Medical Imaging Group Launches Awareness Campaign

The American Society of Radiologic Technologists’ “Be Seen” campaign wants its members to be better understood by the public and in the statehouse.

The American Society of Radiologic Technologists has launched a new campaign designed to increase public awareness of—and influence legislation around—the medical-imaging industry.

The centerpiece of the “Be Seen” campaign, launched February 20, is a one-minute video featuring Michael Benzaia, who is also a medical imaging professional—and has played one on TV, on programs like General Hospital—showcasing the work that professionals in the field do.

“We want people to understand that our profession requires very highly specialized training and expertise, and that we are involved in and have been face-to-face with nearly everyone in the public, whether it’s through diagnosis or prevention or treatments,” said Dr. Melissa Pergola, ASRT CEO and Executive Director. 

The campaign has been in development for about a year, Pergola said, starting with a group including Pergola, board chair Danny Gonzales, and its staff radiologic technologist, to identify a production firm. Though ASRT used a third party to handle much of the development of “Be Seen,” internal staff played a key role in approving its element for accuracy.

Everyone knows who a nurse is. We want everyone to know who a medical imaging or radiation therapy professional is.

Dr. Melissa Pergola, ASRT CEO and Executive Director

“Often we aren’t portrayed correctly on television and movies,” Pergola said. “People don’t know who we are or they’re incorrect in the way we’re portrayed. We had to have a serious oversight internally.”

In addition to running online, the video ad will also air on streaming services, directing viewers to a dedicated website, asrt.org/BeSeen, where they can learn more about the field. Many of the viewers are assumed to be members of the general public—who are encouraged to leave testimonials about their experiences—but ASRT is also targeting legislators who are amenable to the association’s advocacy goals around improving licensing rules in the profession. 

“There are states where there is no legislation mandating minimum education and credentialing requirements [in the medical-imaging field],” she said. “We want to make sure that legislators understand who we are, because it’s difficult when you go to D.C. or a state capitol and you have to spend 15 minutes explaining who you are to try to get legislation passed to protect patients who don’t know they need to be protected.”

As the campaign proceeds, Pergola said, ASRT will be tracking ad views, social media engagement, and legislative activity. But it’s not expecting immediate changes: The campaign is designed to last for five years and spotlight each of the 12 individual professions within ASRT’s umbrella, from sonographers to magnetic resonance technologists to radiographers and their assistants. 

“This is the first phase of a long-term approach,” Pergola said. “My board is committed to raising the visibility [of the profession], and there will be more that you will see that will promote each individual modality or practice. Everyone knows who a nurse is. We want everyone to know who a medical imaging or radiation therapy professional is.”

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