In closing, I look forward to seeing many of you at the upcoming joint Washington State Radiological Society/Pacific Northwest Radiological Society Annual Meeting June 1-2, 2013 at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center. Take advantage of the exceptional opportunities for educational CME as well as informative healthcare policy and economics updates, both presented by a distinguished panel of speakers. We hope that you find the meeting of high value. The meeting brochure can be found here.

Warm regards,

Jonathan Medverd, MD
President, WSRS


WSRS President’s Viewbox: November 2012

Dear Members –

As your new President, it is my pleasure to report that our recent Washington State Radiological Society Annual Meeting held on November 3, 2012 proved to be our best-attended Society event in recent years. The numerous informative and engaging speakers included ACR Council Speaker, Howard Fleishon, MD, FACR, MMM, ACR Radiology Learning Institute representative Frank Lexa, MD, MBA, and this year’s Bob Bree Memorial Lecturer, Fred Mann, MD, in addition to the several other quality presenters. (The complete agenda of speakers and topics is available for your review at our Society website.) This year’s Annual Meeting was also presented as a free benefit of your membership – a demonstration of your membership dues in action.

We are all indebted to outgoing President, Justin Smith, MD, for his energetic leadership over the past two years. Radiology has a tangibly more visible presence in Olympia. As a Society, and as individual professionals, we find ourselves better positioned to give voice to the shaping of our future in the current shifting healthcare environment. Your Society Executive Council (find a listing of members at http://wsrs.org/leadership.html) will build on the foundation of advocacy Justin’s term has provided us and we will strive to optimize the presence and impact of WSRS within our state for the benefit of radiology and radiologists. Members are encouraged to both communicate how the Society can best serve you, and also to volunteer their time and talents. Contacting us is easy at the Society website (http://wsrs.org/contactus.html).

Expect the tenets of Information, Interaction, Advocacy and Membership Value to guide the actions of your Society Executive Council. Information such as the socioeconomic and business practice topics at our recent Annual Meeting, and clinical knowledge such as will be provided at our upcoming joint Washington State Radiological Society/Pacific Northwest Radiological Society Annual Meeting scheduled for June 1-2, 2013 at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center, Seattle. Opportunities for interaction with each other and our legislators will be increasing with enhanced communication tools and activities in the works. Advocacy efforts on your behalf will increase with the recent creation of the Washington State Radiology Political Action Committee (WSR-PAC). More details will be forthcoming on these items in the near future. Finally, we will be guided by the goal of providing value to WSRS membership and will endeavor to facilitate avenues for all radiologists to be active in their profession and Society.

I look forward to serving as your President and hope to earn your trust and support.

Warm wishes for your upcoming Thanksgiving and Holiday celebrations,

Jonathan Medverd, MD
President, WSRS