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  • About RSNA
  • 2016 Report of the Chairman of the Board of Directors

  • RSNA enjoyed another historic year in 2016 as the Society secured a foothold for its next century at the forefront of radiology. The organization continued achieving its strategic goals to advance the radiological sciences, foster the development of new technologies, offer education in a variety of media, facilitate informatics strategies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare, and serve as a worldwide leader in radiology. The Board approved a refreshed RSNA Strategic Plan for 2016-2021 at its retreat in January, reflecting new initiatives and progress on existing ones, ensuring continued focus on future success.

    RSNA’s 102nd Annual Meeting

    RSNA 2016 presented exciting sessions designed to push radiologists to think “Beyond Imaging” and recognize the larger role they play in the healthcare landscape. The RSNA/AAPM Symposium focused on precision imaging in medicine and Special Interest Sessions covered Image Wisely® and Image Gently®; value over volume in patient care; psychiatric neuroscience; an introduction to QIBA; quality, clinical care and effectiveness in image-guided therapy; and understanding the new American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines. A number of Controversies and Hot Topics sessions were also presented, including a late-breaking Hot Topic session, “Zika—What the Radiologist Needs to Know.”

    New annual meeting program additions included the presentation of late-breaking, high-impact clinical trials. Qualifying abstracts were peer-reviewed by a multi-disciplinary subcommittee. Three studies were featured in the dedicated Special Interest Session allowing for longer, more in-depth presentations than are possible in the traditional format. Authors of the selected abstracts also were invited to request fasttrack consideration by Radiology. Studies are being evaluated independently for inclusion in the journal. Another new Special Interest Session, proposed by the Academy of Radiology Research and its member societies, prepared investigators for the “Shark Tank,” to successfully pitch product commercialization proposals to potential investors. And one of the Monday BOOST (Bolstering Oncoradiologic and Oncoradiotherapeutic Skills for Tomorrow) courses offered a “Meet the Professor” session for radiation oncology residents.

    RSNA partnered with other societies including the Society of Abdominal Imaging (SAR), the French Society of Abdominal Imaging (SIAD), the Korean Society of Abdominal Radiology (KSAR) and the Japanese Society of Abdominal Imaging (JSAI) to develop a symposium addressing new topics in liver imaging held on Friday of the annual meeting.

    The redesigned Learning Center offered a number of new features, including CME Learning Checkpoints that highlighted award winning hard-copy exhibits from RSNA 2015; the Perception Lab research supported by the NCI; and the Eyes of Watson machine learning demonstration.

    Quality Improvement (QI) Storyboard presenters at RSNA 2016 were eligible for a new award established by the Board to recognize outstanding hard-copy entries. The QI Storyboard poster walk was available again in 2016.

    Also at RSNA 2016, the Society continued its “Country Presents” sessions, spotlighting the Netherlands and Turkey as partners with the Society in improving medical imaging and patient care around the globe.

    Due to the growing popularity of the Virtual Meeting option for meeting attendees and others, virtual offerings were expanded to 90 courses during RSNA 2016 and on-demand courses were available for three weeks following the annual meeting. CME was available for live sessions.

    The redesigned RSNA Connections Center was a hit as attendees gathered to network, relax, shop and learn. The Discovery Theater in Connections Center offered entertainment and informal presentations throughout the week.


    The Board began implementation of RSNA’s Digital Roadmap to enhance and expand the Society’s digital resources available to members and partners. The plan includes developing a mechanism to track individual professional contributions. A steering committee was established to determine content and oversight, and the full roadmap will be rolled out over several years.

    Collaborations and Support

    The Board endorsed the “Think A-Head” campaign of the Image Gently® Alliance. The new initiative promotes awareness of considerations in imaging minor head trauma in children and seeks to establish patient size-specific imaging techniques and protocols for head CT.

    RSNA and the Asian Oceanian Society of Radiology (AOSR) sponsored a new joint program, the RSNA/AOSR Symposium, which addressed a growing health issue of concern across continents: liver cancer. The symposium, held first at the Asian Oceanian Congress of Radiology (AOCR) in August in Beijing, was repeated at RSNA 2016, featuring two speakers from each society discussing the role of imaging in liver transplantation. The societies are also collaborating on a joint International Visiting Professor program.

    RSNA and the American Society of Neuroradiology (ASNR) launched a three-year pilot training course on comparative effectiveness research (CER). The RSNA/ASNR CER Training Program goal is to introduce junior faculty and trainees in radiology to the methodology and tools for performing CER. RadiologyInfo.org, the public information website sponsored by RSNA and ACR, saw record usage throughout the year with an average of more than 1.2 million visits per month. Following improvements to the design and mobile access throughout the year, visits to the patient website in October hit an all-time high of more than 1.5 million.

    RSNA around the Globe

    RSNA and the American College of Radiology are developing an “ESR Meets the U.S.A.” program to be presented at the European Congress of Radiology in 2017. The program will highlight both societies’ initiatives to further radiology research, clinical applications and patient care.

    In November, the Society was pleased to coordinate with the European Society of Radiology and the American College of Radiology to sponsor the fifth International Day of Radiology (IDoR), with a breast imaging theme this year. Other breast imaging organizations and initiatives were involved in IDoR such as the Society of Breast Imaging and the European Society of Breast Imaging.

    RSNA’s President, Board, speakers and staff represented the Society at 16 radiology society meetings around the world.

    A strong relationship between RSNA and the Sociedade Paulista de Radiologia (SPR) continued in 2016 with RSNA’s second co-sponsorship of the Jornada Paulista de Radiologia (JPR) in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The 2016 congress included presentations from SPR and RSNA radiologists on a variety of traditional organ-based systems as well as professionalism. Each session was delivered in the speaker's native language and translated into Portuguese, Spanish or English. A third joint meeting is planned for 2018. Education RSNA and AAPM have collaborated to produce 45 online physics modules designed to educate radiologists and radiology residents on important concepts in physics. These modules have logged over 100,000 completions since they were first made available in 2009. RSNA and AAPM are working together to ensure the modules provide the most current information. Teams from participating radiology departments, each led by one physicist and one diagnostic radiologist, will each review and update one of the modules. The modules will be updated over the next five years, with a goal to complete nine of the total 45 modules each year. Both organizations will provide honoraria to be paid to academic departments that review and update the modules.

    RSNA’s first Spotlight Course, Radiología de Urgencias: Curso Interactivo con Casos (Emergency Radiology: Interactive Course with Cases), was held in June in Cancun, Mexico, drawing more than 200 attendees from 17 countries including speakers, guests and company personnel. The course was conducted entirely in Spanish and was very well received. Building on its success, another course – focused on musculoskeletal imaging and ultrasound – will be held in Bogota, Colombia in 2017.

    Sixty-eight residency programs worldwide hold licenses for RSNA’s Diagnosis Live™ including six non- North American institutions. In 2015 Diagnosis Live sessions were introduced at international societies’ annual meetings, and in 2016 the technology was used in select sessions at radiology conferences held by Deutsche Röntgengesellschaft (DRG), the Society of Abdominal Radiology, the Society of Pediatric Radiology and the Association of University Radiologists.

    RSNA received Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) Accreditation with Commendation, extending to March 31, 2022.

    Publications and Communications

    Herbert Y. Kressel, MD, announced he will leave his post as Radiology editor at the end of 2017. The Board appointed a search committee, led by Mary C. Mahoney, MD, Board liaison for publications and communications, to find a new editor to succeed him. The Board announced in November that David A. Bluemke, MD, PhD, would succeed Dr. Kressel beginning in 2018.

    RSNA received a MarCom Platinum Award for its front-page article in the New York Times, “Scans of Brains Show an Array of Zika Effects,” and Gold Awards for the RSNA 2015 Annual Meeting Press Kit and for the website redesign of RadiologyInfo.org.

    Adding to a collection of RSNA position statements designed to aid RSNA members who need to respond to the media or the public about radiology-related topics that frequently receive prominent coverage in the news, the Board approved new statements on imaging of the prostate and safety of the developing fetus in medical imaging during pregnancy.

    In 2016, RSNA News launched two periodic departments: Member Spotlight, which highlights short interviews with a variety of members about their interests and their roles in RSNA, and Patient Focus, which features tips for being patient centered.

    Beginning in January 2017, members in training will be asked to notify RSNA if they would like to continue receiving RSNA News in print. Results from several surveys of resident and fellow members indicate that a majority of them prefer to read the newsmagazine online. The change also supports RSNA’s efforts to make environmentally conscious decisions.


    The Board approved the Radiology Informatics Committee’s proposal to release the Medical Imaging Resource Center (MIRC) for open-source development and call it the Medical Imaging Resource Community to reflect the change. The MIRC Clinical Trials Processor and Teaching Files System programs will become community-supported open source development projects. RSNA will maintain links to the source code registry, the MIRC documentation wiki and a user discussion group on its MIRC page.

    The Image Share Validation Testing Program completed its pilot testing cycle. The program builds on standards and test methods developed under IHE and expands them to provide a higher level of assurance of product compliance with standards that enable communication of imaging information between systems. A recognition lunch at RSNA 2016 honored successful vendor-participants in the program.

    Pilot Program

    In an effort to better serve members’ varied interests, RSNA is piloting special interest groups (SIGs). A 3-D Printing SIG will serve as a three-year pilot program to assess the viability of RSNA SIGs and to serve as a model for future programs. The 3-D Printing SIG launched its activities at RSNA 2016. To establish a SIG, a request from at least 25 current RSNA members will be required.

    Awards and Funding

    The Board approved increasing the number of Derek Harwood-Nash fellowships from three to four beginning in 2017. The program provides funding for promising international radiology scholars to study at North American institutions for a period of six to 12 weeks. The fellowship honors the memory of former RSNA Board of Directors member Derek C. Harwood-Nash, MD, ChB, DSc, who was a longtime goodwill ambassador for radiology and encouraged worldwide cooperation among radiologists. Established in 1998, the fellowship has been awarded to 36 fellows from 24 nations.

    The Board launched the RSNA Travel Awards Program designed to encourage young investigators to submit new research to the RSNA Scientific Program. Over 425 students, clinical trainees, and postdoctoral trainees received $500 travel awards for top-rated abstracts accepted for presentation at RSNA 2016.

    The Kuo York Chynn Neuroradiology Research Award—an annual award for the top neuroradiology research paper presented at the RSNA annual meeting—presented its first award of $3,000 at RSNA 2016.

    The R&E Foundation funded 101 grants totaling $4 million in 2016—the highest amount ever awarded by the Foundation. As of August 31, the Foundation’s Inspire-Innovate-Invest Campaign had raised $13.6 million, or 78% of its $17.5 million donation goal to fund grants in radiologic research and education.


    The Board of Directors approved appointments of numerous members to leadership positions throughout the organization as well as RSNA members to represent the Society in groups hosted by other radiology and medical societies. Volunteers generously give of their time to further the mission of RSNA, and we are incredibly grateful for their dedication.

    In consideration of RSNA’s significant Canadian membership the Board agreed to add members nominated by the Canadian Association of Radiology to each of the following committees: Education Council, Committee on Scientific Affairs, RSNA News Editorial Board and the Resident and Fellow Committee. Also to better reflect the Society’s worldwide membership, the Board approved a Bylaw amendment making members from outside North America eligible to be elected to RSNA vice president positions.

    Leadership Changes

    At the beginning of 2016 RSNA was pleased to welcome Matthew A. Mauro, MD, as the newest member of the RSNA Board of Directors. Dr. Mauro, an accomplished vascular interventional radiologist, assumed the role of Board Liaison for Information Technology and Annual Meeting.


    I am pleased to report that RSNA membership tops 54,000, with members from 136 countries around the globe. The work of the RSNA moves forward only with the immense support of its volunteers and I am proud to work with such dedicated professionals who so generously give of their time. On behalf of the Board I am grateful for the talent and generosity of all RSNA volunteers, and I promise that the Board will continue its work to provide RSNA members with quality education, technology and science with the ultimate goal to improve patient care.

    Vijay M. Rao, MD Chair, 2016 RSNA Board of Directors

    Vijay M. Rao, MD Chair, 2016 RSNA Board of Directors