Robert McKinstry, MD, PhD, likes to reinvent himself about every seven years.
So when current MIR director and radiology department chair Richard L. Wahl, MD, came on board in 2015, McKinstry approached him about his desire for a job change. It was well past his self-imposed deadline: he had been chief of pediatric imaging for nine years. But he was also director of the Center for Clinical Imaging Research and the Division Chief of Research Facilities. He didn't want more responsibilities; he wanted different ones. McKinstry's conversation set into motion a series of events that would eventually lead to a different job for him, as well as a new one for Daniel Picus, MD, also a professor of radiology and then Senior Vice Chair and Division Chief of Diagnostic Imaging. The timing was serendipitous.
"Dr. Picus was looking to change what he was doing — he had been doing his job for quite some time — and I was looking for a change," McKinstry says. In March, Picus became MIR’s first Senior Vice Chair for Special Projects and McKinstry took over Picus’s former position.
"I'm fortunate to have this opportunity, and we’re fortunate that Dan was such a strong leader for so many years."
Currently McKinstry is working with Barnes-Jewish Hospital on capital improvements to modernize its fleet of radiology equipment. "We want to define how radiology is practiced. And in order to do that, we need to have the imaging equipment that allows us to push the practice forward, to push the envelope, to innovate."
Mentoring is a sweet spot for McKinstry and one he intends to champion moving forward.
"I'm very interested in helping to mentor faculty, in setting clear guidelines and expectations, and making sure the process is transparent so that the people know what they need to do to be promoted, and that they feel like the process has been fair and open."
Pamela K. Woodard, MD, professor of radiology and biomedical engineering, success has been a balancing act. Since 2012, she has directed the Center for Clinical Imaging Research (CCIR), helping the research facility grow and making it fiscally sound.
During her tenure, Woodard led the CCIR through a major construction project, developed a strategic equipment refreshment plan, and balanced the CCIR budget on a cash basis. As an addendum to her financial acumen, she has brought in nearly $10 million of NIH and industry funding since she has been at Washington University.
In March, Woodard was officially named Senior Vice Chair and Division Chief of Radiology Research Facilities at MIR, stepping into the position previously held by colleague Bob McKinstry, MD, PhD.
"Pam is ideally qualified to assume this important position and has learned the job with gusto,” says MIR director and head of the Department of Radiology, Richard L. Wahl, MD, who appointed her to the post.
Woodard, who now has nine radiology research facilities at MIR under her purview, is determined to provide excellent service to everyone who uses the imaging research facilities. “These facilities serve the entire university," she says, referring to the over 70% of users who are not radiology faculty.
"Researchers throughout the Washington University School of Medicine, Danforth Campus [at Washington University], and researchers and students from Saint Louis University use our imaging facilities," among others, she adds.
"We've refined the business model over several fiscal years to the point where the facility is now consistently breaking even," says Woodard, the first woman to hold a senior vice chair position at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology.
Woodard will continue to serve in her clinical administrative role as head of cardiac CT/MRI moving forward and in her current research administrative capacities until suitable replacements are identified.