A message from the Chair, Dr. Tom Grist: Service and Charity at the Heart of UW Radiology

Posted on July 2013

Service is an important mission of our department, along with excellence in clinical care, innovation in research, and educational leadership. Service to radiology affiliated societies is one way many of our faculty find personal and professional satisfaction. During the past year, I have enjoyed serving the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) as president, and I completed my term at the annual meeting in Salt Lake City in April.

The UW MRI group was again recognized as a leading MRI research enterprise at the annual meeting, with our faculty and staff contributing over 100 abstracts and presentations. One of the highlights of my presidency was to award ISMRM senior fellowship to our own Dr. Scott Reeder in front of over 5000 registrants at the opening session of the annual meeting.

I want to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues in the Department of Radiology for supporting me in my activities on behalf of the ISMRM. My partners in the Cardiovascular Imaging Section deserve special thanks for taking on some extra clinical duties when I was required to devote time to the ISMRM.

I had several goals for my year as President, including the development of more sustainable educational programs, re-organization of our committee structure to support distance learning and communication amongst members, and support or new entrants into our field. It is this last goal that I want to highlight.

As President of the ISMRM, I established the ISMRM Research and Education (R&E) Fund and focused its charter to support new entrants into our field. We reached out to members of our society for support of the ISMRM R&E fund, and many members of our department made personal charitable contributions. These pledges from my colleagues here at UW formed the seed for what eventually became a nearly $1 million fundraising campaign — all from members of the ISMRM — that will help to support hundreds of students who attend our annual meeting and workshops, and provide $500,000 in seed grants over the next 20 years. This fundraising campaign will have a big impact on MRI, and therefore the field of radiology, for years to come.

So let me thank all of you for your support during my tenure as ISMRM President. The UW Departments of Radiology and Medical Physics continue to be recognized as leaders in the development of MRI, and your support during the past year will ensure a strong future for our field.