Department Spotlight: HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley Imaging Department

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By K. Richard Douglas

North of New York City, along the Hudson River, sits Kingston, New York. The county seat of Ulster County, Kingston was New York state’s first capital. The city was burned to the ground by the British army after the Battles of Saratoga in 1777.

The city contains three historic districts, including the Midtown Neighborhood Broadway Corridor, the Uptown Stockade District and the Downtown Rondout-West Strand District. All three areas contain a number of 17th through 19th century buildings.

Tourists visiting the city can take a cruise on the Hudson River, browse museums and antique shops and ride an on antique trolley car. The city is home to the only intersection in America where 18th century homes stand on all four corners.

Three of Kingston’s comprehensive health care providers are HealthAlliance facilities. One is the HealthAlliance Hospital-Mary’s Avenue Campus, a 150-bed acute-care facility. Another is the HealthAlliance Hospital Broadway Campus, which is also a 150-bed acute-care facility. Both campuses are a part of the HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley. Margaretville Hospital, a 15-bed critical access hospital is a third HealthAlliance location serving the area.

They are members of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network. Imaging services to these facilities are provided through the system’s Hudson Valley Imaging Department.

The Hudson Valley Imaging Department includes 122 staff members, including full-time, part-time and PD for the Broadway campus and MAC.

Leadership within the department includes Rebecca King, director of ambulatory services; Chris Donaldson, medical imaging manager; Lowell Fley, manager of advanced imaging (for the Broadway Campus and Mary’s Avenue Campus); Megan Valyou, manager at the Fern Feldman Anolick Center for Breast Health, Mary’s Avenue Campus; and Roberta Scism, manager of medical imaging at Margaretville Hospital.

The group provides imaging services at the Margaretville Hospital, the Mary’s Avenue campus and at Saugerties Diagnostic Imaging (part of the Broadway Campus, but located offsite in Saugerties, New York).

The team operates and provides diagnostic imaging using four CT scanners, one MRI scanner, two angio suites, seven prep and recovery rooms for IR, five ultrasound rooms combined, four portable X-ray, five C-arms, two mini C-arms, two fixed DR rooms and one DR Fluoro room.

The group makes use of several modalities for interventional radiology, breast center, CT scan, diagnostic radiography, ultrasound, nuclear medicine and MRI. They do not do PET scanning or 3D mammograms.

Training and Projects

To maintain the training needed to stay current with clinical and technical advances in imaging, the department keeps the realm of opportunities open.

“We use any opportunity we can. When possible we engage with OEMs to provide on-site learning to enhance and maintain skills. We use train-the-trainer opportunities, also,” King says.

She says that GE Tip-ED Online and Onsite Clinical Specialist education is also employed.

The group’s input is valuable in the planning and construction process.

“We are very involved in planning and decision making. We are currently planning an entire new department build. Our organization respects and asks for our input into the development of our department. We do not participate in third-party labor negotiations,” King says.

Further strengthening the credentials and metric achievements of the team is an important goal of the department.

“We are currently working with the American College of Radiology on their GRID (general information radiology database) database to capture and benchmark ourselves to like organizations,” King says.

“We are also planning to submit our application to be surveyed by the American College of Radiology for the Diagnostic Imaging Centers of Excellence accreditation. We feel we will do well on this survey as our quality benchmarks are outstanding,” she adds.

Beyond the work the department’s staff performs on the job, they are ACR accredited in all modalities. They participate in NRDR: DIR, GRID and IR Registry and Pledge for Image Wisely and Image Gently.

The Hudson Valley Imaging Department works every day to bring a high level of excellence in diagnostic imaging to the patients in Kingston. They maintain that edge through rigorously attaining the highest benchmarks for quality.

“We have a phenomenal and highly polished team that works together to provide the highest quality health care experience for every patient every time,” Donaldson says.

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