Tag Archives: Radiology

UMKC alum works to promote breast cancer awareness, diversify field

Dr. Amy Patel leads KC area Breast Care Center while mentoring students

Growing up in Chillicothe, Missouri, a town of fewer than 10,000 people, Amy Patel didn’t see many physicians that looked like her.

“There was only one primary care woman physician in my hometown and there weren’t any women who looked like me, a woman of color. From a young age I realized there was such a need for women practicing specialized care, but especially for women of color,” Patel said.

That observation sparked a fire and passion in Patel that has continued to grow. Patel went on to study medicine at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and graduated from the school’s six-year medical program. During medical school she completed a rotation with a breast radiologist at Washington University in St. Louis, which was a turning point in her decision to specialize in breast cancer radiology.

After completing a breast imaging fellowship at Washington University, Patel began her professional career in Boston, and even found time to work as a faculty member at Harvard. But eventually, Patel felt called to return to Missouri.

“I always wanted to come back to the Midwest to assume a leadership position where I could make a difference and make an impact,” Patel explained.

In July of 2018 Patel was named medical director of the Breast Imaging Center at Liberty Hospital. Since her arrival she’s helped grow the program, adding an additional breast imaging specialist, starting a plastic surgery program and partnering with the UMKC School of Medicine to launch a Breast Radiology elective course. Patel teaches the course, which involves a rotation designed to introduce medical students to a range of screening and diagnostic breast imaging modalities to multidisciplinary care. She hopes this course will help others, especially women and minorities, become more interested in the profession.

“The percentages of women entering the radiology field have remained around 27% a year, and those numbers for underrepresented minorities are even lower. Right now, there are so many opportunities for students and I’m hopeful in the future, we will start to see growth in the percentages that have remained stagnant for many years,” Patel said.

In addition to helping launch the new rotation, Patel says one of the initiatives she’s most excited about is a newly launched genetics program within Liberty Hospital.

“Knowing your family history is very important because that could potentially warrant genetic consultation and then possible testing. That is why it’s so important for a hospital system to have a genetics program and that’s why we’ve worked really hard to have one here,” she adds.

While familial genetic indicators may be out of our control, Patel says everyone can proactively take steps to lower their risk of breast cancer.

“A healthy diet is important, maintaining a body mass index that is within recommended limits is key because we know obesity is a risk factor for breast cancer. Moderate alcohol consumption and not smoking are also important ways to lower your risk,” Patel said.

Regular screenings are also key in the fight against breast cancer. Patel says screening rates among women plummeted into the single digits during the pandemic due to the pause of routine screenings in Spring and early Summer of 2020 under advisement of the CDC. While the numbers have started to rebound, they’re still down about 13% compared to pre-pandemic.

“I always wanted to come back to the Midwest to assume a leadership position where I could make a difference and make an impact.” — Amy Patel

 

Dr. Amy Patel looks at images in a lab

“We are particularly worried about women of color, who tend to be the ones with more barriers when it comes to access and education. If screening rates don’t pick back up, we are worried that disparity could widen even further so it’s really going to take the entire breast cancer community to come together and encourage patients of all backgrounds to get screened,” Patel said.

Patel says October is a good time to get screened and encourage friends and family to do so as well.

“Breast Cancer Awareness Month is not just about raising money for research; the awareness component is equally as important, and I love to see specialists coming together and encouraging others to go and get your mammogram.”

School of Medicine announces academic appointments

The UMKC School of Medicine has announced four recent appointments to academic leadership positions: John Borsa, M.D., chair of the Department of Radiology; Adam Algren, M.D., chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine; Jennifer Elliott, M.D., interim chair of the Department of Anesthesiology; and Molly Uhlenhake, D.O., director of the Continuing Care Clinic clerkship.

Borsa adds the role of the school’s academic chair of radiology to his current position as department chair at Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City. A board certified vascular interventional radiologist, he is a national expert in procedures related to percutaneous treatment of venous thromboembolic disease.

A fellow of the Society of Interventional Radiology, he also is a peer reviewed author and international lecturer in his field. He has been honored three times as teacher of the year by residents and five times as a distinguished faculty presenter.

Borsa completed medical school and an internship at the University of Manitoba, and his radiology residency at the Mayo Clinic. He also completed an interventional radiology fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle before joining the staff of Saint Luke’s Hospital in 2011.

Adam Algren, M.D.Algren, a 2001 graduate of the UMKC School of Medicine, has served as interim chair of emergency medicine since January. He is also chair of the University Health Physicians Board of Directors.

A member of the UMKC departments of emergency medicine and pediatrics since 2007, Algren has served as the chair of the School of Medicine’s Council on Selection and on the Truman Medical Centers Board of Directors.

He completed his emergency medicine residency and served as chief resident at TMC. Fellowship trained in medical toxicology at the Emory University/CDC program, Algren also served as a clinical instructor in the Emory University emergency medicine department.

Elliott, JenniferIn addition to her new role as interim chair of anesthesiology, Elliott currently serves as medical director of the Pain Management Clinic at Saint Luke’s Hospital. A 1996 UMKC School of Medicine graduate, she has served for many years as a member of the residency education committee in the radiology department.

After completing her anesthesiology residency and a fellowship in pain management at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Elliott joined the staff at Saint Luke’s Hospital. She has been a member of the hospital’s Institutional Review Board, a member of the UMKC School of Medicine Physician Promotions Committee, and the physician chair of the Saint Luke’s Health System Opioid Stewardship Committee. She completed the UMKC Physician Leadership Development Program in 2018.

Elliott has also written numerous articles and chapters on topics in pain medicine and is the primary editor of an acute pain management handbook published in 2011.

Uhlenhake, MollyUhlenhake takes on her director’s role in the school’s Continuing Care Clinic, having previously served on the Council of Selections as vice chair and the scholarship selection committee as chair. She is currently working to develop a multidisciplinary LGBT+ clinic at TMC, where she directs primary care services.

A member of the School of Medicine docent team, Uhlenhake is also medical director of Refugee and Immigration services at the Kansas City Health Department and medical director of community outreach for TMC. She is a core faculty member for the Internal Medicine-Pediatrics residency program at TMC and for Teen Primary Care at Children’s Mercy Kansas City.

After graduating medical school at Des Moines University in Iowa, Uhlenhake completed her internal medicine-pediatrics residency the UMKC School of Medicine, where she also served chief resident. Before joining the staff at UMKC and TMC, she served at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and was the medical director of adolescent medicine at the High Street Clinic in Denver.

Patel chosen to lead section of American College of Radiology

Patel, Amy
Amy Patel, M.D. ’11

Amy Patel, M.D. ’11, was elected chair of the American College of Radiology’s Young and Early Career Professional Section at this year’s ACR Annual Meeting.

The section comprises more than 6,000 young U.S. radiologists, defined as 8 years or less out of training or under the age of 40. Patel, recognized nationally for her use of social media among radiologists, is the section’s first chair from Missouri.

Patel is medical director of women’s imaging at Liberty Hospital and a clinical assistant professor at the UMKC School of Medicine. In 2018, she addressed the Radiological Society of North America’s Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting on her use of social media to mentor and connect young radiologists. She also is active in the fight against breast cancer, in raising awareness and in raising money for research and better treatment.

Dr. Rosado de Christenson chosen as 2018 ARRS gold medalist

Dr. Rosado de Christenson

Melissa L. Rosado de Christenson, M.D., professor of radiology, has been named recipient of the American Roentgen Ray Society Gold Medal. It is the highest honor awarded for distinguished service to radiology.

The award will be presented during the ARRS 2018 Annual Meeting opening ceremonies on Sunday, April 22, in Washington, D.C.

Rosado de Christenson serves as section chief of thoracic imaging at Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City.

She retired from active duty in the United States Air Force as a colonel in 2001 after more than 25 years of military service. She is a graduate of the charter class of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD, where she received her MD degree and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. Continued >>>

Brandt Wible, M.D., appointed interim chair of radiology

Brandt Wible, M.D.

School of Medicine Dean Steven L. Kanter, M.D., has appointed Brandt Wible, M.D., interim chair of the Department of Radiology effective April 1, 2018. Under Wible’s leadership, the Department of Radiology will continue its important role in the School of Medicine’s undergraduate and postgraduate education and research programs.

Wible received his M.D. from the Rush Medical College. He completed his residency in diagnostic radiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin and a fellowship in interventional radiology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Wible is a former United States Peace Corps Volunteer and is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications and textbook chapters and recently published a second edition of a textbook on interventional procedures in radiology. His clinical interests include oncologic and vascular imaging and treatment and clinical research at Saint Luke’s Plaza and Lee’s Summit Hospitals.

Kanter expressed his thanks and appreciation to Jeffrey Kunin, M.D., for his leadership as interim chair of the UMKC School of Medicine from 2016 to 2018.

Celebrating lives saved by TMC lung cancer screening

Dr. Justin Stowell, a radiology resident at Truman Medical Center, talked about the success of an early lung cancer screening program he leads.

The UMKC Health Sciences District marked Lung Cancer Awareness Month on Thursday with “Smokin’ Out Lung Cancer,” a midday event that outlined the district’s early lung cancer screening, treatment and prevention efforts, led by Truman Medical Centers.

TMC’s screening program emphasizes early detection and treatment for longtime smokers and ex-smokers. The event Thursday celebrated its patients’ and doctors’ success in committing to healthy living and saving lives. The screening program uses low-dose CT scans and is the only one in the nation to be driven by resident physicians, who are supervised by faculty from the UMKC School of Medicine.

Among the speakers at the event was Dr. Justin Stowell, the radiology resident who started the screening program and who has compiled statistics on its early success. When lung cancer is detected in its early stage, he said, cure rates of 70 to 80 percent are possible.

And besides catching lung cancer early, Stowell said TMC’s  program has had success in getting more than one-fifth of the people tested to quit smoking.

Lung cancer is responsible for 155,000 U.S. deaths a year, more than breast, prostate and colon cancer combined, which emphasizes the need for awareness events such as “Smokin’ Out Lung Cancer.” Stowell also noted that Medicare covers the early screening for many longtime smokers, and insurance companies have been adding coverage as the success of the screenings has been demonstrated.

The event, which included a barbecue lunch, was attended by some lung cancer survivors who had benefited from the screenings and subsequent treatment or surgery to remove their cancer. A video was shown that told the survival story of Thaddus Owens, who was at the luncheon.

The event also drew some smokers whose doctors had encouraged them to attend. One of them was 64-year-old Carl Kendall, who said he had tapered off in recent years but still smoked at least half a pack a day.

“I started smoking in 1968,” he said. “I have a doctor’s appointment next week, and I’m going to ask about this screening.”

Charlie Shields, TMC president and CEO, kicked off the presentations. Besides highlighting the screening program’s success, he noted that “Smokin’ Out Lung Cancer” was the first event sponsored by the UMKC Health Sciences District—a newly formed, premier academic health district made up of collaborating health care institutions on Hospital Hill.

Representatives of the School of Pharmacy presented information on smoking and lung cancer.

 “Truman Medical Centers is proud to be part of this exciting partnership,” Shields said. “The UMKC Health Sciences District is proving to do what it was intended, and that is to improve the health of the community in a variety of ways.”

The UMKC Health Sciences District is a cooperative partnership formed by 12 neighboring health care institutions on Hospital Hill: University of Missouri- Kansas City and its School of Medicine, School of Nursing and Health Studies, School of Pharmacy and School of Dentistry; Truman Medical Centers; Children’s Mercy; Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department; Missouri Department of Mental Health Center for Behavioral Medicine; Jackson County Medical Examiner; Diastole Scholars’ Center; and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City. 

 

“Smokin’ Out Lung Cancer”

The UMKC Health Sciences District kicked off November’s Lung Cancer Awareness Month by hosting “Smokin’ Out Lung Cancer.” Truman Medical Centers took the lead in the BBQ luncheon event, which raised awareness about lung cancer and lung cancer screening for trainees, faculty, staff, students and patients from across Hospital Hill. It also doubled as a celebration of the initial successes of TMC’s lung cancer screening program — the only resident-driven program in the country. For photos of the event, check our events page.

In the first 18 months after forming the multidisciplinary lung screening program, residents and fellows from UMKC successfully screened over 470 patients — a number that continues to grow. The cancer detection rate based on preliminary data is 27 cancers/1000 scans, which is more than five times the detection rate reported nationally in the ACR National Radiology Data Registry. Moreover, the majority of the lung cancers identified through the TMC program have been found at early, treatable stages, which is the ultimate goal of the screening CT.

The Radiology Department also saw more than half of the screened patients enter the path to living smoke-free. More than 22 percent of these patients QUIT SMOKING and the remainder decreased their habit — all within 18 months of screening.

For more information on the event and lung cancer awareness month, click here and check out the following interview with KSHB.com

Students win awards in Missouri ACP poster competition

missouriacp_award_anand
Gaurav Anand won the student poster presentation competition at a recent meeting of the Missouri chapter of the American College of Physicians.

Two students received awards for their research posters at the Missouri chapter of the American College of Physicians annual meetings at Osage Beach. The meetings took place Sept. 15-18.

Fifth-year student Gaurav Anand captured the first prize and Danielle Cunningham, also a fifth-year student, placed third in the student poster presentations.

missouriacp_award_cunningham
Danielle Cunningham

Anand conducted his research at the Vision Research Center with Peter Koulen, Ph.D., Director of Basic Research and Felix and Carmen Sabates Missouri Endowed Chair in Vision Research, and Christa Montgomery, Ph.D., Research Scientist at the Vision Research Center. He titled his winning poster, Pharmacological control of oxidative stress-mediated effects on endocannabinoid signaling pathways.

“I was interested in the field of neuroscience and ophthalmology,” Anand said. “I wanted to start conducting basic science research in order to further explore my interest in these areas before attempting to conduct clinical research.”

With his first place award, Anand is now eligible to take part in the poster competition at the national ACP meeting next March in San Diego.

“Working alongside two outstanding mentors, Dr. Koulen and Dr. Montgomery, I have gained an immense amount of experience and have learned everything from performing basic science techniques to using complex imaging and data analysis programs,” Anand said. “I have also become familiar with the process of compiling data, graphs, and other information in order to create a presentable research poster. All in all, the experience I have gained will be very beneficial for the research projects I conduct in the future.”

Cunningham placed third with her poster, Neuroradiologic characteristics of astrobastoma and systemic review of the literature: 2 new cases and 125 cases reported in 59 publications.

At the meeting, five students and 13 residents from the School of Medicine presented posters. The Missouri ACP competition drew 20 student posters and 80 posters from residents of medical schools throughout the state.