CAMRT-BC Member Profiles (As published in Newsletters and Radiaction)
Treatment Module and Regional Professional Practice Leader BC Cancer- Centre for the North
Bobbi Sue was born in Edmonton Alta. Since her father worked in the oil industry she traveled extensively as a child, spending her elementary school years in Algeria, England and Malaysia.
She graduated from the Cross Cancer Institute in 1989, and was employed there as a Radiation Therapist and Clinical Educator until 1994. She then made the move to the BC Cancer Agency in Victoria, where she completed her Advanced Certification. She feels fortunate to have also worked at the Cancer Centers in Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Kelowna. In 2012 she settled in Prince George at the newly completed Center for the North. Starting up a new BC Center and managing the daily operations has been the most challenging and rewarding part of her career to date.
Bobbi Sue has always been a member and advocate of the professional association. She is proud to be a Radiation Therapist and is a strong believer in lifelong learning and how newly acquired knowledge can benefit MRTs in their professional and personal lives. When the opportunity arose to help organize the recent CAMRT-BC Education evening, she wanted to help in whatever way she could to bring MRTs together to promote teamwork in the understanding of each other’s disciplines.
Bobbi Sue has two adult children, living in Kelowna and Calgary. Like her, they love to travel. The next addition to the family will be a Labrador Retriever puppy. That should keep her busy!
She enjoys being outdoors – gardening, hiking, skiing and snowshoeing. All great activities for life in the North.
The one word Bobbi Sue uses to describe volunteering, which she does within as well as outside of her professional life is REWARDING.
Bapp. Sc, Chief Technologist, UHNBC
Lorraine graduated from the Medical Radiography program at NAIT in 1991. After a year of travel and working as an MRT in Australia, (highly recommended!) she came home to settle down in Prince George in 1993. Since then her career path has seen her work in CT and MRI. She completed her degree in Applied Sciences through Charles Stuart University (Australia) while working full time. When the imaging world became digitized, she moved to a PACS position, and then finally in to her current position as Chief Technologist in 2009. It’s apparent that Lorraine has embraced her profession with enthusiasm, and understands many aspects of working in the MRT world.
Lorraine has maintained her association membership since becoming an MRT. She has been instrumental in promoting the profession by organizing several educational conferences for MRTs in Northern BC. Members from across the province have been welcomed to these events, at the educational evening last March there were MRTs from Fort St John and Haida Gwaii attending by teleconference. Her goal has always been to ensure these events are inclusive and affordable. Her motivation comes from seeing the large number of MRTs who attend, learn and network whenever an event is offered. And, it always helps to have a core group of volunteers to share in the duties. She is a wonderful motivator and mentor in this capacity. In her own words “The event doesn’t have to be big. If you want to start with something simple, talk to your colleagues about what interests them, then find a speaker in your organization and a time that the speaker is willing to present. I find that people are more likely to attend if there is food involved. Most facilities have meeting/conference rooms that can be used. We have a very interesting and ever-changing profession, so there is no shortage of topics.”
Of course Lorraine has a full life outside of work – her husband of 21 years, Jay, and two children (Evan, 18 and Justine, 16) keep her on her toes. All are avid sports fans, with competitive volleyball at the top of the list. The art of imaging may continue in the family as her son considers a career in Ultrasonography. Lorraine also loves to run, crochet (amigurami in particular, which is making cute little animals out of crochet – who knew?) and read personal development and science fiction/fantasy novels.
Lorraine took a few years “off” to focus on her family, now she is back in full form and expects to stay involved in organizing these local events. If you live in Northern BC, be sure to be in touch with Lorraine if you want to help!
Health Science Education, McMaster University Instructor, MRAD Program, Camosun College Victoria BC, Chair, CAMRT-BC Advisory Council
This article introduces you to Sarah Erdelyi, a very active member of the CAMRT-BC. Sarah grew up in the small town of Bolton, Ontario, where she graduated from high school and then immediately attended Queen’s University in the Life Sciences program. Even at this young age she knew she wanted to be in the science disciplines, although it was only after attending a career fair during her second year at university that she learned about the Medical Radiography program and knew this was the program for her. She graduated from the Eastern Ontario School of X-ray Technology in 2007 and stayed at her training site, Kingston General Hospital, for two years. Her first big adventure was to take a ten-day locum in a very remote center – Isle A La Crosse – in northern Saskatchewan. In this small town, the high school and the hospital were in the same building, and all CR images had to be printed and sent to Saskatoon for reading. Sarah was the first MRT to work in this center – previously Combined Lab/Xray Technologists performed the work. She vividly remembers the -30 temperatures during her March stay. And that she really enjoyed the challenge of being totally responsible for all aspects of the work.
Her next career move was to Etobicoke General Hospital, where she worked in General Radiography for two years and started her CT career. In 2012/13 she was responsible for setting up a new student program at this site. In addition, she was the Clinical Education Leader for staff. These responsibilities prepared her well for her move to Victoria, BC in the summer of 2013 where she became part of the first cohort of instructors for the new MRAD program at Camosun College. In her roles as instructor, clinical liaison and acting program lead, Sarah has played an instrumental role in the success of this new program. Ever the keener, she completed her Masters in Health Science Education from McMaster University in 2017.
Sarah has been a keen member of the CAMRT and her provincial organizations right from the start. The CPD offerings initially caught her eye, and she began taking additional coursework, particularly her CT certification. She was selected to attend the CAMRT Leadership Development Institute in 2014, where she was introduced to CAMRT director Mark Given and met many MRTs who she still stays in touch with. She found this 3 day program very impactful and it reinforced her interest in professional activities. From this experience she knew she wanted to expand her volunteer horizons. In 2016 she began her involvement as a member of the CAMRT Professional Practice Advisory Council. The work with this committee around Best Practice Guidelines (BPGs) fits well with the material she presents to her students. In 2016, she was invited to collaborate on a CAMRT webinar presentation for MRT week about using the BPGs. Most recently, she was selected for the new CAMRT-BC Advisory Council. In fact, in true Sarah style, she had her application ready even before the call for applicants went up! She let her name stand for the position as Chair of the Advisory Council, a position she is now embracing enthusiastically. She enjoys the opportunity to network and be connected to the larger MRT community.
On the more personal side, Sarah has been a trumpet player since Grade 7 and now plays in the Best Coast Big Band. Dragon boating was added to her list of interests while she was wandering the harbor in Victoria on her first weekend in town. She watched part of the Dragon Boat festival, thought it looked like fun, went and met some of the paddlers and found a team, all in one afternoon. She says she feels well settled in her life in Victoria and is looking forward to future projects – whether they be on the work, professional or personal front (or all three for that matter!) She loves her time teaching and working with students and MRTs within the educational environment. Her goal is to be a role model for other MRTs, showing them the opportunities that are available to participate in professional life. She believes there is potential in every member to contribute in some fashion. In her own words, you just need TO GO FOR IT!
Program Chair Nuclear Medicine Program, BCIT, President, BCAMRT Foundation
Meet Louise Rimanic, an amazing Medical Radiation Technologist who is a longtime supporter of her professional association and fellow MRTs. Louise is a humble individual, not likely to sing her own praises, so it’s exciting to be able to share a little about her here.
Louise was born and raised in Vancouver, where she graduated from the Nuclear Medicine program in 1981. She started her career as a research assistant but quickly moved to the new BC Children’s Hospital to work as a technologist, then Student Supervisor and eventually Chief Technologist. After 16 years in the clinical world she made the move to education, becoming a faculty member at BCIT where she is now the Program Chair for the Nuclear Medicine Program.
Just like her working career, her dedication and involvement with professional activities started early and continues to this day. She was a student representative with the BCAMRT, and then quickly took on positions on the Lower Mainland Board, Commencement Committee and Nominations Committee. Her most significant contributions have been to all things educational – as a member and chair of many educational conferences for the BCAMRT, CAMRT and the Society of Nuclear Medicine. In 2018 she co-chaired the first joint conference between the Canadian Association of Nuclear Medicine and the CAMRT. This conference, held in Vancouver, had many local Nuclear Medicine technologists presenting — Louise’s influence all the way!! And to top it all off, Louise has been the President for the BCAMRT Foundation since 2002. Through her dedication to this professional activity, scores of MRTs have received financial support for ongoing educational activities.
On a personal level, Louise is an avid soccer fan, enjoys travelling and has done her share of cycling. After being diagnosed and treated for breast cancer, she joined the ranks of the Ride to Conquer Cancer, and this summer completed her 4th ride. Just like other aspects of her life, when she takes on a cause she stays with it, learning from her experiences and sharing her learnings with others. At the CANM/CAMRT conference this year she spoke from the patient perspective, bringing her diagnostic and personal journey close to home for the audience. You can read more about her involvement with the Ride to Conquer Cancer in this article published by the BCIT Newsletter and from her link on the Ride to Conquer Cancer webpage.
What keeps Louise motivated? In her own words “I was fortunate to have had great mentors during my career. They taught me the value in giving back to your profession as well as the value of lifelong learning. I remember when I first got involved with the BCAMRT there was very little programming for NM — Brenda Clark and others told me that if I wanted to create change that I should get involved and provide input on behalf of the NM community. I took this advice and soon realized how rewarding it was to volunteer. As an educator I am a firm believer in lifelong learning and I enjoy sharing my experiences with others in an attempt to improve our profession. I hope that one day I can be the mentor that I was fortunate to benefit from when I was just beginning my career.”
Her words of wisdom to fellow MRTs?
“You get back so much more than you give. I have met lifelong friends through the BCAMRT and CAMRT. I have learned so much from those who I have worked with on various committees and these lessons have helped me throughout my career. Find something that you are interested in — passionate about — and find a way to join a committee even in some small capacity — you will not regret it!”
Paige is the CAMRT-BC Site Ambassador Coordinator. In that role she assists with onboarding new Site Ambassadors, making sure Site Ambassador information is current, and collaborates with Nicole Bemister and Teya Carter to keep Site Ambassadors up to date and connected using Slack and social media. Paige is from Vancouver, BC and has previously completed both her Event Marketing Associates Certificate and Marketing Management Certificate at BCIT. Shortly thereafter, she made the decision to switch over to Health Sciences. Once she came across the Medical Radiography Program at BCIT and volunteered at Mount St. Joseph’s Hospital she knew this was the right career path for her and started working on her prerequisite courses. Currently, Paige is in her second year and is the lead Set Representative for her cohort. She is an active council member for the BCITSA, she recently completed the Career Mentorship Program and has volunteered at events such as the IxL Impact by Leadership Conference. Paige enjoys doing yoga, playing beach volleyball, going to concerts and tries to travel as often as possible. She loves to volunteer and has helped with everything from being a Vancouver Art Gallery YA Committee Member to a volunteer alongside her boyfriend helping False Creek Residences for Independent Living go to comedy shows, hockey games or even just to come by and colour together. She fosters two kitties through VOKRA with her boyfriend and has previously helped another cat get adopted to his furever home. In her spare time, she loves to explore new wineries, craft beers and have games nights with her family. Paige first became involved with the CAMRT-BC after learning about a volunteer opportunity at the CAMRT Radiological Technology Roadshow at BCIT in October of 2018. She was one of two students in attendance that day and wanted to learn more about the profession, the industry, and to get more involved. After speaking with Louise, the CAMRT-BC Provincial Manager, she was introduced to the Site Ambassador program. Then, in April 2019, Louise put out a call to Site Ambassadors, looking to onboard a Site Ambassador Coordinator. Immediately and with great enthusiasm Paige applied. She has been fulfilling this role since the end of May and will also be volunteering at this year’s Radiological Roadshow at BCIT – Rattle My Bones! Ever since her first job, Paige has wanted to take on more specialized roles with greater responsibilities, to continue learning and growing with the positions that she’s held. Paige enjoys working with owners and their small businesses and has always wanted to become a business owner herself. They have always captivated, motivated and inspired her to work hard and to keep setting and exceeding her own goals. Paige has known from a very young age, that she wanted a career helping people. Continuing to further her education and working to make a difference is what she looks forward to most in her upcoming career as a medical radiographer. Paige’s words of wisdom? Become a volunteer! Get involved! Meet new and like minded individuals in your industry. Push yourself to grow and try new things. It’s very rewarding and there are always a lot of opportunities. Thank you, Paige, for starting your volunteer role with CAMRT-BC when you are still a student and making a difference within your chosen profession.
Nicole is currently volunteering with CAMRT-BC as a Site Ambassador and our Slack champion. Slack is an online platform that connects Communities of Practice – in this case, our Site Ambassadors. She’s done amazing work so far, connecting more than 50 Site Ambassadors as members of our Slack channel. More information about Slack is included in this Radiaction.
Nicole was born and raised in Coquitlam BC. She went into the BCIT Medical Radiography program immediately after high school and became an MRT in 2010. She knew she wanted to become an x-ray technologist very early on, and during high school worked as support staff in a local imaging clinic for two years. Coming full circle, this is the clinic she works at now! She wanted to further pursue her education, and one day move into a leadership or education role, so she completed her Bachelor of Health Science online at Thompson River University, graduating in January 2015. After her first clinical rotation Nicole knew she wanted to specialize even more and pursue working in Breast Imaging. She believes it is an extremely important part of our profession that helps to save the lives of many women, and it is a field that she truly believes in. She was also drawn to the changing and growing technology that comes with mammography and breast cancer research. To commit to this path, she trained in diagnostic and screening mammography at Penticton Regional Hospital immediately after graduation, and this became the true starting point for her passion for breast imaging.
For the past four and half years she has been working at a private clinic where she is the General Radiography Assistant Team Lead, a position that allows her to pursue a leadership role in breast imaging. As well as working within the leadership role, she has clinical responsibilities in general radiography, bone density, pain management and screening and diagnostic mammography. She loves training and educating other technologists, specifically in breast imaging. She strives to turn an uncomfortable and scary examination into a positive one for every patient. She’s been able to see the transition within breast imaging where technology has moved from film to computed radiography to digital acquisition. The future for breast imaging technologies and breast cancer research is continuously changing and improving, and Nicole is excited to be a part of it all. Nicole believes in life long education, and understands the importance of continuously learning and educating ourselves within the MRT profession. Currently she is working on her Certificate of Breast Imaging Screening, which should be completed in November 2019.
On a personal note, Nicole likes to spend time with her family at their cabin in Point Roberts and spend time with her boyfriend and their dogs, Kip and Ellie. While enjoying all this social time, she likes to sip on all the amazing wines that BC has to offer. As far as volunteering goes, Nicole volunteered with the CIBC Run for the Cure for two years as their community outreach coordinator in Southern Okanagan. She also volunteered with the Screening Mammography Program of BC Pink Bus in 2010, helping to educate the public regarding mammography and the importance of breast cancer screening. Nicole became more involved with CAMRT and CAMRT-BC in 2018, after attending the CAMRT Leadership Development Institute (LDI). It proved to be an excellent opportunity to connect with other MRTs from across the country and to meet some amazing technologists. After this experience, she knew that she wanted to become more involved within the MRT community. Attending the LDI was truly a turning point in her career; it ignited her drive to volunteer within her profession, and to be a leader within the breast imaging world. She is now in her first term on the CAMRT Professional Practice Advisory Committee, as the Breast Imaging Chair. She’s very excited to hold this position, and to assist in current and future matters affecting MRT practice. In addition, Nicole has been an early adopter of the CAMRT-BC Site Ambassador role. She is the champion for setting up the Slack Community of Practice for the Site Ambassadors – an endeavor that is just getting underway and has the potential to really connect Site Ambassadors across the province. She is also working on Slack connectivity with the CAMRT as they extend opportunities for MRTs across the country to share ideas, questions and information.
Nicole is motivated to provide her patients with the best care possible, and to be part of the continually changing and improving technologies available. She is keen about educating MRTs and raising awareness about our profession. In particular, she believes we can improve communication among MRTs in the province and across the country. As an avid user of Slack, she believes she can play a role in setting up these communication tools and connecting us to one another as a way to learn from each other, and share our expertise for the betterment of patients. Thank you to Nicole for sharing your drive, enthusiasm and Slack expertise!
Teya is the CAMRT-BC Social Media volunteer. Earlier this spring she set up our Instagram account, and now makes sure it and the CAMRT-BC Facebook page are kept up to date. She works with Paige Purcha, Site Ambassador Coordinator, and Nicole Bemister, Slack volunteer, making sure our communications are coordinated and current.
Teya counts herself fortunate to have been born in Victoria, on Vancouver Island. Her amazing parents and brother still live there, and she truly couldn’t imagine herself living anywhere else. She is already excited to move back to Victoria as she finishes her last clinical rotation at Kelowna General Hospital. About her decision to take the Medical Radiography Program, Teya says she thinks when you are first going into something that is such a large commitment there are always some ‘what ifs’.. But as she nears the end of her program, she has no doubt that she made the right decision. She looks forward to going to work and believes the opportunity of challenging herself daily will never get old. She finds in interacting with patients and believes that growing within her career, through crosstraining into different modalities, is an amazing opportunity!
Becoming a CAMRT-BC volunteer all started when Louise Kallhood, the Provincial Manager, spoke at the BCIT campus. Hearing about the different paths that Louise’s MRT career has taken her made Teya want to be involved in the association that does so much for both students and technologists. There are so many opportunities within this field and she wants to explore all of them! When Louise asked the students how best she could communicate with them, their immediate response was INSTAGRAM! Teya immediately stepped forward and introduced herself, offering to assist with setting up an Instagram account. She has done that and more, keeping the site current and also making sure information is posted on the CAMRT-BC Facebook page. She is motivated to keep members up with the times and make sure the great resources supplied by CAMRT-BC are easily accessible to everyone.
When Teya is not working or studying she enjoys hiking and exploring the beaches around Vancouver Island. She is also looking forward to many guilt-free camping trips once she is finished her schooling in August! In Teya’s words, ”Being involved in your work only further fuels the passion and broadens your opportunities! It is awesome knowing the association you are working with cares about you and your opinions. Especially as a student, it can seem unlikely that your words are going to be heard by anyone; however, with the CAMRT-BC they truly listen and want your feedback!”
Teya encourages you to get involved. The more willing volunteers (technologists & students) there are, the more the association will be able to offer events such as Infoshares and Roadshows, and the more rewarding your career will be!
Thank you, Teya, for taking this opportunity so early in your career to share your expertise in a way that benefits the CAMRT-BC membership.