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2021 Award for Advocacy Winners Named

Apr 19, 2021

Susan Wertz, B.S., R.R.A., R.T.(R)(CV)(M), of Pennsylvania, is the winner of the 2021 ASRT Award for Advocacy by an individual. The Missouri Society of Radiologic Technologists was selected as the affiliate award winner.

Based on nominations submitted by ASRT members, the ASRT Award for Advocacy recognizes and acknowledges achievements in various advocacy efforts, including overall growth and development of individual and affiliate grass roots involvement. The awards are presented on behalf of the ASRT Board of Directors and are selected by the ASRT Committee on R.T. Advocacy. The 2021 Award for Advocacy is for efforts that took place between October 1, 2019, and September 30, 2020.

Susan Wertz, B.S., R.R.A., R.T.(R)(CV)(M), has been a driving force behind attaining licensure for medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals in Pennsylvania. She has worked with various stakeholder groups to draft a bill that would create education, certification and competency assessment standards for radiographers, radiologist assistants, radiation therapists, nuclear medicine technologists, magnetic resonance technologists, diagnostic medical sonographers and limited x-ray machine operators. Current standards for personnel performing medical imaging examinations and radiation therapy treatments are scattered throughout Pennsylvania statutes and regulations. Currently, there is little consistency in how or in which situations or settings these laws are applied.

Colleague L.D. Maxwell, R.T.(R)(CT), FASRT, says Wertz has been “phenomenal in her work for licensure in Pennsylvania and does a great job in keeping the Pennsylvania Society of Radiologic Technologists board of directors informed so unified decisions can be made.” Sharon Miller, M.S., R.T.(R)(M)(CT)(MR), also commends Wertz for “scheduling meetings and disseminating information to the PSRT licensure committee so they can reach out to faculty, students and various organizations.” Wertz is also known for her tireless participation in bi-monthly virtual meetings with the ASRT, American Registry of Radiologic Technologists lobbyists and other stakeholders to advocate for a licensure bill and determine the best strategy for success.

Notably, Wertz has been diligent in working with local government officials and visiting the state capitol many times to promote the awareness and need for licensure in Pennsylvania. Not only has she served as chairman for the PSRT legislative committee, she is also instrumental in involving technologists and maintaining the PSRT website with updates on legislative activities. Sue is a 2018 graduate of the ASRT Online Advocacy Academy.

The Missouri Society of Radiologic Technologists has built connections with stakeholders in the health care community to enact legislation that leads to higher standards for medical imaging and radiation therapy personnel. Licensure bills were introduced that would have established licensure for radiologic technologists and radiation therapists. Even though the bills did not make headway during the 2020 session, the Missouri Society of Radiologic Technologists remains committed and continues to work with the ASRT, American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and other organizations to ensure standards are in place that will protect patients.

The affiliate society participated in a task force established by the Missouri State Legislature to mitigate issues impeding state licensure prior to the 2021 legislative session. The task force consisted of Missouri lawmakers, several physician organizations, radiologic technologist organizations, rural health clinic administrators and other health care professionals. The group created a report covering topics including the risks associated with not having licensure requirements, qualifications for licensure, the ongoing participation of a Radiologic Imaging and Radiation Therapy Advisory Commission, reasonable exemptions to licensure and the specific needs of rural health clinics and the availability of licensed radiologic technologists.

MoSRT Legislative Activities Chair Diane Hutton, R.T.(R), says “The MoSRT encourages participation by being a ‘teller.’ We keep our members knowledgeable of our efforts by sharing information through the Missouri Society’s website and social media platforms in addition to calls to action from Missouri’s Advocacy Action Center page.” The Missouri affiliate society actively pursues grassroots action by hosting an “R.T. in J.C (Jefferson City)” advocacy event at the state capitol so attendees can speak to lawmakers about the important role qualified medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals play in patient care. Several emails to ASRT members living in Missouri have been sent to encourage participation in advocacy efforts.

Missouri is one of a few states without any educational requirements for personnel who perform medical imaging and radiation therapy procedures. The MoSRT believes all persons who expose patients to radiation should show proof of education and certification and will continue to seek licensure for higher standards in the state.

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