A MESSAGE FROM OUR NURSING LEADERS
THANK YOU, NURSES
This month, WCUI is celebrating 5 years of a wonderful partnership with Peoria MET Academy! Five years ago, Peoria MET brought their first class of medical students to WCUI’s original WCUI Phoenix campus to take a tour of our medical imaging labs. Since then, WCUI has hosted field trips for Peoria MET’s medical students to visit our campus. During the visits, students tour our labs and get a first-hand experience of what it takes to become a sonographer, MRI technologist, and nurse.
Throughout the years, WCUI has donated ultrasound machines to Peoria MET. The ultrasound machines allow their class of over 50 medical students a chance to learn the basics of ultrasound while completing their high school education. By receiving this hands-on experience, Peoria students are able to discover all aspects of the medical field including the exciting field of medical imaging!
During our five-year partnership, WCUI has provided student volunteers to help train Peoria’s students and sometimes their other faculty members on the donated ultrasound machines, sharing the amazing feat of seeing with sound.
New Donations & A Tour of the New Campus
In February 2021, we had the opportunity to donate four more ultrasound machines to continue to support Peoria MET programs. After a year of canceled field trips, Peoria MET’s Medical Strand Instructor, Kathy Kasney, and two MET students took a tour of the brand new Phoenix campus.
During their visit, Kathy and her students presented the WCUI Phoenix campus with a signed poster and student-made, machine etched tokens of appreciation featuring their logo and ours. A wonderful heartfelt gesture that symbolizes our collaboration with them over the years.
Kathy and her students were able to learn more about our new Practical Nursing program and meet with our Director of Practical Nursing Catherine Jagos. Catherine invited Kathy and her students to practice a few nursing skills in our brand new nursing simulation lab!
We are thrilled to continue this partnership with Peoria MET. Together we help their students gain knowledge and skills to pursue their goals of becoming our future healthcare professionals.
About Peoria MET
Peoria MET is a local Arizona Profesional Academy whose programs allow students to realize their strengths and passions by exploring potential science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM) professions. The MET Professional Academy is designed to motivate students by treating them as working professionals. The programs prepare them for post-secondary education and careers in high-demand STEM fields. You can learn more about Peoria MET by visiting their website (www.peoriaunified.org/MET) and following them on Facebook (@PeoriaMET)and Instagram (@peoriaunifiedmet).
International Women’s Day is a global day that celebrates the achievements of women and raises awareness for gender equality. Today and every day, WCUI is celebrating the hundreds of WCUI faculty, staff, students, and alumni that identify as women who have made such a significant impact on our education and healthcare system not only during the pandemic over the last 20+ years since being founded.
WCUI School of Medical Imaging and Nursing was co-founded over 20 years ago by Myra Chason, BS, BSN, RDMS, a well-known nurse and diagnostic medical sonography instructor, and Dr. Neville Smith, M.D., a board-certified radiologist. Myra Chason and Dr. Neville Smith shared one passion and goal, to develop a college that provided the highest quality sonography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and nursing education to our communities. In the beginnings of WCUI, Myra took on teaching lecture and lab courses, helping enroll new students, developing curriculum, all while running a new college in Beverly Hills, California.
Today, she leads three WCUI campuses, now in Los Angeles, California, Ontario, California, and Phoenix, Arizona. Program offerings have grown, with eight Bachelors, Associates, and diploma programs, with more on the way. In addition, the curriculum continues to adapt to changes in the industry to support our student’s career goals.
Women at WCUI
Every year WCUI is expanding, with additions of new Directors, educators, and staff to support our growth. As of March 2021, 61% of our faculty and staff members at all three WCUI campuses identify as female. Our female-identifying team members are in a range of roles at the corporate and campus level. Including, Campus Directors, Director of Education, Program Directors, Corporate Leaders, Department Directors, Instructors, and more.
According to our September 2020 student population report, 81% of students attending all three WCUI campuses at that time identified as female. Of that 81 percent, 73% identified as a Person of Color (POC). Our female-identifying students were enrolled in full-range of programs including:
- Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography,
- Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Cardiovascular Sonography,
- Academic Associates of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography,
- Academic Associates of Science in Cardiovascular Sonography,
- Academic Associates of Magnetic Resonance Imaging,
- Vocational Nursing,
- Practical Nursing,
- and the Magnetic Resonance Imaging – Short Diploma Program.
Women in Healthcare
According to the 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020:
- 90% of Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses (LPN & LVN) were women,
- 84% of employed Diagnostic Medical Sonographers were women,
- 71.9% of Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians were women,
- and 58.8% of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists were women.
Women are dominating the healthcare field. They are the ones on the frontlines protecting our families and friends while risking their own health.
We Support You
WCUI is celebrating these women. They are our WCUI Family and they have made a significant impact on WCUI’s education and our healthcare system. We stand with them and support them as we work towards a society of gender equality and recognize their strength. We will continue to work hard to produce a welcome and equal environment for them, to lift them up towards their goals, and break those glass ceilings.
WCUI wants to recognize all the amazing women in the healthcare field for the supportive care they’ve provided our communities through the pandemic. Women are on the frontlines making a significant impact on the health and minds of our communities. From sonographers to nurses to MRI technologists, to educators, to leaders, and everything in between. We applaud and support the women in our community for their talents, diversity, leadership, and dedication to education and healthcare.
We invite everyone to celebrate these women. Support their career and passion, stand up for them to forge a gender-equal world.
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, 2020 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 employers are using online resources to find their perfect candidates, so now is the time to make sure you are prepared! Register here today!
Meet the Speaker
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. In addition to Career Services duties, he also teaches Ethics and Leadership to our bachelor students. He brings 10+ years of experience in Career Counseling & Advisement. Anthony 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 theatrical energy that impacts everyone. He is an investor, motivator, and empower-er of people. Anthony has committed his life to cheerlead individuals during their job search. He lets 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 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
(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. This 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. 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.
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 continuous 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.
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.
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:
- Los Angeles: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ontario: email@example.com
- Phoenix: firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
- Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1(800) 273-8255 or Text START to 741741, En Español 1(888) 628-9454
- Trevor Project Lifeline: Call (866) 488-7386 or Text START to 678-678, thetrevorproject.org
- Jed Foundation: JedFoundation.org
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: afsp.org
- Veterans Crisis Line: veteranscrisisline.net
- National Institute of Mental Health: nimh.nih.gov
- Disaster Distress Helpline: Call 1-800-985-5990 or Text TalkWithUs to 66746
- BEAM (Black Emotional and Mental Health: https://wellness.beam.community/
- Inclusive Therapists: inclusivetherapists.com
- Black Mental Health Alliance: blackmentalhealth.com
- The Steve Fund: stevefund.org, or Text STEVE to 741741
- Latinx Therapy: latinxtherapy.org
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:
- CVS Pharmacy
- Walgreens Pharmacy
- Rite Aid Pharmacy
- Wal-Mart Pharmacy
- LA County Free Flu Shot Services
- Arizona Department of Health
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.