Close this search box.

Celebrating Women’s History Month:Trailblazers in the Field of Radiology & Breast Imaging

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, it is an opportune time to shine a light on women’s remarkable contributions in radiology, with a particular focus on breast imaging. The field of radiology has been impacted by many pioneering women who have not only advanced the field through their expertise but also championed patient care, research, and education in breast imaging. These women have played a crucial role in the early detection and treatment of breast cancer, saving countless lives through their dedication and innovation, including two of our trailblazing physicians, Dr Wende Young and Dr. Stamatia Destounis, from Elizabeth Wende Breast Care.

From the early 1900s, Dr. Marie Curie is one of the most celebrated scientists in history. Although primarily known for her work in physics and chemistry, which earned her two Nobel Prizes, Curie’s pioneering research on radioactivity laid the groundwork for the development of diagnostic radiology. She also created mobile radiography units during World War I, which were used to treat injured soldiers, earning her the nickname “Mother of Radiology.”
Her legacy is in her scientific discoveries and her trailblazing role as a woman in science.

Dr. Leila K. Knaff studied in Chicago in the seventies and was one of the first African American women to become a board-certified radiologist in the United States. Overcoming significant racial and gender barriers, Knaff’s career was marked by her dedication to patient care, education, and advocacy for diversity in medicine. Her work helped to open doors for women and minorities in radiology and healthcare.

Dr. Geraldine McGinty is a contemporary radiology leader known for her healthcare strategy, policy, and leadership work. As the first woman chair of the American College of Radiology (ACR) Board of Chancellors, McGinty has strongly advocated for quality in imaging, healthcare equity, and the role of radiology in value-based care. Her leadership reflects women’s ongoing contributions to the advancement of radiology and healthcare.

Dr. Wende Logan Young was a pioneer in breast imaging radiology. Starting her career in the mid-1970s in Rochester, NY, Dr. Young was among the first radiologists to specialize in mammography at a time when the use of mammography as a screening tool for breast cancer was gaining acceptance. Her research and advocacy have contributed significantly to the widespread adoption of screening mammography, which has been instrumental in early breast cancer detection. Her dedication to the field led to the establishment of one of the first dedicated breast imaging centers in the United States, which became a model for developing similar breast centers nationwide. Her contributions have paved the way for advancements in breast imaging techniques and have helped improve countless women’s survival and positive outcomes.

Another prominent female figure in radiology, Dr. Etta D. Pisano, has made groundbreaking contributions to breast imaging. Since the 1980s, Dr. Pisano has been renowned for her work in digital mammography. Her research has been pivotal in demonstrating the effectiveness of digital mammography over traditional film mammography in specific populations, leading to a shift in how breast cancer is diagnosed. Dr. Pisano’s work has not only advanced the field of radiology but has also played a crucial role in improving breast cancer outcomes for women worldwide.

Dr. Stamatia Destounis is a distinguished figure in radiology, renowned for her innovative work in breast imaging. Throughout her career, from the 1990s to the present, she has made significant contributions to clinical practice, research, and education, earning her widespread recognition in the radiological community.

Dr. Destounis is the managing partner at Elizabeth Wende Breast Care (EWBC), a leading freestanding breast imaging center with seven locations around Rochester, New York. Her expertise covers the full spectrum of breast imaging modalities, including mammography, ultrasound, breast biopsy (she helped introduce minimally invasive breast biopsy as a service provided by the radiologist, which reduced unnecessary surgeries), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

An active participant in various radiology and breast imaging societies, Dr. Destounis is a sought-after speaker at national and international conferences, sharing her insights on best practices in breast imaging. She is also dedicated to mentoring radiology residents and fellows, nurturing the next generation of compassionate and skilled healthcare professionals.

Dr. Destounis and her colleagues at EWBC (Dr. Posy Seifert, Dr. Philip F. Murphy, Dr. Wade Hedegard, Dr. Lisa Paulis, Dr. Alena Levit, and Dr. Sarah Vanderlinde) are widely recognized for their research on the efficacy of advanced breast imaging technologies in early cancer detection. Involvement in numerous clinical trials and studies has yielded valuable insights into improving breast imaging technologies, including the benefits of digital breast tomosynthesis (3D mammography), which has led to its widespread adoption in routine breast cancer screening practice.

The Future is Bright
Today, women in radiology, particularly in breast imaging, continue to drive innovation and excellence, transcending traditional boundaries to revolutionize technology and patient care. We are proud of our women radiologists at EWBC (Dr. Stamatia Destounis joined the practice in 1993, Dr. Posy Seifert in 2002, Dr. Lisa Paulis in 2011, Dr. Alena Levit in 2015 and Dr. Sarah Vanderlinde in 2019) who go beyond their pivotal role in early breast cancer detection and treatment; they serve as mentors and inspirational figures for future radiologists. Their unwavering dedication, innovative spirit, and compassionate care continue to drive positive change in healthcare.

Recent Posts