Perry Pernicano, MD, FACR
Perry Pernicano, MD, FACR

My Fellow Michigan Radiological Society Members,

 I am humbled, honored, and thrilled to become the 98th President of the MRS for the 2019-2020 term.  As I look through the list of the previous 97 Presidents of our Society spanning back to 1921 and our first President, the legendary Dr. Preston M. Hickey, I am overwhelmed to realize that I am now a member of this elite group, it is truly humbling.  I am honored to have the opportunity to serve you, our Society, our College, and the profession of Radiology that means so much to all of us and has touched all of our lives.  I am also thrilled and privileged to be able to work with such an outstanding Executive Board including your President Elect Dr. Danny Ma, Vice President Ralph Lieto, Secretary Dr. Mark Weiss, and Treasurer Dr. Walter Sahijdak, as well as an active group of Immediate Past Presidents that have been so inspiring for me including Drs. Gaurang Shah, Michael Kosotakis, Roger Gonda, and most recently Stephen Kilanowski.

The passing of the Presidential gavel from Dr. Kilanowski to myself really got us started off with a “bang” during our Annual Meeting and Board Transition in April at Weber’s Inn in Ann Arbor which featured Geraldine B. McGinty, MD, MBA, FACR, and Chair of the ACR Board of Chancellors, as our guest speaker.

In May, your Councilors and Officers traveled to Washington, DC for the ACR Annual Meeting.  At the Convocation ceremony, five of our members, Drs. Michael Farah, Monte Harvill, Jon Jacobson, Aine Kelly, and Mitchell Pace, became New Fellows of the ACR, and our very own Manuel L. Brown, MD, FACR was awarded the Gold Medal.  During the meeting, we fulfilled our advocacy mission by participating in the Capitol Hill Day activities.  We met with many of our legislators, including Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, and educated them about important issues such as surprise billing practices that impact our patients, extending the current moratorium on the 2009 United States Preventive Services Task Force breast cancer screening guidelines that recommend biennial screening rather than annual screening, and supporting the Resident Education Deferred Interest (REDI) Act to help reduce the financial burden for those pursuing a medical career.

Over the summer, we will be planning the agenda and programs for the upcoming year.  One agenda item that we will be focusing on is beginning the preparation for our Society’s Centennial in 2021.  As mentioned earlier, our Society was founded by Preston Hickey in 1921.  While we will be taking the time to look back and celebrate and commemorate the rich history of our Society, it will be imperative that we also look forward to the next hundred years and the legacy that we can leave for our residents and trainees who are the future of our profession.  To this ends, another important agenda item will be the creation and funding of the MRS Foundation.  This is an ambitious endeavor that will require widespread support from our membership for its ultimate success.  An ongoing agenda item will be physician wellness and the risk of “burnout” that is facing our specialty.  I believe that increased collegiality can play an important role in reducing this risk.  We need to encourage, support, and take care of each other.  Therefore, we look forward to your participation in the programs that we have planned for the upcoming year.

Our programs will kick off on Wednesday September 25, 2019 with our annual Legislative Day in Lansing.  Our lobbyist, James Cavanagh, will have a busy day planned for us meeting with our State legislators as we continue our advocacy mission.  Vital to this mission is the support of our Michigan Radiology Political Action Committee (MRPAC), please see the feature from Dr. Mark Weiss, Chair of the MRPAC, later in the newsletter.  Our next program will be the Up North Conference at the Great Wolf Lodge in scenic Traverse City the weekend of October 12-13.  This family friendly fun filled event will also be an exceptional educational opportunity highlighted by presentations on Artificial Intelligence by our guest speaker Dr. Mark Michalski, Executive Director of the MGH and BWH Center for Clinical Data Science, as well as a Symposium on Head and Neck Cancer led by our own Dr. Suresh Mukherji.  In March 2020, we will hold the Hickey Lecture and MRS Gold Medal presentation at the beautiful Meijer Garden in Grand Rapids.  We will conclude our programs on May 7, 2020 with our Annual Meeting and Board Transition when my term will come to an end as I pass the Presidential gavel to Dr. Danny Ma.
Over the course of the year, there will still be much work to do.  We have many active committees that would welcome your participation and support.  I am particularly proud of our Resident and Fellow Section (RFS), led this year by their President Dr. Gunjan Malhotra.  Their Annual RFS Conference will be held on Friday February 7, 2020 at the Marriott Centerpointe in Auburn Hills.  I am also impressed with the work of our Commission on Women and Diversity led by Drs. Shadi Azar and Lisa Betz.  Our Society continues to embrace diversity going beyond just gender and race, but also being cognizant and intentional about making sure that there is representation on the Executive Board from different specialties including diagnostic radiology, interventional radiology, radiation oncology, and medical physics.  We also seek out representation from different practice types including both the private and academic sectors, and from different generations with the Resident and Fellow Section and Young Physician Section (YPS) as well as a proposed Senior and Retired Section (SRS).  We also seek participation from across the entire geographic landscape of our large state.

In conclusion, I would like to acknowledge and thank Dr. N. Reed Dunnick for encouraging and supporting my increased participation in the Society during his Presidency back in 2004.  This was instrumental in leading me to become an officer of the Society.  In addition, I would be remiss if I did not point out and recognize the enormous contributions that Shannon Sage, our Executive Director, makes to our Society.  Finally, I want to express my thanks and gratitude to each and every one of you, the members of our Society, for your continued commitment and support.  Sustaining the success of our Society relies on the active participation of its membership.  With that in mind, we always welcome any input and/or feedback that you may have to offer on topics and/or issues that are of concern and/or importance to you.  Particularly, what do you think are the greatest challenges facing our specialty and how can the MRS best assist in addressing these challenges?  Please feel free to contact myself, Shannon, or any member of the Executive Board with your thoughts, suggestions, and/or comments.  Together we can improve the lives of our patients, perpetuate a thriving profession, and promote our own wellbeing.  I promise to do my best to represent all of you. 


Perry G. Pernicano, MD, FACR
President Michigan Radiological Society