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.
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.