Although I do not typically write in the first person, and I normally write about ideas and concepts that are very broad, this article will be a bit different. This article started with a conversation I had about the 2017 Imaging Conference and Expo (ICE) in the Washington, D.C. area.

The conversation started when comparing calendars to ensure that all of the work that needs to be completed for the month of July would be done. June is the end of the fiscal year for me. This is a critical time of transfer into a new business year. When I indicated that I would be gone the third week of July to participate in ICE, I was given a small smile.

The assumption was that I am going on a short vacation from work. Now, I admit, it is nice to see old friends. This is a small community and we are spread all over. So I do get to eat meals with people that I only get to see once or twice a year. I get to visit with individuals from every spectrum of imaging and every experience level. There is a sense of carnival or celebration during those few days that pass much too quickly.

I also check email several times a day and follow up on phone calls from work while at ICE. I am discussing imaging issues, needs, ideas and theories for 12 hours a day. I am talking with vendors about what they have to offer and, more importantly, how they could change or improve to meet the needs we have in our health care system. I am honored enough to have been able to present at ICE. It is kind of exciting when someone at my presentation comes up the next day and shares a question or idea about the subject matter of my presentation and we discuss their ideas and challenges. I attend as many training sessions as I am able, and I take notes at the keynote speaker’s presentation.

In short, I work the ICE conference. If I am going to be there I want to get as much out of it as I can. Even if I spend time discussing an issue or idea that is not directly impacting my daily work, I am better for knowing what is happening across the industry. I work the conference and expo hall, but it is fun work!

Finally, after expressing the above to the individual that gave me the smile, I discussed the most important aspect of ICE. This, and other medical equipment conferences, is an opportunity to strengthen our community. We as a community can express what needs and desires we have. We are able to have some input into the future of our industry. We can become a resource for those just beginning in our industry. Medical imaging matters now and it will only become more important. This is our opportunity to contribute to something bigger than ourselves. ICE

John Garrett has 20 years experience in imaging service including general radiation, mammography, CT and nuclear medicine. He has worked for third-party service companies, manufacturers sales companies, and in house imaging teams. Currently, he is manager of clinical engineering at Catholic Health.