Achieve Your CME Goals Before Time Runs Out

Rise and grind, it’s time to get those last remaining CME credits before the year comes to an end! Join us on Monday, December 14th at 6:00 pm AZT on Zoom as WCUI Externship Director, Jason Grabham RDCS, FASE, and Dr. Ericka Sheller-McLaughlin from Phoenix Children’s Hospital lead a virtual seminar on Fetal Echocardiography: Beyond the Four-Chamber View. The seminar is approved by SDMS and attendees will receive 2 CME credits for participating. 

Purchase Your Ticket Today to Reserve Your Spot!

After purchasing your ticket, please register for the webinar by following the link on the event page. 

WCUI CME Ticket Package:

Ready to crunch those last CME credit goals? Purchase our WCUI CME Ticket Package and gain admission to the webinar plus access to our CME Library where you can earn up to 6.5 CME credits, for a total of 8.5 credits! The WCUI CME Library has access to 3 asynchronous courses, approved by SDMS, so you can take the courses on your own schedule. 

CME Courses Include: 

Let’s close out the new year! Get Your Ticket + CME Library Access here: PURCHASE YOUR TICKET HERE 

Learn more about the WCUI CME Division by visiting: wcui.edu/cme/

In pure 2020 fashion, we’ve all been a little humbled this year. There have been times we were forced into uncomfortable situations and had to adapt. Whether it’s transitioning a historically in-person education to an online learning format or persevering through a pandemic to get your education and become the next nurse, sonographer, MRI technologist, or in the case of our Phoenix Director of Education’s son, the next doctor! This Thanksgiving we want to show gratitude and thanks for the amazing staff, faculty, alumni, partners, and employers that make WCUI who we are. Your determination this year to keep education going for the people who are needed in the field now more than ever exemplifies everything WCUI stands for.

We connected with some of the top leaders at WCUI and asked them what they are thankful for this year, read them all below! As a reminder, all WCUI Campuses will be closed Thursday, November 26th, and Friday, November 27th. Weekend classes will resume on Saturday, November 28th.

 

Myra Chason

Myra Chason

WCUI Co-Founder & Campus Director at the Los Angeles Campus

“I would like to especially give thanks to all the heroes during the COVID pandemic, including, doctors, nurses, the restaurant service industry workers, the grocery service industry workers, and so many more. And a special thanks to our teachers and administrators for their excellence in delivery and education. Many thanks to all!”

Andrew High

WCUI COO

“Happy Thanksgiving! 2020 has pushed us, pushed our relationships with friends and family, pushed our work, and pushed us to think differently in many ways. In our work at WCUI, we can create a meaningful life change for our learners. I’m deeply thankful for WCUI’s staff, faculty, and students and for the opportunity to make an impact.”

 

Dr. Mike Matwick

Director of Education at the Phoenix Campus

“This Thanksgiving, I am grateful and humbled that my son, Dr. Nathan Matwick, completed his Emergency Medicine residency from Midwestern University, passed his board exam, and is now a practicing physician at Northwest Medical Center in Tucson, AZ. As educators, I have to tell you that my son’s path to completing medical school was non-traditional. Along the way, he had a number of faculty who advised him to go another route. But on the other side, were educators and doctors who saw his drive and passion, like his program director, Dr. Paul Allegretti. They realized that success isn’t achieved based on test scores, but on one’s internal motivation and desire to finish. I am proud of my son and thankful for the people who saw the light in him and believed that he could reach his goal. My wish is that at WCUI, we always look for the “other attributes” that will help our students achieve. To foster and promote them, and to encourage their motivation to excel. “

Picture of Dr. Matwick's son standing in front of the American Osteopathic Association sign and smiling

Congratulations to Dr. Matwick’s son (pictured above)! We are thrilled to have such a passionate doctor like him in the field and protecting our communities.

MIKE STEWART

Director of Education at the Los Angeles Campus

“In a year that will never be forgotten, what I am thankful for is the willingness to collaborate by all members of WCUI. This includes the students, the faculty, and the staff of WCUI all coming together in a united front, to work with each other and ensuring that the education continues, no matter what. It is an honor to be a part of this group.”

 

Wednesday, November 11th marks Veterans Day, a holiday to honor those who have given their all for our freedom. Please take a moment to reflect and thank everyone in uniform, in the past, present, and future for their service, bravery, and dedication to our country. Many of these brave individuals are fellow students, colleagues, friends, and family who have sacrificed and fought for our continued freedom.  

We would like to remind all of you that on this Wednesday, November 11th, 2020 all WCUI campuses will be closed in observance of the Veterans Day holiday. Classes will resume on Thursday, November 12th

And for our veteran students, staff, and faculty, thank you for your courage, pride, and selflessness. Your choices not only to pursue a career in the medical field but to also serve our country in the armed forces, shows your compassion to serve a cause larger than yourself.

October marks Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month #MUAM which is held annually to spread awareness of the important role sonographers play in the medical community. The goal is to educate the public about medical ultrasound and its many uses throughout a patient’s life. Many people in our community do not realize that ultrasound is utilized in all parts of your life to assess patients from head to toe.

Sonographers are the doctor’s eyes. The images they produce can help detect and diagnose life-threatening diseases. Sonographers are there for their patients during the highs and lows of their healthcare journey. From OB to echo, abdominal to musculoskeletal, and beyond, sonographers have impacted someone’s life and health.

Ultrasound and the Heart

Ultrasound can be used as a diagnostic or screening tool to confirm medical disorders such as issues in the heart. Echocardiography (heart ultrasound), also known as ECHO, is a common way to evaluate the overall function of the heart. It is used to evaluate the flow of blood through the chambers and valves of the heart. It also assesses the strength of the heartbeat and the volume of blood pumped through. Doppler ultrasound echocardiography is often used for the following:

  • Heart valve problems, such as mitral valve prolapse or aortic stenosis
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Blood clots due to irregular heartbeats such as in atrial fibrillation
  • Abnormal fluid collections around the heart, such as pericardial effusions
  • Pulmonary artery hypertension

Ultrasound is also useful in testing and detecting problems with most of the larger bloodvessels in the body. Using Doppler Ultrasound Technology, the flow of blood through the vessels can be observed and measured. The narrowing of vessels (stenosis) or widening of vessels (dilatation/aneurysms) can be detected. Ultrasound testing of blood vessels includes:

  • Carotid Ultrasound
  • Abdominal Aorta Ultrasound for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
  • Blood clots in veins

Musculoskeletal Ultrasound

A Musculoskeletal (MSK) Ultrasound is a specialized exam that looks specifically at your muscles and joints. MSK ultrasound technologists have special training in looking at muscles, some ligaments, nerves, and tendons. MSK ultrasound is particularly helpful in the diagnosis of orthopedic and sports injuries, such as rotator cuff tears, and chronic conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Sometimes, pain or injury is triggered by movement, which cannot be captured in a static image. Ultrasound is performed in real time and can provide unique information that cannot be detected by any other imaging method. MSK ultrasound is used to diagnose a wide range of injuries and chronic conditions, including:

  • muscle tears
  • tendonitis
  • bursitis
  • joint problems
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • and masses such as tumors or cysts. 

Vascular Ultrasound

Sonographers can also specialize in vascular ultrasound, which evaluates the body’s circulatory system. Oftentimes, sonographers will utilize Doppler Ultrasound Technology. Doppler ultrasound will be used to observe and measure the flow of blood through the vessels. Vascular ultrasound is often performed to:

  • help monitor the blood flow to organs and tissues throughout the body.
  • locate and identify blockages and abnormalities
  • detect blood clots (deep venous thrombosis (DVT) in the major veins of the legs or arms.
  • evaluate the success of procedures that graft or bypass blood vessels.
  • determine if there is an enlarged artery or aneurysm.
  • evaluate varicose veins.

In children, vascular ultrasound is used to:

  • aid in the placement of a needle or catheter into a vein or artery to help avoid complications such as bleeding, nerve injury, or pseudo-aneurysm.
  • and evaluate a connection between an artery and a vein which can be seen in congenital vascular malformations and in dialysis fistula.

Abdominal Ultrasound

Abdominal ultrasound is used to view structures inside the abdomen, such as:

  • Blood vessels in the abdomen
  • Gallbladder
  • Intestines
  • Kidneys
  • Liver
  • Pancreas
  • Spleen

An abdominal ultrasound can help your doctor evaluate the cause of stomach pain or bloating. It can help check for kidney stones, liver disease, tumors, and many other conditions.

Obstetrics/Gynecologic and Pelvic Ultrasound

Obstetrics and gynecologic ultrasound, while known by many to evaluate a pregnancy, can also assess and produce images of the bladder, uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix, and ovaries. Ultrasound images can be used in gynecologic care to diagnose and help treat many diseases and conditions in the pelvic region.

Ultrasound probes come in many different shapes and sizes. In this part of the field, some transducers are used on the skin of a woman’s abdomen, while others are placed inside the vagina by utilizing a transvaginal ultrasound. Transvaginal ultrasound allows the sonographer to get the transducer close to the cervix, uterus, and ovaries which will produce more detailed images to be created.

Ultrasound can also be used to evaluate the:

  • uterus
  • bladder
  • prostate
  • cysts
  • kidney or bladder stones
  • tumors
  • fibroids
  • pelvic pain

We are just touching the surface with the use cases of ultrasound and every day there is advancement in the medical field to utilize safer medical imaging alternatives like ultrasound. The number of sonographers needed to support these advancements and support patients will continue to grow. If you’ve considered a career in sonography, now is the time to pursue it! There is a place in the field for everyone, from sports medicine, children, heart specialists, abdomen, OB/GYN, and more.

WCUI is now enrolling for our Pediatric Echocardiography program at our Los Angeles and Ontario, California campuses; classes will begin Winter 2021 (January 2nd)! Interested in learning more about our program? Meet virtually with WCUI’s own Assistant PEDECHO Program Director, Karen Ambrowitz, MPH, RDMS, RDCS (AE, PE, FE), and our admissions team from both campuses to learn about this great opportunity to further your education as echocardiologists.

WCUI Pediatric Cardiac Ultrasound and Congenital Heart Disease Virtual Open House – Saturday, November 7th at 1:00 pm PST

Register today to meet with us on Zoom and learn more about this great opportunity: https://wcui.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZApfuuqrjouG9XrWysYSM70f2ByDk53SX8z

About the WCUI PedECHO Diploma Program:

  • 9-month advanced Pediatric Cardiac Sonography Program for graduates from an Adult Cardiovascular sonography program
  • Classes are taught by experienced and practicing pediatric echocardiologists
  • Hybrid Learning – Online lecture courses & hands-on lab courses on campus
  • Weekend Classes!
  • Train with real pediatric patients
  • 1-month externship at a hospital/clinic site
  • 90% Average Employment Rate*!

Graduates of the program will be eligible to take the Pediatric Echocardiography registry exam (ARDMS) and have the skills to perform ultrasound on newborns and children. We look forward to seeing you soon!

*Employment rate is based off the cohort of students starting between 3/2017 and 2/2018 at our Los Angeles and Ontario campus. Individual campus rates can be found in our full 2019 ACCSC Annual Report: wcui.edu/consumer-information/

Meet Karen Ambrowitz – PedECHO Assistant Program Director

Headshot of Karen Ambrowitz. She has blonde curly hair that lands right at her shoulders and is wearing a white lab coat. She is looking at the camera and smiling

Karen Ambrowitz is the Assistant Program Director of the Pediatric Cardiac Ultrasound and Congenital Heart Disease Program at WCUI and has worked at WCUI since 2007. She has also been the technical director of the Pediatric Echocardiography Lab at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA Medical Center since 2005. Karen received her RDCS credential in adult and pediatric echocardiography in 1997 and her fetal echocardiography credential in 2010. Karen has practiced in the pediatric and fetal echocardiography field since 1997 working at prestigious medical institutions in New York City, Denver, and Los Angeles. In addition, she has an extensive background in teaching and curriculum writing, having taught at the first Diagnostic Medical Sonography Bachelor’s Degree program at SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn. Karen also co-wrote the pediatric echocardiography curriculum for the pediatric cardiac ultrasound program at WCUI.

Karen has a true enthusiasm for teaching in the classroom (an now online!) and in a laboratory setting. She is thrilled to be leading another class of future pediatric echocardiologists. In addition to her experiences in leading education, Karen has participated in medical missions to Peru, Native American Indian reservations, and high school health fairs, screening children for life-threatening cardiac disorders.

FURTHER EDUCATION HISTORY: Karen received her MPH from Columbia University/Argosy University and her bachelor’s degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography at the SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn.

 

Earlier this year, the WCUI Smith Library was 1 of only 50 institutions around the country chosen to participate in the ‘Lift Every Voice: Why African American Poetry Matters’ grant. The Lift Every Voice grant is a national public humanities program dedicated to enhancing appreciation of the extraordinary range and richness of the 250-year-long African American poetic tradition. The focus is to provide a voice and discover what African American poetry can tell us about American history, our national identity, and how we can build on the work of earlier generations to improve our world today. Representing Los Angeles, WCUI joins New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, and public institutions around the country in offering two free public events. 

The first of the two sponsored events will be held on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, from 1:30 – 3:00 pm PST, in a live Zoom webinar. In part one, spoken artist, Michael D. McCarty will guide a 1.5-hour reading and discussion “Ode to Herb Kent” (2015) written by poet and R&B singer Jamila Woods. The poem reflects on Herb Kent, “the longest-running DJ in the history of radio” and is set in Chicago where our webinar speaker, Mr. McCarty, was born and raised. Register today join! 

Register here and join us on Wednesday, October 21st at 1:30 pm PST: https://wcui.zoom.us/webinar/register/5015984792590/WN_rcJ9OFd1Ssyul1Mb9XNc6Q 

The Lift Every Voice program will stimulate discussion about family and community service to stress the importance of volunteering in communities and its subsequent benefits. The event is complimentary and open to the public and all WCUI campuses, students, staff, faculty, and friends so please feel free to share with others who may be interested!

 

Meet the Speaker: Michael D. McCarty

Michael McCarty

Michael D. McCarty has been telling stories for almost three decades. Michael’s multicultural stories reveal the struggles, joys, triumphs, and beauty of African and African-American history and culture, urban legends, international folk tales, historical tales, stories of science, spiritual stories, and stories of the brilliant and absolutely stupid things he has done in his life, in order to inform, educate, inspire and amuse communities at schools, libraries, and prisons. We are thrilled to have him lead this program alongside the WCUI Smith Library and hope to see you there! 

This program is part of Lift Every Voice: Why African American Poetry Matters, a national public humanities initiative of Library of America presented in partnership with The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture with generous support from The National Endowment for the Humanities, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and Emerson Collective

 

To learn more about the Lift Every Voice programs visit: https://www.africanamericanpoetry.org/ 

 Stay tuned for information about Part Two of the Lift Every Voice program at WCUI on Wednesday, November 18th! For questions about the event, please email cat.herzon@wcui.edu 

 

The month of September marks World Suicide Prevention month, but mental health isn’t just a topic that needs attention one month or one day of the year, it’s a 365 days a year issue; so let’s talk about it!

Every 40 seconds, someone around the world commits suicide. In the US alone there are 132 suicides on average each day. These statistics are alarming and something that can be prevented by ending the stigma around mental illness and getting help.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

The stress of 2020 alone can be taking a toll on your mental health and you are not alone. It’s important to take steps towards real self-care and addressing these issues.

  • Talk to a friend – Pick up your phone, create a Zoom or Teams call, meet up at a park or outside your home, whatever the method is, go talk to a friend or family member you can trust and ask them to listen. Let them know how you’re feeling, oftentimes this helps alleviate the stresses we hold on our shoulders.
  • Eat well – Food has a huge impact on our mood and cognition. Not getting a specific nutrient can affect your mental health! In fact, researchers have found that poor diets play a role in worsening mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression. It’s important to put food in your body that doesn’t just make you feel better in the moment, but also the next day.
  • Meditate or Take A Break – Oftentimes, we’re too busy running around, thinking too much about changes we need to make, or wondering what the future looks like that we forget to slow down and take a breath. It’s critical to give yourself time to decompress and live in the now. You can take a walk, meditate for a few minutes, try out yoga, or work on some breathing exercises, whatever you can do to force yourself to slow down.
  • Stay Active – Your physical health affects your mental health! If you are not taking care of your body, this can easily affect your mood and stress levels. Even by just moving your body for 30-60 minutes, three days a week can help relieve stress and sleep better. Exercise can not cure depression, anxiety, or other mental illnesses but it can help boost your overall mood and provide an additional outlet to manage your mental health.
  • Go Outside –  Time spent outside may have a positive impact on your mental health! Some studies have shown that nature can lift your mood or lower anxiety. So take a minute to step outdoors and reduce your screen time!

HOW TO HELP OTHERS

Helping others is also critical we can’t all go through this alone.

  • Check-In! Ask Questions – If you know someone who may be struggling or if you don’t know, it’s important to check-in and ask! Everyone shows emotions differently and they may be struggling on the inside and hoping someone will reach out to help.
  • Help Them Connect – Help them connect with others who can support them, either through an online group or a local chapter. Having a support group that has felt what they are feeling or helping them find the resources they need for professional guidance can make a significant impact.
  • Follow Up and Keep Showing Up – It’s easy to check in on your friends once but it’s important to keep checking in on your friends. Keep the conversation going! Consistency can make a world of difference for someone that is struggling.

RESOURCES

Did you know your WCUI Student Services team is also here to help? They are always available to be the listening ear and can help you connect with resources in your area to support you, your education, or your health. Connect with them:

In addition, there are a lot of wonderful foundations and programs available if you are in need, want to help someone in need, or are looking to advocate for suicide prevention. We’ve made a short list here, but your Student Services team can also help you find a resource for your specific needs:

There is no judgment. You are not alone. So let’s keep talking.

This year, the CDC is recommending everyone receive the flu shot this flu season​. The vaccine will help protect yourself and the people around you from the  flu. In addition, the flu shot can help reduce the impact on healthcare systems currently fighting to protect our communities from COVID-19. Call your healthcare provider or connect with your local pharmacy today to learn more about the flu shot and schedule an appointment before the flu season is upon us!

Where Can I Get a Flu Shot?

In addition to connecting with your healthcare provider, you can use the below resources to find a clinic and schedule a flu shot. Most insurance companies will cover the cost of the flu shot, but there are low-cost options for those without healthcare insurance:

Why Should I Get A Flu Shot?

Flu shots can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu.  In addition, the vaccine can help protect others in your community who are at higher risk to have flu-related hospitalizations and deaths. With the current pandemic still underway, it’s important to reduce the number of respiratory illnesses, like the flu from spreading throughout your community and potentially threatening the health of yourself and others.

Who Can Get a Flu Shot?

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu shot every flu season with rare exceptions. More information on who should and who should not get a flu vaccine is available on the CDC website.

When Should I Get My Flu Shot?

The CDC recommends getting your flu shot before flu viruses begin spreading in your community. This is because it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu. Be sure to make plans to get vaccinated early in fall, before flu season begins. In fact, this year, the CDC recommends getting your flu shot by September or October to provide the best protection at the start of the flu season.

For the most up-to-date information or questions about the flu vaccine, please visit the CDC website and talk with your healthcare provider.

Attention WCUI Alumni! Did you hear the news in the Summer 2020 Alumni Newsletter? The WCUI Alumni team is hosting the first of many more Alumni Workshops designed to help you succeed in your career. On Monday, September 28th at 6:30 pm PST attendees of the free virtual event will learn to brand the most important product online, THEMSELVES! Career development and professionalism expert, Anthony Sharp, will lead a discussion on using online platforms like LinkedIn to show potential employers the value you bring to the table.

In the time of COVID, more and more employers are using online resources to find their perfect candidates, so now is the time to make sure you are prepared! Register here today!

Didn’t receive the digital alumni newsletter? Don’t miss out on all the benefits of being a WCUI Alumni! Send your updated contact information to alumni@wcui.edu and the WCUI Alumni team will put you on the list to hear about job opportunities, new workshops, CME courses, future alumni newsletters, and more!

Meet the Speaker

Anthony Sharp

Anthony Sharp, CPI-NCCT, MA, BS

LA Director of Career Services, Ethics and Leadership Instructor

Anthony Sharp is the Director of Career Services at the WCUI Los Angeles campus for the past 4.5 years. He also teaches Ethics and Leadership to the Bachelors students. He brings 10+ years of experience in Career Counseling & Advisement. He has worked with a diverse population of job seekers including at-risk students, adults, college students, International Students (ESL), LGBTQ, and ex-offenders. He enjoys educating and entertaining job seekers to motivate them back to work. Guess you can call him an “Edutainer”.

Anthony has taught several workshops in the following areas:  Soft Skills, Navigating the job search process, Social Media, Job interviewing, Résumé/Cover Letter Composition, just to name a few.  Anthony exudes passion and a theatrical energy that impacts everyone.  He is an investor, motivator, and empower-er of people.  Anthony has committed his life to cheerlead individuals on during their job search and let them know that no matter the challenge or how many NO’s you receive, you will obtain your “YES!”

Read Anthony’s latest article on career development and finding your “Yes!” in the Summer 2020 Alumni Newsletter

Dr. Neville C. W. Smith was a Board Certified Radiologist, Co-Founder of WCUI, and Medical Director of Ultrasound Institute Medical Group (UIMG). His contributions and dedication to the healthcare field, have shaped and guided WCUI into the school and community we are today. Although today we mourn the loss of such an influential figure 11 years ago today, we also remember the amazing work he put into his community, education, and our students, staff, and faculty.

Who Was Dr. Neville Smith

Dr. Neville Smith      

(Pictured above, Dr. Neville Smith WCUI Co-Founder)

Dr. Neville Smith was dedicated to enhancing quality education in the art and science of medical sonography, MRI, and nursing. In 1998, Dr. Smith and fellow co-founder Myra Chason, BS, BSN, RDMS, a well-known diagnostic medical sonography instructor, began WCUI in Beverly Hills, California. WCUI began as a medical imaging college specializing in ultrasound and MRI with the goal of providing advanced and high-quality education to the next generation of medical imaging professionals. With the support of a well-renowned staff and faculty from the community, Dr. Smith, and Myra Chason initiated the new training style of “edutaining” that is still in place in our programs today!  This particular teaching style blended education & entertainment, which allows the learning process to be more entertaining, while students still learn the complex subject matter, skills, and protocols needed in the demanding medical field. In addition to understanding the important need of having an institution specializing in medical imaging, Dr. Smith recognized the great need for a top-quality nursing program as well. This led to the expansion of a truly outstanding nursing department that is still growing today!

Along with the development of WCUI, Dr. Neville Smith opened the Ultrasound Institute Medical Group (UIMG), a low-cost ultrasound health center, which caters to patients who do not have medical insurance. Today, the clinic continues to offer low-cost diagnostic imaging to patients in need.

In Memoriam 

Dr. Neville Smith’s mission continues to live on in WCUI’s journey and development. Today, WCUI has three campuses located in Los Angeles, California, Ontario, California, and Phoenix, Arizona. We offer nine programs and counting, ranging from two Bachelor of Science degree programs in Sonography, three Academic Associate of Science degree programs in Sonography and MRI, to five diploma programs in Pediatric Echocardiography, MRI, Vocational and Practical Nursing. And our WCUI Smith Library at each location honors his commitment to learning.

We honor his memory and his contributions to WCUI in maintaining quality education, curriculum innovation, and an effective course of clinical rotations. WCUI is in perpetual gratitude for having been a part of his vision which still is viable today. 

ENROLLING NOW!     Enroll today for online classes! Winter term starts January 2nd!

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