Charting the Future
Get to know the College’s new leaders.
The Board of Chancellors (BOC), the ACR’s executive body, has elected new officers for the 2016–17 year. While these leaders are well known throughout the College, these short profiles will help you get to know them better.
James A. Brink, MD, FACR
The new chair of the BOC didn’t expect to become a physician. As a kid, Brink was fascinated with circuits, transistors, and other electronics, so the Indiana native pursued an electrical engineering degree at Purdue University. But when Brink realized electrical engineering wasn’t the field for him, he decided to go to medical school.
After completing his engineering degree in three years, with just enough pre-med credits to qualify, Brink entered medical school at Indiana University. That first summer, he worked in a lab using ultrasound on research projects — an experience that drew him to radiology. “I enjoyed thinking about the intersection of engineering and medicine, and that’s where radiology commonly falls,” Brink says.
Following his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Brink became an attending at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University in St. Louis, where a senior colleague encouraged him to join the ACR. “The scope and scale of the College thrilled me,” recalls Brink, now radiologist in chief at Massachusetts General Hospital and Juan M. Taveras professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School.
Early on, Brink helped develop the CT accreditation program with the ACR Commission on Standards and Accreditation. “Helical CT was a big technological breakthrough that occurred early in my career, and I spent several years evaluating it from an engineering perspective,” says Brink, an honorary member of both the American Association of Physicists in Medicine and the International Organization for Medical Physics.
Brink’s interest in radiation safety grew from there, and he became chair of the Commission on Body Imaging in 2008, a position he held until he became the BOC vice chair in 2014. Now as chair, Brink wants to harmonize the board’s expertise to address the profession’s challenges. “I believe in seeking input from each member to build a common vision,” he says.
Brink says radiology’s biggest challenge remains the volume-to-value transition. “The ACR has already developed tools to help radiologists lead this change, but I want to double down on these efforts,” he says. Another challenge Brink anticipates addressing is machine learning, a technology that could automate aspects of radiology. “It’s important for the College to respond to this potential threat and to find opportunities to help shape it for the benefit of our patients and our profession,” he says.
When he’s not contemplating radiology’s future, Brink enjoys snow skiing and reading books by Erik Larson and other favorite authors.
Geraldine B. McGinty, MD, MBA, FACR
The new BOC vice chair is an innovator with a deep appreciation for history. McGinty, assistant professor of radiology and assistant chief contracting officer at Weill Cornell Medicine, demonstrated this when she drew on radiology’s past to chart a course for its future as an architect of Imaging 3.0™.
Of Irish heritage, McGinty always knew she’d follow her parents’ path into health care, so she entered the National University of Ireland’s medical program immediately after high school. During that time, McGinty worked as an aide on the surgical floor of a hospital, where she fell in love with radiology. “The radiologists always had the diagnostic answers, which seemed really intellectually satisfying to me,” McGinty recalls.
In 1989, McGinty moved to the United States, leaving a hospital that didn’t have a CT scanner to attend a residency program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where CT and MR scanners ran nonstop. The opportunity to participate in a robust residency program and use the latest technology exhilarated McGinty.
By the early 1990s, McGinty completed a mammography fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. “I chose breast imaging because it allows me to see patients and impact population health through screening,” she says. McGinty became an attending in 1994, and in 2000, she earned an MBA from Columbia University.
Also that year, McGinty became an ACR volunteer. She was a delegate to the National Policy Forum, working on quality and safety issues, before shifting her focus to economics. “I initially worked on CPT coding with the Coding and Nomenclature Committee,” says McGinty, who has chaired the Commission on Economics for the past four years and is also a member of the Commission for Women and General Diversity.
As the BOC vice chair, McGinty says she will primarily support the board’s chair and serve as chair of the ACR Association’s political action committee, RADPAC. “I’ll also use this time to learn more about the other commissions,” McGinty notes. “I’ve been deep in the weeds of economics for a while, so I have a lot to learn.”
When she’s not working, McGinty enjoys savoring the diverse culinary offerings and rich history throughout Manhattan’s Lower East Side. She also volunteers with the Lower East Side Girls Club and the New York Celtic Medical Society. Such activities inform her outlook on the future. “We can learn a lot from history, so it’s important to look back,” McGinty says. “Take Imaging 3.0, for instance. We didn’t have to invent a new type of radiologist but rather return to our roots.”
Ezequiel “Zeke” Silva III, MD, FACR
The new chair of the Commission on Economics has had a long fascination with, what else, CPT codes. Silva, director of interventional radiology at South Texas Radiology Imaging Centers in San Antonio, developed an appreciation for the codes as a resident at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “We had to assign the appropriate CPT codes for each case,” Silva says. “I found it interesting in some quirky way.”
Born and raised in the Lone Star State, Silva graduated with a biology degree from the University of Texas before attending medical school at Baylor. In med school, Silva liked everything. “When I was in a rotation, I always thought that branch of medicine was what I’d specialize in,” recalls Silva, who says he ultimately chose radiology because it combined all the other specialties.
After residency, Silva entered an interventional radiology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. Once he completed his fellowship in 2002, Silva returned to Texas to join the South Texas Radiology Group. Like his colleagues, Silva joined the ACR. “Our group recognizes the important role the College plays and is committed to supporting it,” he says.
As a new ACR member, Silva served on the Relative Value Scale Update Committee. “I used my background to help with the ACR’s CPT code creation efforts,” Silva says. Soon thereafter, Silva joined the Council Steering Committee and the JACR editorial board.
Now, as the new economics chair, Silva will guide the transition from volume- to value-based payment models. “It’s important for radiology to secure its place in that transition,” he says. “We’re going to protect fee-for-service and study the rules and regulations of new payment models to determine the best path forward.”
When he’s not working, Silva enjoys coaching his daughter’s basketball team and his son’s Little League team, activities that keep him grounded. “I love working with youth sports because it gives me a chance to see the future and provides some perspective when we talk about what health care will look like down the road,” he says.
By Jenny Jones, Imaging 3.0™ content specialist