Leading the Field
Recognizing leaders in the imaging community.
Each year, the College awards individuals whose work and dedication advances and strengthens the specialty. Spanning continents and subspecialties, this year's recipients include diverse individuals from across the community of imaging.
Ben Slotman, MD, PhD, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Ben Slotman, MD, PhD, professor and chair of radiation oncology at VU University Medical Center, in Amsterdam, has broadened the field of stereotactic ablative radiotherapy in the Netherlands and throughout Europe.
His interest in radiotherapy began during a gynecologic oncology internship at VU University. "I became aware that radiotherapy in fact combines high-tech medicine with lots of opportunities to interact with patients," he says. Such patient-physician interactions have provided a constant drive to improve treatment and reduce toxicity.
Slotman received his MD and PhD (both cum laude) at VU University and is recognized throughout the world for his work in radiation oncology. Since becoming chair of the radiation oncology department in 1998, Slotman has helped the department quadruple in size; it now has nine linear accelerators and more than 180 employees.
He serves in leadership positions for such organizations as the International Society for Radiosurgery, the Radiosurgery Society, the American Society for Radiation Oncology, and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer. Starting in May, Slotman will be president of the American Radium Society and will preside at its 100th annual meeting in 2018.
Slotman admonishes other radiologists to enjoy their work and to always seek new challenges. "One should not wait until others as you to do something," he says.
Jacob Sosna, MD, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center, Jerusalem
The son of a pulmonologist, Jacob Sosna, MD, was always fascinated by medicine. By the time he was 25, he had already graduated from medical school with distinction and was serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as a medical officer.
Concurrent with his 16 years with the IDF, where he eventually served as chief medical officer for elite units, Sosna joined Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem in 1995 as a radiology resident. "I chose radiology because it encompasses the need for vast knowledge in clinical medicine as well as the development of cutting edge technology. The radiologist is always at the center of decision making in the hospitals and in outpatient services," he says.
Sosna became a fellow in abdominal imaging and then in advance cross-sectional imaging at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and at Hadassah. In Israel, he established three facilities for clinical and scientific studies: one for 3-D imaging, one for experimental CT, and one for applied radiology. The experimental CT lab is one of only a handful in the world.
Sosna has received recognition from organizations worldwide, including becoming president of the Israel Radiology Association in 2011. However, he considers his greatest achievement to be Hadassah's and Israeli radiology being recognized both nationally and internationally as a leader in radiology research and practice.
Bruce J. Hillman, MD, FACR, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.
"At different times of my growing up years, I imagined my adult self as a nuclear physicist, lawyer, rabbi, and pediatrician," says Bruce J. Hillman, MD, FACR. But after earning his medical degree from the University of Rochester, in New York, in 1973, Hillman found his niche in radiology.
Following a 1984-85 Pew Fellowship at the RAND Corporation, Hillman focused his career on health services research and technology assessment. His 1990s New England Journal of Medicine and Journal of the American Medical Association research articles were instrumental in passing Stark legislation limiting self-referral. He also immersed himself in the realm of medical scholarly publishing. Hillman has served as editor-in-chief of Investigative Radiology and founding editor-in-chief of Academic Radiology. In 2003, Hillman was asked to create and become the founding editor-in-chief of the JACR®. His accomplishments in academic radiology led him to his becoming chair of the department of radiology at the University of Virginia in 1992.
Among Hillman's many achievements was his founding and serving as principal investigator and chair of the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN)®. During his stint as chair, ACRIN conducted approximately $200 million in research, including such trials as the Digital Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial, the National CT Colonography Trial, and the National Lung Screening Trial. These trials, says Hillman, "have expanded radiologists' role in health care, led to new payments for our work, and extended the lives of our patients."
John A. Patti, MD, FACR, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston
John A. Patti, MD, FACR, is currently a senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School and a radiologist in the division of thoracic imaging in the department of radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He received his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine in 1971. "I was always interested in diagnostic medicine as a medical student, and I was intrigued by the nuances of image interpretation and their relevance to clinical diagnosis," Patti says.
Patti's passion for diagnostic radiology extended into his many years of volunteer service at such organizations as the Massachusetts Radiological Society (MRS) and the ACR. Patti served as the president of the MRS in 1999 and 2000 and has served in leadership positions since then on myriad committees and commissions for the ACR, including as chair of the ACR Economics Commission from 2004 to 2008. During his tenure as economics chair, he led a collaborative effort with the American College of Cardiology to oppose initiatives by CMS to restrict coverage for cardiac CT and MR and led ACR efforts to forestall CMS attempts to implement the multiple procedure payment reduction.
Patti's service record does not stop there, however. In 2010, he became chair of the ACR Board of Chancellors. He established the ACR Commission on International Relations and oversaw the formation of both the ACR Radiology Leadership Institute® and the American Institute of Radiologic Pathology.
Jeffrey C. Weinreb, MD, FACR, Yale School of Medicine and Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Conn.
Considered to be among the founding fathers of clinical MRI, Jeffrey C. Weinreb, MD, FACR, says that he attended medical school because he couldn't think of anything else to do after graduating from MIT. Weinreb says he chose radiology "because it seemed both mysterious and promising."
When Weinreb became a fellow at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 1982, he was exposed to one of the first clinical MRI scanners in the country. Then, at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, in Dallas, says Weinreb, "I was fortunate enough to work with extraordinary scientists, neuroradiologists, and cardiologists and had the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of clinical MRI." Subsequently, at New York University School of Medicine, he assembled and led an elite group that pioneered the development of body MRI.
Weinreb's contributions to the field of clinical MRI span 30 years of research and publications. Some of the seminal article topics include OB/GYN, vascular, abdomen, breast, and prostate MRI. He was an investigator on the first clinical trials of gadolinium-based MRI contrast agents.
Weinreb has held numerous leadership positions in professional organizations, including chair of the ACR's Commission on Quality and Safety from 2001 to 2006 an ACR vice president in 2007 to 2008. He has been instrumental in the development and maintenance of the ACR Appropriateness Criteria® and MRI accreditation programs. He currently serves as chair of the ACR RADS Steering Committee and co-chair of the MR PI-RADS™ Steering Committee.
Distinguished Achievement Award
Pamela A. Wilcox, RN, MBA
During her 28 years at the ACR, Pamela A. Wilcox, RN, MBA, made a tremendous impact on both the College and the radiology profession. Her efforts on behalf of quality and safety have helped transform mammography and develop other ACR accreditation programs. Such transformations required intimate collaboration with organizations including the American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association (AMA), and the Food and Drug Administration.
Wilcox began her career with the ACR in 1987 as a coordinator for ACR's standards development process with the AMA. From there, she managed the then brand new Mammography Accreditation Program (MAP). Wilcox considers the success of MAP and its influence on the development and passage of the 1992 Mammography Quality Standards Act one of her greatest achievements.
In 2000, Wilcox became the ACR assistant executive director for Quality and Safety (a title that was changed to executive vice president in 2014). Ten years later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention appointed her to the Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection and Control Advisory Committee of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. She also served as a liaison to the National Cancer Institute's National Cancer Advisory Board and published numerous articles in such journals as the JACR, Radiology, Biomedical Imaging and Intervention Journal, and Medical Physics. Wilcox retired from the ACR in 2016.