February 15, 2022

University of North Carolina Department of Radiology: A Decade of Commitment to Global Health

Abiola Femi-Abodunde, MD; Joshua Harford, MD and Katrina Anne McGinty, MD

The University of North Carolina Department of Radiology (UNC Radiology) has had a long tradition of investing in global health partnerships with the goal of capacity building of imaging services internationally. Beginning with the founding of the UNC RAD-AID Chapter in 2012, Melissa Culp, RT(R)(MR), who became inaugural UNC Global Health Director 2020–2021, has supported multiple residents’ interest in global health.

Melissa P. Culp, RT(R)(MR)
Figure 1: Melissa P. Culp, RT(R)(MR), inaugural UNC Global Health Director, 2020–2021

Melissa P. Culp, RT(R)(MR) & UNC Radiology alumni Ryan Embertson, MD with two Malawian medical officers teaching ultrasound scanning techniques in Malawi, 2017.
Figure 2: Melissa P. Culp, RT(R)(MR) (center) & UNC Radiology alumni Ryan Embertson, MD (lying down) with two Malawian medical officers teaching ultrasound scanning techniques (Malawi 2017).

In September 2012, Ms. Culp traveled to the Malawi Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) where she conducted a Radiology Readiness Assessment. The creation of the UNC Radiology/Malawi KCH partnership ushered in a stream of global health electives for UNC radiology residents, beginning with Melissa Davis, MD, MBA, in 2014. The entire department, including ultrasound and interventional radiology technologists, as well as nursing staff, have been involved in supporting UNC’s global health efforts.

Since 2015, UNC Radiology has supported three to five residents/fellows annually on international electives, which has unfortunately been on hold since the COVID-19 pandemic. Trainees have pursued global health electives beyond Malawi, including Kenya, Liberia, South Korea and Nigeria. In fact, the global health contributions of two UNC alumni, John Campbell, MD, and Malik Mossa-Basha, MD, led to their appointments as RAD-AID Regional Directors for Malawi and the Middle East, respectively.

Suzgo “Sam” Mzumara, MBBS, MMed, radiologist from Malawi during his visit to UNC hospitals with UNC alumni John Campbell, MD, Director of RAD-AID, Malawi and Ryan Embertson, MD, and Jeffrey Smith, MD, PhD, FACR.
Figure 3: First row: Suzgo “Sam” Mzumara, MBBS, MMed, radiologist from Malawi during his visit to UNC hospitals (far left) with current UNC alum (class of 2019/2020), including John Campbell, MD, Director of RAD-AID, Malawi (far right, 2nd from left). Second row: Ryan Embertson, MD (center), and Jeffrey Smith, MD, PhD, FACR, UNC Radiology Executive Vice Chair (3rd from left), longtime supporter of the UNC Radiology/Malawi partnership.

Global Health Leadership Pathway

A distinguishing feature of the global health radiology experience at UNC Radiology is the Global Health Leadership Pathway (GHLP). The GHLP is a unique curriculum designed for residents with identified interest in global health. The program involves a combination of journal clubs, the RAD-AID Global Health Course and an international elective.

The GHLP emphasizes structured mentorship and high-impact projects throughout residency, and particularly during the R4 year. Specific time slots are assigned during resident conference lectures for thought-provoking journal club discussions on issues pertaining to global health radiology. Non-GHLP residents are encouraged to participate and are typically avid contributors. At its inception in 2021–2022, five eager residents signed on as GHLP scholars.

Rachel Brader, MD (PGY-5)    Abiola Femi-Abodunde, MD (R4), GHLP resident and Global Health Scholar. 
Abiola Femi-Abodunde, MD (PGY-5)
  Joshua Harford, MD (PGY-4) 
Lourens du Pisanie Jr. MD (PGY-4)
Lourens du Pisanie Jr., MD (PGY-4)

   Austin Evans, MD (PGY-3)    

Figure 4: GHLP debut residents, 2021–2022.

Katrina Anne McGinty, MD, Associate Professor of Radiology, Abdominal Imaging, is currently the UNC Director of Global Radiology. She oversees UNC’s new GHLP and several initiatives with our Malawi partners — particularly the innovative ultrasound curriculum, discussed below.

Katrina Anne McGinty, MD, Associate Professor of Radiology, Abdominal Imaging at UNC.
Figure 5: Katrina Anne McGinty, MD, Associate Professor of Radiology, Abdominal Imaging, is currently UNC’s Inaugural Faculty Lead for UNC Global Health Radiology.

Katrina Anne McGinty, MD in 2019 with KCH Malawi staff and other UNC Radiology colleagues John Campbell, MD and Heather Jordan, RDMS.

Figure 6: Katrina Anne McGinty, MD (first row, 2nd from left) in 2019 pictured with KCH Malawi staff and other UNC Radiology colleagues, including John Campbell, MD (far right) and ultrasound technologist, Heather Jordan, RDMS (2nd row, 4th from left).

Exciting Opportunities for Global Health at UNC Radiology

Central to global health radiology efforts is achieving sustainable healthcare equity. UNC Global Radiology actively supports such endeavors locally and internationally. Here, in North Carolina, our partnership with the RAD-AID’s Women’s Health Access program, a collaboration between the Hologic/Black Women’s Health Imperative and RAD-AID, provided financial assistance for patients referred from Piedmont Health to UNC Health for mammography. This project was presented at the ACR® 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting by Ms. Culp; Cherie Kuzmiak, MD, FACR, UNC Breast Imaging Division Chief and GHLP scholar Johannes Du Pisanie Jr., MD.


A new collaboration between UNC/KCH and RAD-AID/Gurnick Ultrasound Academy successfully delivered a one-year hybrid ultrasound curriculum by partnering with sonographers in Malawi. Residents/faculty at UNC presented interactive case conferences, created scan labs and reviewed ultrasound images — including unknowns — with Malawian colleagues. GHLP scholar Joshua S. Harford, MD; UNC alum John Campbell, MD; Val Brod, BS, RDMS, RVT, RDCS (RAD-AID) and GHLP Faculty-Lead Dr. McGinty served as investigators on this landmark project.

Currently in the UNC/Malawi partnership pipeline is an Esophageal Cancer Staging Project being carried out by GHLP scholar Austin Evans, MD (R2); Brittney Williams, MD, MPH (surgery resident); Dr. McGinty and Gita Mody, MD, MPH (cardiothoracic surgery). Additionally, Fafa Koudoro, MD (radiology, PGY-5) and Dr. McGinty have been joined by breast faculty (Sheila Lee, MD and Sheri Jordan, MD, RCC) and partnered with Jennifer Morgan, MD (medical oncology fellow) to design and implement a curriculum to train cervical cancer screeners in the use of handheld ultrasound to improve breast cancer screening.


Abiola Femi-Abodunde, MD (PGY-5), current GHLP scholar and UNC Radiology’s first Global Health Scholar, is supported by a grant from the UNC School of Medicine Office of Global Health and is also a recipient of the ACR Foundation Goldberg-Reeder Resident Travel Grant. Her work has focused on establishing breast imaging radiology-pathology correlation conferences at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, and at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. In addition, as part of her ACR Informatics Fellowship, Dr. Femi-Abodunde has been working with the ACR® Cortex team to launch a case-based learning pilot tool featuring cases from the UNC Radiology/Malawi Program initiative.


Future Possibilities

Several projects in the pipeline involve subspecialities often underrepresented in global health radiology, including musculoskeletal and pediatric interventional radiology. UNC anticipates further expansion of the GHLP program with additional growth in multidisciplinary collaborations in global health. Future endeavors intend to strengthen the UNC global health radiology alumni network to encourage trainees to engage in lifelong learning/experiences in global health beyond their experiences at UNC.



Mollura, Daniel J., Culp, Melissa P. and Matthew P. Lungren. Radiology in Global Health, second edition, 2019.

Global Health Leadership Pathway, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Department of Radiology. Available at: https://www.med.unc.edu/radiology/education/residency/global-health-leadership-pathway. Accessed Oct. 15, 2021.