Message from the New Alumni Chair, Dr. Anthony Hanbidge
Dear Fellow Alumni,
I am honoured to be writing to you to-day as the 2nd Chair of the Medical Imaging Alumni Association. I am an abdominal radiologist working at the Joint Department of Medical Imaging (MSH/UHN/WCH), University of Toronto. I completed my residency training in medical imaging at the University of Toronto in 1994 followed by a 1-year fellowship in ultrasound and abdominal CT also at the University of Toronto. I joined the faculty in the Department of Medical Imaging, University of Toronto in July 1995 and have worked in the downtown teaching hospitals ever since.
It is timely to reflect on the Medical Imaging Alumni Association. The association started officially in 2009, under the leadership of Dr. Edna Becker. The association facilitates all members, including graduates of our residency and fellowship programs as well as current and former faculty, to come together to share memories and accomplishments, to network, to participate in educational and social events and to support the activities of the department. Currently the Office of Alumni Relations has 1,273 active alumni on our database.
Dr. Edna Becker stepped down as Chair of the Alumni Association at the end of October 2013. The early success of the association is in large part due to Dr. Becker’s dedication, energy, insights, professionalism and overall ability to get things done. Under her leadership the association has grown to become an active and vibrant part of the Department of Medical Imaging and is well positioned for future growth. Dr. Becker was recognized for her accomplishments with the Alumni Association at the departmental graduation dinner in June 2014 where she was presented with a commemorative plaque by Dr. Alan Moody, Department Chair.
Currently the association meets its mandate through a number of annual events. The most recent on our calendar was the Annual Alumni Lunch organized to coincide with the Organ Imaging Review Course on Sunday October 5th, 2014. The Mergelas Family Graduate Scholarship Award, made possible by a generous donation from Dr. James Mergelas and Family is presented annually at this lunch. Last year’s recipient was Dr. Helen Cheung and this year's recipient was Dr. Navneet Singh. We were fortunate to have Dr. Mergelas in attendance to present the Award in 2012 and 2013.
The Alumni Research Award is funded by a gift from former Chair, Dr. Gordon Potts. This annual award provides a stimulus to recently appointed clinical faculty in the department to initiate and carry out a research project. The award is presented at the graduation dinner in June every year. The winner of the 2014 award was Dr. Sapna Rawal for her project, "The impact of angiographic and perfusion imaging utilization on clinical outcome in subarachnoid hemorrhage". Plans are also underway for the Alumni Association to host a social event to coincide with the RSNA meeting in Chicago every year. This will likely be an early evening cocktail reception at a downtown venue. This will allow the association the opportunity to engage our large international membership in addition to maintaining contact with local members who are attending the meeting. We are also in the process of expanding our social media presence.
Plans are underway to form a small social media committee under the guidance of Dr. Maneesh Gupta comprised of radiologists, academic and community-based, with strong IT skills and interests. Gary Cronin, Communications Officer in the department office, will also serve on the committee with the effort co-ordinated through the university office. In addition to a presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, it may be desirable to develop an alumni app. The latter is an ambitious goal with a timeline of a minimum of one to two years. Stay posted!!!
Finally, remember this is your association. Contact us with your suggestions. Give us feedback. We would love to hear from you. Update your contact information. Inform fellow alumni of the association and encourage them to sign up and participate. Register for the Alumni and Education Day in January. Watch for news regarding a reception at RSNA. Consider a donation. I am proud to be a small part of the association and I look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead.