Past President's Letter

ISR President’s column

February 15, 2016
Colleagues:

This president’s column provides an update on my activities as your president, the activities of the Executive Committee, and the activities of the International Assembly since my last column in October.

I represented the ISR at the Global Summit on Radiological Quality and Safety (GSRQS) in October in Barcelona, Spain.  The ACR and ESR jointly sponsored that meeting.  The GSRQS brought together a diverse assemblage of radiology professionals to focus on quality and safety issues from the perspective of developed and developing countries.  I gave presentations from the ISR perspective on quality metrics and the radiologist shortage and the workforce.

The Barcelona meeting also provided an opportunity for me to meet with Adriana Berumen and Dr. Miriam Mikhail of the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding plans for a radiologist position to be ongoing at the WHO.  The ISR continues to advocate for and provide funding for a radiologist position at WHO. I learned from that meeting that the WHO desires this position to be a long term one.  The ISR is allowed to submit a name for consideration but cannot make the final selection.  I expressed the ISR ex-com’s desire that our funds be used to fund a radiologist rather than for radiology projects.

October was a busy month.  At the end of the month, I attended the October 2015 RAD-AID conference representing ISR with a presentation on global radiology advocacy and outreach.  RAD-AID is our Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) colleague in radiology.  This conference assembled outreach radiology organizations from around the world and radiologists who presented on their projects to assist developing countries.  I continue to have conference calls with Dr. Dan Mollura, the president of RAD-AID, to coordinate ISR and RAD-AID efforts.

The RSNA meeting in November provided more opportunities for ISR meetings and sidebar discussions.  I had the opportunity to meet with our colleagues from the World Federation of Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology.  That meeting included informal discussions regarding the joint and separate efforts of our two organizations. 

At the RSNA meeting, the ISR ex-com and Assembly met.  Again, one topic was a long-term radiologist position with WHO.  Discussions focused on how to engage the WHO member states that participated in the ISR side meeting at the 2015 World Health Assembly (WHA) to encourage these member states to lobby WHO in support of this long-term radiologist position.  The ex-com voted to continue to support funding for a radiologist position, if one becomes available, at the WHO for $1,000 per month/$12,000 annually for 2016. 

Also at RSNA, the organizers of the 2016 International Congress of Radiology (ICR) in Buenos Aires and the 2018 ICR in Istanbul updated the ex-com regarding progress on their respective meetings.  The plans for these meetings seem to be progressing as expected.

At our November meeting, Dr Eric Stern presented the work of our International Commission on Radiology Education (ICRE).  The ICRE contributed to the ISR 2016-2018 NGO collaboration plan as submitted to the WHO.  ICRE web pages have been redesigned and streamlined to highlight quality and safety links, WHO publications, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Human Health Campus, the World Federation of Pediatric Imaging (WFPI), and the online pediatric textbook.  Development continues for the maternal and fetal health module.  GO RAD usage remains steady.  Future opportunities for the ICRE include an HIV/AIDS module and TB 2.0 as part of the WHO collaboration plan.  My thanks to Dr Stern for his ICRE leadership.

At the ex-com November meeting, plans were presented to implement a new ISR structure for quality and safety.  The International Commission on Radiology Quality and Safety (ICRQS) is evolving into the International Society of Radiology Quality and Safety Alliance.  Members of the Alliance and its committees will be representatives from the ISR member organizations. The Alliance will be able to request that ISR members appoint representatives, as needed, for Alliance quality and safety efforts.  This approach provides a closer relationship between the ISR members and individuals serving on ISR committees.  It also reflects that the ISR is an organization of organizations whose members are national and regional organizations rather than individuals.  It is the ex-com’s intent that the Alliance also seek input from organizations such as the IAEA, WHO, International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), and others, as appropriate.  Dr Lawrence Lau will continue to lead the ISRQSA as he has led the ICRQS.  My thanks to Lawrence for his efforts. 

At the request of ISR member organizations, the ISR Quality and Safety Alliance convened a meeting of the “Radiation Safe” campaigns at RSNA 2015.  Attendees included representatives from Image Gently, Image Wisely, Latin Safe Alliance, EuroSafe, the Japan campaign, and Canada Safe.  Each group presented its approaches, materials, and endeavors in radiation safety.  Productive discussions ensued.  The ISRQSA will reconvene these organizations at the ECR meeting to discuss commonalities and future directions.

The ISR received a request from the IAEA to assist the IAEA in developing a publication on how to set up a radiology facility.  Such a publication would have particular value in developing countries.  As a convener and coordinator of worldwide radiology efforts of its members, the ISR has reached out to our members to provide the IAEA with information on this topic to enable the IAEA to author the publication.  If the readers of this column have information they would like to provide, please contact Ravi Kashyap at R.kashyap@IAEA.org

The upcoming International Assembly meeting will occur on Sunday, March 6, 2016 at the European Congress of Radiology in room 3.32.  I encourage representatives from all of the ISR member organizations to attend. 

The next International Congress will be held on September 21-24, 2016 in Buenos Aires. At that meeting the Beclere medal will be awarded to Dr Hassen Gharbi of Tunisia and Dr Helmut Diefenthal of Tanzania; currently residing in Minnesota.  Dr Richard Baron will give the Beclere lecture.  Dr Carlos Bruguera and Dr Richard Wahl will give the Fuchs lectures.  I look forward to seeing many of you at the ICR meeting. 

My thanks to Pam Mechler and Monika Hierath of the ISR staff for all of their work.  Thanks to all of you for your support this past year as we move the ISR forward for the benefit of our patients. 

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