When and how did you get involved with cardiovascular ultrasound?
I started my cardiac sonography program right out of high school in 2009, attending Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls, SD. I had always known that I wanted to be in a medical field, but didn’t know quite what I wanted to do. I reasoned that this degree would allow me to get into the hospital and see what interested me the most. What I didn’t realize was that I’d fall in love with the heart, and echo, and end up happily staying in the field!
What is the name and type of facility/institution at which you work, and what is your current position?
I currently work at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. I am one of the lead cardiac sonographers in my lab specializing in dealing with all aspects of accreditation for our lab.
When and how did you get involved with the ASE?
I first got involved with ASE during my clinical internship at Duke University Hospital. Duke’s lab is highly involved in the society and I figured what a perfect way to be introduced! I attended my first Scientific Sessions in Washington DC and I used the opportunity to network, resulting in my first job, at Cleveland Clinic.
Why do you volunteer for ASE?
I volunteer for ASE because I like to give back to an organization that has helped me grow so much in my career. From the first encounter at the Scientific Sessions engineering my first job, to presenting posters, to becoming faculty, I have learned so much from my echocardiography peers! It is my wish to help others have the same experience.
What is your current role within ASE? In the past, on what other committees, councils or task forces have you served and what have you done with the local echo society?
I was honored to accept the position of Learning Lab Chair for October’s Echo Florida 2018. This is an incredible opportunity for me to work with experienced conference directors and to be a part of planning an amazing conference. I am also currently a member of the Membership committee and have loved being a part of the process of inviting new members as well as retaining current members.
For the past three years, I have been on the faculty for the Scientific Sessions. This has been such an honor for me to educate such a wide variety of people in my field. For the 2018 Scientific Sessions, I was a part of the Echovation task force. This was a fascinating experience because I love hearing the passion of others for both our field of echo and advancing it with innovative ideas. In 2017, I was accepted as a Fellow of the American Society of Echo, showing my passion for research, education, and volunteering in my field.
Locally, I have been a part of the faculty for Echo Northwestern for 4 years. This local conference is ideal for physicians and sonographers in the Midwest and it gives my sonographer staff an introduction to speaking at conferences!
Finally, I am an active volunteer for ARDMS. I do item writing, reviewing and mentoring for the Adult Echo Boards. This has been a great opportunity to be a part of the process for the new generation of sonographers. More recently, I have accepted a seat on the Adult Echocardiography Exam Committee, which will allow me to help make more fine-tuned decisions about what is on the adult echo boards.
What is your advice for members who want to become more involved in their profession or with the ASE?
I think one of the best things about being a part of ASE is the opportunity it presents for networking. Everyone is so approachable, whether it’s an ASE staff member or past president. If you are interested in echo and have a passion for learning, everyone is willing to help. Volunteering for a committee is a great way to start! This shows your willingness to give back to the society without a huge time commitment. It also shows you the more administrative side of the society that the staff makes seem so easy.
Another piece of advice is to attend the Scientific Sessions if you are able. I think this conference is consistently one of the best I’ve ever attended and it really provides so much education for every role in echo. Not only can you learn about the newest technology and meet the vendors of the products we use every day, but you can also network with people in similar roles to your own from all over the United States as well as Internationally.
What is your vision for the future of cardiovascular sonography?
I think we will continue to see the technology of ultrasound grow, from the tools on the ultrasound cart to advanced technology like artificial intelligence. The new medical technology that is developing is so exciting! I think that in the future, the role of a sonographer will continue to be a crucial part of diagnosing heart disease, and I hope that our role continues to expand. I think it’s really important to have a lab that has respect and communication between the sonographer and physician staff. I hope to see more labs strive to develop and appreciate these relationships. This not only makes it a more educational environment, but it also benefits the patients. I can only see good things coming for the field of echocardiography!