Published September 12, 2016
New full-time faculty members joining the Department of Radiology will re-establish the University at Buffalo’s radiology residency program.
The 35 practicing radiologists are joining the department from Great Lakes Medical Imaging (GLMI).
“The transitioning of the radiologists from Great Lakes Medical Imaging into the UB Department of Radiology and UBMD Radiology will re-energize radiological care, education and science in Western New York, providing UB medical students with a solid foundation in the science of imaging and how it applies to patient care,” says Michael E. Cain, MD, vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
“This transition takes advantage of the very talented pool of radiologists at Great Lakes Medical Imaging and complements the strong collaborations between the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and our hospital partners at Kaleida Health, Erie County Medical Center and elsewhere on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus,” he says.
The need to re-establish a medical residency training program in Western New York was a key motivation for the new arrangement.
In 2006, the school voluntarily withdrew the program from the national accreditation process conducted by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education, partly as a response to the departure of several faculty members.
Kenneth D. Pearsen, MD, the co-founder and former president of GLMI, has been named the new chair of the Department of Radiology. “Collectively, we are up to the task of unequivocally placing radiology training and education back on the map in Buffalo to stay,” he emphasizes.
“Residency education is the primary pathway to securing the future of our specialty,” Pearsen says. The UB residency will ensure that Buffalo has a “steady supply of expertly-trained radiology specialists to service our community for the foreseeable future and beyond,” he notes.
The school begins the residency application process this year with the goal of enrolling its first class of radiology residents in 2018.
Cain says the new faculty will advance clinical research in the field, complementing the highly-acclaimed basic science and radiation physics research performed by Stephen Rudin, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Daniel R. Bednarek, PhD, professor, both in the Department of Radiology.
The new UB radiology faculty members will provide care to the community as clinicians with UBMD Radiology and UB’s hospital partners in the Great Lakes Health System.
The UBMD Radiology practice plan will provide radiology services to Buffalo General Medical Center as GLMI has done for years. The new agreement also makes UBMD Radiology the sole provider of radiology services at Erie County Medical Center (ECMC).
Pearsen says that the new initiative will benefit the provision of radiological services in the community.
“UBMD Radiology will create an unprecedented, integrated imaging network serving the Great Lakes Health System, including Buffalo General Medical Center and Erie County Medical Center, as well as the numerous specialty services under the umbrella of UBMD,” he notes.
“UBMD Radiology will provide radiologic expertise at our multiple GLMI outpatient sites canvassing Western New York. This transition will provide imaging expertise from the most rural locations to the bedside at our most specialized hospital locations,” says Pearsen, who has also been named president of the UBMD Radiology practice plan.
“As UBMD Radiology, we will now be able to strengthen our collaboration with other UBMD specialty practices throughout Western New York, including neurosurgery, orthopaedics, neurology, general surgery and internal medicine, to name a few,” says Pearsen.
“This will ensure the highest educational standards and most comprehensive collaborative health care service in the region.”
The move is an important step forward for the Great Lakes Health System, the planning entity comprised of UB, Kaleida Health and ECMC, created in 2006 by the Berger Commission, whose mission was to restructure and streamline the hospital and nursing home industries in New York State.
The new arrangement could not have happened without the strong collaborative relationships among the three partners, according to Cain.
Legislative amendments passed by the New York State Senate in April that allow ECMC to further integrate health care delivery among the Great Lakes Health partners also played a role.
Thomas J. Quatroche Jr., PhD, president and chief executive officer of the ECMC Corporation, said: “This important initiative reinforces precisely what was envisioned by the partner organizations that came together as the Great Lakes Health System, fostering strong collaborative efforts that ultimately provide the highest quality health care options for the residents of Western New York.”
“The addition of GLMI radiologists to UB’s Department of Radiology will educate future radiologists to care for patients in our region and will add an even higher level of medical service capability for ECMC, Kaleida and UB, which will ultimately benefit the patients we serve,” he adds.