By Wendy Strugnell, B.Appl.Sc.(MIT)FSMRT, SMRT Executive Lead for Membership
You may have heard that in 2019 the SMRT made some significant improvements in the way our leadership teams engage and connect with the ISMRM/SMRT Central Office staff. From an Executive perspective, the new Policy Board organizational structure has delivered much more streamlined and responsive operations, in addition to promoting cross-collaboration of committees with obvious synergies for the benefit of our society and its members
As Secretary of the SMRT, I am the Executive lead for the Core Focus Area of Membership, which covers the Membership, National Chapters and the newly created Divisions Committees. Our Central Office Liaison is Stephanie Haaf – Director of Membership and Study Groups. Stephanie and I work closely with the three committee chairs (Brandy Wilson, Joe Joslin and Sarah Green) and their committee members. I am very proud of the incredible achievements of this team in the past 8 months. With the support of all the members of the Board we have delivered an increase in membership of close to 20% in this time. More importantly, we have seen an explosion in the level of enthusiasm and engagement of members at a “grass roots” level. This has already resulted in the establishment of a number of new Divisions in North America and Europe with many more to come. You can read more about this in Sarah’s blog here.
We are also excited to have established the North America National Chapter serving Canada and the USA and are working with members around the world to establish more National Chapters in the coming years. Having been a member of the SMRT for over 20 years and served in leadership positions for more than half that time, I can honestly say that this year has been the most exciting time to be a part of the SMRT.
The SMRT leads the way in the provision of outstanding education for MR professionals around the world and we continue to deliver more and more quality content each year. However, for me, the most valuable part of my involvement with the SMRT has been the sense of community and professional support I receive from being part of the society. Early on in my career I found great value in the local SMRT meetings in my hometown of Brisbane, Australia. Getting to know other MR radiographers that you could share protocols with, swap tips, call on for help, or just have a good laugh with, made my everyday working life so much more interesting. With the establishment of the ANZ National Chapter meetings, I found myself connecting with like-minded colleagues from all over Australia and New Zealand and working together to create a professional community with a friendly and supportive culture.
I have been fortunate to have regularly attended the international meetings and each time return home with a renewed level of enthusiasm for my work, new techniques to try out, and with an even bigger network of friends and colleagues around the world. To me, the SMRT is about community and connection, and with your support, we will continue working to deliver that sense of community to all MR professional around the world.