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2024 ASRT Award for Advocacy Winners Named

Apr 30, 2024

The American Society of Radiologic Technologists has named Jennifer Thompson, Ed.D., R.T.(R)(QM), of Tennessee, as the winner of the 2024 ASRT individual Award for Advocacy and the Connecticut Society of Radiologic Technologists 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 ASRT Committee on R.T. Advocacy selects the award winners, and the awards are presented on behalf of the ASRT Board of Directors. The 2024 Award for Advocacy recognizes efforts that took place between Oct. 1, 2022, and Sept. 30, 2023.

Jennifer Thompson, Ed.D., R.T.(R)(QM), is the radiography program director and associate professor at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. She currently serves as Chair of the Board of the Tennessee Society of Radiologic Technologists and has held roles including president, senior board member, vice president and secretary for the past 13 years. Dr. Thompson has advocated tirelessly to establish licensure standards for medical imaging and radiation therapy professionals in Tennessee and amped up efforts last year when her state considered a bill that would eliminate most licensure requirements. Grass-roots communications efforts through presentations, podcasts, letters, social media posts and testifying at state hearings, proved successful by getting affiliates and other imaging professionals from other states involved. Despite the state passing the bill, she continues to promote the medical imaging and radiation therapy profession including advocating for minimum education standards.

In addition to her legislative work, Dr. Thompson was selected as one of four individuals nationwide to receive the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists’ Gold Standard award in 2023. She is an active advocacy committee member for the Association of Educators in Imaging and Radiologic Sciences and was elected to serve as secretary on the ASRT Board of Directors for 2024-2025.

During the Connecticut General Assembly’s 2023 legislative session, the Connecticut Society of Radiologic Technologists responded to Senate Bill 1228, a measure that addressed the state’s health care workforce shortages. The CSRT’s goal was to tackle the shortage of radiologic technologists, nuclear medicine technologists and respiratory care technologists, as well as develop plans to create a magnet school focused on health care professions. In March, the CSRT provided verbal testimony to the Connecticut Committee on Public Health and recruited directors from radiography programs to submit written testimony on the bill. Although this specific bill did not gain traction in the General Assembly, parts of the bill were put into Senate Bill 9. CSRT collaborated with the Connecticut Public Health Committee to include language in the new bill to establish a task force to address the shortage of radiologic technologists and respiratory care technologists. Both chambers of the legislature voted on the measure, which passed, creating Public Act 23-97. The CSRT educational committee is currently surveying educators to increase student and educator involvement. In addition, members of the CSRT legislative committee participated in a Connecticut legislative coffee hour calling and emailing numerous representatives and senators.