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Allison Puente

 How a girl from Texas becomes President of the LSRT really is a funny story… marked mostly by opportune decision making. When I moved to Lake Charles to attend McNeese, I really had no familiarity with the Cajun culture: I don’t eat seafood, I had never celebrated Mardi Gras, I cannot tolerate spicy foods, and I had never heard Jolie Blanc. I was immediately in love, and my professional career has been devoted to the state of Louisiana ever since.

In 2013, my husband and I went on a getaway to College Station, Texas. One of the things we were able to do while there was visit the George H.W. Bush presidential library and museum. The museum is filled with exhibits that promote civic literacy and public service through the life of President Bush. President Bush had a heart for serving and believed that success in life is only defined by how you give back. There was one exhibit at the museum that really resonated with me. It included a photograph of a plaque that President Bush hung on the wall of his home. It only included one funny word: CAVU, an acronym familiar to pilots that stands for “ceiling and visibility unlimited”. It was the kind of weather he hoped for as a Navy pilot flying off of carriers in the Pacific.

According to the exhibit, he always felt like that phrase represented his life. The sky was the limit. When we returned home from that trip, I had my own CAVU plaque made. It’s displayed in a cabinet at my home. I see it every morning. When preparing to write this speech, I could not think of any better way to describe the future of this society. It is a simple combination of opportune decisions made by people who value success through giving back.

Jordan Peterson is quoted as saying that “Knowledge is NOT power. Applicable AND actionable knowledge IF applied and acted upon becomes power.” This is especially relevant to the LSRT. This society survives not from the academic service of scholars, but from the efforts of individuals who simply apply their knowledge into action. Actions to meet, to discuss, to plan, to present, to collaborate, to advocate, to educate. The list goes on and on.

What individuals then should be able to consider themselves powerful according to this definition? If we identify that, the strength we share is undeniable.

  • If you have served on a radiography or therapy workgroup or committee at any level (local, state, national) please know that you are powerful.
  • If you have ever published an article in a professional journal, you are powerful.
  • If you have ever presented to an audience of technologists or therapists, you are powerful.
  • If you have ever had a simple conversation with a colleague or classmate that discussed a patient care concern (shielding, radiation safety, Covid protocols), you are powerful.
  • If you perform medical imaging on patients in a clinical setting, you are definitely powerful.

Regardless of how you serve this profession, if you answered yes to any of the previous statements means that you have the power this society needs to flourish. You have already demonstrated applied knowledge that meets the mission of the society to enhance patient care and advance the profession. There is no other extraordinary skillset needed. Our collective power is tremendous.

My goal for the society this year is to facilitate communication between the board and our communities of interest. 43% of ASRT members in the state who were surveyed stated that they did not join or renew their membership with LSRT because they feel that the society provides no benefit to them. Yet, 85% of the same surveyed population reported that the number one benefit they want from the LSRT is CE credits. Lastly, 48% of the same surveyed population cannot identify differences between the LSRT and the LSRTBE. These are not irreparable. When I applied for the ASRT Advocacy award on behalf of the LSRT and the work that the board accomplished last year, I discussed the board’s priority to reintroduce ourselves to technologists and therapists in the state. While social media and online CEs have been productive for so many reasons, certain conveniences have made it difficult for societies to justify their relevance to technologists. The truth is that state societies are now more important than ever because it is so much easier to collectively gather and share information.

Together, we can do so much more. The future is bright. We are all clear for take-off. Ceiling and visibility unlimited.

Sincerely,

Allison Puente, MSRS., R.T.(R)(CT)