Member Profile: Meet SIIM Members from Minnesota - SIIM News Winter 2010
For those entering the profession, he advises: “Be prepared to be challenged, have an open mind toward technology and what it can accomplish. As technology changes, so must you; be prepared to give up old ways and open your mind to the new.”
Norsten finds that SIIM membership keeps him abreast of the latest trends and advances in the industry and allows him contact with his counterparts. He is looking forward to attending SIIM 2010 in Minneapolis with his team in June and is hoping “to see the latest and greatest and looking forward to expanding my contact list.”
He and his wife enjoy camping and hiking, and he also enjoys photography (digital of course!).
Joseph Accurso, MD, medical director at Austin Medical Center, part of the Mayo Health System in Austin, MN, has always been interested in computers. During an internship in the US Navy, he became interested in Nuclear Medicine. Upon leaving the Navy, he entered a 5-year Radiology/Nuclear Medicine program.
“Given the small size of my facility, I play a leadership role in Radiology, the Emergency Department, and for the medical specialists,” he says. “I am also the physician leader for radiology integration efforts for the Mayo Health System. There are essentially no “turf” issues between groups, making for a very enjoyable, collaborative environment. Even radiologists and cardiologists partner together to read Cardiac Nuclear studies and coronary CT angiograms,” he says.
He finds providing more accurate data more quickly about medical conditions for patients and their physicians is very rewarding. “Managing people and making them comfortable about the rapid changes that need to occur is my biggest challenge,” he says.
Accurso is a SIIM member from back in the old “SCAR” days, and remains so because of its focus on informatics and computing in medicine, which are his interests. “The SIIM community, journal, publications, and the Expert Hotline in SIIM News are the most important benefits.”
He looks forward to attending SIIM 2010 in June. “For me, the convenience of being ‘local’ will allow me to attend the meeting ‘on a budget. ‘ Minneapolis is a vibrant city, with many activities and entertainment and dining options. People attending SIIM in Minneapolis will have a wonderful, memorable time.”
Therese Krug, BS, RTR, is Imaging Systems Administrator for Gillette Childrens Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul. Her career as a technologist extends back 29 years. “I became interested in imaging because I started working as a file clerk for an imaging dept in a trauma facility when I was 15 years old. The technologists were always showing me how they performed their job and I became very interested in the profession,” she says.
Because of the enterprise-wide nature of PACS these days, she says, “Every department/physician that uses PACS is my customer.”
Networking, information, and resources are what she gets out of her SIIM membership, and advises anyone in any profession to “never be afraid to learn something new. If you are lucky enough to find a good technologist mentor, start there and begin learning/ reading everything you can that applies to informatics,” she says.
The most challenging part of her job, she says, is working with the Information Systems team, because if they do not have a direct patient contact background they do not understand the urgency of a physician needing to see the image.
“I live here so I already know what a great place it is, but for those coming from outside MN, there is always something to do,” she says.
She enjoys cooking for large dinner parties and driving along the Mississippi River near Wabasha, MN, in the fall and enjoying the beautiful fall colors and stopping to see the bald eagles.
Gene Scalf is Senior Systems Analyst, Park Nicollet Health Services, St. Louis Park, MN. He was attending community college and working as a HAVAC special operator when a dentist at the time, who knew he had an interest in a dental hygiene career, suggested he check into a radiography program. He attended radiologic technology school and made the decision to pursue an imaging career instead of HAVAC. “I never looked back and truly enjoyed radiography,” he says. It was while attending the school of radiation therapy at the University of Minnesota that he became interested in computers and decided that radiology imaging would soon be heading into the digital arena. So, he changed career paths and enrolled in an IT COHORT program.
Scalf’s career path led him to be an analyst and/or consultant supporting teleradiology/PACS/RIS implementations and eventually back to Park Nicollet Health Services to serve as a Senior Systems Analyst for their IT Imaging Systems.
Imaging Systems staff work inter-departmentally in cross functional teams that include members of other IT teams (clinical services, transcription services, integration services, technical services ie database/servers/), operations (radiology/registration/admitting), service desk, and Kaizen (A Lean Initiative for Process Improvement).
“I have always had the opinion that it is good to be well rounded in this industry,” he says. “Key points to success include knowing a little about everything and a lot about where or how to learn more. I have also found great value in having both clinical and technical expertise. I am a trained radiographer, certified in MRI and have had formal training in project management, networking, DICOM and HL7.”
SIIM has always been a leader in imaging informatics and has been an excellent professional resource to interact with other informatics colleagues, learn new tactics and expand your knowledge, he says. He is greatly looking forward to attending SIIM 2010 this year, especially since it is local. “I am looking forward to the informative technical discussions and familiar faces of people I know in the radiology informatics world. Additionally I am involved the in the CRISS executive committee which is a prequel to the SIIM conference and I always enjoy interacting with my fellow Centricity RIS-IC professionals.”
“I always expect to learn something new, have an opinion changed, and to grow professionally,” he adds.
He enjoys gadgets and says lately most of them center around cooking utensils, since he has been expanding his culinary knowledge by attending culinary school. He owns a collector mustang (1971 Mach I) and likes taking that out for a spin when the weather is nice. Other hobbies include playing Wii with family or interacting with social networks, such as Facebook.