“The road to professionalism has not been an easy one to acquire. We must keep pushing forward and broaden our horizons. We cannot afford to be the silent minority of the hospital team, still seeking to find our place on the administrative ladder. If we consider ourselves professionals, then we must have a degree of dedication, possess proper knowledge, and have the courage of our convictions and a sense of purpose.”
Ellen Fitzgerald, RRL, MMRA President 1970 – 1971, ‘Outgoing President’s Message’
During this decade the membership grew. In 1970 the association listed 266 members and by the end of the association year in 1979 there were 649 members.
In 1970 the National Organization changed its name to eliminate the term librarian and became the American Medical Record Association (AMRA). This name change reflected the changing nature of the profession – from librarian to administrator. The Massachusetts State Association of Record Librarians changed their name to The Massachusetts Medical Record Association.
Midway through this decade the scope of MMRA widened. The membership was expressing an active interest in addressing many issues. The association moved forward, seeking opportunities outside the medical record departments. Members held positions on various health advisory boards, PSRO/hospital delegations, assisted in the development of civil service standards for medical record practitioners and spoke to various other health groups. MMRA provided nursing homes with a list of medical record consultants.
Nationally, AMRA notified all hospital administrators of the continuing education requirements for both RRAs and ARTs. The association reviewed the educational content of their meetings to assure compliance with these requirements as well as meeting the needs of members who worked in a variety of healthcare settings. Program topics included “Changing Patterns in Physicians’ and Patients’ Rights” and “Case Studies Management and the Law”.
During this decade:
- In May 1970 an “Act providing for the destruction of hospital records after thirty years”, Chapter 357, Commonwealth of Massachusetts was approved.
- The Utilization Information Service of the Massachusetts Hospital Association was offered to all the hospitals in the state in 1971. Statistical reports were no longer a tedious chore for the medical record department. Reports and indices were made possible by the record abstracts completed by each facility.
- MMRA was incorporated in 1972.
- Massachusetts hosted the 1973 AMRA National Convention in Boston.
- The first distinguished member award was presented to Edith G. Bayers in 1978.
Past Presidents of 1970’s
1979 – 1980 Sheila Callahan, RRA
1978 – 1979 Laura Cranshaw, RRA
1977 – 1978 Dorothy Richmond, RRA
1976 – 1977 Victoria Gregonis, RRA
1975 – 1976 Carolyn Bashaw, ART
1974 – 1975 Elizabeth Capozzoli, RRA
1973 – 1974 Carmela Santarsiero, RRA
1972 – 1973 Sylvia McLaughlin, RRA
1971 – 1972 Linda Peterson, RRL
1970 – 1971 Ellen Fitzgerald, RRL