My Life in Ultrasound
I began my imaging career as a Radiologic Technologist student in 1976 at the University of Kentucky, but spent most of spare time in the ultrasound lab learning the new and exciting technology of diagnostic ultrasound. Shortly after graduating, I received a call from the leading radiologist in the field, Dr. Andrew Fried. He knew of a hospital needing a sonographer in Elizabethtown, Kentucky and would like to recommend me for the position. At that time, there weren’t any ultrasound schools, but the hospital would send me to wherever I needed to be trained. This started my love affair with this technology! I learned anatomy with pathologists during autopsies. I was invited into the operating room to observe surgical cases. I went to courses in Florida, St. Louis, Cleveland, Canada and back to UK for some training. I had many, many unique and invaluable experiences. In 1979, I became registered in both abdominal and ob/gyn ultrasound. (RDMS)
I left Elizabethtown for Frankfort, Kentucky to become the Director of Ultrasound, Nuclear Medicine and Cat Scan Department at the hospital at the early age of 22! I added adult echocardiography to my skill set and earned my RDCS in 1988.
By 1982, ultrasound had started to expand into smaller hospitals, but with that came some problems. It became apparent that ultrasound is a unique modality in that it’s more operator dependent than other imaging. I began to receive calls from smaller hospitals in surrounding counties to “come train” their staff on how to perform ultrasound scans. It quickly became obvious that cross training was not always practical. This was primarily due to low volumes and the conflicting duties of the personnel. Machines were also updating and out dating, as the technology was rapidly growing. When the facilities began to think about upgrading their equipment, I suggested I buy a machine and bring it to scan. I had the qualifications and was performing their studies already. This made sense. Each place would have access to a skilled, experienced sonographer in multiple modalities. Ultrasound Consulting Services, Inc. developed into the mobile company it is today! We continue to provide quality on site ultrasounds to hospitals, clinics and physician offices in Lexington and the surrounding counties. I also earned my vascular registry in 2013 and obtained my Breast registry in 2019!
The landscape of medicine began to change with the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Many private offices have been purchased and consolidated with larger hospital corporations. Insurance premiums skyrocketed and deductibles began to increase in historic proportions. Ultrasound Consulting Services, Inc. needed to make changes too. Although UCSI will continue to service our mobile clients, I realized there was a need for a new way of thinking and a new approach to meet the needs of the outpatient. Too many times, I saw patients with deductibles too steep to pay, which prevented them from receiving their needed healthcare. An equal amount of times, studies were performed, only to have the insurance company deny the claim “medically unnecessary”. This creates an unpaid bill and financial burden for the patient. Patients need their healthcare! And patients need a Choice!
UCSI decided to open it’s first fixed outpatient site! Patient Choice Ultrasound and Thermography is just that! Your Choice!
Convenient location, convenient appointment times and an environment that was created with You in mind! We at PCU want to make you our priority in every way! We are accomplishing this first and foremost by simplifying the payment process. By removing our reliance on insurance reimbursement, we can charge a fraction of the cost commonly charged for these examinations! You will receive a receipt that may be applied to your (large) deductible! We do accept Medicare and Health Savings Accounts as our only insurance.
Patient Choice Ultrasound and Thermography is independently owned and operated. We, at PCU bring a lot of experience, compassion and professionalism to our clients and we are excited to offer our services with less hassle, more transparency and an overall wonderful experience!
People who know me are curious to know why I am adding thermography to my professional imaging career. After all, I have been dedicated and passionate about ultrasound for nearly forty years. Truthfully, it wasn’t on my radar until recently, when I began treatment for my shoulder. Dr. Justin Pearce at Mill Pond Integrative Health and Wellness suggested I consider adding it to my new office setting. Ironically, I did my senior paper on thermography in Radiologic Technology school in 1978! I began to research its uses and began praying about it. I didn’t want to add something just to make money that could possibly be harmful. However, I learned that there were many, many useful needs, although not embraced fully by the medical community.
But here’s the real story. In July 2016, my best friend, business partner and beloved brother, Jim, was diagnosed with a terminal cancer called cholangiocarcinoma. It was very advanced. A world’s leading expert in a world-renowned hospital saw him. The outlook was grim. I, being firmly planted in conventional medicine, began looking at holistic and alternative medicines as well as what standard, conventional medicine could offer, because, you see, time was running out. I found that often conventional medicine not only did not accept alternatives, but sometimes shamed and frightened the patients that considered trying anything but the standard-even when the standard was failing. This opened my eyes! There were many, many success stories in the holistic, alternative methods!
I lost my brother on January 18, 2017, a void that will never be filled. As I move forward without him in business, I honor him by empowering patients with a choice in their healthcare, both conventional and alternative!
As Patient Choice was developing into a stand-alone, cash only business, I realized that I needed help with such a new endeavor. I sought out a local thermographer to help develop the business and was blessed to have her experience that first year. Time proved we were not destined to go the distance. I had to decide as whether to continue with thermography and the only way I could do that was to learn about it myself. My journey into thermography proved interesting, confusing and quite frankly, a bit frustrating, as I discovered that in itself, it is fragmented. Training varies widely, there is a lot of unscientific, misrepresented information out there, soiling the reputation of the field of thermography!
I did not want to only be trained by a manufacturer, or have studies interpreted by thermologists that are paid by or have financial interest in any particular equipment. I finally found a more through training program (more than 2 days) and interpreters that are trained, write current articles and do research and do not accept money to endorse any equipment. That kind of integrity is what I was looking for! So, I am proud to say, that today, Patient Choice Ultrasound and Thermography has two trained, certified clinical technicians and new, state of the art equipment. Our equipment has 4 times or 400% better resolution than older models. We, at Patient Choice Ultrasound and Thermography are committed to provide this service with honesty, integrity and to educate our clients to the best of our ability.
Again, why Thermography? If treated in the earliest stages, cure rates for breast cancer are greater than 95% are possible. *(See references 3 and 6)
Thermography does not require a physician order.