In the previous section, we highlighted the steps taken by RSNA leaders to cope with the increasing number of members, in addition to the taxes situation of the organization according to the negotiations with IRS. It was obvious that the growth of RSNA, specially its Assembly and Annual Meeting, was continuous. Palmer House was struggling to be able to host the progressing number of members and exhibitors. In 1967, RSNA executive committee provided bus transportation services to pick up radiologists who did not find rooms at Palmer House to the nearby Conrad Hilton.
On the other hand, the growth of RSNA Scientific Assembly was also resulted from the appearance of new technologies. In 1968, Eastman Kodak offered its carousel projector, Mark 300, to be used for the first time during presentations in the main ballroom of the Palmer House. The projector significantly improved the scientific presentations. In late 1960s, three projectors were used in all Refresher Course sessions.
To cope with the current overcrowded meetings, Theodore A. Tristan, MD, who had previously reported that Palmer House facilities were inadequate for the RSNA events, was the leader of the newly formed Audiovisual Aids Committee, asked the Palmer House officials to provide closed-circuit television transmission, during the Scientific Assembly, to the Film Interpretation Session. The sessions were transmitted to other RSNA members who were gathering in several nearby ballrooms. Moreover, RSNA leaders moved the Scientific Exhibitions from open hall to individual rooms at the hotel on the floor number seven.
In 1968, RSNA President, Stanley M. Wyman, MD, saw the RSNA Annual Meeting using the whole Palmer House facilities for the first time. The meeting used all the services provided by the hotel that other groups, such as Midwestern 4-H Club and an association of American furriers, had to leave and look for other sites for their meetings. Meanwhile, Dr Tristan and the members of the audiovisual committee were still trying to use more closed-circuit televisions to transmit the Plenary Sessions. However, the meeting’s attendees were nearly 7000. In the same time, exhibitors were requesting to have more space to show their products.
William R. Eyler, MD, the Radiology editor, published the scientific research discussed at the 1968 Scientific Assembly in March 1969 issue. This helped he radiologists who did not attend the meetings to get information about the recently discussed scientific issues. Dr Wyman, and later his successor John H. Gilmore, MD, were thinking of limiting the growth of the RSNA Scientific Assembly, although this decision would not be very welcomed. About 30 potential technical exhibitors were excluded from the 1968 meeting.
In 1969, Radiology discussed, for the first time, computer-based picture archiving and communication system (PACS) in as a solution provided to improve diagnostic imaging procedures. Moreover, Dr Gilmore, Secretary-Treasurer Maurice Frazer, MD, and Executive Secretary Marguerite Henry were all trying to enhance the RSNA scientific assembly. For instance, 1969 meeting had “radiologic roundtables” where residents were having conversations with both radiology students and teachers.
By the end of 1960s, it was clear that the scientific assembly was getting too big to be held in a single hotel. RSNA leaders were thinking of dividing the annual meeting into several sessions held in several locations in Chicago. In 1969, RSNA booked additional 750 rooms in the Pick-Congress Hotel for members and guests. Ms Henry and Dr Frazer were too occupied planning and organizing the RSNA events. The Executive Committee recognized Ms Henry’s efforts and thus her title was renamed from “executive secretary” to “executive director.” Moreover, the committee members were thinking of recruiting administrative assistants who would represent the beginning of paid RSNA members to aid Ms. Henry and manage some responsibilities instead of the Society’s secretary and treasurer to give them more time to attend other issues.