Message from Department Chair

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Message from Department Chair

Dear Friends,

I hope you thoroughly enjoy our Department's latest newsletter.

Let me start by saying despite the many changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic our faculty remained focused on achieving the Department's strategic goals and maintained an unwavering, patient-focused voice in the community. Our faculty also stayed true to the spirit of VCU and created a dynamic environment to inspire continuous learning among our residents.

Last month, I received the 12-month evaluation report for our radiology faculty who teach residents. I am thrilled to announce that our faculty achieved a mean overall score of 3.86 out of a possible 4.0. This is an all-time high and it is an absolutely incredible achievement since our faculty earned this score during the COVID-19 pandemic. I'm so proud of our team's incredible collaborative effort.

Among the highlights in this newsletter, we share many faculty accomplishments, well-earned promotions and an exciting career update from one of our residency alumnus, Dr. Reza  Imani-Shikhabadi. As I leave you time to enjoy our Department's news, let me wish you a safe and sunny spring.

Be well,

~ Ann S. Fulcher, M.D., FACR, FSAR

Featured Headline

Dr. Ann Fulcher Receives Gold Medal Award from Society of Abdominal Radiology

Ann S. Fulcher, MD, FACR, FSAR, Professor and Chair of the VCU Department of Radiology, was awarded the 2021 Gold Medal from the Society of Abdominal Radiology (SAR) in March. The Gold Medal is the highest honor presented by the Society and it's awarded to individuals who have made significant and continuous contributions to the field of abdominal radiology.

Portrait of Dr Ann Fulcher in red coatAmong Dr. Fulcher's many career accomplishments in abdominal radiology, she pioneered early work on Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) for the non-invasive imaging and diagnosis of pancreaticobiliary disease. A non-invasive technique, MRCP uses magnetic resonance imaging to produce detailed images of the bile and pancreatic ducts, which was new to the field of radiology when Fulcher joined the faculty at VCU in 1995. Prior to its development, radiologists could only view the ducts through a scope with the injection of contrast material, an interventional procedure associated with potential complications.

Intrigued by the technique and its potential, Fulcher pushed to make it available for patients at VCU. Once the software was installed, she collaborated with Alvin Zfass, M.D., in the Division of Gastroenterology at the time, to utilize it in the care of a 90-year-old patient. Today, this procedure is commonly used throughout the world.

(Photo by DeAudrea "Sha" Rich, VCU School of Medicine)

Faculty Promotions

Laura R. Carucci, M.D. Named Section Chief of Abdominal Imaging

Portrait of Laura R. Carucci, M.D., FACR, FSARLaura R. Carucci, MD, FACR, FSAR has been named Chief of the Abdominal Imaging section for the VCU Department of Radiology. Dr. Carucci completed her radiology residency and fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. She then joined the VCU School of Medicine faculty and has risen to the rank of full Professor. She has held multiple leadership positions in the department including Director of Computed Tomography (CT), Director of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Director of Abdominal MRI. In 2020, she received the prestigious award of Fellow of the American College of Radiology.

Dr. Carucci specializes in gastrointestinal imaging and genitourinary imaging as well as performs and interprets abdominal and pelvic CT, MRI and GI/GU fluoroscopy studies. She is a well-respected professor and researcher, and is nationally known for her exceptional clinical skills and compassionate patient care. Her clinical research interests include, bariatric imaging, postoperative GI and GU imaging, and luminal GI tract imaging. Carucci is the Chair of the Society of Abdominal Radiology GERD disease-focused panel and serves on the editorial board of RadioGraphics as Associate Editor and Chair of Gastrointestinal Imaging.

Visit Laura R. Carucci, M.D.'s Profile

Josephina A. Vossen, M.D., Ph.D. Named Section Chief of Musculoskeletal Imaging and Intervention

White coat portrait of Josephina Vossen M.D., Ph.D.Josephina A. Vossen, M.D., Ph.D. has been named Chief of the Musculoskeletal Imaging and Intervention (MSK) section for the VCU Department of Radiology. Dr. Vossen is an Associate Professor, as well as the Radiology Residency Education Director, Integrated Interventional Radiology Residency Program Associate Director, and Medical Director for MSK at Stony Point Radiology. She is also a member of the VCU Radiology Residency Clinical Competency and Curriculum Committees.

Dr. Vossen has been with VCU for 5 years and continues to make significant contributions to VCU. Vossen is well-published, and in 2020 she co-authored, "Automatic Characterization of Pelvic and Sacral Measures from 200 Subjects," which was published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. The investigation for this paper was performed at VCU. She also won the 2019 VCU School of Medicine Irby-James Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching. The award recognizes her superior teaching in clinical medicine to medical students and residents.

Visit her faculty profile for more information about Josephina A. Vossen, M.D., Ph.D. 

Drs Vossen and Faghihimehr performing a mock procedure during a video shoot

Josephina Vossen, M.D., Ph.D. with Armaghan Faghihimehr, M.D., a radiology resident, during a video shoot for the Department's residency recruitment video. (Photo by Danielle Maria Canonico, VCU Radiology)

Radiology Department Expansion News

Breast Imaging and Lung Cancer Screening Expansion News

CEO Cabinet Green Lights West End Breast Imaging Center
The capital allocation for a new full service West End Breast Imaging Center has received approval from the CEO Cabinet. The overall capital budget will be presented for approval at the June board meeting. We anticipate that the budget will receive board approval and the new facility to open at the end of 2022. The new facility will serve as a strategically-located asset for our patients, their providers and the VCU Health System. The full service breast imaging center will include state-of-the-art technology and our experienced team of radiology specialists and technologists.

VCU Health Tappahannock To Offer Lung Cancer Screening
Early this year Riverside Tappahannock became part of the VCU Health System, and we immediately initiated expansion plans for several of our radiology services lines to the new out-patient location. Included in the expansion is our Early Detection Lung Cancer Screening Program, which is slated to open July 2021. 

Working in conjunction with our colleagues in the Department of Internal Medicine, Thoracic Surgery, Massey Cancer Center and Smoking Cessation, our multidisciplinary Early Detection Lung Cancer Screening Program, using low-dose computed tomography (LDCT), which is currently available at the VCU Health main campus in downtown Richmond as well as at Gateway, Short Pump, New Kent, and Stony Point will now also be available for patients in Tappahannock.

The planned expansion of our life-saving Early Detection Lung Cancer Screening Program to the Northern Neck comes as the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released new eligibility recommendations in March 2021 for the use of LDCT lung cancer screening, reducing both the age requirement to 50-years and reducing the pack-year history to 20-packs. Furthermore, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) just published their support of the new USPSTF recommendations for annual screening for lung cancer with LDCT for these high-risk persons. 

The new USPSTF guidelines will effectively double the number of persons eligible for lung cancer screening and markedly increase the number of women and minorities eligible for screening. Expanding the availability and accessibility of our Lung Cancer Screening Program services to the Northern Neck community will enable VCU Health Systems to meet the future needs of these patients.

Faculty Accomplishments

MRI Online Pancreas Imaging Mastery Series Course by Neeraj Lalwani, MD is Live

Neeraj Lalwani M.D. white lab coat

Neeraj Lalwani, M.D., joined our Radiology Department last year as an abdominal imaging specialist and Associate Professor. Recently, he was the featured guest editor for an issue of Seminars in Roentgenology, which focused on colorectal cancers. Follow this link to explore Volume 56, Issue 2 of Seminars in Roentgenology.

Dr. Lalwani has also partnered with MRI Online to offer a comprehensive continuing medical education series on pancreas imaging. The course is part of the MRI Online Imaging Mastery Series and includes 45 videos for 160 minutes of informative content. In the course, Lalwani reviews current techniques for imaging the pancreas and discusses pancreas anatomy, protocols, metastatic disease and surgical procedures. MRI Online is an online continuing education resource providing courses and cases for practicing radiologists to expand their radiology expertise across all modalities. MRI Online partners with proven educators to create training opportunities for radiologists at every stage of their career.

 

MRI Online Pancreas Imaging Mastery Series Course

Pei-Jan Paul Lin, Ph.D. Award Recipient

Dr. Pei-Jan Paul Lin Receives 2020 Outstanding Reviewer Award for Radiological Physics and Technology Journal

Pei-Jan Paul Lin, Ph.D. received the 2020 Outstanding Reviewer Award for his authoritative peer reviews of pertinent scientific works and research for the Radiological Physics and Technology journal. Dr. Lin is a Professor and Chair of the Division of Diagnostic Medical Physics and Chief Medical Physicist for VCU Health. He was presented with the award virtually during the Japan Radiology Congress this past April.

Radiological Physics and Technology is the official journal of the Japanese Society of Radiological Technology, the Japan Society of Medical Physics and the Asia-Oceania Federation of Organizations for Medical Physics. The journal’s emphasis is research in medical physics, radiological technology, nuclear medicine, and radiation therapy that improves the health care of patients.

Learn about the Division of Diagnostic Medical Physics

Faculty Generating Buzz In The Community

Ann S. Fulcher, M.D., FACR, FSAR Inaugural Speaker for "Who We Are" Speaker Series

The VCU School of Medicine Dean, Peter F. Buckley, M.D., recommended Dr. Ann Fulcher as the inaugural speaker for the "Who We Are" alumni speaker series due to her many career achievements – leading to her current position as Chair of the school’s Department of Radiology – and her success as a photographer. Fulcher’s enthusiasm for her chosen specialty provided alumni and students a sense of connection and a glimpse of the future into radiology. She also acknowledged that because her focus for years was entirely medical, she didn’t get into photography until about a decade ago. That, she says, really opened up her world to others who think a different way and she recommends students find balance in their lives too. The VCU School of Medicine alumni speaker series, “Who We Are,” kicked off February 2021 to bolster experiential learning during COVID-19.

Follow the link to learn more about the "Who We Are" speaker series.

Mark S. Parker, M.D. FACR, Weighs In On New Recommendations

Dr. Mark Parker Weighs In On New U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Lung Cancer Screening Recommendations

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued new recommendations in March 2021 that increases the number of Americans eligible for annual low-dose CT lung scans to 16 million from 8 million. The revised guidelines lower the eligibility age to 50 from the original 55-years of age. They also reduce the number of pack-years of cigarette smoking to 20, from the original 2013 recommendations of 30-pack-years for current smokers and those who have quit within the past 15 years.

Dr. Mark Parker, Director of VCU Massey’s Early Detection Lung Cancer Screening Program, said, “If the new Task Force recommendations are implemented across our country, this cost-effective test will save more lives than any cancer screening test thus far in history.” In fact, experts predict more widespread screening for lung cancer could save as many as 30,000-60,000 lives per year in the United States. Follow the link to read the story and Dr. Parker's full statement.

Visit VCU Health News to Read the Full Story

Priti Shah, M.D. Joins Tea + Talk COVID-19 Vaccine and Breast Health Panel Discussion

Dr. Priti Shah, Breast Imaging Chair and Assistant Professor, joined a recent Tea + Talk panel discussion on the COVID-19 vaccine and breast health. Tea & Talk is organized by Williamsburg, VA-based Here for the Girls, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of young women affected by breast cancer. Shah with other breast health specialists discussed how the COVID-19 vaccine may impact women who have had breast cancer or who are getting breast screening.

"Ironically, a year after the crisis phase of COVID 19, when so many screenings were postponed, we now risk a similar delay in care from concerns about cervical and axillary adeopathy as a potential side effect of the vaccine. I appreciated the opportunity to educate and reassure women about getting both the vaccine and their annual mammogram to promote overall health and wellness," said Dr. Shah.

Along with Dr. Shah, the virtual panel discussion guests also included Kara Friend, MD (Breast Surgeon, Riverside), and Kandace McGuire, MD (Chief of Breast Surgery + Surgical Leader of the Breast Health Program, VCU Massey Cancer Center).

Visit Here for the Girls to learn more about Tea + Talk discussions and the organization's mission.

VCU Radiologists Receive 2021 'Top Docs' Recognition

Two Diagnostic Radiologists and Two Interventional Radiologists Among Top Docs

Richmond Magazine has published its annual list of top doctors for the Richmond area. Four of our radiologists among 209 VCU Health providers have been named to this year’s list. Those from our Department that were recognized include, Ann S. Fulcher, M.D., Brian Strife, M.D., Malcolm K. Sydnor, M.D., and Gregory Vorona, M.D. This recognition speaks to the breadth of talent and commitment we provide the community, even as we dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ann S. Fulcher, M.D., FACR, FSAR

Ann S. Fulcher, M.D., FACR, FSAR

Professor and Chair, Department of Radiology

Ann S. Fulcher, M.D., FACR, FSAR

Ann S. Fulcher, M.D., FACR, FSAR

Professor and Chair, Department of Radiology

Radiology

Professor (Tenured) and Chair, Department of Radiology
Director, Enterprise Wide Radiation Safety Initiative

Phone: (804) 828-6600

Fax: (804) 828-6129

Email: ann.fulcher@vcuhealth.org

Address/Location:
West Hospital, North Wing

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Brian J. Strife, M.D.

Brian J. Strife, M.D.

Assistant Professor

Brian J. Strife, M.D.

Brian J. Strife, M.D.

Assistant Professor

Radiology

Phone: (804) 628-0816

Fax: (804) 628-1132

Email: brian.strife@vcuhealth.org

Read More

Malcolm K. Sydnor Jr., M.D.

Malcolm K. Sydnor Jr., M.D.

Assoc Professor, Vice Chair, Quality and Safety

Malcolm K. Sydnor Jr., M.D.

Malcolm K. Sydnor Jr., M.D.

Assoc Professor, Vice Chair, Quality and Safety

Radiology

Associate Professor
Vice Chair, Quality and Safety
Director, Division of Interventional Radiology

Phone: (804) 828-0534

Fax: (804) 628-1132

Email: malcolm.sydnor@vcuhealth.org

Address/Location:
Main Hospital, Room 3-440

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Gregory Vorona, M.D.

Gregory Vorona, M.D.

Assistant Professor

Gregory Vorona, M.D.

Gregory Vorona, M.D.

Assistant Professor

Radiology

Phone: (804) 828-9842

Email: gregory.vorona@vcuhealth.org

Address/Location:
Children’s Hospital of Richmond

Read More

Jacqueline Urbine, M.D. Featured on WTVR CBS 6 Virginia This Morning

Dr. Jacqueline Urbine, Associate Professor and Pediatric Imaging Chair, shared the latest news about the Wonder Tower at Children’s Hospital of Richmond (CHoR) at VCU during a WTVR CBS 6 News Virginia This Morning segment. She was joined by Lauren Moore, Children’s Hospital Foundation President and CEO, to discuss the many family amenities and services including private rooms, new operating rooms, state-of-the-art imaging capacity, and emergency care that will be available at the new downtown Richmond facility.

WTVR CBS 6 News Virginia This Morning
Jacqueline Urbine, M.D. Featured on WTVR CBS 6 Virginia This Morning
Watch Dr. Urbine on Virginia This Morning