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RSNA History – Part 19

In the previous section, we discussed the first two successive to be held at Chicago’s McCormick Place, which took place in 1975 and 1976. We also noted that the time of the meeting was changed to allow the society’s members to spend Thanksgiving with their families and friends.

In this section, we spotlight the changes in managerial levels of the RSNA, which took place during the 1970s. When RSNA first appeared in 1915, it has been managed by a “committee of the whole,” which was named the Executive Committee. However, the committee was referred to during the 1970s as the board of directors of RSNA. Moreover, there were two pathways for RSNA Executive Committee members; a new member was elected every year, where he joins the committee for six years and then ends up being an RSNA president after the last one. On the other hand, another pathway existed for RSNA secretary and treasurer, who were elected also to join the Executive Committee and they can serve the Society for long times. Yet, both are not to be included for RSNA presidency. It is worth to mention that RSNA has seen several active and powerful secretaries, such as Donald S. Childs, M.D., and Maurice D. Frazer, M.D.

As RSNA and its annual meeting continued to get larger and became more complex, the previously mentioned organizational structure was starting to get less effective. Eventually, RSNA President J.W.J. Carpender, M.D., agreed in 1977 to form an ad hoc committee to review and evaluate the management style of RSNA. That committee included the younger members of the Executive Committee, such as Hillier L. Baker Jr., M.D., Theodore A. Tristan, M.D., and Henry P. Pendergrass, M.D. The ad hoc committee members reported that having an executive committee to review all the matters about RSNA was not useful. However, the ad hoc committee members designed a cabinet structure to start assigning individual members of the board of directors to handle important responsibilities.

1979-RSNA
1979 RSNA Board of Directors
Seated, from left:
– Milton Elkin, M.D., Chairman
– William T. Meszaros, M.D., President
– Hillier L. Baker Jr., M.D., President elect 

Standing, from left:
– Luther W. Brady Jr., M.D.
– Richard G. Lester, M.D.
– Douglas W. MacEwan, M.D., Treasurer
– Theodore A. Tristan, M.D., Secretary
– James J. McCort, M.D.

Meanwhile, Luther W. Brady, M.D., a young radiation oncologist from Philadelphia, made a suggestion to RSNA Executive Director, Adele Swenson; about including a chairman of a new “educational council,” among the new Board of Directors. The suggested educational council was to supervise the scientific program for the RSNA annual meeting. Dr. Brady also suggested that the educational council was to include the chairmen of the several meeting committees such as the Program, Refresher Course, Scientific Exhibits, Technical Exhibits, and Audiovisual committees, in addition to the editor of Radiology. Eventually, the Educational Council was established. Yet, more changes took place, such as combining the positions of secretary and treasurer, which occurred as RSNA staff begun to carry out more administrative tasks leaving the secretary with decreasing responsibilities.

The 1970s carried a lot of changes to RSNA and its organizations. In the next section, we are going to discuss the relocation of RSNA headquarters.

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