Thursday, July 16, 2015 12:00 AM

Advanced Cardiac Sonography Program first of its kind in U.S.

Anyone who knows Community Regional Medical Center’s Joy Guthrie PhD, ACS, RDMS, RDCS, RVT and assistant professor of medicine at UCSF-Fresno (Echocardiography), knows she’s a “go-getter”.  So it won’t surprise most to know that she had a hand in creating a new program that’s a first of its kind in the nation – all based downtown at Community Regional. 

400X600.jpgShe has partnered with Dr. Teresa Daniele, assistant professor of medicine at UCSF, and board certified cardiologist, to help facilitate the instruction of this vital new program.

Guthrie says this new program – upon approval from the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education – will start in January. She plans to apply for accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs in December 2015 or January 2016.

Upon approval from the State of California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPP), Community Regional Medical Center’s Advanced Cardiac Sonography Program will be the first of its kind in the United States according to Program Director and Instructor Joy Guthrie.

To give you an analogy, this is equivalent to a mid-level practitioner in the medical field. It’s the highest credential available in cardiac sonography,” Guthrie said.

The Advanced Cardiac Sonography Program is a hybrid program designed for working adults. It was developed to create a career track for sonographers who practice at an advanced level in an echocardiography laboratory. The goal is to provide a formal educational pathway for credentialed cardiac sonographers to gain advanced knowledge and skills to become clinical and/or administrative leaders in their departments and help them prepare for the Advanced Cardiac Sonographer credential.

"The need for the establishment of Advanced Cardiac Sonography programs has been recognized for many years. I truly believe there is a need for at least one in every cardiology department to ensure quality, efficiency, and clinical oversight,” Guthrie said.

The program prepares graduates who are committed to improving lab quality and efficiency through preparing preliminary echocardiogram assessments, performing advanced echocardiograms, mentoring fellows, students, residents, and staff, developing and implementing educational plans, facilitating continuous quality improvement, and coordinating cardiac ultrasound research.

And Guthrie well knows the rigors of the advanced certification. She was 1 of 94 invited to take the Advanced Cardiac Sonography pilot exam and 1 of the only 49 who passed it.

“I am humbled by the tireless efforts of so many people who facilitated the establishment of accreditation and credentialing standards to provide this opportunity. This is one of many programs that will fill this very vital need in the future," Guthrie said.

Community Regional will begin accepting applications for the program in late August with a start date of January 2016.

To apply, applicants must:
• have a Bachelor's (any subject)
• be a credentialed sonographer in adult echocardiography (RDCS or RCS)
• have three years of clinical experience in an echocardiography lab

For more details on the Advanced Cardiac Sonography Program

Jennifer Avila-Allen reported this story. Reach her at