The Summer Fun Begins
The CSC jumps into action with its work-group activities.
The role of the Council Steering Committee as described in the ACR bylaws is to "represent the Council between Council meetings and provide Council liaison with the BOC, subspecialty societies represented in the ACR Council, and chapters."
The 22 members of the CSC are responsible for providing a voice for the approximately 340-member council when the full council is not convened and for ensuring that the membership at large is given a voice.
CSC members take on a variety of roles to fulfill these charges. Duties include evaluating, planning, and setting the agenda for the annual meeting; chairing the reconciliation committee calls for new and revised practice guidelines and technical standards; conducting the ten-year review of ACR policies; and facilitating and sponsoring policy resolutions. When asked what they did on their summer vacation, members of the CSC will have quite a lot to say. The first formal reports on the horizon will be given at the fall meeting of the BOC and CSC. These will consist of progress updates from the four work groups, each of which have been given multiple tasks related to the AMCLC, IT innovations, chapter liaison engagement, and policy and resolution development.
CSC Strategic Planning
Under the leadership of Alexander M. Norbash, MD, FACR, Work Group III is charged with carrying forward the work of a CSC Strategic Planning Task Force that my predecessor, Howard B. Fleishon, MD, MMM, FACR, appointed in the winter of 2013. The task force reviewed a 2008 CSC study led by Edward I. Bluth, MD, FACR, and then developed survey questions to measure both the perceived and potential future roles of the CSC. In total, 16 interviews were conducted with current and former members of the CSC.
Through this process, specific opportunities were identified and six recommendations were provided in a summary report. These recommendations are the focus of Work Group III. The goal is to explore the challenges related to, and implications of, implementing each recommendation.
Members and Chapters
For the past several years, the CSC has worked to develop a process for communicating with chapter leaders that includes resource sharing and semi-annual contacts. The idea is to both strengthen the connection between the CSC members and the chapters to which they are assigned as liaisons and to better understand the concerns and needs of chapters. The CSC also collaborates with the Committee on Chapters. This year, Work Group III is charged with further defining the liaison role so that there is continuous communication between chapters and CSC members throughout the year. The group will also analyze the content the CSC currently provides to the chapters and the manner in which chapter information is communicated to the ACR leadership.
New CSC members receive a comprehensive handbook explaining the workings of the College and undergo an orientation with discussions by ACR staff, the chair of the Board of Chancellors, and the Council speaker. In order to provide additional guidance to new CSC members and further reduce the length of their "onboarding period," the CSC has begun a mentor program for its new members. To this end, we have paired current CSC members with new members for the 2013-2014 CSC. Work Group III will focus on providing structure for the mentor program and identifying metrics to measure its success.
Reporting to the BOC
Along with the vice speaker, the speaker serves as a member of the Board of Chancellors to provide a direct connection between the two governance arms of the College. One important role of the CSC is to inform the BOC and ACR leadership on issues of importance to the council. The CSC is also responsible for ensuring timely implementation of ACR policies passed by the council. This year, Work Group III members will further explore the reporting responsibility of the CSC to ensure that there are adequate opportunities to thoughtfully discuss and reflect on issues and provide appropriate and timely information to the BOC. In addition, we will look at the liaison role of CSC members on ACR commissions in an attempt to provide further definition and guidance for CSC members.
Society Liaison Role
In addition to serving as liaisons to ACR commissions and chapters, CSC members also serve as liaisons to subspecialty societies. While there are currently similar processes for the chapter societal liaison functions, the CSC recognizes the need to provide more guidance for the members' liaison work with societies. Work Group III will explore how assignments can best be made and the most effective methods to ensure successful interactions.
Member Term Length
The term length and status of CSC positions (both appointed and elected) has previously been reviewed by the CSC and was once again identified as an area of interest by the CSC. The CSC will review current practices with a focus on evaluating whether existing term lengths are sufficient to allow for the understanding and continuity that members need in order to be effective. Additionally, members will review the current ratio of appointed versus elected positions to explore whether the goal of ensuring diverse representation on the council is being met.
Efficiency of Leadership Meetings
Utilizing meeting evaluations and CSC member feedback, the work group will consider recommendations as needed to provide guidance on how to ensure that CSC meetings are as efficient and as effective as they can be.
Moving the Council Forward
The work of the CSC and its Strategic Planning Task Force was extensive and has created a significant body of knowledge and recommendations for Work Group III and the CSC to tackle over the coming year. I am confident in the ability of this committed, talented, and diverse group to give these issues and recommendations the attention they require. I believe that in responding to the charge it has been given, the work group will help to ensure that the CSC enhances its role in policy development and implementation and the grassroots work of the organization, as well as provide effective representation for the ACR Council and our membership at large.
By Kimberly E. Applegate, MD, MS, FACR, Speaker of the Council