NCH Chief Medical Physicist Elected to National Post

June 14, 2006 – (Naples, Florida) Mary Ellen Masterson-McGary, Chief Medical Physicist for the NCH Regional Cancer Institute, has been elected Chairman of the Board of Chancellors of the American College of Medical Physics, an organization devoted to the professional activities of medical physicists.

Masterson-McGary will be the first person to serve as head of the College who is not affiliated with a major academic institution. She is the first woman elected Chair in more than 20 years.

“I hope to bring the perspective of community hospital practice to the American College of Medical Physics,” she said. “There are different priorities and focuses within the discipline outside of Academia. Most patients are treated in community hospitals rather than in academic research centers. Being able to offer that perspective prompted me to accept the nomination. I would never have been able to accept the nomination without the full support and encouragement of Dr. Allen Weiss and Senior Administration at NCH.”

The objectives of the American College of Medical Physics (ACMP) are to enhance the quality of the practice of medical physics, to engage in professional activities for the benefit of the medical physics community, to promote the continuing competence of practitioners of medical physics – all in an effort to ensure the highest quality of radiological care, both diagnostic and therapeutic, for patients in the United States.

In her position as Chair, she will be responsible for the organization and programs at the annual scientific meeting of the ACMP. She will appoint the Editors of a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the ACMP. The Chair also interacts with government legislative, regulatory, reimbursement, and licensing agencies. She will also attend periodic Summit meetings with the Chairs of sister disciplines, such as the American College of Radiology and the American Society for Therapeutic Radiation Oncology, in order to collaborate on their common goals.

Masterson-McGary currently serves as Chief Medical Physicist for the NCH Regional Cancer Institute, where she was responsible for overseeing the installation and clinical implementation of the CyberKnife, which she says has been the most rewarding work of her career.

“We have had remarkable clinical success using the CyberKnife to treat patients with inoperable tumors in the brain and other parts of the body. In fact, in addition to serving the needs of our community, we have attracted some patients from out-of-state, Canada, and Europe to come to Naples for CyberKnife treatment,” she said. “Our success here at NCH is becoming recognized within the national Oncology Community, and has attracted positive attention to both the Department of Radiation Oncology and NCH.”

Masterson-McGary completed graduate work in physics at Columbia University and Cornell University. Before moving to Florida, she worked for 19 years as a member of the Department of Medical Physics at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. While there, she held an appointment to the Medical Staff of Memorial Hospital and an appointment to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. During the same time period, she served as Assistant Professor of Physics in Radiology at Cornell University Medical College.

Masterson-McGary is certified in Therapeutic Radiological Physics by the American Board of Radiology and in Radiation Oncology Physics by the American Board of Medical Physics. She has published and lectured widely on her clinical research and development work in radiological physics.

During the course of her career Masterson-McGary has been elected or appointed to positions in various national and local scientific organizations. She served on the President’s Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island (the Kemeny Commission). She has served as a Consultant to the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement. She was twice elected to the Board of Directors of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine and was elected a Regional Chancellor of the American College of Medical Physics.

Masterson-McGary has also been honored as a Fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine and as a Fellow of the American College of Medical Physics. She recently was invited to participate in a summit on medical quality assurance held at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, where she was the only invited speaker from a community hospital.

About the NCH Healthcare System
The NCH Healthcare System is an alliance of two hospitals, rated among the top 5% in the Nation for overall clinical excellence, 500 premier doctors and a comprehensive network of affiliated health care services