Summer 2020 • Volume 40 • Number 3


President's Address

Lucy B. Spalluto, MD, MPH

Associate Professor

Associate Director, Diversity and Inclusion
Director, Women in Radiology
Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences

Recent acts of racial discrimination and hatred across the United States have again brought to light the long-standing history of anti-Black racism in our country. The AAWR was founded on principles of diversity and inclusion and condemns these atrocious acts. We strongly proclaim that Black Lives Matter.


For me, personally, 2020 has become a time to listen. A time to be honest with myself and with others. A time to start conversations about race and inequality that might be difficult. A time for me to challenge myself to be better. To get out of my comfort zone and take action to address the long-standing systemic racial injustices in our country.


While diversity and inclusion have always been the focus of AAWR programming, the AAWR recognizes the need to expand our programming to address racism, discrimination, and social inequity by offering educational sessions on these issues and fostering an environment in which underrepresented minorities can excel. The AAWR commits to developing programming specifically to meet the needs of Black women in radiology, to fostering the development of Black women leaders in radiology, and to increasing the visibility of Black speakers at AAWR hosted events.


I am, as always, grateful to our members and members-in-training for providing guidance on how we move forward in these challenging times.  And grateful for the efforts to maintain outstanding AAWR programming as we have seamlessly pivoted to a virtual environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


For the first time, the 2020 ACR Women’s Caucus was held virtually (and quite successfully!) and provided a forum to discuss the challenges women in radiology have faced during the pandemic.  The AAWR Speed Mentoring event, usually held in person at the ACR meeting, was transitioned to a virtual environment and attended by a record 150 participants.  Dr. Kimberly Beavers and Dr. Yasha Gupta moderated, and mentors included Dr. Christopher McAdams, Dr. Melissa Davis, Dr. Catherine Everett, Dr. Alexander Norbash, Dr. Susan Ackerman, Dr. Katarzyna Macura, and Dr. Lori Deitte. The Spring AAWR Work-Life Harmony webinar, moderated by Dr. Lyndia Personnat and Dr. Chelsea Schmitt, featured Dr. Carolynn DeBenedectis and Dr. Jessica Schuster and was was also attended by a record 115 participants.  I look forward to our upcoming AAWR events!


As always, I invite you to reach out with any questions, comments, or suggestions.


Your AAWR President,


Lucy Spalluto


Upcoming Events

Save the Date!



Save the date for a July 28th webinar, Financial Freedom with RADxx, sponsored by AAWR and Ambra Health.  The webinar will be hosted by AAWR 2020 President Dr. Lucy Spalluto, with featured speaker Dr. Stephanie Pearson.


Click here to register.

Add event to calendar

Apple Google Office 365 Outlook Yahoo





AAWR Online Caucus Features Discussion of COVID-19 Impact on Women

A Lack of Balance

While the COVID-19 pandemic has hit all aspects of the imaging profession hard, women face unique challenges trying to manage work and life.

ACR 2020 kicked off with a discussion on the challenges faced by women in radiology during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the American Association of Women in Radiology (AAWR) 2020 Online Caucus, panelists recounted experiences shared by many in this unprecedented crisis, as well as some developments that are unique to women.

Pausing Progress

Elizabeth K. Arleo, MD, immediate past president of AAWR, kicked off the session by discussing the now-tabled Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA). Arleo announced that the AAWR submitted a historic resolution to the ACR on Feb. 17 for PFMLA in private radiology practices. It was the culmination of a lot of time, work and effort — and then the world turned upside down.

Then COVID-19 hit, and suddenly everyone needed to reassess. The decision was made to defer voting and withdraw the proposal for consideration this year. “In a sad Catch-22 situation, more people now than ever need paid family leave,” Arleo said. “It’s disappoint­ing to postpone it, but the decision was made by AAWR leadership and advisors that it’s the correct thing to do, given the pandemic. We’re hopeful we can bring the resolution to the floor next year.”

Weathering the Storm

“The number one word: uncertainty.” Kirti Magudia, MD, PhD, an abdominal radiology fellow at the University of California-San Francisco, summed things up succinctly when she talked about navigating life as a working mother of two young children and wife to a husband who is an emergency physician and, therefore, cannot work from home. Panelists discussed the various challenges they’ve come up against throughout the last few months, including issues such as PPE shortages, financial strains, availability of home work­stations and testing kits, and maintaining proper socially distanced safety protocols in hospitals and practices. They agree everyone is suffering, but it seems to be even harder for women.

“Working moms have a lot of added stress,” said Shadi A. Esfahani, MD, MPH, an abdominal radiology fellow at MGH. She noted impacts on breastfeeding mothers and difficulties they may experience with proper social distancing and cleanliness in lactation rooms. “There’s also the impact on first-year residents and medical students to consider,” Esfahani said. “Their physical rotations have been canceled, so we’ll need more pipelines to encourage students and women to explore radiology.”

Panelists also spoke of increased workloads for women, while productivity has decreased. “Women’s productivity has gone down, in research especially,” said Anna Lee, MD, a radiation oncology fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who noted that papers with women as first authors have gone down since the pandemic began. Lucy B. Spalluto, MD, MPH, vice chair of health equity in the department of radiology at Vanderbilt University and president of AAWR, estimates this is likely due to greater demands on women at home when it comes to child or elder parent care. Spalluto finds she is constantly busy, doing most of her research and academic work at night and on weekends. “Think about how much people’s workloads have increased with domestic care during the pandemic, particularly women’s,” she said. “Reports state that of families with two working parents, women are disproportionately bearing the burden of the domestic work, up to 20 hours more per week than men.”


AAMC Leadership Development Seminar for Early-Career Faculty Award
Nanda Thimmappa, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Radiology, Medical Director of Ultrasound, Associate Program Director of Radiology Residency Program
University of Missouri

Dr. Thimmappa is Clinical Assistant Professor of Radiology, Medical Director of Ultrasound, and Associate Program Director of Radiology Residency Program at University of Missouri, Columbia (Mizzou). She obtained fellowship training in Body Imaging and Body MRI at Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York. As faculty at Mizzou, she established Contrast Enhanced Ultrasound service and introduced iMorgan software for ultrasound reporting, which resulted in improved workflow. Dr. Thimmappa’s research and teaching interests include US and MRI imaging modalities, particularly in the areas of contrast enhanced ultrasound and Liver MRI.

Dr. Thimmappa represents the Body Imaging section at the Radiology Education committee, and is Radiology representative to the University of Missouri School of Medicine Faculty Affairs Council. She serves as lead facilitator of Annual Mistreatment Awareness Training for the Department of Radiology. Dr. Thimmappa leads a case-based peer-learning program for the Department of Radiology. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Missouri Radiology Society – the Missouri Chapter of ACR. She also serves as Medical Advisor to the Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound Program at the School of Health Professions, University of Missouri.

The AAMC Early-Career Women Faculty Leadership Development Seminar is a three-and-a-half-day seminar designed for women physicians and scientists holding medical school appointments at the instructor or assistant professor level, and in the early stages of leadership positions within their discipline, department, or institution.

The 2020 AAMC Early-Career Women Faculty Leadership Development Seminar will be held July 11-14, 2020 at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, Minneapolis, Minnesota.


NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Association of Medical Colleges has cancelled the July 2020 AAMC Leadership Development Seminar for Early Career Women Faculty. Dr. Thimmappa will attend the 2021 Seminar.







Katherine A. Shaffer Award for RLI Summit

Anna Trofimova, MD

Chief Resident, Diagnostic Radiology

Emory University School of Medicine


Dr. Anna Trofimova is a fourth-year resident in Emory Diagnostic Radiology Residency Research Track.

Her scientific focus is on investigating applications of advanced diagnostic techniques in the assessment of microstructural and functional changes of the brain. Dr. Trofimova is a recipient of the 2018 RSNA Research Resident Grant for her project investigating brain connectivity alterations in patients with vestibular impairment after mild traumatic brain injury. She is also interested in studying appropriateness and utilization of diagnostic imaging tests in neuroradiology.

Dr. Trofimova has designed and is currently developing a neuroanatomy course specifically tailored to the educational needs of radiology trainees, incorporating hands-on experience with 3D-printed anatomic models for which she received the Adopt-a-Resident Grant of the Emory University Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences. Her research efforts have been recognized by multiple awards including AAWR's 2019 MIT Award for Outstanding RSNA Presentation in Diagnostic Radiology, the 2019 RSNA Roentgen Resident/Fellow Research Award, 2019 RSNA Trainee Research Prize, and 2019 Radiology Alliance for Health Services Research Harvey L. Neiman Award. She serves in leadership positions including as a Chief Resident at Emory Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program as well as on the institutional and national committees.

After residency and fellowship training, Dr. Trofimova plans to pursue an academic career in neuroradiology.

NOTE: The Radiology Leadership Institute of the American College of Radiology has cancelled the September 2020 RLI Leadership Summit. Dr. Trofimova, winner of the Katherine A. Shaffer Award, will attend the 2021 Summit.





ASNR 2020 Women in Neuroradiology Leadership Award

Tabassum A. Kennedy, MD
Associate Professor of Radiology 

University of Wisconsin-Madison


Tabby A. Kennedy, MD, is an Associate Professor of Radiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she is the Neuroradiology Section Chief. She earned her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She attended the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology for Residency and moved to the University of Wisconsin for a two-year Neuroradiology fellowship where she subspecialized in Head and Neck Imaging.  

Dr. Kennedy has a passion for medical education at all levels and has received numerous teaching awards recognizing her efforts. 



Presented at AAWR's Virtual Year-End Members Meeting

The Marie Sklodowska-Curie Award, AAWR's highest honor, is presented annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of women in radiology/radiation oncology.  Learn More and Apply

The Alice Ettinger Distinguished Achievement Award, the AAWR’s second highest honor, recognizes the lifetime achievement and lasting contribution to radiology/radiation oncology and to the American Association for Women in Radiology. Learn More and Apply

The Lucy Frank Squire Distinguished Resident Award in Diagnostic Radiology recognizes outstanding contributions in clinical care and scholarship.  Learn More and Apply

The Eleanor Montague Distinguished Resident Award in Radiation Oncology recognizes contributions to radiology or the AAWR, community involvement, service during residency, or research endeavors. Learn More and Apply


Presented at AAWR's Virtual Year-End Members Meeting

The selected applicant will be presented with a monetary award of $100, an honorary certificate of recognition for professional development, and the abstract will be published on the AAWR website and Focus Newsletter. The applicant must be a fellow or resident who is the first author and presenter of the abstract accepted for scientific presentation at RNSA 2020, which will be held virtually. Learn More and Apply  


The selected applicant will be presented with a monetary award of $100, an honorary certificate of recognition for professional development, and the abstract will be published on the AAWR website and Focus Newsletter. The applicant must be a fellow or resident who is the first author and presenter of the abstract accepted for scientific presentation at ASTRO 2020, which will be held virtually. Learn More and Apply  


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, AAMC has cancelled the 2020 Mid-Career Seminar. The award will be offered in 2021. More information will be available at that time.



If you need assistance, please contact






Dr. Michelle Dorsey Discusses her Experience as a White House Leadership Fellow

Dr. Michelle Dorsey was the first physician to represent the Department of Veterans Affairs as a White House Leadership Fellow. Her appointment was from October 2018 to September 2019. 

How was your experience? 

 It was amazing! I was able to work with extremely dedicated public servants from across the Federal Government in support of the President’s Management Agenda. The other Fellows in my cohort were all remarkable, accomplished people in their fields, including experts from NASA, the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We had the chance to spend significant time with senior leaders and cabinet members from a variety of disciplines and learn different leadership philosophies and practices. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience.


What impact do you hope you made?

 As a member of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Performance team focused on the Customer Experience Cross Agency Priority (CAP) Goal, I worked to advance the aim of providing a modern, streamlined, and responsive customer experience (CX) across the Federal Government. I spent a lot of time establishing relationships with representatives at the 25 High Impact Service Providers (HISP) and facilitated their fulfillment of the CX requirements set forth in OMB Circular A-11 Guidance. These HISP’s touch millions of Americans in such areas as Medicare and Veterans Health Care as well as airport security screening, emergency and disaster relief, federal student aid, national parks, passport services and more. I hope that the improvements we made will enhance the ability of the Federal Government to deliver customer-centered services and improve millions of citizen’s experiences.


What did you learn from the experience?

 One of the biggest lessons for me was that the capacity of our Federal Government is truly vast and awe-inspiring. Coming from the field, we are frequently insulated from the work of other agencies. It was incredible to have the chance to meet such enthusiastic, dedicated people working across government, many towards common goals. There were offices, programs and initiatives underway, many of which were new to me, aimed at improving the lives of countless Americans. I also have a much greater appreciation for the enormity and interconnectedness of my agency, the Department of Veterans Affairs, which employs over 350,000 people. I visited a lot of places while in DC, but I still believe the VA has the most noble and inspiring mission, to fulfill President Lincoln’s promise “to care for him who shall have born the battle and for his widow and his orphan.”


What were your proudest successes over the last year?

 Last year we were able to accomplish a number of “firsts.” We facilitated the completion of the first HISP Self-Assessments, which established a baseline of CX maturity across government. I also helped HISP’s to complete the first publicly released Action Plans, outlining future directions for CX growth in such areas as measurement, governance, organization and culture, customer research and service design. HISP customer feedback data was publicly published on Performance.Gov dashboards for the first time in September 2019, which was the culmination of an effort dating back to the Clinton Administration. Finally, I was honored with a Service to the Citizen Award as part of the CAP Goal Customer Experience Interagency Team, which recognizes those public servants who demonstrate excellence in their delivery of services that impact the public’s lives.


Has this opportunity opened any doors for future opportunities and collaboration?

 On my return, I was fortunate to have the support of our senior leadership, including the Executive in Charge of the Veterans Health Administration, Dr. Richard Stone, in working on larger initiatives within the VA. I currently have a part-time role in the Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation working to more broadly address the social determinants of Veterans’ health. I have already had opportunities to reach out to many of my contacts from last year to advance initiatives that benefit our Veterans. For example, I recently facilitated a collaboration between the VA’s National Center on Homelessness among Veterans and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. I hope to continue to leverage my experience in the White House to improve the care we provide for our Veterans.



Left: Dr. Dorsey and Family

Right: Dr. Dorsey with Robert Wilkie, Secretary of Veterans Affairs
















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Working the Wards

Interventional radiology fellow Dania Daye, MD, PhD, shares her firsthand experience volunteering to care for COVID-19 patients.


Dania Daye, MD, PhD, interventional radiology fellow, is among more than a dozen radiology residents and fellows at Massachusetts General Hospital who volunteered to help care for COVID-19 patients in the wards. She recently worked four overnight shifts.

Dr. Daye provided clinical care, talked to families about end-of-life wishes, admitted patients to the hospital, coordinated care when patients required intensive care, and witnessed the impact of healthcare disparities. She says the experience gave her renewed appreciation for clinical care, and she plans to integrate what she learned into her practice as an interventional radiologist.

Click here to read the full article:







A little birdie told us…

 Check out some of the many accomplishments of our talented members that have been shared on #RadTwitter recently!


Patricia Balthazar


Received RSNA Roentgen Research Award

Jennifer Buckley


Selected for Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society

Jennifer Buckley


Published “From resident to reality: development of a novel trainee-driven lung cancer screening program” in Clinical Imaging

Cheri Canon


Elected president of SCARD

Dania Daye


Co-founded the New England Women in Radiology invited lectureship program

Dania Daye


Presented virtual grand rounds lecture at University of Washington: “Point-of-Care Radiology Visits: A New Paradigm for Patient-Centered Care in Radiology

Carolyn DeBenedectis


Received Outstanding Mentoring to Women Faculty award by UMMS Women's Faculty Committee

Elizabeth George


Received 2020 Scholar Award in Neuroradiology Research from ASNR

Nicole Hindman


Presented “Research 101: Tools you Can Use to Design Studies Right the First Time, Minimize Rejections and Get Published” for Abdominal Radiology Case Conference

Malak Itani


Published “Contrast-enhanced US for the Interventional Radiologist: Current and Emerging Applications” in RadioGraphics

Reshma Jagsi


Published “Standing Up against Gender Bias and Harassment — A Matter of Professional Ethics” in NEJM

Anna Laucis


Published “The Role of Facility Variation on Racial Disparities in Use of Hypofractionated Whole Breast Radiotherapy” in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology

Anna Lee


Presented on cancer mortality rates in states with expanded Medicaid at ASCO20

Anna Lee


Received the Allen S. Lichter, MD, Endowed Merit Award at ASCO20

Robin Levenson


Published “Diagnostic Utility of CT and Fluoroscopic Esophagography for Suspected Esophageal Perforation in the Emergency Department” in AJR

Parisa Mazaheri


Published “Imaging of Abdominal Wall Masses, Masslike Lesions, and Diffuse Processes” in RadioGraphics

Carolyn Meltzer


Selected as a 2020 Women Making a Mark honoree by Atlanta Magazine

Johanna Ospel


Published “Improving Stroke Care in Times of the COVID-19 Pandemic Through Simulation

Practice Your Protocols!” in Stroke

Priscilla Slanetz


Received the ACER Achievement award from AUR

Priscilla Slanetz


Co-founded the New England Women in Radiology invited lectureship program

Stephanie Walker


Published “What You Need to Know Before Reading Multiparametric MRI for Prostate Cancer” in AJR

Sherry Wang


Published “The Motherhood Penalty: Is It Alive and Well in 2020?” in JACR


We LOVE hearing about the triumphs of our members! If you know of an AAWR member who has done something awesome recently and we missed it, tweet us at @AAWR_org so we can all give them the props they deserve!




The AAWR is pleased to welcome its newest members who joined the Association since July 1, 2020:

First Name Last Name Designation Member Type
Srishti Abrol   Member-In-Training Member
Amara Ahmed   Member-In-Training Member
Tahira Ahmed MD Active Member 3 Year
Tabarik Al-Abbadi   Member-In-Training Member
Sarah Ali   Member-In-Training Member
Seema Azim   Member-In-Training Member
Sarah Berg   Member-In-Training Member
Elisa Berson   Member-In-Training Member
Ashley Brent   Member-In-Training Member
Brady Brooks Medical Student Member-In-Training Member
Danling Chen   Member-In-Training Member
Monica Cheng   Member-In-Training Member
Gillean Cortes   Member-In-Training Member
Sherri Couillard   Member-In-Training Member
Dyda Dao   Member-In-Training Member
Nirali Dave   Member-In-Training Member
Rebecca Dennis DO Active Member 3 Year
Silvina Dutruel   Fellowship Member 
Janaye Ervin Medical Student Member-In-Training Member
Bourtai Gold   Member-In-Training Member
Kathleen Gundry MD Active Member
Karisma Gupta Medical Student Member-In-Training Member
Joshua Heaton Resident physician Member-In-Training Member
Megan Hellfeld Resident physician Member-In-Training Member
Rozita Jalilianhasanpour Research Fellow Member-In-Training Member
Madeline Johnson   Member-In-Training Member
Candise Johnson   Member-In-Training Member
Catherine Kato Medical Student Member-In-Training Member
Julia Kirsten   Member-In-Training Member
Taylor Kline   Member-In-Training Member
Jacqueline Koomson   Member-In-Training Member
Shweta Kumar   Member-In-Training Member
Lauren Larsen   Member-In-Training Member
Lesley Latham   Member-In-Training Member
OLGA LAUR   Member-In-Training Member
Grace Lee   Member-In-Training Member
Joy Li   Member-In-Training Member
Emily Maggioncalda   Member-In-Training Member
Sarina Masso Maldonado   Member-In-Training Member
Colleen McNally   Member-In-Training Member
Ryan Morrison   Member-In-Training Member
Alexandra Napolitano   Member-In-Training Member
Leslie Nelson   Member-In-Training Member
Olayinka Ojo   Member-In-Training Member
Grace Palmer Medical Student Member-In-Training Member
Sarah Placek   Member-In-Training Member
Victoria Podsiadlo   Member-In-Training Member
Varun Ramakrishnan   Member-In-Training Member
Jennifer Smith   Member-In-Training Member
Shannon Sullivan PGY-1 Member-In-Training Member
Diane Sun   Member-In-Training Member
Devaki Shilpa Surasi MD Transitional Member 2 Year
Orysya Svystun   Member-In-Training Member
Neha Udayakumar   Member-In-Training Member

Chair, Newsletter Committee
Dr. Jean Mathew Kunjummen

Chief Editor 
Dr. Candice Johnstone

Administrative Editor
Barbara L. Hickman, MS, CMP

Executive Director

Stephanie Huppert Hige


Contact AAWR