SNMMI Technologist Section Announces 2017 Award Winners

July 20, 2017

Technologists recognized for outstanding education and service to the nuclear medicine field

RESTON, Va.  — The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging’s Technologist Section (SNMMI-TS)—an international scientific and medical organization—recognized contributions to and work in the field of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging during the SNMMI 2017 Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, held June 10-14. Several awards ceremonies were held to recognize the valuable role that SNMMI-TS members play in advancing the discipline of nuclear medicine technology.

Amanda Abbott, MS, CNMT, RT(N), PET, is the lead imaging research technologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where she works in both research and the clinic, coordinating multimodality imaging research activities. She has been a member of the SNMMI-TS and New England Chapter since 2005. In her current role as education co-chair for the Clinical Trials Network, she has been instrumental in reviewing existing education courses and working to develop new ones. She has recruited three new members to the CTN Education Committee and is a strong advocate for the field. Abbott has also served as a PET item writer for the NMTCB, received a Partners in Excellence Award for Leadership and Innovation, and garnered the 2015 ARRT/SNMMI-TS Professional Development Grant. She holds a master’s degree in molecular imaging and therapeutics from Regis College.

Dusty M. York, CNMT, PET, RT(N)(CT), associate professor and clinical coordinator of nuclear medicine at Chattanooga State Community College, Chattanooga, Tennessee, received the SNMMI-TS Outstanding Educator Award. She has been a member of SNMMI-TS since 1999 and is a member of the Southeastern Chapter. A graduate of the SNMMI-TS Leadership Academy, York is a National Council of Representatives delegate-at-large and director-at-large to the SNMMI Board of Directors. She also serves on the SNMMI-TS Committee on Scholarships, Grants and Awards and previously served on the Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Week Committee, Educator’s Committee, and the Hot Trot 5K Committee. On the regional level, York is a past president of both the Nuclear Medicine Technologists of Tennessee and the South Tennessee-North Georgia Organization of Nuclear Medicine Technologists. At Chattanooga State, she is a highly regarded educator, whose students excel upon graduation. She developed a popular online PET course, coordinates clinicals for students, and is a gifted mentor.

Cindi Luckett-Gilbert, MHA, CNMT, RSO, FSNMMI-TS, received the first ever SNMMI-TS Advocate-of-the-Year Award. This award was created to recognize an individual who has been an advocate at both the national and local levels. Advocacy has become an essential part of the SNMMI-TS, and Luckett-Gilbert has been a leader in this area. She has been a member of SNMMI-TS since 1997 and is a member of the Southeastern Chapter. A PET specialist with Shertech Pharmacy, she is a member of the SNMMI-TS Executive Board and is a director-at-large on the SNMMI Board of Directors. She also serves on the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board. As the society’s TAG representative for North Carolina, she is an advocate with legislators and regulators on behalf of SNMMI-TS members. In addition, Luckett-Gilbert is the society’s liaison with the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors and Organization of Agreement States.

The following individuals were named SNMMI-TS Fellows. These are members of the SNMMI-TS who have demonstrated leadership and have made a significant contribution to the profession of nuclear medicine technology at the national level. SNMMI-TS selects Fellows based on exemplary contributions in the following areas: participation in professional activities, education, professional experience, professional contributions, and civic activities.

Fellowships are awarded at the SNMMI-TS Annual Business Meeting each year during SNMMI’s Annual Meeting. New SNMMI-TS Fellows receive a memorial plaque and pin signifying their Fellow status.

  • Margaret M. Doonan, MS, CNMT, is an account executive with Nuclear Diagnostic Products and teaches in the Nuclear Medicine Program at Molloy College, Rockville Centre, New York. A long-time member of the Greater New York Chapter and SNMMI, she has held numerous leadership positions at both the regional and national levels. Doonan is 2017-19 president-elect of her chapter and has served on many SNMMI-TS committees, including Membership, Program, and Continuing Education. She has also presented at SNMMI Annual Meetings, as well as other conferences across the U.S. and in Europe.
  • Robert A. Pagnanelli, ASRT(R)(N), CNMT, NCT, director of radiology at Duke Regional Hospital, Durham, North Carolina, has been a member of SNMMI and the Southeast Chapter since 1995 and is also a member and fellow of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology. He has held many leadership positions in all three. In SNMMI, he is currently a member of the House of Delegates and the Program Committee; he also serves as the TS National Council Specialty Area representative for Cardiology. In addition, Pagnanelli was 2016 president of the Southeast Chapter’s Technologist Section. He is co-author of more than 30 articles and is a regularly featured speaker at regional and national meetings.
  • Jennifer L. Prekeges, MS, CNMT, director of the Nuclear Medicine Technology Program at Bellevue College, Bellevue, Washington, is an associate editor of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine Technology, served as 2016-17 co-chair of the SNMMI-TS Entry Level Task Force, and is a past co-president of the Pacific Northwest Chapter Technologist Section. She served nine years on the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board, with seven as secretary. Prekeges is the author of Nuclear Medicine Instrumentation and of the chapter “Radiation safety and Regulatory Issues” in Nuclear Cardiology: Technical Applications.
  • Richard D. Siska, Sr., NMAA, MIS, BSNM, NCT, is a nuclear medicine advanced associate, technical director of nuclear medicine, and radiation safety officer at Mercy Imaging Services in Rolla, Missouri. He serves on the board of directors of the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board and is a past president of both the Southwest Missouri Subchapter and the Missouri Valley Chapter of SNMMI-TS. He has held numerous committee positions on the subchapter and national level and is a national council delegate for the Missouri Valley Chapter.
  • James T. Timpe, MS, RT (N)(MR), is director of radiology, AthletiCare, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, and sleep/END services for St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Illinois. He is a past president of the Central Chapter, Technologist Section and has held many SNMMI-TS leadership positions, including serving on the Executive Board, on the Finance Committee, and as chair of the Professional Development and Education Fund.

The 2017 SNMMI-TS Presidential Distinguished Service Awards were presented to:

  • Kimberly Kerry Jackson, CNMT, RT(N)(MR) – A member of the SNMMI-TS since 2009 and a member of the Greater New York Chapter, Jackson is the lead nuclear molecular technologist at the New York University Langonne Medical Center in Bayonne, New Jersey. She chairs the SNMMI-TS PET/MR Task Force and serves on the SNMMI-TS National Council of Representatives as the specialty area representative for emerging technologies. She has also served on numerous SNMMI-TS committees and the Technologist Advisory Board. Jackson was honored for leading the PET/MR Task Force, establishing a new relationship with the Society for MR Radiographers & Technologists (SMRT) and developing new PET/MR educational offerings.
  • Kathy S. Thomas, MHA, CNMT, PET, FSNMMI-TS – A member of SNMMI-TS since 1980 and a member of the Pacific Southwest Chapter, Thomas has served at every level of society leadership, including president; executive board member; chair of the Continuing Education Committee; member of the Publications, Program, Bylaws, and Professional Development and Education Fund (PDEF) committees; and member of the Uptake Editorial Board. She has just been named the new editor of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine Technology and will begin her 5-year term in January 2018. Thomas was honored for her efforts as Continuing Education Committee chair. She developed and finalized many new educational offerings, including the CT+ Review and Essentials program this year.

In recognition of the SNMMI-TS Leadership Academy’s 10th Anniversary, Presidential Distinguished Service Awards were also presented to the following individuals for their significant roles in the Academy’s success:

  • Shawn Dunning, MS – A certified mediator with an MS in conflict analysis and resolution, he has served as the facilitator for the Leadership Academy for 9 of the 10 years. A seasoned trainer, facilitator and leadership coach, he has helped thousands around the world to resolve conflict and develop their collaborative leadership skills. His style is fueled by a blend of challenge and fun, and his passion for problem-solving, personal development and team development is grounded in his expertise in communication, psychology and conflict resolution.
  • Dmitry D. Beyder, MPA, CNMT – A nuclear medicine and PET/CT supervisor at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, he is a Leadership Academy alumnus and an active member of the SNMMI-TS. Beyder served on the Professional Development Task Force, the group responsible for organizing the Leadership Academy, from 2014 to 2016 and as co-chair from 2016 to 2017. Beyder currently serves on the Executive Board and the National Council of Representatives. He also served as chair of the SNMMI-TS Membership Committee from 2015 to2017 and is the incoming chair of the Advocacy Committee’s Scope of Practice Task Force. In addition, he serves on the Neuroimaging Working Group, a collaboration between SNMMI-TS and Avid/Lilly.
  • Joshua J. Reynolds, MBA, CNMT, RT(N)(CT)(MR) – A technologist with Windsong Radiology group in Williamsville, New York, he is a graduate of the SNMMI-TS Leadership Academy and an active member of the SNMMI-TS. Reynolds served as co-chair of the Professional Development Task Force from 2016 to 2017 and is now chair. He also serves on the SNMMI-TS National Council of Representatives and is a delegate to the SNMMI House of Delegates for the Eastern Great Lakes Chapter. In addition, Reynolds is the current technologist president of the Eastern Great Lakes Chapter.

Sara G. Johnson, MBA, CNMT, NCT, FSNMMI-TS, was awarded the SNMMI-TS president’s plaque and gavel for her service as 2016–2017 SNMMI-TS president. Johnson has nearly 30 years of nuclear medicine experience. She started her career while on active duty with the U.S. Navy. During nearly eight years of service, she had the opportunity to practice nuclear medicine in Okinawa, Japan, and at bases throughout the United States. After leaving the Navy, Johnson served as chief technologist at the University of California–San Diego (UCSD) Medical Center and was also the founder and first program director of the UCSD Nuclear Medicine Technologist Program. She later worked in the commercial sector as a clinical specialist for DuPont and Bristol Myers Squibb, specializing in nuclear cardiology.

Johnson has an associate degree from The George Washington University; her BS in business administration, BA in management and MBA are from the University of Phoenix. She holds the NCT certificate and is one of the authors of the Nuclear Cardiology Technology Study Guide. Johnson has been involved with the SNMMI-TS at the local, regional and national levels for many years and became an SNMMI-TS Fellow in 2012. During Johnson’s tenure as president, SNMMI-TS accomplished many new initiatives, including a new CT educational course, radiation safety education, PET/MR education and resources, new international collaborations and partnerships, completion of the Quality Benchmarking Study and Final Report, continued growth of advocacy efforts and revisions to the Scope of Practice.

The editor of JNMT, Norman E. Bolus, MSPH, MPH, CNMT, FSNMMI-TS, and members of the journal’s editorial board announced in April the winners of annual awards for outstanding articles. The awards were presented at the annual SNMMI-TS business meeting in June.

The Editor’s Choice Awards for the 3 best JNMT articles in 2016 went to:

  • Grace Brayshaw, Sharon Mosley, and Geoff Currie, Faculty of Science, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Australia, for “Increased Gastric Activity on Myocardial Perfusion Imaging.” J Nucl Med Technol. 2016;44:195–198.
  • Yoya Tomita, Masaki Ishida, Yasutaka Ichikawa, Naohisa Suzawa, Shigeki Kobayashi, Hisato Maeda, Kan Takeda, and Hajime Sakuma, Central Division of Radiology, Mie University Hospital, Tsu, Mie, Japan, for “The Effect of Misregistration Between CT-Attenuation and PET-Emission Images in 13N-Ammonia Myocardial PET/CT.” J Nucl Med Technol. 2016;44:73–77.
  • Sarah R. Pigmon, Kara D. Weatherman, Nicholas C. Brehl, and Cybil J. Nielsen, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, for “The Necessity of Using Heparin in the UltraTag RBC Kit When Tagging Blood for a Nuclear Medicine Study.” J Nucl Med Technol. 2016;44:230–233.

In addition, the Editor’s Choice Award for the best JNMT continuing education article went to Shelley N. Acuff and Dustin Osborne, Department of Radiology, University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville, Tennessee, for “Clinical Workflow Considerations for Implementation of Continuous-Bed-Motion PET/CT.” J Nucl Med Technol. 2016;44:55–58.



About the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) is an international scientific and medical organization dedicated to raising public awareness about nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, a vital element of today’s medical practice that adds an additional dimension to diagnosis, changing the way common and devastating diseases are understood and treated and helping provide patients with the best health care possible.

SNMMI’s more than 17,000 members set the standard for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine practice by creating guidelines, sharing information through journals and meetings and leading advocacy on key issues that affect molecular imaging and therapy research and practice. For more information, visit