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Cheri L. Canon, M.D., professor and chair, and Witten-Stanley Endowed Chair of Radiology in the UAB School of Medicine, has been elected to the position of president of the Society of Chairs of Academic Radiology Departments (SCARD). She is the second woman to hold the position.

“It is an honor to work alongside my radiology chair colleagues who have selflessly provided guidance and mentorship over the last 10 years. As the second woman president, I hope to serve as a role model for women radiologists, residents, and medical students. We need to continue to increase diversity and are more likely to do so with women and URM in leadership roles,” Canon said.

Canon joined SCARD over ten years ago when she was named interim chair, before she was appointed chair of the Department of Radiology. SCARD is a nonprofit organization that promotes research and patient care, medical education, development of teaching methods, and discussion among chairpersons of radiology departments to continue advancing the art and science of radiology. Her transition to president was set to take place at the 68th Annual AUR Meeting in Philadelphia last month, but due to circumstances of COVID-19, the transition took place virtually. As president, she will serve in this role for two years, chair the board, and oversee its strategic and fiscal responsibilities. Being the second woman president, however, adds a special distinction.

“We need to normalize women in leadership positions,” said Canon. “This is particularly important in radiology, where only 25% of residents and even fewer practicing radiologists are women. We have not significantly increased the number of women residents in radiology in over a decade and less than 20% of radiology chair positions are held by women.” These statistics were one of the motivating factors behind Dr. Canon founding LEAD. Leading, Empowering, and Disrupting, otherwise known as LEAD, is a women’s leadership program that was created through a partnership between SCARD and GE Healthcare. According to its mission statement, “LEAD is uniting and empowering women from both academia and industry to elevate their role in leadership and to advocate for current and future women leaders through education, mentorship and dialogue.” The organization is in its second year and hopes to increase its membership of women chairs. Canon shared that her vision for LEAD is “to strive for a world where LEAD is no longer needed”.

Congratulations to Dr. Cheri Canon on this new position and for continuing to promote women in leadership.