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Cindy Harrison

Cindy Harrison, MEd, RDMS, RVT
Program Director | Associate Professor

Professor Harrison started her career in diagnostic medical sonography as a mobile sonographer that provided imaging services in a variety of settings throughout rural communities in Illinois. She holds advanced degrees in vascular technology and is committed to partnering with fellow professionals to impact the field of higher education in diagnostic imaging.

Over the duration of her career at Mercyhealth, she’s held the roles of staff sonographer and ultrasound coordinator. In 2018, Professor Harrison launched the Mercyhealth Javon Bea Hospital School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography as the program director. As an ultrasound educator, she utilizes her knowledge of sonography, technology and collaborative environments while cultivating research-based strategies to continuously improve student learning.

Professor Harrison is proud to be part of the Mercyhealth team, as their commitment to the community, employees/partners, and their educational programs foster high levels of student achievement and performance that lead to excellence in health care delivery to the patients we serve.

Kate Blanchard, MEd, RDMS, RVS, RT(R)
Clinical Coordinator | Clinical Professor

Professor Blanchard started her career in diagnostic imaging as an X-ray technologist at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. With a degree in radiation sciences and a specialty in computed tomography, she instills a vast knowledge of multi-modality offerings to the ultrasound curriculum.

Over the duration of her ultrasound career, she has been a sonographer in hospital, clinic, and overseas mission trip settings. As an ultrasound educator, she has curated curriculum and clinical opportunities for multiple DMS programs, is a consultant for integrating technology into allied health education, and serves on the board for IFSER’s ultrasound educator summit.

Professor Blanchard is passionate about teaching the art and skill of scanning, and being able to offer vast clinical experiences and personal one-on-one attention to each learner is why she is most proud to be a part of the Mercyhealth team.

Dr. Raj Kakarla, MD
Medical Director

Board certification: American Board of Radiology with added certifications in Diagnostic Radiology and Vascular and Interventional Radiology

Philosophy of care: My practice is centered around the CARE acronym. Compassion: empathy and attentiveness to my patients and families; Accountability: take responsible approaches to deliver medicine of the highest order; Respect: a team-based approach emphasizing the role of patients and families with sensitivity to their values and diversity; and Excellence: I aim to rise above the ordinary through my personal efforts and those of my team. In essence, my vision is to provide exceptional care in partnership with clinicians, while treating every patient as a member of our family.