Virtual Radiologic (vRad), a technology-enabled national radiology practice and the largest telemedicine company in the world, announced today that it has won the 2012 Minnie Award for the "Most Effective Public Service Campaign." The award, which is part of the annual Minnies event sponsored by radiology portal AuntMinnie.com, recognizes exceptional public service contributions radiologists and imaging vendors are making around the world.
AuntMinnie.com selected vRad for the award for its partnership program with MSF, an international medical humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists in France in 1971. Through the MSF partnership, vRad and its radiologists provide critical clinical, technology and support resources to provide pro bono diagnostic radiology reads in Nukus, Uzbekistan, and Boguila, Central African Republic. More than 80 vRad radiologists participate in the program.
"vRad's collaboration with MSF is a great example of how advances in medical imaging technology can be used to improve the lives of those in underserved regions around the world," said Brian Casey, editor in chief of AuntMinnie.com. "We are pleased to recognize their efforts with the Minnie award for Most Effective Public Service Campaign."
In Uzbekistan, vRad is helping MSF tackle multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. The company also provided a teleradiology system, enabling doctors working for the humanitarian organization to consult U.S.-based vRad radiologists.
vRad's partnership with MSF is also playing a key role in improving care for children and adults in Central African Republic, where the healthcare system has collapsed due to ongoing armed conflict and poor economic conditions.
"Telemedicine is a powerful application of technology to increase access to health care for underserved populations in rural and economically challenged communities," explained Brad Snyder, Medical Director and Radiologist at vRad. "At vRad we believe that applying the same technology to world communities is a natural extension of what we can and should be doing as a practice. We're proud to be able to support the noble efforts of MSF clinicians."
In addition to Uzbekistan and the Central African Republic, vRad radiologists are working with MSF in Uganda and Malawi.
Saskia Spijker, Radiographer with MSF, explains, "MSF collaboration with vRad has improved access to specialized clinical support in locations where access is otherwise extremely limited. This benefits not only diagnosis and subsequent patient management, but also serves as an educational tool for local referrers. We look forward to further expanding our field access to teleradiology services through vRad support."
Tom Vreeland, vRad Radiologist, explains, "I enjoy participating in the MSF project as a means of helping those patients in times of true need and as a means to partially satisfy my professional need to 'give back' to our world community. The MSF project helps provide hope and reaffirmation that we are physicians first, radiologists second."
"As much as I enjoy working at vRad, the pro bono work is even more exciting; the large number of committed volunteers and the computer infrastructure make an otherwise impossible job a reality," said Ben Eggleston, MD.
vRad Radiologist, Sean Takeuchi, MD, added, "Giving back to a small local community is one thing, but here I have the chance to give back to multiple underserved regions, cities, and countries."
Virtual Radiologic (vRad) is a technology-enabled national radiology practice working in partnership with local radiologists and hospitals to optimize radiology's pivotal role in patient care. vRad's more than 400 radiologists serve 2,700+ facilities, reading 7 million studies annually. Delivering access to extensive subspecialty coverage, vRad contributes to improved quality of patient care. And with its next-generation technology, vRad enhances productivity, helping to lower the overall cost of care while expediting time to accurate diagnosis and treatment. For more information, visit www.vrad.com. For real-time updates, follow us on Twitter (@vRad), or "like" us on Facebook.
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