Stories About UCSF Radiology Faculty Supporting Global Health Efforts

We live in an interconnected world, and as such, there is a goal in the medical world to address global health disparities. At the UC San Francisco Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, our faculty members have committed to several global health efforts that truly embrace and exemplify UCSF PRIDE Values – Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Diversity and Excellence. We’ll briefly share a few of these efforts.

Bhavya Rehani, MD, assistant professor in residence, witnessed the lack of access to care first hand after her grandfather suffered a stroke in a small village in India. The idea that any human being anywhere in the world deserves the basic human right to health care access led her to co-found Health4TheWorld (H4TW) with her husband Ankur Bharija, MD (Stanford Medicine) and William Dillon, MD, Elizabeth A. Guillaumin Professor of Radiology and executive vice chair. Today, H4TW has over 200 doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals as well as other team members, including a lot of software engineers, volunteering to help us do this good work of bringing free healthcare education and technology to over 22 countries.

Loretta Strachowski, MD, clinical professor, began working with Imaging4Change in 2015 where she was a part of the development of the first women’s health clinic at Hospital Bernard Mevs in Port au Prince, Haiti. There, she worked on teaching providers to perform breast ultrasound and US-guided biopsies seemed dire. After this, she worked with the Pan American division of the World Health Organization (PAHO) on assisting with the Zika outbreak in Trinidad and Tobago. This involvement led to several webinars in 2016 and 2017 lecturing on various ultrasound topics. Here, she made connections with several hundred practitioners all over South America and the Caribbean where educational resources are both extremely limited and highly appreciated. In 2018, she led a four-day breast imaging workshop on the island of Grand Cayman for the Health Services Authority (HSA) Hospital and followed up with a three-day workshop in 2019 to radiologists and OB/GYNs.

Marc Kohli, MD, assistant professor and director of clinical informatics, has had a long-term partnership with Moi University in Kenya since he was a resident with Indiana University in 2005, helping to create a medical school and a teaching hospital. Over the last 15 years, he has spent the equivalent of one year of his life there working with residents, some of which are now faculty members. Some of the work that he has been a part of through AMPATH Kenya includes expansion of the services they offer, primarily through developing a self-contained, self-sufficient mobile X-ray truck. The truck runs off a generator, and the newest version runs off solar power. It improves access to care by traveling to rural areas and providing X-ray and limited laboratory services to clinics whose patients would otherwise have to travel long distances to access care.

Tatiana Kelil, MD, assistant professor, was born in Ethiopia. Her current work is through RAD-AID, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to improve access to radiology resources in low-resource countries. In February 2020, she had the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia in February 2020 to support two teaching hospitals, St. Paul’s and Black Lion Hospital. RAD-AID started a breast imaging training program at St Paul’s Hospital a year ago. She will be a part of teaching residents and practicing radiologists along with training radiology technologists on proper patient positioning for mammography and optimizing ultrasound images. She is establishing a RAD-AID chapter at UCSF and hoping more radiologists will be able to participate.

Amie Lee, MD, assistant professor, has been a member of the Global Cancer Program (GCP) at UCSF since 2017. She is currently involved in breast imaging research and capacity-building partnerships with the radiology department at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), and the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She was invited by Katherine Van Loon, MD, program director, to serve as the radiology delegate for the MUHAS-ORCI-UCSF Cancer Collaboration which highlighted a need for capacity-building, cancer research training and mentorship. Dr. Lee is a co-investigator and research mentor to Dr. Lulu Sakafu, a Tanzanian radiologist who is leading a study investigating the extent and factors involved in the delay between symptom onset and diagnostic imaging evaluation of breast cancer in Tanzania.

You can read more about the global health efforts of UCSF Radiology faculty in the 2019-20 issue of Images Magazine.

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