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In Focus: Emilio Vega

By John Wallace

NYU Langone Health CT Quality and Safety Manager Emilio Vega, BS, RT (R) (CT) ARRT, found his way into the realm of diagnostic imaging after an injury.

“Years ago, I needed an X-ray of my knee. A friend of mine was the technologist who performed the exam. From that moment, my interest in imaging was sparked,” Vega explains.

It is a decision that continues to pay off. When asked why he loves his job, Vega’s reply emphasized helping others.

“I love my job since it allows me to deliver health care to those in need. Having the opportunity to work with masters of the field has given me the passion and enthusiasm to learn and share tools of the trade. I am fortunate in that I work for one of the world’s best health care organizations. Professionals from all walks of life work in synergy to deliver health care in a meaningful way. NYU Langone has given me the opportunity to be a part of a team,” he says.

He has experienced success as an imaging leader but is quick to point something outside of work as his greatest achievement.

“My greatest accomplishment is becoming a parent. My children are everything to me. Being able to see them grow up and interact with them throughout the years confirms that I achieved one of life’s greatest gifts – the ability to create a family,” Vega says. 

“Family is number one. They are the heart of my life and give me the energy to do my very best in all facets of my life. My family consists of my wife and three sons. Two are 15 and one is 22 years old and already a radiation safety technologist,” he says.

“In my professional career, my accomplishments are many,” he adds. “I’ve created a very robust 3D image processing lab for our department. I’ve also implemented a radiation dose monitoring system to capture our dose indices. Working with the American College of Radiology on its pilot program, we participated in the world’s first registry for radiation dose. I am proud to say NYU Radiology is at the sweet spot – not too low – but just enough to produce high-quality diagnostic images.”  

“In addition to radiation dose optimization, speaking at industry conferences has also been my passion,” he adds. “I thoroughly enjoy sharing what I have learned with others and ultimately engaging in conversation with other leaders in the field. Quality and safety are my world. I want to ensure proper equipment utilization of the latest and greatest CT scanners. My goal is to provide the best image quality with the lowest radiation dose.”

When it comes to leadership Vega has a unique perspective.

“Leadership is the ability to lead a group of people and to create a team. My approach to leadership is to standing beside my team. Being there in time of need, working together in any capacity – whether it is clinical or administrative – has a positive impact on our team of frontline technologists,” Vega explains. “I am right there with my team, patient-facing on a daily basis.” 

“Lifelong learning preserves an individual’s desire to obtain new knowledge outside of the formal education system. Developing an attitude where you constantly learn is the only way to succeed in the dynamic radiology environment which we live in today,” he adds.

Vega has been fortunate to have many mentors who have been generous to share their knowledge including doctors, nurses, technologists and physician assistants. 

“They have all helped me when I needed and let me fly on my own as well to give me the confidence everyone needs to achieve,” he says. 

His mentors have inluded Dr. Alec Megibow, Dr. Jane Ko, Dr. Danny Kim and Joan Rodriquez.

Rodriquez is the former manager of CT/XR services, now retired, and was the person who on-boarded Vega at NYU Langone Health.

“She has taught me, along with the rest of the technologists, how to be successful and add value to a radiology department,” he says.

He is paying it forward by serving as a mentor to others.

“I have learned to share information in a way that allows new technologists to absorb in a fun and interactive way. Taking all the resources available and applying them in different ways to keep things fresh and interesting has proven to work well,” he says.

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