Letter from the President

Dear MSRT members,

    Your board and various committees have been working diligently for you these past 6 months. It is with great excitement we have begun planning this year’s Annual Meeting to be held at the Doubletree in Bay City, MI. We think you will be pleased with the diverse topics and speakers that will be showcased this year. The Annual Meeting committee is looking for individuals interested to donate their time and give back to our society. We need volunteers for many jobs including monitoring the speaker rooms, putting in time at the registration desk, and helping with odds and ends Tuesday night before the conference kicks off Wednesday morning. If you are, or know someone who is, someone interested in helping, please email us through the MSRT website and we will get back with you! Many hands make for light work!

    Every year the MSRT hosts a scholarship golf outing to raise funds for students studying within our profession. Not only is this outing to raise funds for diligent students, but it is also a great way for colleagues to network and have some fun! The golf outing will be September 20th this year, held the day prior to the kick-off of the Annual Meeting and more information will be sent and posted here as the plans are set.  We hope to see you there!

    A huge THANK YOU to our new webmaster Dawn Dickinson Keyser, M.A., R.T. (R)(M)(CT) as she has been working tirelessly to take our website where it has never been before! Dawn has always played a major role in our website and social media accounts, among other things. Please check out our new website at www.msrt.org! Thank you so much! All of your hard work is so appreciated, Dawn! 

    Recently, an email was sent out to the membership urging you to please speak up for those who are blind to the risk of non-regulated individuals operating licensed equipment in Michigan. We, as your board and committees, work vigorously to bring notice to this topic, but we are a much bigger voice with your support. I would like to share Dr. Gary Duehring’s Legistlative report with you at this time:

“This year, after much discussion with various legislators and department directors within the Michigan Department of Community Health, it was again determined that we did not need to pursue legislation to establish standards for medical imaging in the State. Rather, that it was in our best interest to seek action by the Department to establish a regulatory panel to set the standards required of those individuals operating diagnostic imaging equipment emitting ionizing radiation. This action would comply with current congressional mandates already issued to the Department of Community Health. What this would require would be the restructuring of the departmental oversight, which currently is under two departments, (The Department of Environmental Controls and the Department of Consumer Industries would be combined into one department).  

Since Michigan does not participate with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, any ionizing pharmaceuticals (nuclear isotopes, their production, distribution, and disposal) falls under Environmental Controls, while medical imaging equipment (x-ray tubes and equipment) falls under Consumer Industries.  This process continues to be tedious and frustrating.  

Where we appear to be at this point is that the Department of Consumer Industries/ Radiation Safety (the people who currently license xray tubes) is looking to oversee and set all standards dealing with consumer exposure to ionizing medical procedures. They want to establish state licensure for operators, but they need full control within the MDCH,  and not shared oversight. That is what is happening in Lansing at this point.  Once one Department has oversight, then they will form a panel to set standards for operators and establish a licensure process.  The Department of Consumer Industries/Radiation Safety expresses a belief that ALL should hold a certification by a national recognized credentialing body (ARRT) in good standing to file for licensure. However, I have been informed that nothing is going to happen until the oversight authority falls under one department. Not sure if that’s just political posturing or just more words meant to appease us. Regardless, it is yet another frustration.  

Our continued presence at open forums and in written communications has been viewed (as I have been told by the Director of Consumer Industries/Radiation controls) as being self-serving to RTs, without concern for those who would lose employment without credentials.  In no way will this happen without restructuring the oversight. MIOSHA at first voiced real concern that unskilled operators may be putting themselves at risk as an occupational hazard, but construction and mortuary services have seemed to fill MIOSHA's agenda for the near future. Again, I was informed that nothing will be done until the MDCH restructuring is complete. 

Our future efforts may be helped by pursuing the support of other recognized professional and public organizations and societies.  The Michigan Hospital Association, Michigan Nurses Associations, Michigan Radiologic Society, and the like.  Another year of a lot of time, talking and words, with still nothing more than a glimmer of light at the end…unfortunately, the end may be a bit of a wait, still. 

Thank you for the opportunity to speak as an advocate for our profession and for our patients. I would also like to thank G. Tim Wescott, A.A.S., RT, (R), FASRT, for his commitment and participation in Legislative conference calls with multiple other state affiliates and the ASRT, and his continued efforts as a patient and profession advocate.”

Respectfully,  Gary Duehring, Ph.D., R.T. (R)(MR), FAHRA, FASRT, MSRT Legislative Committee Chairman

    Currently the state of Michigan issues licenses for general radiography equipment that emits ionizing radiation with no oversight for the operators of said equipment. Please speak up! Follow the following links to provide your own comments to LARA and MIOSHA regarding this issue: http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-35738-254962--,00.html. 

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your President of the MSRT. 

Jennifer Hall B.B.A., R.T.(R)