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July 2003 Issue

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UC Medical Center, Health Alliance Partner in Sonography Training Program

Published July 2003

The UC College of Allied Health Sciences has received funding from The Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati to add a sonography (ultrasound) imaging component to the Bachelor of Science program in Advanced Medical Imaging Technology (AMIT). The funding, totaling $150,000, will be dispersed in increments of $50,000 over the next three years, and will allow for the recruitment of a qualified faculty member to spearhead the training program.

Our initial planning for the current structure of the AMIT program took place in the early 1990s," said Alan Vespie, MEd, program director for Analytical and Diagnostic Sciences in the UC College of Allied Health Sciences. "From day one, sonography has been a part of our plans, but a lack of state funding prohibited the full implementation of this program.

This funding will assist our college and program with meeting the tremendous student demand for a sonography curriculum while simultaneously generating graduates that will positively impact the number, quality and breadth of knowledge of the sonography imaging community," he said.

Currently, students in the AMIT program complete two years of prerequisite courses, one year of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) training, and one year of nuclear medicine technology training. Students will now have the option of completing a year of sonography imaging, replacing one of the other imaging modalities. The new program will be added to the AMIT curriculum when classes begin in September 2003. Students enrolled in the program will also be eligible for scholarships from the Health Alliance.

"The AMIT program was one of the first programs to award a baccalaureate degree for the successful completion of a nuclear medicine technology curriculum," said Vespie. "In 1999, we evolved into a multi-credential program in which all of our baccalaureate students would be board eligible in more than one medical imaging modality. Our program has an extraordinarily high pass rate (over 99 percent) for the nationally administered board examinations, and our graduates are well known and respected in the medical imaging community."

The addition of the new program creates a mutually beneficial arrangement for both the college and the six hospitals within the Health Alliance.

"Everyone knows about the shortage of nurses and pharmacists, but perhaps the greatest shortage we face is with qualified imaging personnel," said Bob Griffith, senior vice president and chief human resources officer for the Health Alliance. "This partnership with the College of Allied Health Sciences is yet another initiative to ensure that the Health Alliance hospitals have qualified imaging personnel to meet the growing needs of the Greater Cincinnati community."

Students in the AMIT program will spend a set amount of time in the Health Alliance hospitals during their twelve-month training, and will be eligible for board licensure to pursue full-time employment following the training program.

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