ASRT Foundation Awards $25,000 Research Grant to Support Advance Practice Radiation Therapists

Dec. 15, 2022
Danielle McDonagh, Maria Dimopoulos, Clodagh Starrs, Samantha Skubish and Kavita Dharmarajan

The ASRT Foundation has awarded a $25,000 research grant to Danielle McDonagh, M.S., R.T.(T), Maria Dimopoulos, M.B.A., R.T.(T), Clodagh Starrs, M.Sc., R.T.(T), Samantha Skubish, M.S., R.T.(R)(T), and Kavita Dharmarajan, M.D., of Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. McDonagh and her team will use the funds to conduct a pilot study using advanced practice radiation therapists to address throughput challenges and improve the model of care for inpatients referred to radiation oncology at Mount Sinai Hospital Radiation Oncology.

Throughput for radiation therapy treatments is a common quality metric followed in all levels of service within hospital systems nationally and is defined in this study as the time it takes for patients referred for radiation therapy to move from decision to simulation to the first treatment appointment.

Following the completion of the pilot project, the team will publish its findings in ASRT’s Radiation Therapist journal.

McDonagh, the grant’s principal investigator, serves as the clinical coordinator for radiation therapy education and research at the Mount Sinai Center for Radiation Sciences Education. She is responsible for correlating clinical and didactic education for radiation therapy students, evaluating student clinical performance, participating in didactic and/or clinical instruction, leading radiation therapy research initiatives and supporting the program director to help assure effective program operation. In addition, McDonagh is a member of the National Advanced Practice Radiation Therapy Working Group, an initiative led by Mount Sinai, to define, develop and launch an advanced practice role for radiation therapists in the United States.

“I am so grateful to the ASRT Foundation for funding research that supports the advanced practice radiation therapist initiative in the United States. Its role internationally has proven to enhance treatment outcomes, elevate patient experience and provide a career ladder for radiation therapists,” said McDonagh. “Our research team looks forward to the results of the study and disseminating our work with the ASRT community.”

The ASRT Foundation’s Research Grant provides up to $25,000 to support experienced researchers with projects related to improving the quality and safety of patient care.

The ASRT Foundation, philanthropic arm of the American Society of Radiologic Technologists, funds and shares the research and analysis of many issues that affect medical imaging technologists and radiation therapists, helping to cultivate the next generation of researchers. The Foundation offers a continuum of research grant opportunities to support researchers of all experience levels.