RSNA 2021 Plenary Program

Plan to attend the RSNA 2021 opening session and notable plenary sessions

The plenary program for RSNA 2021 boasts exciting changes to welcome attendees back to Chicago. Notably, the opening session will be held in Arie Crown Theater at McCormick Place on Sunday, Nov. 28, at 4 p.m. Central time (CT). Other meeting activities will begin Sunday morning, including science and education sessions and the Technical Exhibits.

Mary Mahoney

Opening Session Encourages Radiologists to Redefine Radiology

In her President’s Address, Mary C. Mahoney, MD, will discuss what Redefining Radiology means to her.

“The pandemic has uncovered myriad issues in our profession, from inequities in patient access to care to inefficiencies in our workflows,” Dr. Mahoney says. “It would be a wasted opportunity to revert to previous operations unreflectively. Rather, we need innovative ways to conduct our work more effectively and empathically.”

Dr. Mahoney will discuss new ideas and technologies that are redefining what it means to be a radiologist today. It is especially critical to engage in discovering global solutions to challenges facing the medical imaging community while maintaining quality-based and patient-focused care, according to Dr. Mahoney.

Equally important, she says, is moving forward with a mindset of collaboration, civility, inclusiveness and diversity.

Dr. Mahoney is RSNA president and the Benjamin Felson Endowed Chair and Professor of Radiology at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine in Ohio. Since 2016, Dr. Mahoney has been chief of imaging services at UC Health in Cincinnati and is on the medical staff of several Cincinnati area institutions, including UC Medical Center, University Pointe Surgical Hospital, and West Chester Hospital in West Chester, OH.

A nationally recognized proponent and staunch advocate of patient-centered radiology, Dr. Mahoney has been involved in numerous initiatives campaigning to encourage and facilitate radiologists’ meaningful engagement in the patient experience.

James Merlino

Service is at the Core of Exemplary Patient Experience

James Merlino, MD, will continue the conversation during the opening session and discuss the strategies employed at Cleveland Clinic to create a state-of-the-art patient experience, and how those methods can be adopted by radiologists everywhere.

As chief clinical transformation officer at Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Merlino is responsible for supporting its vision to become the best place to receive care anywhere. Dr. Merlino oversees the Office of Patient Experience, Enterprise Safety and Quality and the Office of Continuous Improvement. With over 30 years of health care experience, Dr. Merlino rejoined Cleveland Clinic in December 2019 following nearly five years as president and chief medical officer of the strategic consulting division at Press Ganey.

A renowned expert in improving the patient experience, Dr. Merlino is frequently invited to speak on strategies to redefine care around the needs of the patient. He is the author of Service Fanatics: How to Build Superior Patient Experience the Cleveland Clinic Way, published in 2014. 

James Brink

Radiology’s Role in Value-Based Health Care

The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the need for quality health care at an affordable cost that is accessible to all, notes Monday plenary speaker James A. Brink, MD.

“If we choose to enter this arena whole-heartedly,” Dr. Brink says, “our future state is one in which health care stakeholders worldwide understand the critical role that radiology plays in advancing quality care at an affordable cost for disease prevention, detection, management, therapy, and monitoring.”

Dr. Brink will discuss the importance of highlighting the impact of radiology services on patient outcomes and quality of life while demonstrating a professional responsibility for appropriate use of medical imaging and image-guided services based on evidence-based guidelines.

Dr. Brink is radiologist-in-chief at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Juan M. Taveras Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School. He earned his medical degree at Indiana University before completing his residency and fellowship at MGH in 1990. He joined the faculty at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University School of Medicine where he rose to the rank of associate professor prior to joining the faculty at Yale University in 1997. Dr. Brink served as chair of the Yale Department of Diagnostic Radiology prior to returning to MGH. 

Image Interpretation Session

RSNA’s popular Image Interpretation Session will be held Monday afternoon as a single session covering multiple subspecialties. This cross-disciplinary session brings the opportunity to test your knowledge beyond your area of expertise. Follow along with a panel of experts identifying abnormal findings critical to making accurate diagnoses and recommending additional studies or procedures.

Michele Johnson
Christine Porath

Ensuring an Inclusive, Respectful Workplace

Radiologists are increasingly aware of the importance of diversity and inclusivity in the workplace in order to create a welcoming environment for both professionals and patients.

During Tuesday’s plenary session, Michele Johnson, MD, and Christine Porath, PhD, will share specific, actionable ways in which radiologists can help to ensure professional, equitable patient care and a thriving work environment.

Drawing on her life experience as a Black woman in radiology, Dr. Johnson will suggest how all radiologists might live and work responsibly. “When people who do the same work can be treated differently,” she says, “this is the most difficult to change.”

Dr. Johnson is a professor of radiology and biomedical imaging and of neurosurgery, and she serves as director of interventional neuroradiology at Yale Medicine in New Haven, CT. Dr. Johnson earned her medical degree and completed her residency at Temple University and completed a fellowship in neuroradiology at the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania, both in Philadelphia.

Dr. Porath is a tenured professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. She is the author of Mastering Community (forthcoming), Mastering Civility, and co-author of The Cost of Bad Behavior. She received her PhD from Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

New Game Show Themed Plenary Session

RSNA will debut a new interactive plenary session on Wednesday featuring an exciting game show format. This team-based competition will invite residents, institutions, countries or other groups to play as teams for a fun break from the action and the opportunity to earn RSNA 2021 fame and bragging rights.

Iris Gibbs

Improving Diversity in Radiation Oncology

Radiation oncology continues to rank among the least diverse specialties by gender and race/ethnicity, according to plenary speaker Iris C. Gibbs, MD. And trends in Black radiation oncology faculty representation show steady declines since 2006, despite increases in other medical fields.

These trends are not likely to improve until strategies to confront structural racism, provide access to early exposure to the field, improve opportunities for leadership and eliminate other barriers to entry are addressed,” Dr. Gibbs says. She will discuss strategies to eliminate these barriers during her Wednesday afternoon presentation.

Dr. Gibbs is a professor of radiation oncology and neurosurgery and associate dean of MD admissions at Stanford Medicine in California. She has served in several educational leadership roles within the institution and nationally, and is a champion of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Dr. Gibbs’ clinical and research areas of expertise are pediatric and adult brain tumors and robotic radiosurgery. She was the founding co-director of the Stanford Cyberknife Radiosurgery Program for over a decade where she helped to build world-renowned clinical programs in innovative radiation treatments for patients with central nervous system tumors and robotic radiosurgery. Dr. Gibbs earned her medical degree and completed her residency at Stanford Medicine

Cynthia McCollough
Joel Fletcher
Guang Hong Chen

Together We Can Make a Difference

Thursday’s RSNA/AAPM Symposium will highlight the successful collaboration between radiologists and physicists toward technical developments and clinical translations in medical imaging. In the session moderated by Guang-Hong Chen, PhD, Cynthia McCollough, PhD, and Joel G. Fletcher, MD, will discuss the importance of imaging technology innovation to today’s radiology practice and providing optimum patient care.

“With the ever increasing technological complexity in medical imaging including the advent of artificial intelligence in radiology, the partnership between radiology and medical physics/engineering is even more important and it needs to be further cultivated and enhanced in next generation of radiologists and medical physicists,” Dr. Chen says.

Dr. Chen is a tenured professor of medical physics and radiology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His research focuses on the integration of multidisciplinary knowledge and skills from mathematics, physics, and engineering into medical imaging to generate new methods and devices for medical diagnosis, image-guided interventions, and image-guided radiation therapy.

Dr. Chen served AAPM as the chair of Annual Meeting Scientific Program. He is currently chair of the RSNA Physics Sub-Specialty Committee and deputy editor of Medical Physics.

Dr. McCollough is a professor of biomedical engineering and medical physics at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Rochester, MN, and a past president of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM). As the co-founder and director of Mayo Clinic’s CT Clinical Innovation Center, Dr. McCollough has contributed extensively to the field of dual-energy CT and is a leader in the advancement of cardiac CT.

Dr. McCollough received her master’s and doctorate degrees in medical physics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Dr. Fletcher is a professor of radiology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Rochester MN, where he serves as co-founder and medical director of the CT Clinical Innovation Center. His research focuses on the diagnosis and staging of Chrohn’s disease and CT dose reduction.

Dr. Fletcher earned his medical degree at Harvard Medical School in Boston and completed his residency at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and a fellowship in gastrointestinal radiology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.

For More Information

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