Leonardo da Vinci is quoted as saying, “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” No one embodies this adage better than medical professionals, whose knowledge is judiciously incorporated into practice—improving the lives of countless people with modern-day miracles.
The second annual Medical Imaging Industry Top 10 honors the professionals and facilities that put this principle into action. In response to an e-mail survey and an online poll, more than 600 readers cast ballots to recognize their hardworking colleagues in a range of categories:
- Radiology department within a hospital
- Freestanding imaging center or group
- Radiation oncologist/cancer researcher
- Nuclear physicist/nuclear medicine researcher
- Cardiovascular imager/cardiac catheterization lab director
- Women?s imaging specialist
- Imaging informaticist and PACS/RIS administrator
- Association/trade show/CME event/imaging-related educational program
Voters could select up to three of the candidates listed or write in their own choices—which, as with last year, was a popular option—to express their opinions on who is leading the way in a number of categories, including patient care and outcomes, cutting-edge techniques, industry interaction, attitude, problem-solving abilities, and imaging techniques and research.
Congratulations to everyone on the list, and thanks to all of the readers who put them there!
1) Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore
www.rad.jhmi.edu ? #2 in 2006
“I am delighted about this wonderful recognition,” says Jonathan S. Lewin, MD, Martin W. Donner Professor and chairman of the Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and radiologist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore. “I greatly appreciate the confidence that the readership of Medical Imaging has shown in recognizing this remarkable group of people, and I am tremendously pleased to be able to communicate this honor to my colleagues.”
Ranked the number two medical school in the nation by US News & World Report, Johns Hopkins is a more than $4 billion enterprise that includes three acute care hospitals, together providing an integrated health care delivery system: long-term care, home care, and outpatient care.
“I have never been in a department with a deeper commitment or a wider range of programs in quality improvement and patient safety,” Lewin says. “This dedication to make Hopkins the best that it can be is a part of the institutional culture—we focus on continuous quality improvement and believe that any recognition of our achievements is a nice but secondary effect of our efforts.”
2) Mayo Clinic Radiology, Rochester, Minn
www.mayoclinic.org/radiology ? #1 in 2006
“This is a great honor for Mayo Clinic Radiology, and we are flattered and honored,” says Stephen J. Swensen, MD, past chairman of radiology at Mayo and its current director for quality. “Quality is our conscience. Our integrated multispecialty group practice is bolstered by research and education programs that are all focused on the best care for every patient every day.”
The 1,200 members of the radiology team performed nearly 1 million examinations last year on the Rochester campus, which consists of 45 buildings with two hospitals and 1,951 beds. The hospital employs the Baldrige National Quality Program to recognize opportunities for improvement.
“As we prioritize these opportunities, we will use the appropriate task forces in improvement teams and internal collaboratives to move needles on our dashboards,” says Swensen, who believes that a satisfied professional is a productive one. “Our practice workload is within reason—which allows time to think and innovate during the day. Mayo funds programs with time, money, and administrative partnerships to continuously improve our practice through innovation, education, and research.”
3) Division of Radiology at the Cleveland Clinic
www.clevelandclinic.org/radiology ? #4 in 2006
The Cleveland Clinic has a history of innovation and high-quality patient care. The Division of Radiology features world-class experts using the latest imaging technology to diagnose and treat illnesses. Offering a full spectrum of radiological services provided by nationally recognized, subspecialized radiologists, the Cleveland Clinic’s radiology division performs and interprets about 1.7 million examinations each year. Division radiologists are involved in a number of research areas, including treatment of acute stroke, MR angiography, 3D imaging, DR, digital mammography, cardiac MR, cartilage imaging, electronic image distribution, and intravascular ultrasound.
The Cleveland Clinic recently announced the appointment of Michael T. Modic, MD, as chair of the hospital’s Neurological Institute. Modic will lead a multidisciplinary team of neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, and behavioral scientists, who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological conditions.
4) The Department of Radiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Boston
www.brighamandwomens.org/radiology ? #7 in 2006
Dating back to 1832, BWH is a 747-bed, nonprofit teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. “We have simple values that are at the center of all of our decisions and actions,” says Steven E. Seltzer, MD, chairman of the department of radiology. “These values include striving to consistently deliver quality patient care, teaching excellence, and scientific leadership, using a team approach to foster both operational efficiency and respect for individuals. It is rewarding that our efforts to meet patients’ needs have brought us this recognition from your readers.”
BWH Radiology operates on both the main campus and several community locations, offering patients an array of imaging modalities, such as MRI, CT, PET, x-ray, and ultrasound. At the main campus, BWH Radiology performs or interprets more than 500,000 diagnostic studies and interventional procedures every year.
“Radiology’s role in health care continues to evolve,” Seltzer says. “The technological advances in radiology that are coming over the next few years will allow us to help our colleagues in other medical and surgical fields to expand the frontiers of health care. We are particularly excited about the potential for personalized medicine, where patient care is designed for individual needs rather than the one-care-fits-all approach of earlier decades.”
5) Department of Radiology at the Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC
www.radiology.duke.edu ? #6 in 2006
Staffed by 54 radiologists, 25 radiology fellows, and 46 radiology residents, Duke University’s Department of Radiology offers imaging services in virtually every modality, including CT, MRI, PET/CT, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, and musculoskeletal imaging. The department performs more than 500,000 procedures annually. Radiology services are available on the medical center campus in Duke University Hospital and the Duke Clinics, an off-site imaging center, several satellite clinics, and the Durham VA Hospital. Teleradiology services are also offered to several facilities.
6) Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology (MIR) at the Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis
www.mir.wustl.edu ? first mention
“I am proud to be associated with the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, and it is gratifying to know that our department enjoys the respect of our colleagues in the radiology community,” says MIR Chairman R. Gilbert Jost, MD. “We are fortunate to have a wonderful faculty, great residents, outstanding facilities, and a remarkable collegial environment where interdisciplinary activity abounds. That’s a recipe for success in both clinical and research domains.”
In addition to having clinical areas equipped with the latest imaging and computer systems, the institute’s research facilities and research groups are extremely productive, with funding upwards of $30 million annually. And the facility is expanding. The Center for Clinical Imaging Research, designed to support and encourage clinical translational research, is currently under construction. Slated for completion this spring, this 10,000-square-foot facility will be located centrally within Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St Louis, with easy access for inpatients as well as outpatients.
7) Department of Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Boston
www.massgeneralimaging.org ? #7 in 2006
MGH’s imaging services provide a full range of diagnostic testing services using state-of-the-art equipment. With roots extending back to 1896, MGH is bringing imaging excellence into the community with the establishment of Mass General Imaging-Chelsea and Mass General West Imaging in Waltham. More than 70 board-certified radiologists have earned distinction for their subspecialty expertise in thoracic imaging, neuroradiology, musculoskeletal radiology, gastrointestinal and genitourinary imaging, interventional radiology, pediatric radiology, emergency radiology, breast imaging, and nuclear medicine.
8) Division of Diagnostic Imaging at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
www.mdanderson.org/departments/radiology ? #8 in 2006
This year, more than 74,000 persons with cancer—including 27,000 new patients—will receive care at MD Anderson. About 14% of those patients will receive radiation therapy. The Medical Imaging Industry Top 10 is not the only recognition the facility has received recently. A survey of postdoctoral research fellows by The Scientist magazine named the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center as the best workplace in North America for new scientists. The hospital’s partnership in the new Proton Therapy Center at the University of Texas is indicative of its commitment to the future of Medical Imaging. The center is a freestanding radiation therapy facility for the treatment of cancer using proton beam therapy.
9) Radiological Sciences Department at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, Tenn
www.stjuderesearch.org ? first mention
Serving as both a clinical and academic entity, the Radiological Sciences Department at St Jude oversees diagnostic imaging, radiation oncology, nuclear medicine, and translational imaging research to enhance clinical investigation, patient care, and faculty development. Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas in 1962, St Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. Researchers at the hospital are pioneering the use of a variation of functional MRI technology to study brain function in survivors of childhood cancers. This work aims to identify areas of the brain that cease to function normally following therapy for brain cancer and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The work is scheduled to be published in NeuroImage this year.
10) Department of Radiology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), New York City
www.mskcc.org ? #9 in 2006
MSKCC is the largest privately owned, nonprofit cancer center in the world. The facility formulates policies and long-range plans and coordinates the activities of its components—Memorial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases (MH), a 430-bed clinical unit; and Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research (SKI), the basic research unit.
“Our first responsibility, aligned with our mission, is patient care,” says Hedvig Hricak, MD, PhD, Drhc, chairman of the department of radiology at MSKCC and Carroll and Milton Petrie Chair in Radiology. “The Department of Radiology became an independent department in 1947. To meet the demands of ever-increasing patient volume, the department continues to enlarge, and while patient care always remains our priority, the department is very engaged in clinical research, as it is the research that allows us to practice not just at the state-of-the-art level, but also at the leading edge of radiology. Participation on disease management teams allows our radiologists to further subspecialize, change and grow by exchanging information and ideas with clinicians in other specialties, and thus gain insight into clinical problems and questions.”
1) Radiological Associates of Sacramento Medical Group Inc (RAS), Sacramento, Calif
www.radiological.com ? #4 in 2006
RAS has a long history of successful growth and patient-centered care that has allowed it to stay ahead of the competition. As one of the largest health care providers in Northern California, RAS is committed to improving the well-being of patients and increasing awareness of healthy lifestyles. The company’s Quality Assurance Program is nationally recognized, and RAS, which performed more than 1 million diagnostic examinations last year, has earned approval from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care Inc since 1998. RAS makes extraordinary efforts to provide superior patient satisfaction by empowering the staff to respond directly to the needs of those who entrust them with their care, according to Narasimhachari Raghavan, MD, RAS president and chairman of the board.
“RAS continually looks for new opportunities in areas where we have core expertise, including imaging, radiation oncology, nuclear medicine, interventional radiology, information systems, and medical management services,” Raghavan says. “Our leadership keeps a keen eye on market trends, locally and nationally, making strategically driven decisions.”
2) Center for Diagnostic Imaging (CDI), Minneapolis
www.cdiradiology.com ? #1 in 2006
“We are pleased to have been recognized again this year by the readers of Medical Imaging,” says CDI CEO Robert V. Baumgartner. “Our associates and radiologists work hard each day to provide our patients and referring physicians with the highest quality care and results—so to be recognized for these efforts nationally is an honor.”
Founded in 1981 by spine radiologist Kenneth Heithoff, MD, CDI was one of the first outpatient imaging providers in the United States. Since then, the company has expanded to encompass 39 centers in eight states, with nearly 700 associates and more than 85 affiliated radiologists.
CDI’s ongoing mantra is: “The right test at the right time, done right.” This translates to a commitment to quality and service, with a focus on close collaboration with referring physicians and office staff. To that end, the company’s team of radiologists is constantly communicating and consulting in the marketplace. “CDI continues to grow, both in services and in centers, and we see many exciting opportunities on the horizon,” Baumgartner says. “That said, the continued scrutiny of our industry at federal and state levels means that CDI will stay very involved in helping to shape and lead industry efforts around defining, measuring, and paying for appropriate, high-quality imaging.”
3) Austin Radiological Association (ARA), Austin, Tex
www.ausrad.com ? first mention
Committed to excellence in imaging, ARA is a specialty health care organization that has been providing services in the Austin community since 1954. “We take all aspects of that [commitment] very seriously: purchasing the most advanced technology in imaging equipment, hiring highly qualified physicians and staff, and focusing on superior customer service,” says Debi Brannan, director of business development at ARA.” We take quality health care and customer satisfaction very seriously.”
The company’s 66 board-certified radiologists, technologists, and registered nurses are dedicated to giving superior customer service through compassion, integrity, and teamwork, according to Brannan. In addition to diagnostic radiology, ARA provides specialists for a variety of subspecialties, including body imaging, nuclear medicine, women’s imaging, neuroradiology, interventional, neurointerventional, musculoskeletal, and pediatric radiology.
4) Atlantic Medical Imaging (AMI), Galloway, NJ
www.atlanticmedicalimaging.com ? first mention
The mission at AMI—a full-service, freestanding imaging practice operating seven offices in New Jersey—has always been patient care, according to Marc Peck, MD, AMI’s CEO and past president. “All physicians are encouraged to embark on new and interesting radiology studies, to allow AMI to progress beyond what is commonly expected in a community hospital setting—and even challenge our academic colleagues,” Peck says. “As a result, AMI had the second functioning PET scanner in our area.”
Providing professional services to three area hospitals, AMI’s 30 board-certified, subspecialty-trained radiologists and 300 technical, clerical, and administrative personnel offer a full spectrum of imaging services, including CT, coronary CT angiography, MRI, nuclear medicine, PET/CT, digital mammography, ultrasound, DEXA, general radiology and fluoroscopy, and interventional radiology.
“Having been at AMI from its humble beginnings in 1964 and witnessing its ascendancy from a four-man hospital-based group to the current multidimensional, multidiscipline radiology practice has been a challenging and very gratifying experience,” Peck says. “To be recognized by the readers of Medical Imaging as one of the elite facilities is indeed a great honor.”
5) Elizabeth Wende Breast Clinic (EWBC), Rochester, NY (tie)
www.ewbc.com ? #3 in 2006
“We are honored to have our peers place the Elizabeth Wende Breast Clinic as one of the industry’s top facilities,” says Posy Seifert, DO, managing partner of EWBC. “We work very hard at doing the right thing for our patients—which means efficient quality care—and getting the recognition means we are right on target.”
The Medical Group Manage-ment Association presented EWBC with a Certificate of Superior Performance in the areas of productivity, capacity, staffing, and accounts receivable. And last year, more than 80,000 patients traveled from all over New York State to be treated in EWBC’s 30,000 square-foot clinic. Currently about 50% digital, EWBC has plans to install another digital unit and CR. Other modalities include nine analog units, four full-field digital mammography units, two stereotactic breast biopsy tables, MRI, ultrasound, CAD, PACS, RIS, and DEXA.
5) Northern California PET Imaging Center (NCPIC), Sacramento, Calif (tie)
www.ncpic.info ? first mention
NCPIC offers PET scans to the community at both its fixed-site location, which boasts two scanners, and from the mobile PET/CT scanner, which provides service throughout Northern California. The not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization is working to be the leading PET/CT provider in Northern California by serving the community in the provision of PET/CT scans, providing education to physicians and patients, and continuing clinical research in the field of PET and molecular medicine. NCPIC also provides physician and technologist training programs for PET and is actively involved in clinical PET research in the areas of dementia, carotid occlusion, and oncology.
“The entire technical, administrative, and medical staff makes the difference for NCPIC; they are dedicated to patient care and quality,” says Ruth Tesar, executive director of NCPIC and president of ImageMed Group LLC. “NCPIC differentiates itself by having physicians dedicated to being involved with only PET and CT scanning, so that they can focus on their area of expertise. NCPIC also has a cyclotron on site so that it can make use of providing studies that involve the short-lived PET tracers, such as oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon.”
6) Seattle Radiologists APC (Searad)
www.searad.com ? #6 in 2006
The 39 board-certified, subspecialty, and fellowship-trained radiologists at SeaRad provide professional services to Seattle’s Swedish Medical Center, one of the largest and most prestigious hospitals in the Pacific Northwest. Established more than 40 years ago, Searad also provides outpatient radiology services to several large, local, multispecialty clinics through its two-volume outpatient imaging centers. These centers are equipped with cutting-edge equipment and serve as beta sites for GE Healthcare’s 1.5T and 3T MRI scanners. SeaRad owns four MRI scanners, including the first 3T MRI system in the Pacific Northwest; two 1.5T scanners; a .35T scanner; a PET/CT scanner; and a 64-slice CT scanner, performing coronary CT angiography and C-arm fluoroscopy for pain-management injections and musculoskeletal procedures.
7) South Florida Medical Imaging (SFMI), Boca Raton, Fla
www.sfmipa.com ? #8 in 2006
“It is a great honor to be recognized for our hard work and commitment to satisfaction of both patients and referring physicians,” says SFMI Director Claudio Smuclovisky, MD. “[SFMI sets itself apart] by investing in the latest technology and achieving the expertise that is recognized as among the best in the United States.”
Cardiac CT angiography is one example of where SFMI has made strides in getting ahead of the competition. The organization also is in the process of becoming an accredited level 3 teaching center. Recently, SFMI added a second 64-slice CT scanner, and the facility plans to expand its teaching center to offer worldwide educational opportunities to physicians, Smuclovisky says. Every year, SFMI performs 15,000 to 20,000 imaging procedures—more than 90% of these are digital. With its RIS/PACS solution, SFMI enables remote access to digital images by staff and referring physicians, as well as links to five area hospitals.
8) University Physicians Healthcare’s Tucson Breast Center, Tucson, Ariz (tie)
www.uph.org/Clinics.aspx ? #9 in 2006
Being ranked in the Top 10 is an honor that encourages the Tucson Breast Center “even more to stay focused and dedicated to [its] mission,” says Per Granstrom, MD, medical director. In 2001, the company began the transition to digital imaging and, since 2003, is 100% digital with CAD. Up to 130 mammograms are performed daily, along with breast ultrasounds, upright digital stereotactic, and ultrasound-guided interventional procedures. DEXA and total body fat composition examinations also are available.
“Today, we service six different remote sites,” Granstrom says. “Mammograms are interpreted, and reports are sent via a Web-based system within an hour. We also have accommodated approximately 230 patients with UltraClinics, a system to get biopsy results; the final histology is available the same day as the procedure.”
Plans are under way to expand to UMC North’s Arizona Cancer Center by adding breast MRI and another digital mammography unit. The Tucson Breast Center also is working to provide tomosynthesis with GE Healthcare’s Essential upon FDA approval, and MRI-guided biopsy in Fall 2007.
8) Cardiovascular Institute of the South (CIS), Houma, La (tie)
www.cardio.com ? first mention
CIS has always strived to provide the latest, most innovative care to its patients. “This sometimes comes with criticism about being too aggressive,” says Peter Fail, MD, director of cardiac catheterization laboratories and interventional research at CIS. “But as statistics show, heart disease is the number one killer—and I don’t think you can afford to not be too aggressive.”
CIS offers a comprehensive heart and vascular program that includes specialized medical professionals trained in nuclear cardiology, electrophysiology, prevention services, and lipid management, as well as interventional cardiovascular procedures and cardiovascular and thoracic surgery. Surgical services offered by CIS are extensive.
“The imaging department is just one aspect of innovative care,” Fail says. “If we can recognize a problem before it causes irreversible damage, we may be able to afford that patient a better quality of life.”
9) Breast Imaging of Oklahoma, Edmond, Okla
www.breastimagingofoklahoma.com ? #7 in 2006
The staff of Breast Imaging of Oklahoma is “very proud to be an example for the industry of how a breast imaging center can be created from scratch and grow and thrive,” says partner Debra Mitchell, MD. “For many years, naysayers in the radiology world did not believe that breast imaging could survive outside of a hospital setting. It is exhilarating to see independently owned centers come to maturity and dispel the preconceived notion that breast imaging is a draining financial burden to radiology.”
The freestanding breast center’s four female breast imaging radiologists treat more than 20,000 patients each year between its 10,000-square-foot main facility and two satellite locations that perform digital screening mammography. Also, Breast Imaging of Oklahoma offers a breast imaging fellowship program.
“One of our challenges in the near future is to balance demand with physician resources,” Mitchell says. “Paying attention to the varying risk and needs of a very heterogeneous screening population will be a challenge for breast imaging in general in the next decade. The appropriate utilization of our more costly procedures will be a focus of our clinic as we attempt to match the appropriate imaging procedures with risk.”
10) ProScan Imaging LLC, Cincinnati
www.proscan.com ? #5 in 2006
Operating a network of 24 imaging centers throughout the United States, ProScan radiologists also read for more than 400 other locations. The company’s professionals perform approximately 1,000 advanced imaging cases per day in a variety of modalities, including MR, CT, and PET.
“Our goal has always been to be the most trusted and respected in our medical field of endeavor, advanced imaging, and MRI,” says Stephen J. Pomeranz, MD, CEO and medical director of ProScan Imaging. “Our second annual top-10 ranking is evidence that our referring physicians, patients, and peers in the medical industry recognize our commitment to raise the bar of care.”
Recently, ProScan acquired WorldCare Clinical, a leading imaging contract research organization based in Cambridge, Mass, that speeds delivery of drugs and medical devices to market for biopharmaceutical and medical companies.
The future also promises more innovation from ProScan. Pomeranz explains: “Enabling a paperless environment; providing seamless access to our referring physicians and, when appropriate, patients for their digital imaging needs in a HIPAA-compliant environment; expanding our ProScan Online and EZ-Send PACS solutions for image delivery; sharing our educational mission with more physicians; and raising the bar of advanced training with our year-long fellowship training programs—all are in our future.”
1) Elliot K. Fishman, MD, FACR
Professor of Radiology and Oncology and Director of Diagnostic Imaging and Body CT for the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore ? first mention in this category
More than 20 years ago, Fishman became involved in the development of 3D Medical Imaging and continued his work in the field with Pixar, a spin-off of LucasFilms. His efforts were critical in the development of 3D imaging. More recently, he created the award-winning www.ctisus.com, one of the largest medical Web sites that currently is used by more than 50,000 medical professionals each month.
“[My future goal is to] focus on image processing, [making] the job of the radiologist easier and more productive on a daily basis, as well as looking at the increased role of multimodality data sets in clinical practice,” says Fishman, who continues to maintain a busy clinical schedule.
2) Elizabeth G. McFarland, MD (tie)
Body Radiologist at Diagnostic Imaging Associates at St. Luke’s Hospital; National Virtual Colonoscopy Medical Director for the Center for Diagnostic Imaging; and Adjunct Professor at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Chesterfield, Mo ? #3 in 2006
Honored to be recognized among other leaders in the industry, McFarland continues to work on the clinical research and political implemention of CT colonography (CTC). “Although widespread reimbursement continues to lag, it is very encouraging to see the collaborative relationships among radiologists, gastroenterologists, and surgeons toward the use of CTC in the community,” says McFarland, who notes that at the national level, the GI societies, along with the American Cancer Society and the American College of Radiology (ACR), are working together to define appropriate use of CTC. “This year will be a critical year for CTC. Following the large ACRIN [American College of Radiology Imaging Network] trial results, the political and payor reactions will follow.” McFarland plans on being a part of the efforts to define standards, create quality metrics, and perform clinical trials.
2) Donald Resnick, MD (tie)
Professor of Radiology at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ? #8 in 2006
Resnick is most proud of his participation in the very successful bone radiology fellowship program that has been in existence for more than three decades. “Through these 30 years, we have trained in bone radiology more than 150 clinical fellows and about 1,500 research fellows, the latter from all over the world,” he says. “Recently, we had our first fellow reunion, and well over 100 clinical fellows returned to San Diego for the event. Teaching these fellows each year, which I do along with my UCSD radiology colleagues, is truly a joy and keeps me going. They are thirsty for knowledge, and their questions make me go home every night and try to learn more. And, to boot, I have made lifelong friends. It truly is an extended family.”
Currently working to “not retire,” that feeling of family helps fuel Resnick’s career, which has included a number of awards and honors, such as a gold medal from the Brazil Radiological Society in 2004 and an honorary doctorate from the University of Zurich last year.
3) 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 ? #7 in 2006
For the past year, Siegel has devoted much of his time and energy to establishing the National Oncologic PET Registry (NOPR), which is a collaboration of the ACRIN, the ACR, and the Academy of Molecular Imaging. Working to ensure access to Medicare reimbursement for certain types of PET scans, the NOPR tops Siegel’s to-do list for the immediate future, with the goal of publishing the initial results of the NOPR and continuing to tap into the wealth of useful data the alliance has collected.
“[I am proud of] working through ACRIN to help establish PET as an important component of clinical trials of cancer therapy,” he says, adding that he also is proud of the many residents he has helped train. A prolific writer and editor—with more than 280 journal articles, book chapters, and books to his credit—Siegel also is actively involved as an editorial board member for several journals. From 1988 to 2002, he served as editor in chief of the Professional Self-Evaluation Program (the “Syllabus Series”) published by the ACR.
4) 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 ? #1 in 2006
Goldberg, who has been involved in the profession for more than four decades, is humbled that his peers have recognized his contributions to the speciality. “I was fortunate to begin my work in ultrasound when the field was in its infancy, and I have had the privilege of being involved in new developments,” he says. “To be recognized for my accomplishments in a field of medicine that I love is an honor, indeed.”
As part of his involvement in the international education aspect of radiology, Goldberg works in the “Teaching the Teachers” program, which resulted in the development of 72 ultrasound education centers in developing and emerging countries. These centers are affiliated with the Jefferson Ultrasound Research and Education Institute, which was created in 1993 under the direction of Goldberg, who continues to serve as director. The Institute conducts CME courses and offers visiting fellowships.
“My most recent research efforts have been in the use of ultrasound contrast agents to image the lymphatic channels and sentinel lymph nodes draining tumors,” he says. “I predict that this research, which currently is funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute, will improve the detection of metastatic lymph nodes and, as a result, increase the cure rate of a variety of cancers.”
5) Vijay M. Rao, MD
Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiology at the Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University (TJU), Philadelphia ? #2 in 2006
Being singled out as a leader is nothing new to Rao—she has been named as one of Philadelphia Magazine’s “Top Docs” in diagnostic radiology for 6 years—but she is still touched by the praise. “I am honored to be selected to be included in the second annual Medical Imaging Industry Top 10 by the readers,” Rao says. “Recognition by peers and colleagues, many of whom are equally deserving, is most gratifying.”
Looking ahead, she is eager to pursue her clinical and research interests in head and neck imaging, with a focus on sinonasal imaging and advanced head/neck tumor imaging. She also looks forward to playing a major role in developing quality measures, implementing patient safety goals, and improving access to health care initiatives at TJU. Rao works to create an impact beyond her immediate environment. “I believe I serve as a role model for women physicians and am a source of inspiration and encouragement, especially for immigrants,” she says. “I am proud to have mentored many trainees at Jefferson; many of them have blossomed into leaders of today. I am especially proud to be leading one of the most well-reputed academic departments in the country, and would like to take this opportunity to thank my faculty for their commitment and dedication.”
6) 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 ? #9 in 2006
As a functional neuroradiologist, Ulmer is focused on translating advanced brain imaging techniques into clinical practice. Through a number of multidisciplinary collaborations, his team has successfully improved patient outcomes at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital using advanced physiological, biological, and functional imaging techniques.
“From the perspective of a translational neuroradiologist, that has been the most satisfying and rewarding aspect of my work,” says Ulmer, who is looking forward to a joint endeavor between academicians and selected parties in the corporate sector to translate advanced brain imaging techniques to private clinical practice. “I am extremely enthusiastic about this joint effort, 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.”
For more than 10 years, Ulmer has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography. He is a reviewer for the American Journal of Neuroradiology, Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography, and Human Brain Mapping, as well as being on the Neuroradiology Exhibit Editorial Selection Committee (RSNA) for the journal Radiographics.
7) David Bluemke, MD, PhD
Professor of Radiology and Medicine, Johns Hopkins University; Clinical Director of MRI, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore ? first mention
Bluemke thanks the readers who voted him into the Medical Imaging Industry Top 10. A prolific author, he is actively involved in visualizing the earliest stages of atherosclerotic plaque formation in humans using very high-field MRI and multidetector/dual-source cardiac CT. “We are relating this early disease directly to its functional consequences both in the individual patient as well as in large epidemiologic studies involving hundreds to thousands of patients,” he says.
Despite this important work, Bluemke is most proud of the work he has done to train at least 15 outstanding fellows a year and many residents, both in the research lab and in clinical activities. “Having an opportunity to work at the forefront of imaging in cardiovascular medicine and oncology with these trainees,” he says, “as well as with my colleagues at Hopkins, is very gratifying.”
8) 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; Chief of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine for the VA Maryland Healthcare System, Baltimore; Lead Imaging Informatics for the National Cancer Institute ? #6 in 2006
Looking at the designation as more than just a personal success, Siegel is “delighted to be recognized by the readers of Medical Imaging as one of the top 10 radiologists again this year, particularly because of the increasing recognition of the critical importance of imaging informatics in medical imaging.”
Taking on responsibilities outside of his job description, Siegel has been part of numerous groups within the VA. For 20 years, he has participated in the Cancer Committee, the Utilization Review Committee, the Research and Development Committee, the Clinical Executive Board, and the Automated Data Processing Committee, as well as chairing the Radiation Safety Committee. Siegel also is involved with the National Cancer Institute’s cancer biomedical informatics grid and the National Cancer Institute’s Imaging Archive, through which he has contributed to cancer research in radiology, while working in conjunction with the RSNA, the ACR, and other research groups.
“This has been a year of tremendous accomplishments with the launch of exciting projects, such as the Extensible Imaging Platform,” he says. “[This] will support sharing and collaboration of algorithms for image display, enhancement, and decision support as well as the Research RadLex Playbook and the Annotation and Image Markup standard for connecting human and machine ?knowledge’ with medical images.”
9) Leonard Berlin, MD, FACR
Chairman of the Department of Radiology at Rush North Shore Medical Center, Skokie, Ill; Professor of Radiology at Rush Medical College, Chicago ? first mention
“I am a very fortunate person in having been selected to be among the top 10 radiologists by Medical Imaging‘s readers. No greater award or honor can be bestowed on a person than recognition by that person’s peers,” says Berlin, who is doing what he loves. “I also am fortunate to have entered the medical profession—a profession that is synonymous with, and dedicated to, service to society and all its members.”
For Berlin, radiology is more than just a career. Active in the field for nearly 50 years, he feels privileged to have witnessed the revolutionary new technology that has exponentially advanced the modality. He has authored more than 275 scientific articles as well as a book, and has delivered more than 260 lectures internationally on the topic of radiologic malpractice and risk management.
Berlin believes the golden years of radiology are still ahead, and he is eager to embrace them: “I hope to continue for many years what I am doing right now: practicing radiology, learning new things every day, and educating my colleagues.”
10) M. Linda Sutherland, MD
Director of Breast Imaging at St. Joseph Comprehensive Breast Center, Orange, Calif ? first mention
Making the Top 10 took first-timer Sutherland off guard. “I was absolutely stunned when I received the announcement regarding being ranked in the Medical Imaging Industry Top 10,” she says. “I had no idea that I was even in the running!”
Clearly, her reputation precedes her. Sutherland is one of the founding members of the “Team Approach to Breast Cancer Care,” a multispecialty Comprehensive Breast Center in Southern California. “I am very excited about our Comprehensive Breast Center’s future home in the new Cancer Center, which is currently under construction,” Sutherland says. “There, we will be able to extend our mission of patient/family-centered cancer care in a total, comprehensive environment where state-of-the-art, patient-centered diagnosis and treatment will be delivered in a warm and supportive environment.”
Sutherland also collaborates with the Center’s equipment manufacturers, testing new devices and software, in order to help advance products, with the ultimate goal of making diagnosis more certain and treatment more tolerable for patients.
1) Therese “Terry” Duggan-Jahns RT(R)(M)(CT)(MR)
Director of Clinical Services at the Center for Diagnostic Imaging-CDI Northwest, Federal Way and Lakewood, Wash ? #2 in 2006
“I have been fortunate to work in a profession that I am passionate about and that continues to challenge me,”? Duggan-Jahns says. “I have had the privilege to work with a great team of co-workers, radiologists, and administrators throughout my career.”
Duggan-Jahns’ professional accomplishments include involvement as a part-time instructor for Tacoma Community College’s Radiologic Technologist Program for the past 27 years. She also is a member of the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists Advanced MRI Certification Exam and the Society for Magnetic Resonance Technologists Education committees. Duggan-Jahns is quick to thank those who helped her achieve her professional goals. “I am proud to share this honor with everyone who has encouraged and inspired me and who has supported me throughout my career,” she says, “especially my spouse, Jeff Jahns, and our two daughters, SarahAnne and Rhiannon. Without their support, I would not be where I am today.”
2) Nancy M. Swanston, CNMT, PET, RT(N)
Manager of Diagnostic Imaging in the Section of Clinical PET, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston ? #3 in 2006
Swanston manages one of the largest PET/CT programs in the nation. “I am flattered to be known as one of the top specialists in the field for my contributions in nuclear medicine and PET,” she says. “I am so proud to be a part of a team that truly strives for excellence in patient care.”
Swanston credits her team with the success of the PET/CT imaging program at MD Anderson, which supports the diagnosis, treatment, and management of cancer patients. “Without their support, we could not accomplish our mission,” she says. “I also am excited to have been part of an effort to continually educate about PET/CT and clinical nuclear medicine as modalities.”
In her current position, she supervises operations more than five PET and PET/CT systems that serve 45-plus patients each day. The coming years will see Swanston building the practice in the PET facility, adding new services to the program designed to complement existing offerings to patients in an effort always to improve the quality of care. She also will be a contributing author for a textbook to be published later this year.
3) Daniel C. Fernandez, RT(R)(MR)
MRI Technologist++, Florida Radiology Imaging (FRi), Lake Mary, Fla ? #7 in 2006
“Being chosen by the readers of Medical Imaging magazine is an honor and drives me to work even harder to earn that trust,” says Fernandez, who approaches his career with energy and enthusiasm. By traveling and looking for the moments of life that “take your breath away,” Fernandez has been successful at maintaining a vigor and passion for his career. Professionally, he is working on creating even better protocols to aid in the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, an area of MRI he believes can be improved. He also is planning his next expedition: hiking to Machu Pichu, Peru, followed by a climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.
4) M. Robert De Jong, Jr, RDMS, RDCS, RVT
Radiology Technical Manager of Ultrasound at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore ? #3 in 2006
After 30 years in radiology, De Jong still loves to share his skills and knowledge with sonographers, sonologists, and radiologists at local and national meetings—as much as he enjoys interacting with patients, teaching students, and mentoring staff. “I am blessed to work with some of the best sonographers, radiologists, and radiology imaging technologists in the world. They keep me motivated and continue to believe in me, pushing me to new limits,” De Jong says.
He is active in the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (SDMS), and the RSNA. De Jong also works with ultrasound manufacturers to evaluate new products and transducers. Last year, he acted as a facilitator for a diverse group of radiology employees, including front-desk personnel, escorts, nurses, and technologists; and in 1996, he was honored with the Joan Baker Pioneer Award at the 13th Annual Conference of the SDMS.
5) Tracey Adams, RT, RDMS
Ultrasound Manager at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center ? #6 in 2006
For more than three decades, Adams has been part of the team at Cincinnati Children’s. She was made manager of the ultrasound department 19 years ago, and is delighted to work with the team of sonographers that she has assembled. “After 29 years in the field of ultrasound, it’s hard to pinpoint [which accomplishments I’m most proud of], but in those years, I have had the opportunity to work with the most wonderful people—my staff is the greatest,” she says. “I have learned so much from our physicians and fellows—which makes my job very interesting. I am very proud to be a part of the Medical Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.” She also finds working with children—and doing her part to improve their health—as being one of the most rewarding aspects of her job.
6) Bernadette E. Garofola, MEd, RT(R)(CT)(T), ARRT
Chief Radiation Therapist, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia ? first mention
An involved professional—Garofola is a board member for the Philadelphia Society of Radiologic Technologists (PhilaSRT), the only active city affiliate within the ASRT—she is “at once stunned, thrilled, and humbled to have been voted this honor by [her] colleagues.”
Bringing more than 41 years’ experience as a radiographer and 23 years as a radiation therapist, Garofola’s current role has afforded her the opportunity to address the many challenges of an innovative, research-based, patient-oriented, and technologically sophisticated work environment. “The integration of groundbreaking cancer research in the delivery of state-of-the-art patient care, while intensely demanding, has been professionally rewarding,” she says. “We also have a Student Day Program that has grown to more than 600 participants, and we sponsor two seminars for imaging professionals in the Philadelphia metropolitan region.” Garofola, who is currently on the ballot for ASRT secretary/treasurer, looks to earn Fellow Status.
7) Jill Blackburn, RT(R)(CT)
CT Technologist, SimonMed Imaging, Phoenix ? #4 in 2006
Blackburn recently moved to a full-service outpatient imaging center, where she will be part of the team performing the first examinations with the facility’s new 64-slice scanner. “So many amazing changes are occurring in the field, and I look forward to learning about—and being part of—all of the new applications that will develop in the coming years,” she says. “I have been privileged to work with an incredible team of doctors and technologists, who were always willing to share their knowledge and insight with me.”
Blackburn put her strong background in the development and implementation of CT scan protocols and research studies requiring CT imaging to help develop a 12-month CT certificate program, which recently entered its second year. “We’ve had such an incredible response that we’ll be offering more classes next year to accommodate all of the students,” she says. Her passion for the field is contagious. “My son got married last year, and I convinced my new daughter-in-law to change her major to radiography!”
8) Tracy Cothran, BSRT(R)(M)
Clinical Program Manager of Breast Imaging Services at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance ? #9 in 2006
“I am most pleased with the breast imaging department that I am a part of,” Cothran says. “I truly believe each individual is fantastic at what he or she does—and together we make a great team.” In addition to her responsibilities as the clinical program manager, Cothran serves as a full-time mammography technologist while maintaining all quality control for mammography and stereotactic biopsy accreditation.
Cothran assisted in the development of the Breast Brachytherapy program at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, which recently received a large donation that will enable the team to develop a mobile digital mammography program. “I am looking forward to taking high-quality mammography services to many women that are not currently receiving annual screening mammography,” she says. “I believe we can really make a difference.”
9) Gary Goble
Senior Business Analyst, Radiology Manager, and PACS Coordinator at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas ? first mention
A Navy veteran, Goble has been a radiographer for more than 20 years, with experience in diagnostic, trauma, CT, and PACS. “Being recognized by peers whom you respect is a feeling beyond description. We are a group that can honestly claim to be engaged in one of the most interesting, challenging, and fulfilling occupations existing in the modern world,” he says. “We help the sick get better as a direct result of what we do every day, and that makes the long hours and hectic workday 100% worthwhile!”
This proud father is delighted to be working with an organization that he says provides a truly interdisciplinary atmosphere focused on innovation and superior quality health care for the community. “The medical community’s transition to PACS is inevitable, and the management at UT Southwestern encourages its staff to develop their skills and interact across a spectrum of the many disciplines providing the support necessary for top-quality health care,” Goble says. “Being a member of both radiology and PACS provides me with the unique opportunity to be involved in nearly every facet of medical imaging and its very positive impact on health care.”