AETA Vision Statement: A Review

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Published on: June 26, 2012

In January 2008 the AETA Board of Directors met for a two-day workshop under the direction of a professional vision counselor.  She led the BOD members through a series of written exercises and discussions which critically examined the AETA.  The members looked at the history of the organization and they looked at the social, economic and regulatory environment in which the organization functions.  Then, with the past history and the present concerns in hand, she encouraged the Board to describe the AETA of the future, to describe what the organization would look like in five years.

The published result of this workshop is the AETA Vision Statement.  This statement is a succinct description of what the AETA is and where the organization is going.  The statement was distributed to the members in 2008 and is currently available on the AETA website.

Thinking or dreaming of a future reality is one thing; transforming that vision into a reality is quite another process.  The two days of discussions produced three priority areas for future development:  management or government, certification, and education.  The AETA committees and Board have been diligently working these priorities to move the AETA towards that envisioned future.  Some of the steps towards the future are presented here.

In terms of management, the top issue was financial stewardship.  The Board and the Audit Committee are extremely conscious of the financial disaster that challenged our organization in the past and they are committed to ensuring that it will never occur again.  This had been addressed by the Board before the vision workshop; its importance was restated and reaffirmed.  Next the Board continued and completed a review of the AETA Bylaws which will give a better operating platform for the future.  FASS worked with the Board to produce a detailed operations manual which outlines the yearly operations of the AETA and the interactions with FASS.  The Board then developed and approved a Code of Ethics for the Association.  And standard operating protocols are being developed for all the AETA committees.

The Certification Committee has done a major overhaul of its guidelines.  The CAO of the Certification Program is now the Chair of the Certification Committee.  And individuals are now certified, in contrast to the certification of companies in the past.  The new guidelines also set up protocols for inspection and professional review.  In addition there is a new program for colleague visits for CE credits; a suggested format for the visit and a form for reporting the visit are available on the website (provide link).

Education is a very high priority for the Board.  After the vision workshop two new educational committees were set up:  a standing convention/program committee and an education committee.  The new format of the convention committee was designed to provide for greater continuity year to year in the management and content of the annual meeting.  And they have done a great job at that.

The new education committee was set up to develop new educational opportunities, specifically new, web-based opportunities.  The committee worked with FASS to redesign the website.  The new design provides for easy and organized access to the information that had already been accumulated and it provides an organizational framework as the AETA continues to grow.  The committee worked with CETA to gain access to Tech Talk, an interactive forum for ET discussions.  All the past Proceedings of AETA meetings as well as all the old Newsletters are archived and may be searched from the website.   This and all future Newsletters will be published online.   Membership and Certification renewal as well as CE records are all online.  And the first AETA webinar, ET 201 Advanced Ultrasound Technology was produced and is available on the website.

And there are many other advances that have come out of the vision workshop:  free student membership, online listing of available externships, expanded student scholarship program, etc.  The bottom line is that your organization has experienced a period of noteworthy, planned growth.  This growth has required commitment and diligence by the AETA committees and Board and we should all be thankful for the voluntary contributions of many individuals.

Lastly, we would all be wise to remember that vision projects are not silver bullets or cure-alls; it would perhaps be better to think of vision work as a process.  As each of these projects is completed the door is opened for a new vision. The vision statement needs to be strong enough to direct the organization over a number of years.  The Board monitors the progress made towards the vision and they determine when it is necessary to reexamine the vision.

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