Most of us remember Mary Lou Retton, who gained international notoriety by winning the All Around Gold Medal in women’s gymnastics at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles?the first American woman to ever win gold in gymnastics. She also won silver medals for Team and Vault, and bronze medals for Uneven Bars and Floor Exercise. Her five medals were the most won by any athlete at the 1984 Olympics, and she was the first American ever to win the Olympic All Around Title. Retton was at the top of her game and was clearly the best athlete in the 1984 games. About being the best, Retton says, “As simple as it sounds, we all must try to be the best person we can?by making the best choices and by making the most of the talents we’ve been given.”

When we set out to compile the Medical Imaging Industry Top 10?a ranking of the industry’s 10 best in 10 categories?we wanted to find and acknowledge the best and the brightest in the field of radiology. Our purpose is multifaceted. First, we want the industry’s best to be recognized by their peers. Second, we want our readership to learn more about these top performers, to inspire accomplishments, research, and goals of their own. Third, we want to give our readers a chance to voice their opinions.

In terms of the latter, our readers did just that. We emailed about 16,000 of our readers, and received a phenomenal return?9.35%! Voting was available online during the months of October and November 2005. We created a preliminary ballot using suggestions from key hospitals, the vendor community, and our Editorial Advisory Board. The ballot also contained several blank spaces in each category for voters to write in their own choices. Readers were asked to cast their vote based on a number of factors, including research, innovation, industry interaction, patient care and outcomes, attitude, unique solutions, and general knowledge.

The categories are:

  1. Radiology department within a hospital
  2. Freestanding imaging center or group
  3. Radiologist
  4. Technologist
  5. Radiation oncologist/cancer research
  6. Nuclear physicist/nuclear medicine research
  7. Cardiovascular imager/cath lab director
  8. Women’s imaging specialist
  9. PACS/RIS/radiology administrator
  10. Association/trade show/CME event/imaging-related educational program

Congratulations to everyone included in the first-annual MI Industry Top 10! Your success is our success?keep up the good work. Now, on to the winners. …

Radiology Department within a Hospital

In this category, we asked voters to make their choices based on equipment offerings, patient care and outcomes, clinical research, and staff. We received just under 1,500 votes in this category, with the three winning facilities within mere votes of each other. Top finishers after 10th place include, in descending order, St Jude Children’s Research Hospital (Memphis, Tenn), the University of Michigan Medical Center (Ann Arbor), the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the UCLA Medical Center (Los Angeles), and Thibodaux Regional Medical Center (Thibodaux, La)?all of which were on the ballot. Receiving a healthy number of votes despite not being on the ballot and, therefore, requiring voters to write in the name of the facility, include Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago), Morton Plant Hospital (Clearwater, Fla), and Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital (Milwaukee), among many, many others. Congratulations to all facilities for their efforts in improving the study of radiology.

1) Mayo Clinic
2) Johns Hopkins Medical Institutes
3) Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
4) The Cleveland Clinic
5) Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
6) Duke University Medical Center
7) Brigham and Women’s Hospital (tie)
7) Massachusetts General Hospital (tie)
8) University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
9) Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
10) Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Radiology Department within a Hospital

1) Mayo Clinic Radiology (Rochester, Minn) ? 14.12% of the top 10 votes

“This is a great honor for Mayo Clinic Radiology, and we are flattered and honored,” says Stephen J. Swensen, MD, professor and chair of radiology at Mayo. “We have 1,200 colleagues on our radiology team in Rochester, Minn. All of us are salaried, and there are no financial incentives or bonuses for quality work. Quality is our conscience. Our integrated multispecialty group practice is bolstered by research and educational programs that are focused on ‘the best care for every patient every day.'” In 2004, Mayo Clinic Radiology performed about 4,064 procedures each day, including 563 CT scans, 726 chest X-rays, and 219 MRIs. “A satisfied professional is a productive one,” Swensen says. “We keep our workload within reason, and we allow time to think and innovate during the day. We also fund programs that support?with time, money, and administrative partnerships?programs to improve our practice, whether they be innovation, education, practice development, or research.” The radiology department includes 130 radiologists and physicists, and the facility itself has more than 27,000 employees. “We’re in a city of less than 80,000, so it is clear that most of our patients must travel for hours in cars or planes to come to the Mayo Clinic,” he says. “We have to continually refresh our service, quality, and safety in order to have a ‘blue ocean’ experience for patients for whom it is easier to stay home and receive their care locally than inconvenience themselves with travel and hotels to come to the Mayo Clinic.”

2) Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutes (Baltimore) ? 13.69% of the top 10 votes

According to Jonathan S. Lewin, MD, Martin W. Donner professor and chairman of the radiology department at Johns Hopkins and the radiologist-in-chief of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, the dedication of its people is what makes the department shine. “I have been repeatedly impressed by the dedication of my colleagues and by their commitment each day to make something in their work effort better than the day before,” he says, “whether with respect to the safety or quality of patient care, customer service, or part of our teaching or research missions.” The department offers a host of different divisions, projects, and groups, including MRI and body MRI, cardiovascular and interventional radiology, neuroradiology, PET, functional brain imaging, in vivo cellular molecular imaging, a radiology residency program, cross-sectional imaging fellowships, CT, and more. “We have a large assortment of activities that are going on in 3-D CT, both cardiac and noncardiac applications, high-resolution neuro/PET and oncological PET/CT imaging, minimally invasive interventional oncological treatments, cardiovascular MRI, function and diffusion-tensor neurological MRI, alpha-particle nuclear therapies, MR spectroscopy, and molecular imaging,” Lewin explains. “With more than 150 faculty and a total department of almost 900 people dedicated to the highest quality of patient care, we are looking forward to making a difference in the future of radiology each and every day.”

3) Department of Radiology, Jefferson Medical College at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (TJU of Philadelphia) ? 13.16% of the top 10 votes

“I am very proud that under my leadership, our department was ranked as one of the top radiology departments by the readers of Medical Imaging,” says Vijay M. Rao, MD, professor and chair of the department. “It is rewarding that the new clinical, research, and educational programs that I envisioned and committed to developing have made great progress.” The department of radiology at TJU has three primary missions?clinical service, education, and research?the success of which depends on proper equipment and facilities as well as a first-rate faculty. Current equipment offerings include 10 high-field MRI units, five helical CT scanners, two open MRIs, three multi-slice CT scanners, a PET scanner, four all-digital angiographic suites, four fluoroscopy rooms, 30 ultrasound scanners, eight nuclear medicine cameras, 11 general radiographic rooms, five portable X-ray units, a polytomography unit, eight mammography units, and one stereotactic core breast biopsy device?all to provide more than 300,000 exams per year. “Our goal to be one of the top five radiology departments in the country will require dedication to maintaining the excellence of our educational programs, increasing our research efforts and extramural funding, providing a collegial environment for faculty, expanding our clinical practice, and developing joint-venture outpatient imaging centers within the hospital,” Rao says of the department, which has nine clinical divisions and a faculty of 46 attending radiologists and five others in full-time research.

4) Division of Radiology at The Cleveland Clinic ? 9.73% of the top 10 votes

The Cleveland Clinic’s Division of Radiology offers a full spectrum of radiological services provided by nationally recognized, subspecialized radiologists, who perform and interpret more than 500,000 exams each year. In addition to publishing numerous peer-reviewed papers annually and leading several national organizations, the Division’s radiologists are involved in cutting-edge research in several areas, including treatment of acute stroke, MR angiography, 3-D imaging, DR, digital mammography, cardiac MR, cartilage imaging, electronic image distribution, and intravascular ultrasound. Along with the imaging services provided at The Cleveland Clinic’s main campus, the Division manages imaging at several community hospitals, The Cleveland Clinic family health centers, and several freestanding imaging centers.

5) Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) ? 9.09% of the top 10 votes

“We feel honored to receive such support [from your readers], particularly since we are a pediatric radiology department competing with general radiology departments,” says Lane Donnelly, MD, radiologist-in-chief and director of the department of radiology at CCHMC. “We also feel very fortunate to have the resources, history, and culture that allows the department to be a leader in improving child health through medical imaging.” One of the busiest pediatric radiology departments in the country, the division employs more than 200 full-time staff, 30 clinical faculty, and eight PhD researchers, all to perform 180,000-plus exams per year. For 56 years, the department has trained about one third of the graduating pediatric radiology fellows nationally each year. For the future, Donnelly says, “Right now, one of the most exciting things coming out of our department is related to our radiology informatics research core. Our new system of patient triage, communication, paperless workflow, and documentation is unlike anything, to my knowledge, that any [other facility] has, and it’s only the beginning. We are adding radiology feedback systems for lifelong learning and multiple other features.”

6) Department of Radiology at the Duke University Medical Center (Durham, NC) ? 8.98% of the top 10 votes

The Duke University Medical Center’s Department of Radiology is staffed by 50 radiologists, 25 radiology fellows, and 45 radiology residents. The list of services offered in the department is extensive and includes CT, MRI, ultrasound, PET/CT, nuclear medicine, nuclear cardiology, breast imaging, pediatric radiology, musculoskeletal imaging, thoracic imaging, interventional radiology, gastrointestinal radiology, and more. Annually, staff members perform more than 450,000 procedures on the Medical Center campus in Duke University Hospital and the Duke Clinics. In addition, radiology services are provided at an off-site imaging center, several satellite clinics, and the Durham VA Hospital. Teleradiology services are offered to several facilities as well.

7) The Department of Radiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH of Boston) ? 7.06% of the top 10 votes (tie)

Performing more than 460,000 inpatient and outpatient procedures annually in BWH’s radiology facility and an additional 82,000 procedures at its community radiology locations, BWH Radiology has embraced the digital era, with hard-copy films remaining only in a small subset of mammography studies. “Our department’s strengths are derived from our outstanding faculty and their dedication to teamwork,” says Steven E. Seltzer, MD, Philip H. Cook professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School and chairman of the Department of Radiology at BWH. “We have been fortunate to have the resources to invest in the development of world-class clinical, research, and teaching programs.” The Department has 76 clinical faculty, 36 residents, and 27 fellows in the clinical-training program; as well as more than 120 technologists, 15 nurses, and a dynamic support staff. According to Seltzer, new programs and initiatives include “the growth and development of our molecular-imaging program; expansion of our image-guided therapy program; and completion of our transition to an all-digital department that uses EMRs, computerized physician order entry, and enterprise-wide image and results distribution.”

7) Department of Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH of Boston) ? 7.06% of the top 10 votes (tie)

“It is very gratifying to learn that the MGH Department of Radiology is recognized for its contributions at a national level,” says James H. Thrall, MD, Juan M. Taveras professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School and radiologist-in-chief at MGH. “Starting more than 35 years ago, MGH led in establishing the concept of subspecialization that defines radiology training and practice today. Supported by the Department’s strong commitment to subspecialization, the clinical faculty members at MGH are among the leaders of their respective subspecialty areas.” The Department of Radiology at MGH has roots dating back to 1896 and the making of one of the first X-rays in the United States. Today, the department has a staff of more than 70 board-certified radiologists and a wealth of subspecialty expertise, including thoracic imaging, musculoskeletal radiology, gastrointestinal and genitourinary imaging, neuroradiology, emergency radiology, and more. For the future, Thrall says, “The department has embarked on a very ambitious program of data mining aimed at mobilizing the substantial and highly valuable information that resides in databases throughout modern medical establishments. … Imagine having everything there is to know about a patient automatically available without active query and presented in an optimized hierarchical fashion as needed by the radiologist.”

8) Division of Diagnostic Imaging at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston) ? 6.42% of the top 10 votes

This year, more than 74,000 patients with cancer will receive care at MD Anderson, and about 27,000 of them will be new patients. In 2005 at MD Anderson, more than 11,000 patients participated in therapeutic clinical research exploring novel treatments?the largest such program in the United States. The Division of Diagnostic Imaging at MD Anderson has more than a dozen technologies available for radiologists to visualize tumors in both bone and soft tissue, including MRI, CT, mammography, nuclear medicine, PET, ultrasound, vascular, and interventional. Research and development has always been a priority at the facility, which designed and tested the first cobalt-60 radiation unit in the country, making radiation treatments more effective and affordable. And in the 1960s, when the National Cancer Institute needed an institution to spearhead the creation of uniform radiation dosimetry standards, it turned to MD Anderson. Recently, MD Anderson and a group of partners formed a venture to develop, own, and operate the Proton Therapy Center, a freestanding radiation therapy facility for the treatment of cancer using proton beam therapy.

9) Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC of New York) ? 5.67% of the top 10 votes

In 1947, the Department of Radiology of MSKCC?the largest privately owned nonprofit cancer center in the world?became an independent department. To meet the demands of ever-increasing patient volume, the department continues to enlarge; although patient care always remains the top priority, the department is very engaged in clinical research. “It is the research that allows us to practice not just at the state-of-the-art level but at the leading edge of radiology,” explains Hedvig Hricak, MD, chairman of the department of radiology at MSKCC. She cites such examples as breast MRI, advances in PET for oncology, MRI and MR spectroscopy of the prostate, antibody treatment, targeted therapy, and interventional radiology procedures. Moving forward, Hricak says that continuous upgrades are planned. “Our administration is committed to providing us with a strong and flexible infrastructure, and we already have become paperless and filmless. … Perhaps the most exciting single project on the horizon is the Center for Image-Guided Intervention, which will bring together a critical mass of surgeons and radiologists to accelerate the development of image-guided therapies and train a new generation of interventional oncologists.”

10) Department of Radiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
Photo courtesy of Andrea Kaldrovics
Photo courtesy of Andrea Kaldrovics ? 5.03% of the top 10 votes

The Department of Radiology at HUP is a highly specialized, full-service department that strives to meet both patient and clinician needs in diagnostic imaging and image-guided therapies. Comprised of 70 physicians, the clinical faculty performs 300,000-plus diagnostic studies and therapeutic procedures each year. For more than a decade, the department has been among the leading US medical-school radiology departments in research funding sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. With that funding specifically, the department has major programs in oncology, cardiovascular, and neurological diseases as well as the development of new and improved imaging technologies.

Freestanding Imaging Center or Group

Votes in this category were based on modality offerings, patient care and outcomes, geographical locations served, services for referring physicians, and performance. More than 1,000 votes were cast in this category, and the five runners-up, in order, are Northern California PET Center (Sacramento), Edison Imaging Associates (Edison, NJ), Monmouth Medical Center (Toms River, NJ), Faulkner-Sagoff Breast Imaging and Diagnostic Center (Boston), and Universal Imaging (Auburn Hills, Mich). Several write-in votes were cast for Quantum Imaging & Therapeutic Associates Inc (Camp Hill, Pa), Zoom Imaging (Bethlehem, Pa), and MedQuest Associates Inc (Atlanta). A round of applause goes to all facilities for enabling better patient care and outcomes as well as more complete services for referring physicians.

1) Center for Diagnostic Imaging
2) St Mary’s North Imaging, Women’s, and Cancer Center
3) Elizabeth Wende Breast Clinic
4) Radiological Associates of Sacramento
5) ProScan Imaging
6) Seattle Radiologists
7) Breast Imaging of Oklahoma
8) South Florida Medical Imaging
9) Tucson Breast Center
10) Radiologix

Freestanding Imaging Center or Group

1) Center for Diagnostic Imaging (CDI of Minneapolis) ? 22.33% of the top 10 votes

CDI’s mission is: “To be the premier, nationally recognized provider of outpatient imaging and diagnostic and therapeutic injections.” And according to CDI CEO Robert V. Baumgartner, “This recognition is nice for our physicians and associates because it validates our mission. It has never been our goal to be the largest outpatient imaging company, but to be one of the top-quality providers. We believe that if you focus on quality and service, the financial rewards will follow.” Currently, CDI owns and operates 33 diagnostic imaging centers in eight states. The company partners with hospitals and health systems to offers physician-led, outpatient radiology services; the expertise of specialized radiologists focused on neurological, spine, musculoskeletal, body, and cardiovascular imaging; and advanced diagnostics injections and pain-management procedures. “By having top subspecialized radiologists as owner partners, we stay focused on clinical quality; and CDI provides the management, business, and systems infrastructure to help the radiologists grow their practices.”

2) St Mary’s North Imaging, Women’s, and Cancer Center (Powell, Tenn) ? 15.37% of the top 10 votes

“We are extremely honored to be recognized in this way,” says Jerry W. Askew, PhD, senior VP of marketing and philanthropy at St Mary’s North. “Obviously, any recognition for the hard work and professionalism of our staff is appreciated, but to be singled out by such an informed public as the readership of Medical Imaging is particularly meaningful.” St Mary’s North opened its 50,000-square-foot ambulatory facility to include Imaging, Women’s, and Cancer Centers in October 2004. The women’s center includes digital mammography, CAD, bone densitometry, ultrasound, and stereotactic biopsy. The imaging center provides MRI, CT, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, and fluoroscopy. The cancer center offers a complete cancer support program as well as image-guided radiation therapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy, HDR Brachytherapy, and more. “We try never to forget that our patients have many healthcare options in our highly competitive market, and they take a leap of faith when choosing us over one of our competitors,” Askew says of St Mary’s North, which serves the rapidly growing population north of Knoxville in east Tennessee. “We reciprocate by providing them with staff trained in the latest techniques, using the best possible equipment, and all in a patient-friendly environment characterized by dignity, compassion, and respect.” In fact, as part of a mammogram encounter, each patient enjoys warmed robes and a private clinical and educational consultation with a breast health specialist.

3) Elizabeth Wende Breast Clinic (EWBC of Rochester, NY) ? 10.19% of the top 10 votes

Founded in 1976 by Wende Logan-Young, MD, the EWBC was the first freestanding breast center dedicated solely to breast-cancer detection in the United States that is not connected to, affiliated with, or supported by a university or medical center. Now in a 30,000-square-foot facility, the EWBC’s philosophy hasn’t changed: to diagnose breast cancer as accurately and efficiently as possible while contributing to the patients’ comfort and well-being. The clinic contains 10 film-screen mammography units, four digital mammography units, eight ultrasound units, two dedicated core biopsy tables, and one bone densitometry unit; and 6 days each month, it has a mobile MRI unit. Six physicians?Logan-Young; Stamatia Destounis, MD; Philip Murphy, MD; Posy Seifer, DO; Patricia Somerville, MD; and Margarita Zuley, MD?serve about 350 patients per day, which led to 75,000 patients in 2004. And it is the EWBC’s policy that all exams are independently read by two physicians using CAD. “We are delighted and honored that the readers of Medical Imaging have selected the EWBC as one of the top freestanding imaging centers,” says Theresa Wade, the facility’s business manager. “But being designated a center of excellence isn’t something that just happens. From top management down, it requires ongoing planning, teamwork, and dedication to our mission to have it work properly.”

4) Radiological Associates of Sacramento (RAS of Sacramento, Calif) ? 8.74% of the top 10 votes

RAS is the largest physician-owned private radiology practice in Northern California and has been serving the greater Sacramento area since 1917 with such services as diagnostic and interventional radiology, PET, nuclear medicine, and radiation oncology. Locally owned and operating 15 diagnostic sites and seven radiation oncology centers, RAS also provides professional services to five area hospitals. Staff includes 74 radiologists, 54 of whom are owners, as well as more than 800 technical, clerical, and administrative personnel. “I have always said that it is not our facilities nor our equipment that make RAS great,” says RAS Executive VP Fred Gaschen. “It’s the people! To be selected as one of the top freestanding imaging centers is a vindication of the hard work and dedication to the company provided by the 850 people who make up the RAS family.” Some of RAS’ tactics for getting noticed above the competition is service; proper training of staff; planning ahead; and considering the patient’s viewpoint, the latter of which involved consolidating, relocating, and upgrading its facilities several years ago, investing a considerable amount into facility amenities. “Our goal?to lower the apprehension level of our patients?has been successful and well worth the additional capital outlay,” Gaschen says. “And our patients let us know that they appreciate both the staff and the facilities, so we must be doing something right.” Shown here is the new Capitol Imaging site in Sacramento, which opened in January 2005 and offers a breast-imaging center, diagnostic imaging, nuclear medicine, and an outpatient interventional radiology clinic.

5) ProScan Imaging (Cincinnati) ? 8.41% of the top 10 votes

Operating more than 20 imaging centers throughout the United States, ProScan’s radiologists read one of the largest MRI-based multi-modality radiology case volumes in the world using proprietary advanced scanning and teleradiology technologies as well as streamlined workflow applications. “Our business philosophy hinges on the idea that education for our customers and our own staff is integral to everything we do,” says Stephen J. Pomeranz, MD, CEO, and medical director of ProScan. “To be competitive, you need to add value for the customer; just producing images of excellent quality is not enough. We approach our customers as partners, and we teach them all we can about imaging. This sharing of knowledge both enhances their practices and establishes our position as their most valuable radiology resource.” ProScan?which offers year-long and visiting fellowship opportunities; CME courses; and educational books, CDs, DVDs, and videos?has provided instruction to more than 16,000 physicians worldwide.

6) Seattle Radiologists APC ? 8.09% of the top 10 votes

With two outpatient diagnostic imaging centers, Seattle Radiologists is composed of more than 22 board-certified, subspecialty, fellowship-trained specialists. “Our dedication to service and patient care are what physicians and patients have come to expect from us for more than 45 years,” says Practice Administrator Sandra Benson. “We use the most advanced imaging equipment in state-of-the-art facilities along with our dedicated radiologists and staff who are committed to offering the highest-quality compassionate care for our patients.” Today, the company owns four MRI scanners, including the first 3T MRI system in the Pacific Northwest, two 1.5T scanners, and one .35T scanner; a PET/CT scanner; a 64-slice CT scanner used, among other things, for coronary CT angiography; and a C-arm fluoroscopy machine used to perform pain-management injections and musculoskeletal procedures. Also, the company has developed a national and international reputation in neuroimaging and is a “show site” for GE Healthcare. “Seattle Radiologists will continue to use the latest imaging technologies [and be] the first in the marketplace,” Benson says. “We are dedicated to setting the standard of excellence in the radiology field.”

7) Breast Imaging of Oklahoma (Edmond, Okla) ? 7.12% of the top 10 votes

Breast Imaging of Oklahoma opened its doors in February 2003 and now has more than 30 employees?including four female breast-imaging radiologists?and two satellite offices that serve the Oklahoma City metro area. The facility offers digital screening and diagnostic mammography, breast ultrasound, breast MRI, breast MRI-guided biopsy, ultrasound- and stereotactic-guided biopsies, and ductography. “It is truly humbling to be recognized by our peers and the large readership of Medical Imaging magazine,” says Kelly McDonough, MD, co-owner of Breast Imaging of Oklahoma. “What is most pleasing to us is that this recognition affirms our mission of effectively serving the needs of women in our community.” She adds that the center focuses on personal care and attention. “In our business, there is so much emphasis on being high-tech,” McDonough says. “We are as high-tech an anyone, but we place equal emphasis on being ‘high touch’ as well. The primary motive is not profit. We make a profit, but we feel that in our high-tech world, what sets us apart in the midst of that is caring for persons, not patients; names, not numbers. We try to build that understanding in all levels of our practice and our staff.”

8) South Florida Medical Imaging (Boca Raton) ? 6.96% of the top 10 votes

Despite being a small, specialty-imaging facility with fewer than 25 employees, SFMI is a leader in outpatient angiography and CT angiography (CTA), performing eight to 10 CTAs each day on patients from Florida and the southeast United States. Every year, SFMI performs 10,000?24,000 imaging procedures, more than 90% of which are digital, as the facility is 90% filmless. With its RIS/PACS solution, SFMI is able to enable access to digital images to staff and referring physicians as well as link to five area hospitals. SFMI also serves as a training center for industry professionals interested in learning more about CTA using 16-slice CT technology.

9) Tucson Breast Center (Tucson, Ariz) ? 6.47% of the top 10 votes

In 1986, the Tucson Breast Center was started as an off-site imaging center from University Physicians Healthcare. In 2001, the facility embarked on the digital journey and has been 100% digital since 2003, owning two digital mammography units with CAD. The facility performs about 130 mammograms per day as well as offers breast ultrasounds and stereotactic- and ultrasound-guided interventional procedures; on-site breast MR will be available in the near future. Also in 2001, the Tucson Breast Center started reading mammograms from remote locations throughout the state as part of the Arizona Telemedicine Program. “Today, we service four different remote digital sites, and mammograms are read and reports are sent via a Web-based system within one hour,” explains Per Granstrom, MD, medical director of the center. “Patient satisfaction has always been our highest priority. We have had great support from the administration and our vendors to reach our goals. In addition to the technologists and administrative personnel, we have dedicated patient-care assistants to ensure that every patient receives personal attention.”

10) Radiologix Inc (Dallas) ? 6.31% of the top 10 votes

Founded in 1996, Radiologix owns and operates a network of 73 outpatient diagnostic imaging centers in eight states, offering such modalities as MRI, CT, PET, PET/CT, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, mammography, bone densitometry, fluoroscopy, and X-rays. “Our mission is to provide exceptional radiology services by empowering team members to exceed the expectation of patients, physicians, and referral sources,” says Sami S. Abbasi, president and CEO of Radiologix. “It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by the readers of Medical Imaging, our peers. The 2,200 team members of Radiologix work very hard and take seriously their commitment to achieve our vision.” On the horizon for Radiologix is the REWARD Program, which stands for Radiologix-Enhanced Workflow and Report Distribution. “It integrates our RIS/PACS capabilities for a better referring physician and patient experience,” Abbasi explains, adding that it will be complete in the second half of 2006. “REWARD will enable us to enhance our service capabilities, improve workflows and information management, and reduce report-turnaround times.”


In this category, we asked voters to choose outstanding radiologists practicing in the field today based on his or her current research, cutting-edge techniques, patient care and outcomes, and industry interaction. Almost 1,300 votes were tallied in this category, with close finishes by Dianna Bardo, MD, of the University of Chicago; Valerie Jackson, MD, of the Indiana University School of Medicine (Indianapolis); David A. Bluemke, MD, of Johns Hopkins (Baltimore); Norman Beauchamp, Jr, MD, of the University of Washington (Seattle); and Wendell A. Gibby, MD, of the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center (Provo). Kudos to all radiologists in healthcare today who constantly strive to make a difference in the field.

1) Barry Goldberg, MD
2) Vijay Rao, MD
3) Elizabeth McFarland, MD
4) Lane Donnelly, MD
5) John M. Racadio, MD
6) Eliot L. Siegel, MD
7) Barry Siegel, MD, FACR
8) Don Resnick, MD
9) John Ulmer, MD
10) Jeff Geschwind, MD


1) Barry Goldberg, MD

Professor of Radiology at the Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University; Director of the Division of Diagnostic Ultrasound at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and the Jefferson Ultrasound Research and Education Institute (Philadelphia)

Garnering almost one fifth of the top 10 votes (19.59%), Goldberg is a pioneer in the field of ultrasound. Created in 1993 under Goldberg’s direction, the Jefferson Ultrasound Research and Education Institute is dedicated to advancing ultrasound research and education activities for physicians worldwide by performing basic and clinical research activities and offering education courses and programs throughout the year. “I have been most proud of my successes in mentoring radiologists at my institution as well as the teaching of physicians from around the world in my area of expertise?ultrasound?with emphasis on helping establish training centers in developing countries,” Goldberg says, noting that this program has led to the establishment of 65 ultrasound-training centers affiliated with Jefferson’s Ultrasound Institute. “Although I have conducted an extensive research effort in ultrasound over many years, my most recent and ongoing research has been the use of ultrasound contrast to image the lymphatic system. With this new approach, it will be possible to noninvasively detect sentinel lymph nodes.” Goldberg’s other accolades include being immediate past-president of the World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology and being presented with the 1998 Outstanding Researcher Award from the Radiological Society of North America.

2) Vijay M. Rao, MD

Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiology at the Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University (TJU of Philadelphia)

“Over my academic career, I have strived to be a role model for professional women,” says Rao, who is one of the few women physicians to direct a clinical department in a major urban teaching hospital. “I have successfully balanced career with personal life, being a wife and a mother of two. It is gratifying to know that my accomplishments encourage other professional women to strive for excellence.” At TJU, Rao oversees neearly 400 staff, faculty, residents, and fellows with an annual budget of more than $100 million. President of the Association of Program Directors in Radiology, Rao also is a fellow of the American College of Radiology and serves as board examiner for the American Board of Radiology. Her areas of expertise include head and neck imaging, CT, and MRI; research interests include TMJ imaging, sino-nasal imaging, and dynamic MRI of head and neck tumors. “My career has been driven by a pursuit of excellence, a value instilled in me by my father,” says Rao, who scored 13.2% of the top 10 votes. “This acknowledgement from my peers, the highest level of recognition one can receive, is most gratifying.”

3) Elizabeth G. McFarland, MD

Body Radiologist at Diagnostic Imaging Associates LLC; National Virtual Colonoscopy Medical Director for the Center for Diagnostic Imaging; and Adjunct Professor at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology (Chesterfield, Mo)

“In my career, I have been very committed to the validation and implementation of evolving 3-D applications in CT colonography and CT angiography,” says McFarland, who garnered 11.97% of the top 10 votes. “During ten years in academics at Washington University, I helped conduct several NCI trials of CT colonography. I recently made the transition to enter the private sector, and I work with the Center for Diagnostic Imaging to conduct clinical trials in CT colonography to evaluate community implementation.” McFarland is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego; she completed an internship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a fellowship in general radiology and gastrointestinal interventional radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Her professional affiliations are numerous; she continues administrative efforts with the American College of Radiology in establishing reimbursement for CT colonography; and she has been asked to join the task force with the American Cancer Society to help revise the guidelines for colorectal screening. Through it all, McFarland says she is most proud of her family, which includes two boys (ages 12 and 13) and a husband of 17 years. “To try to influence the actions and values of growing boys in today’s culture is quite a process,” she says. “The priority to balance family with career has always been very important to me.”

4) Lane F. Donnelly, MD

Radiologist-in-Chief for the Department of Radiology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center; and Professor of Radiology and Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

“If you look at improving child health, there are two main components,” Donnelly notes. “One is improving the diagnostic and therapeutic tools that we offer to our patients, and the second is improving the process by which we deliver these tools. At Cincinnati Children’s, like many other institutions in the country, we have a strong history of clinical research that leads to improvement in diagnostic and therapeutic tools.” Donnelly, who scored 10.88% of the top 10 votes, has been with Cincinnati Children’s since September 1999; prior to that, he was both assistant and associate professor of radiology at Duke University Medical Center. Donnelly completed fellowships in pediatric radiology, MR imaging, and radiology journalism; his list of society memberships include the Society for Pediatric Radiology, the American College of Radiology, and the Radiological Society of North America, among many others. “I feel very fortunate to have had excellent mentors and worked in outstanding institutions,” he says. “I am proud that I have been able to capitalize on these advantages and been a productive writer.”

5) John M. Racadio, MD

Chief of Interventional Radiology and Associate Professor of Clinical Radiology and Pediatrics at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Originally from St Louis, Racadio?who collected 9.12% of the top 10 votes?is proud of his pediatric radiology work as well as the work of his associates. “I am most proud of developing strong, cooperative relationships with our surgical colleagues, which has allowed us to be able to offer our pediatric patients novel, minimally invasive approaches and solutions to a variety of illnesses,” he says. A member of the American College of Radiology, American Roentgen Ray Society, and the Society for Pediatric Radiology, Racadio is eager to begin work in a recently upgraded interventional radiology suite that now features a flat-detector system. With the upgrade, Racadio anticipates collaborations with clinical scientists to develop new clinical applications for 3-D rotational angiography. He says, “I anticipate that these new technological advancements will have a huge impact on redefining the scope of what is possible in interventional radiology.”

6) Eliot L. Siegel, MD

Professor and Vice Chair of Information Systems in the Department of Diagnostic Radiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine; and Chief of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine for the VA Maryland Healthcare System (Baltimore)

Nabbing 7.62% of the top 10 votes, Siegel is deeply honored and pleased?”but I think that there are probably thousands of radiologists much more deserving than I am of the ranking.” Among Siegel’s many accomplishments, one of his most proud is helping to design, implement, and run the world’s first enterprise-wide filmless radiology department at the Baltimore VA Medical Center. “We had the foresight to collect data before and after the transition to filmless operation so that we could conduct and publish many studies sharing the economic consequences and the impact on productivity, image interpretation, and many other fascinating and important topics,” he says. “I think that our experience may have accelerated the transition to PACS and digital imaging in the United States.” Siegel currently is involved in many new projects, including his involvement as lead for the Imaging Workspace, part of the National Cancer Institute’s Bioinformatics Grid, as well as being the product line manager of the National Cancer Institute’s Informatics Product Line.

7) Barry A. Siegel, MD, FACR

Professor of Radiology and Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine; Director of the Division of Nuclear Medicine at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology; Member of the University’s Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center (St Louis)

Throughout his career, Siegel has been active in nuclear medicine research and has made contributions related to the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism, the detection of thrombosis, and oncological applications of radionuclide tracers. Garnering 7.48% of the top 10 votes, Siegel is pleased with many of his accomplishments, including “the decision to ‘go clinical’ at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology PET facility in 1987 and the determination to abide by this decision in order to help show that clinical PET was important for patient care; the successful careers of the hundreds of nuclear medicine and diagnostic radiology residents who have trained in our program; and helping to create the National Oncologic PET Registry.” A prolific writer and editor, with more than 280 journal articles, book chapters, and books to his credit, Siegel says that on the horizon, he hopes to “devise a strategy to slow down and then actually slow down. It remains to be seen whether I can achieve this.”

8) Donald Resnick, MD

Professor of Radiology at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

With 7.21% of the top 10 votes, Resnick says he is honored to be regarded as a top radiologist. “To be recognized for work that one thoroughly enjoys is an added bonus and one that I much appreciate,” he says. Resnick, who has been at UCSD for more than 30 years and has an interest in musculoskeletal imaging (particularly MRI), says that his finest success is in helping others in the field. “My greatest achievement relates to the training of innumerable radiology fellows in the subspecialty of musculoskeletal imaging,” he says. “The number of clinical and research fellows that I and my colleagues in bone radiology at UCSD have trained is more than 300, and many have become [worldwide] leaders in the field.” Resnick has authored more than 900 original scientific articles and has written several books, including a multivolume textbook dealing with bone and joint imaging. He notes that he has no desire to retire at this time and will continue his work with clinical bone radiology.

9) John Lipscomb Ulmer, MD

Neuroradiologist at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital; and Professor of Radiology, Chief of Neuroradiology Research, and Director of fMRI at the Medical College of Wisconsin (Milwaukee)

“As a functional neuroradiologist, I am most interested in translating advanced brain-imaging techniques to clinical practice,” says Ulmer, who collected 7.07% of the top 10 votes. “Through multidisciplinary collaborations, we have successfully improved patient outcomes at our institution using advanced physiological, biological, and functional imaging techniques. From the perspective of a translational neuroradiologist, this aspect of my work has been the most satisfying and rewarding.” A diagnostic radiology resident and MRI and neuroradiology fellow of the Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, NC), Ulmer is looking forward to a promising joint venture between academia and the corporate sector to bring advanced brain imaging to private practices. “I am extremely enthusiastic about this joint endeavor, for it promises to make the clinical accomplishments of our investigations available to all patients, be they in an academic institution or a private-practice setting.”

10) Jeff Geschwind, MD

Associate Professor of Radiology, Oncology, and Surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Director of Interventional Radiology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore)

Originally from Paris, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Boston University School of Medicine, Geschwind completed his residency training in diagnostic radiology at the University of California, San Francisco, with a focus on cardiac MR imaging?more specifically, the use of MR contrast media in the assessment of myocardial viability. He joined Johns Hopkins in 1998 and has been the recipient of numerous national and international awards and grants for his research in the field of cardiac MRI and liver cancer. Geschwind is most proud of “having been able to create a research lab in interventional radiology, with NIH funding, where pioneering work is being done on innovative cancer therapies. Furthermore, because of our clinical expertise, we can bring these newly developed therapeutic approaches to the clinic.” His current research includes image-guided antimetabolic targeted therapy of liver cancer, assessment of tumor response using fMRI, and a new drug-delivery system for liver cancer.


Receiving more than 800 votes, this category was based on the technologist’s patient care and outcomes, dedication, attitude, problem?solving abilities, and industry interaction. The original ballot included only six names, and voters took full advantage of the write?ins, naming such techs as Bernadette Garofalo of Jefferson University Hospital, Colleen Hammond of Michigan State University Radiology, Gary Goble of UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Kristin Banks of the Center for Diagnostic Imaging, and Paul Christian of the University of Utah Department of Radiology. Congratulations to every technologist working today?thank you for going the extra mile.

1) Jane Rowland, RT(R)(M)
2) Therese “Terry” Duggan?Jahns, RT(R)(M)(CT)(MR)
3) M. Robert De Jong, Jr, RDMS, RDCS, RVT (tie)
3) Nancy Swanston, CNMT (tie)
4) Jill Blackburn, RT(R)(CT)
5) Amanda Darling, RT(R)(CT)
6) Tracey Adams, RT, RDMS
7) Daniel C. Fernandez, RT(R)(MR)
8) Dottie S. Brown, RT(R)(M)
9) Tracy Cothran, BSRT(R)(M)
10) Wendy Bozosi, RT


1) Jane Rowland, RT(R)(M)

Lead Mammography Technologist at the Allen Medical Center (Oberlin, Ohio)

Nabbing almost one quarter of the top 10 votes (24.8%), Ohio-native Rowland began working at the Allen Medical Center in 1991. Her placement as a mammogram technologist was supposed to be temporary until the permanent tech returned from maternity leave, but Rowland has been there ever since. Rowland’s most “treasured” accomplishments since obtaining her associate’s degree in applied science, radiologic technology, from Lorain County Community College (Elyria, Ohio), are passing and receiving her ARRT Board License and Mammography License. “I studied and worked hard to acquire skills and gain knowledge specific to my chosen profession,” she says. “[Also,] to be nominated and considered in the Medical Imaging Top 10 and placing in a publication where 26,000 of my peers will hear of me is certainly a momentous occasion. I am grateful for the honor and somewhat surprised at the attention.” Rowland?mother of three (ages 25, 23, and 18) and wife for 28 years?says she learned her people skills when she started working for her uncle Tom in a family catering and wedding hall at the age of 13. “My uncle’s plan and simple rule was to always look sharp, feel sharp, and, above all, smile,” she says, adding that at the age of 50-plus, she is by no means done. Rowland intends to continue her education in mammography and says, “This is only the beginning of the rest of my life.”

2) Therese “Terry” Duggan-Jahns, RT(R)(M)(CT)(MR)

Director of Clinical Services at the Center for Diagnostic Imaging (CDI in Federal Way, Wash)

“I am extremely honored to have been nominated, as I know there are many others who equally deserve this award and who also share a strong commitment to our profession and to patient care,” says Duggan-Jahns, who captured 17.34% of the top 10 votes. “To receive this recognition from one’s peers is the greatest compliment one can receive.” She has been with CDI since August 2003, previously working with TRA Medical Imaging Centers, overseeing four 1.5T and one .35T open MR scanners. Since 1980, Duggan-Jahns also has worked as a part-time instructor in the Tacoma Community College’s Radiologic Technologists Program, this past fall quarter instructing on sectional anatomy. “I have been extremely fortunate to have worked with a great team of administrators, radiologists, and co-workers throughout my career,” she says. “They have shared their knowledge; believed in my skills and talents; and entrusted, encouraged, and supported me, giving me opportunities to succeed.” One of Duggan-Jahns’ greatest successes is helping to open the first freestanding outpatient MRI center in her community 19 years ago. “I am fortunate to be in a position to help direct and influence the future of this profession; to be able to share my knowledge and experiences (both successes and failures); and to train, hopefully inspire, encourage, and motive others in this profession,” she says. “I find this personally rewarding as I learn from others as well.”

3) M. Robert De Jong, Jr, RDMS, RDCS, RVT (tie)

Radiology Technical Manager of Ultrasound at Johns Hopkins Medical Systems (Baltimore)

“I am humbled that my peers recognize my love and passion for radiology and medical imaging, especially ultrasound,” says De Jong, who captured 12.45% of the top 10 votes. “I love teaching, lecturing at local and national meetings, and instructing in scanning workshops.” And that’s just what he does as the secretary of the sonography section of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, as a member of the governmental relational committee of the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, and as a member of the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers?as well as many other activities. De Jong says that the accomplishment of which he is most proud, however, is his family: “My marriage of 30 years to Linda, for without her love, support, and encouragement, I would not be where I am today. Also, I am very proud of my two sons and their accomplishments.” He also looks back fondly to 1991, when he was promoted to chief imaging technologist in ultrasound at Johns Hopkins. “At that time, the ultrasound division had a turnover rate of every two to three years,” De Jong explains. “With the support and guidance of my medical director and my managers, we have been able to improve working conditions such that the staffing has been stable and growing for the past ten years. I have an incredible staff, and many of my accomplishments are reflections of their successes.”

3) Nancy Swanston, CNMT, RT(N) (tie)

Supervisor in Diagnostic Imaging/PET at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston)

It’s clear: Swanston knows PET. In fact, she was part of the team that was responsible for effectively opening and operating MD Anderson’s PET facility, which serves more than 40 patients each day and is one of the busiest PET facilities in the country. In the center, Swanston oversees five PET systems, drafting protocols for various nuclear medicine and PET procedures. She also designed MD Anderson’s PET Training Program for technologists, and she now manages 25 employees. “By being acknowledged by my peers, I feel more confident in thinking that the patients we serve each day are being affected in a positive manner during their visit to our facility,” says Swanston, who garnered 16.37% of the top 10 votes. “It’s also nice to be appreciated. It makes all the dedication and commitment to the field of PET even more rewarding.” The list of Swanston’s activities and honors is long, and it includes secretary of the PET Center of Excellence for the Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM in 2005?’06), Technologist Section Categorical Chair for SNM’s upcoming 53rd Annual Meeting (2006), first and second place SNM Technologist Paper Award (2005), and the Mallinckrodt Award of Excellence (1999). “Over the past several years through lecturing on PET for the Academy of Molecular Imaging and the SNM Learning Center, I’ve realized that I love to teach,” she says, noting that in the future, “I would like to continue to further my education and complete my master’s so that I have even more to give.”

4) Jill Blackburn, RT(R)(CT)

Lead CT Technologist at St Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center (Phoenix)

Blackburn is not ashamed to admit it: She loves all things continuing education in CT. In fact, she helped to create a 1-year CT certification program at the Gateway Community College (Phoenix), where she also instructs the “CT Procedures and Protocols” class and is a part-time instructor in CT anatomy and pathology as well as CT physics. Blackburn, who nabbed 12.16% of the top 10 votes, also is an independent consultant, and she performs on-site basic and advanced GE Healthcare CT training for hospital and outpatient imaging centers. Among Blackburn’s professional associations are memberships in the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, the Arizona State Society of Radiologic Technologists, and both the Stroke Steering Committee and the I