OCTOBER 2014 Vol. 3, Issue 4


SMRT President Message

Maureen N. Hood, Ph.D., R.N., R.T. (R)(MR), FSMRT

We are not a political organization, but we can serve as the educators on how MRI should be safely practiced.

Im writing this letter to the SMRT membership right after having attended and participating in the ISMRM/SMRT MR Safety Workshop in Washington, DC, USA. It was a fabulous meeting of scientists, technologists, clinicians, vendors and regulatory personnel. I feel it was highly successful for the field of MRI and I want to point out that the SMRT had a major role in making the workshop happen. Vera Kimbrell, Titti Owman, Anne Sawyer, Ben Kennedy and I served on the organizing committee. A special thanks needs to go to Vera for stepping in to organize the abstract submission process and the moderating assignments. These were big details that required considerable time and effort. In addition, Greg Brown, Bill Faulkner, Michael Kean, Anne Sawyer and I gave presentations on various safety topics. The SMRT had solid participation in a highly respected international forum.

However, not all news is good news. The MR community heard just a few days earlier of the MRI tragedy in India. It breaks my heart to see the lack of standards in some areas of the world. It goes to show that the field of MRI has a lot of work ahead to help prevent these types of negligent acts. Yes, I said negligent act, not accident as this was no accident. I hope this incident in India will help light a fire in people in our field to take action around the world. The SMRTs main mission is education. We are not a political organization, but we can serve as the educators on how MRI should be safely practiced. The SMRT already has plans underway to start presenting information on best practices in MRI. This will be a series of documents, and or webinars. It takes time to do these, but we hope to start being able to get these on the website next year.

The members of the SMRT do an unbelievable amount of work around the world. We currently have the most diverse and international policy board in the history of the SMRT. The SMRT recently had its second Regional Meeting in Singapore. Thanks to Dr. John Totman and his hard working group of technologists in Singapore. Our past President, Ben Kennedy, was there to present on MRI Sequence Optimisation from Scratch. We are currently in talks to help technologists in Brazil this next year as they have never had any presentations specifically designed for MR technologists at their big annual Radiography meeting in So Paulo. We also received an e-mail from a technologist in Africa who basically stated that there are no formal educational programs where he lives and would like our help. So we are exploring how we can assist with getting educational materials to more places like Africa.

The SMRT is interested in education everywhere. A couple of technologists from Germany expressed frustration at the last annual meeting with a lack of MR educational opportunities in most of Europe. This means that we need more volunteers around the world so we can work on reaching more people with continuing education. Raschel van Luijkis is our liaison in Europe and Amanda Hunt is our liaison in the Australia/Asia/South American area. Please contact one of them or even anyone on the SMRT Policy board if youd like to get more involved. Reaching out to more people is one of the reasons why the SMRT has been working on putting more educational opportunities on-line. Vanessa Orchard, Anne Sawyer and Julie Strandt-Peay have done a tremendous job these past few years putting more educational and informational material on-line.

The SMRT Technologist Listserve, due to current technology, has been, well, frankly, extremely frustrating to deal with these past few months. Im hoping that by the time this letter reaches people, a change will have been made. Plus the SMRT is hoping to launch an alternative social media group to help with the exchange of information. The Publications and Communications Co-Chair, Andrea Forneris has been exploring social media opportunities with Greg Brown, Steve Shannon, Barry Southers and others. It is a slow process to test and evaluate social media options that will work the way the SMRT needs within the guidelines of the ISMRMs structure. We already have a Facebook page, SMRT- Section for Magnetic Resonance Technologists currently being used primarily for official society information. The free exchange of information is something a Listserve does well, so we are going to be changing it soon to help with that. Unfortunately with newer technology comes better spam filters on certain e-mail hosts that do the thinking for the person and boots you off of Listserves that can look like spam or a potential threat. Hence, why the Listserve is the way it has been lately. Hundreds of people were being removed from the Listserve by e-mail providers such as yahoo, hotmail, gmail, att.net, comcast.net, etc. This has been a frustrating issue for all involved, but please be patient as we work through problems like this.

Id like to share the most exciting news of the year thus far. The SMRT RCEEM (Recognized Continuing Education Evaluation Mechanism) was granted Track and Transfer ability by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). That means that we will keep track of the SMRT accredited category A credits for technologists and send them automatically to the ARRT. This way when technologists renew their registration, they do not have to complete the line by line codes for credits that the ARRT requires for each biennium for credits earned through the SMRT or accredited by the SMRT. The program will launch January 1, 2015.

Lastly, I challenge all of you out there to get involved in helping to promote MR education. We need more people to get involved. Think about how you can get involved in a local chapter or a Regional meeting. Perhaps youd like to host one? We can help you. Kendra Huber is the Chair of Chapters and Regionals committees. Abstract deadline for the annual meeting in Toronto in May 2015 is around the corner. Start working on your abstract ideas now for the December 10th abstract deadline. Sheryl Foster and Megan Cromer are ready for a large number of abstracts this year. The meeting in Toronto is shaping up to be a fantastic meeting. Chris Kokkinos is working hard to be able to offer a couple of additional breakout sessions this year to add to the diversity of topics and interests among our membership. Start thinking now about attending the Toronto meeting 30-31 May, 2015.