Professional Spotlight: Jay McDaniel


Franciscan Alliance, a 140-year old faith-based health system, was founded by the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration. At one time, the health system was known as the Sisters of St. Francis Health Services, but later became Franciscan Health.

Franciscan Health serves the needs of patients in Indiana, Illinois and Michigan through a network of 14 hospitals and several medical practices.

Jay McDaniel is a radiation equipment specialist in the clinical engineering department with Franciscan Health. He specializes in Philips CT and GE MRI and is responsible for two imaging centers and three hospitals in the Carmel, Indianapolis, Greenwood and Mooresville areas. He cut his engineering teeth in the U.S. Marine Corps.

“As an enlisted officer within the USMC, I advanced in my career as a mechanical engineer, where I worked extensively on heavy equipment. Unfortunately, my career in the USMC came to an abrupt end after sustaining some (non-combat) injuries that left me hospitalized for nearly a year. This provided me with ample time to evaluate my life outside of the service. After discussing my transition into civilian life with a counselor, I chose a career path in radiologic imaging equipment,” McDaniel says.

His decision led to an associate degree in BMET from Purdue University. After that, he earned a bachelor’s degree in EET, where he completed levels 1, 2 and 3 of basic X-ray school at DITEC as a research and study elective.

Jay McDaniel and his wife, Tracey have two children, Cora, 11 and Matthew, 13.

“Immediately after school, I began my career working for Marconi. Marconi was eventually purchased by Philips Medical, which began my career with Philips. With Philips Medical I was mainly tasked with servicing CT equipment and general X-ray equipment,” McDaniel says.

“Eventually, after getting married and starting a family, I began to be drawn to a career path that kept me closer to home with more consistent hours. Thus, I began my career at Franciscan Alliance servicing CT, MRI, ultrasound and PET systems,” he adds.

Beyond Imaging Service and Repair

It was during his college time that he was able to find entry into the biomed and imaging field.

“I became acquainted with an individual in college who was working as an IT support within a local hospital. This individual was able to pass along some people to contact within the imaging field. So through basic networking, I was able to navigate into the imaging field and biomedical services,” McDaniel says.

McDaniel sees himself as as a biomed and imaging specialist as well as a patient advocate. He said he never loses sight of who the final beneficiary is for clinicians and those who repair and maintain imaging equipment.

“So, I feel like sometimes I need to be a patient advocate to other departments, vendors and techs when they don’t understand how it can affect patient care.”

“Going from field service to in-house, I have been able to learn how down systems effect patient care and can become stressful for the techs,” he says. “So, I feel like sometimes I need to be a patient advocate to other departments, vendors and techs when they don’t understand how it can affect patient care.”He points out that when you work on imaging equipment, there are companion systems that are co-dependent and important to understand.

“I also work on workstations for the 3D lab and troubleshoot networking issues. As an ‘in-house’ service engineer, I have had to learn about other systems that went along with the MRI and CT systems. For example, the radiofrequency enclosures of the MRI suite and advanced radio interface with CT/MRI systems. I have also had to advance my knowledge within advance room designs such as Philips Care Suite package,” McDaniel says.

Getting in that Cardio

It should be no surprise that a Marine would engage in fitness as a pastime.

“I am an avid bicyclist looking to completing my first assault on Mt. Mitchell and completing the RAIN ride (Ride Across Indiana) a few times which is a 160-mile ride across Indiana in a day. Also, RAGBRAI (The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa), which is a week long ride across Iowa. I also enjoy running and swimming and golf,” he says.

McDaniel has a family of four.

”I have a very supportive wife Tracey and two kids; Matthew and Cora ages 13 and 11,” he says.

McDaniel is also active in the MedWrench forum where he shares his experience and knowledge with other HTM professionals. He sees MedWrench as a good resource for his colleagues and is happy to see biomeds sharing information that is helpful to others. He was recently selected as a MedWrench Guru of the Month.

Asked about what ICE readers should know about him, McDaniel stresses dedication and the well being of patients.

“I really believe in our hospital mission statement about patient care. I always answer my phone; even if on PTO or off working hours. If there is a chance I can help one patient receive faster and better care, I will do my best to help out,” he says.

With devotion like that, patients receiving care at a Franciscan Health facility know that it is not just the clinicians who are dedicated to their care.

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