Empowered to Advocate for Full Spectrum Care

Dawn Fucillo, M.A., R.T.(R)(T)(QM)
Mar. 28, 2017

Dawn FucilloI have been passionate about patient care since I was 19, when I first discovered the radiation therapy profession. Since then I have been dedicated to doing everything I could to help cancer patients receive the best care possible.

However, I have the support of caring ASRT Foundation donors to thank for helping me reach a point in my career where I feel I can do the most good. I worked for years as a radiation therapist and medical dosimetrist before transitioning into being an educator and, eventually, director of the radiation therapy program at Argosy University-Twin Cities in Eagan, Minnesota.

While I enjoyed sharing my knowledge of our profession and helping others become the best R.T.s they could be, I found myself wanting to be more involved in decisions that determined what was available to patients in a broader sense of care. As you know, sometimes we are the glue that helps keep our patients and their families together during an incredibly stressful time in their lives. I wanted to be part of the administration that could advocate for more resources to help patients in a broader sense, such as financial counseling, emotional care and dieticians.

I began to hone my leadership skills for the transition into administration. I already was highly involved at the state and national levels through the Minnesota Society of Radiologic Technologists and the ASRT and seized every leadership opportunity I could, including the ASRT’s Leadership Academy as well as being a chapter delegate and volunteer committee member.

At the same time, I enrolled in the Master of Educational Administration program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. I was excited to take the next step in my career, but after my first year back in school I wasn’t sure how I was going to pay for the last year of the program. I was concerned that the financial burden of preparing to become a larger part of patient care would prevent me from taking that next step, which was disheartening.

Fortunately, generous ASRT Foundation donors provided the support I needed when I needed it the most. While volunteering with the ASRT, I learned about the scholarship opportunities that donors were making possible through the Foundation. I didn’t waste any time in filling out an application, and in 2000 I was a recipient of a donor-funded scholarship that helped pay for my last year of tuition. I will be forever grateful to the donors who made my scholarship possible, because without them I don’t know whether I would have been able to reach this point in my career.

With their support, I graduated with my master’s degree in January 2001. That fall, I accepted my first administration job and was elected to the ASRT Board of Directors. For three years, I worked on the industry side of the profession, helping to ensure that patients had access to the best equipment for their treatments. I then returned to work in a hospital setting, where today I am the director of oncology operations at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, California.

I do not have the words to express the difference Foundation donors made in my life and in my career. All I can say is that every dollar donors give to the Foundation helps someone take the next step in his or her career, just as it did for me.

As a Foundation donor and scholarship recipient, I feel we should all do our part to help our fellow R.T.s move forward in their professional pursuits. One thing we all have in common is that we care about what happens to patients and want them to receive the best care possible. A key component to making that happen is supporting the professional growth of our fellow medical imaging technologists and radiation therapists.

I hope you will continue your passion for elevating the profession and patient care by supporting the Foundation. It doesn’t matter how much you give; all that matters is that you join your colleagues, like me, in strengthening the profession we love. If we all give, there’s no telling the difference we can make collectively.

Will you join me in helping someone else reach his or her full potential in our profession?