What a year it has been. The enormous challenges we all faced amid the COVID 19 pandemic, have become powerful opportunities to find new and innovative ways to deliver RAB education programs virtually and thus reaching many more people around the world. Many of our programs were delivered online this year and new programs, such as the very successful 1-to1 virtual mentorship program were added. The TIDES project welcomed the Cook Islands as a new nation and I am very excited to be able to share with you feedback from the head radiographer of the Cook Islands, Mrs Waisiki Lomalagi, on what difference it has made to patients in the Cook Islands.
On 24 November, we welcomed many of our members, partners and volunteers to our Annual General Meeting providing a summary of our work this year and introducing our plans for 2021. Have a look at our RAB in 2020 video to see all our incredible progress we together were able to achieve in 2020 and what to expect in 2021.
With many initiatives moving online, we also upgraded the RAB website and we'd love to invite you to have a look. And while you are there, discover the many faces of RAB's volunteers, such as Kristopher, Kieran, Katie and Michaella, our new volunteer medical students from Canada, helping us to launch the International Certificate in Radiology Fundamentals. Next year, with many restrictions to travel anticipated to still be in place, we will be shifting our site programs including VITAL, IMPACT and the brand new Paediatric VITAL online and will deliver six virtual conferences. We thank Carlisle Health for sponsoring these virtual conferences.
With the year drawing to an end, we wish you and your families a safe and peaceful transition into the New Year. We are very grateful for all your support and remember:
Together, we can change the world through radiology.
TIDES - “Teleradiology In Disaster Events, Screening and Second Opinions” lead by Dr Glyn Llewellyn-Jones, a volunteer Radiologist for RAB
The TIDES project connects clinicians in Samoa and the Cook Islands with volunteer radiologists in Australia and New Zealand who provide advice and second opinions on complex or unusual imaging cases. Working on a rotating roster, the radiologists provide pro bono reporting on a regular basis as well as assist during disaster events.
Waisiki Lomalagi is an X-Ray Manager in the Cook Islands and recently shared how the TIDES project is supporting her team.
The Cook Islands is one of the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICT) which has come a long way in Radiology Services.
The Cook Islands consists of 15 islands of which 13 are inhabited, with a resident population of 14,000.
There are only two radiology departments in the Cook Islands, one on the main island, Rarotonga and the second on larger outer island Aitutaki. Rarotonga has 2 qualified Medical Radiation Technologists (MRT) and Aitutaki is manned by a locally trained technician.
The Cook Islands has grown its radiology capacity in the past years with the introduction of Ultrasound and Computerized Radiology services to provide the best radiology services for the population but has never had official Radiologist’ support.
The introduction of the TIDES program to the Cook Islands is a game-changer and has taken the radiology support services to another level. TIDES Radiologists reporting has paved the way of ensuring that patients receive the best health care and management. This reporting also provides in-country continuous upskilling for the two local MRT in performance and reporting of ultrasound and general x-rays to be consistent with overseas radiology departments.
The advantage of having the TIDES program is that reported cases can be streamlined into those that can be managed locally and those that need further imaging abroad. It also enables Local Physicians to make critical decisions in patient management.
Since its inception in August 2020, there have been 30 cases reported by TIDES and 10 of these cases were referred abroad for specialized management. This is another highlight of TIDES assisting the Cook Islands to be more cost-efficient.
The Cook Islands is fortunate and grateful to the TIDES program for supporting our radiology services.
Welcoming Carlisle Health as a sponsor for the 2021 Virtual Conferences
In 2021, we will hold 6 virtual teaching conferences to replace the on-site teaching visits that were planned prior to COVID-19. To our colleagues and friends in developing nations, we look forward to visiting you in person to provide teaching and support to you and your community!
In the meantime, the good news is, these online conferences are available to anyone, anywhere in the world!
As a sponsor for this particular project, Carlisle Health, a consolidator in the diagnostic imaging sector in Australia have joined the RAB team to help us provide YOU with greater accessibility of radiology resources, even with International borders shut!
"Carlisle’s newest partnership with RAB to support the 2021 Virtual Conferences demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the greater accessibility of radiology to all communities. We are delighted to share in this Project’s vision to share local knowledge, expertise and experiences across the world to support the learning and development of our colleagues, so that patients may ultimately receive the best medical care. We, too, firmly believe that all patients from all communities deserve to receive quality healthcare and have a greater chance of better health outcomes; irrespective of geographical, economic and social limitations. Thank you to RAB for helping ensure Carlisle Health continues to make a positive change!" - Carlisle Health
We look forward to welcoming you to the 2021 Virtual Conferences and will be providing more details on these events in the coming months.
Read more about our "Abdominal Imaging" virtual conference in June 2021 further below, the complete agenda, speakers and times are listed.
Check Out Our New Website
It was time to revamp our website to give credit to the many incredible projects and initiatives that RAB is running. At the Annual General Meeting on 24 November 2020, we launched our revamped web page to the public. The new page will be the information hub for everything that RAB does and is involved, so make sure you visit and have a look https://www.radiologyacrossborders.org/.
Annual General Meeting 2020
On the 24th of November, our charity members, sponsors and partners gathered to attend our first virtual annual general meeting. During the meeting, we received updates from project leads responsible for RAB’s 14 projects, as well as introducing plans for 2021.
Mentor Program Update
A one-to-one clinical support program pairing our vast volunteer base with colleagues in developing nations to provide personalised and practical support and learning.
In 2020 we conducted a three month pilot program and paired 40+ sonographers, radiographers and doctors from:
With incredible mentors in Australia, NZ, UK and the US!
How did it work?
Pair’s met by video chat once a week for 1-3 hours
Mentees shared the topics and questions they needed help in
Mentors provided teaching and training support, researching articles, answering questions, organising resources to be sent to their country and most of all, being a listening ear to their everyday struggles.
What was the feedback from the pilot?
94% of attendees indicated they would like to participate again and taught their new tips and tricks with their team members! 100% of attendees would suggest the program to a friend!
Many pairs are still meeting today long after the program has finished!
What’s next for 2021?
After the successful pilot and with a full waiting list of applications and enthusiastic mentors ready to help us, we aim to restart the program in February.
We plan to offer 3 x 12-week cycles throughout 2021, with each cycle allowing between 10-15 pairs to participate and also extending the invitation to students studying our certificate.
1st cycle February - April
2nd cycle May - August
3rd cycle September - November
In the meantime, look out for an application form arriving in your inbox early next year!
Introducing Two New Canadian Medical Students Assisting With The International Certificate in Radiology Fundamentals (ICRF)
Katie is a medical student completing her studies at the University of British Columbia in Canada. Prior to medical school Katie completed her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Ottawa and worked as a wildfire fighter in B.C.
Katie was introduced to RAB through Dr. Pete Tonseth at UBC, and is working on the implementation of the RAB/UBC International Certificate in Radiology Fundamentals. She is excited to be involved in such a valuable initiative.
Michaella is a medical student at the University of British Columbia, Southern Medical Program in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Prior to medical school she completed a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus.
Dr. Pete Tonseth introduced Michaella to RAB and she joined the International Certificate in Radiology Fundamentals team to complete the development and implementation of the program.
How eIntergrity is supporting the International Certificate of Radiology Fundamentals
eIntegrity - is an award-winning online healthcare course, providing access to world-class healthcare training developed for the UK NHS and now available globally.
R-ITI - Radiology Integrated Training Initiative is a program developed by eIntegrity to support radiology trainees in the UK and R-ITI is now available as part of the RAB certificate!
“eIntegrity is delighted to be able to support RAB by providing access to R-ITI content. We would like to extend our best wishes to the new cohort of students undertaking the certificate in February 2021 and to all future cohorts and we are sure that they will benefit both from R-ITI and the other excellent components of the certificate.”