It's Tuesday morning of "AAPM Meetings week" (mid-October), which includes meetings of the Awards & Honors Committee, EXCOM, Council Chairs, Meeting Coordination Committee, Finance Committee, and New Board Member Orientation. This set of meetings focuses on next year's awards, budget, and annual meeting. The New Board Member Orientation introduces incoming Board members to leadership in AAPM; structure, budget, and the role of the Board in governing the Association. As always, there is a wide range of individuals in attendance, some with years of experience in AAPM, both nationally and at the chapter level; some relatively new to the national organization and its leadership. It's interesting to hear their views on what they expect Board service to be and what issues they believe AAPM should be addressing.
Just prior to these meetings, I spent a week at the 2017 IHE-RO (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise – Radiation Oncology) Connectathon in Veenendaal, Netherlands. IHE-RO, a domain of the overall IHE effort, focuses on improving communication of electronic information across different systems in healthcare. This effort was started in 2004 by ASTRO, with support of AAPM and several other organizations. Over the years, AAPM members have assumed greater responsibilities in its actions; not surprising as IT problems between systems in radiation oncology are often delegated to the medical physicist to fix. AAPM assumed primary responsibility for IHE-RO in 2017, with ongoing support from ASTRO.
Technical monitors, individuals that the vendors must prove their connectivity to, included myself, Scott Hadley, and Erik Roelofs, all under the direction of Walter Bosch as the Connectathon Manager. Facilities in Veenendaal were provided by Elekta and we were well hosted by Jim Percy, Miranda Mulder, and Yury Niatsetki from Elekta. The Connectathon was very successful, with well over 100 tests run between systems. Results will be public shortly.
IHE-RO, among many efforts, shows the importance of informatics to medical physicists. Imaging physicists, particularly those in SIIM (Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine) have been active in this area for many years and many well-known medical physicists (Rick Morin, Tony Siebert, and Elizabeth Krupinski, to name a few) have held leadership positions in SIIM. In radiation oncology, informatics is an actively growing field and more members are becoming involved as electronic healthcare requirements become more demanding.
This is my last column in the Newsletter as a member of the Presidential Chain. It has been my privilege to serve as your AAPM President-Elect, President, and Chair of the Board for the past three years. I want to thank the many individuals on EXCOM and the Board for all the discussions and their efforts on behalf of AAPM. AAPM is an incredible volunteer organization; over 30% of members serve in some capacity in our Association. As well I must acknowledge the incredible support of AAPM staff, who are so dedicated in their service to AAPM and its members. Finally, I must thank my colleagues at VCU and the Richmond VA Medical Center; particularly Priyanka Kapoor, Rabten Datsang, Josh Evans, Mihaela Rosu, and Jatinder Palta for all their support during my frequent absences for AAPM activities. I could not have done this job without them.
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