Chapter Chat

SMRT Local Chapter Presidents invited to Toshiba Vantage Titan 3T Event in Newport, California, USA

Julie Lowe, B.S., R.T. (R)(MR)FSMRT
President, South Central Indiana Local SMRT Chapter


Several SMRT local chapter presidents were able to attend the Toshiba event 7-8th, October 2011; including Bobbie Burrow of the Atlanta Chapter, Carol Lee of the South Carolina Chapter, Julie Lowe of the Indiana Chapter, Catherine Leyen of the Southwest Chapter and Mercedes Pererya of the Gulf Coast Chapter. Guests enjoyed dinner Friday evening and presentations by the Toshiba staff followed by a social event at the Balboa Bay Club marina. Saturday morning we were invited to the Toshiba education center for the presentation of the 3T wide bore scanner. The Toshiba staff arranged for volunteers to be present for demonstrations of patient positioning utilizing a variety of coils the system offers. During the scanning demonstration, invitees asked questions about the unique capabilities of the new system and the staff gained valuable feedback from invited technologists and radiologists. Although the 3T MR scanner was the star of the show we were also impressed with the educational facility that was provided for customers.

Indiana Chapter President, Julie Lowe conducted an interview of some attendees including Stuart Clarkson, Director of Toshiba MR Business Unit:

Question: Will you please tell us about the educational facility and how it will benefit the technologist being trained for a Toshiba system?

Stuart Clarkson: The Education center is an $8 million investment in the customers who use Toshiba equipment. We train over 500 technologists and physicians a year at our learning center. Typically a MR customer will send two technologists for two weeks of dedicated hands on scanning with our educators before we install their MRI Scanner in their hospital. Additionally, we offer advanced training courses such as Non Contrast MRA or Cardiac MR. Toshiba also follows up this training with on site Applications Specialist training. This combination of training ensures the technologists have a high degree of expertise immediately after the new MR scanner is turned over.

Question: Will you please tell us about the possible opportunities for Local SMRT Chapters that are planning Regional seminars with regard to an educational speaker provided by Toshiba?

Stuart Clarkson: Toshiba has a huge commitment to ongoing training for MR Technologists and as such are happy to support local chapter meetings with Educational offerings from our team including lectures, literature and funding support to ensure the success of the local chapter meetings throughout the United States. We as a company believe that investing in the technologists who drive our MR Scanners will ensure the best use of our technology and ultimately the best result for the patient, which is what we are most interested in.

Question: What was interesting to you about your visit to Toshiba?

Carol Lee: I was impressed with the new 3T Scanner. The non contrast MRA was very impressive and also the decreased noise level of. Since I work at an orthopedic office I also liked the large knee coil that Toshiba now has available.

Question: Did you feel that both the SMRT Local Chapters and Toshiba benefited from our presence?

Carol Lee: Yes, I feel it was beneficial for both. Keeping up to date with changes in the MR world helps us to plan what we need to focus on at our chapter MRI Educational meetings. I also think it is beneficial to promote the SMRT local chapters at every occasion we have when interacting with MR professionals. I feel it was very smart for Toshiba to invite us as leaders in MR Technologist education from around the US who are passionate about MR and have interactions with so many other MR professionals.

Question: What was interesting to you about your visit to Toshiba?

Bobbie Burrow: I loved having the hands on experience and I loved the physics about their machine. It was a very well organized visit.

Question: Did you feel that both the SMRT Local Chapters and Toshiba benefited from our presence?

Bobbie Burrow: I feel that this was beneficial for Toshiba to have SMRT technologists give their opinion of their product. They know that we will get the word out to the MRI community if we like their products. It was also beneficial for the local chapters to network. The Atlanta Chapter was glad to have Toshiba be part of our meeting for the first time.

Question: Did you feel that both the SMRT Local Chapters and Toshiba benefited from our presence?
Mercedes: I feel that it is important for the leading MR users to learn from all the vendors.

Many new introductions were made and for some there are hopes of reacquainting in Chicago at RSNA which is just around the corner. We all agree that the event was a success for all that participated. For educational opportunities provided by Toshiba please contact your local representative in the U.S.

If you are interested in organizing an SMRT Regional Educational Seminar please contact any SMRT leader for information (having an established Chapter isnít necessary).

For information or assistance please contact:

Betsy Sestina, SMRT Regional Chair
Carol Lee, SMRT Local Chapters Chair
Julie Lowe, SMRT Past President 2010-2011