During the mid-1980s, it was obvious that RSNA meetings that took place at Chicago’s Palmer House Hotel were becoming very crowded. Attendees started to think that McCormick Place has become too narrow to continue hosting RSNA meetings.
On the other hand, RSNA continued to publish its Radiology, RadioGraphics and the Scientific Program for each annual meeting. There was a plan to publish course syllabi along with a catalog of educational contents.
Therefore, RSNA leaders found that a new cabinet, a liaison for publications, was required to be added to the RSNA Board of Directors. In order to avoid expanding the size of RSNA Board, the secretary and treasurer positions were joined together and were assigned to Malcolm Jones, M.D., a radiologist form California. E. Robert Heitzman, M.D., meanwhile, started to serve as the head of the first liaison for publications.
During the mid-1980s, RSNA management decided to add a new tool for delivering its educational materials, which were the videocassette tapes.
The Society leaders though of providing videotapes containing courses, lectures and sessions from the RSNA annual meetings to be added to the Society’s library of slides and audiocassettes.
Eventually, the thought of providing a “videotape journal” started to appear. RSNA members were delivered videotapes containing news and presentations on various radiology issues.
The new RSNA educational tool was named “RSNA Today Video” Dr. Heitzman was serving as interim editor before Irvin I. Kricheff, M.D., was chosen to serve as a permanent editor. Despite the fact the RSNA had experienced some difficulties to attract its members to the new tool, its subscribers reached 2,000 in a short time.
Another issue took place in the mid-1980s, which was the retirement of RSNA’s Executive Director, Ms. Adele Swenson. In recognition of her efforts, RSNA published a book in her honor. The book was titled “RSNA Remembered: Reminiscing with Adele—1985”. The book included contributions from several previous RSNA Presidents.
The Society’s Board of Directors selected Mary Ann Tuft to serve as the new Executive Director. Tuft had previous experience in medical societies that started when she served as a consultant to the National League for Nursing in New York. Tuft became the executive director of the American Student Nurses’ Association in 1969. She also served as the president of the Board of Directors of the New York Society of Association Executives.
Chicago’s McCormick Place hosted the RSNA 1985 meeting. As expected, the number of attendees and exhibitors increased than previous meetings. The plenary session schedule remained unchanged. However, the New Horizons Lecture has its name changed to be the Eugene P. Pendergrass New Horizons Lecture. The name was changed in recognition of Dr. Pendergrass, the RSNA’s 1954 president and one of the well-known leaders in radiology education.
RSNA Board of Directors started discussing new options for better locations to host the next meetings. Yet, the majority of the Board thought that Chicago was the best city to host RSNA meetings. This was due to the city’s suitable convention center, large airport, good transportation network and high-leveled hotels.
On the other hand, radiologists attending RSNA meetings during the 1980s felt that Chicago’s Palmer House Hotel was getting too crowded for holding the scientific sessions.
The good news was that there were plans to construct a new extension to the convention center. The new building was to be connected to the original lakeside building by a pavement that would cross Chicago’s busy Lake Shore Drive. After constructing the new extension, RSNA annual meetings continued to take place in McCormick Place throughout the end of the century.