Thursday, October 13, 2016 2:38 PM

Sonographer Joy Guthrie honored for neonatal cardiac research

Congratulations once again to Joy Guthrie, our accomplished director of sonography training at Community Regional Medical Center and assistant professor of medicine at UCSF Fresno in Echocardiography. Joy received the Kenneth R. Gottesfeld Award at the annual Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) conference, held in Orlando, Fla., the first weekend in October. Kenneth Gottesfeld, MD, was the founding father of obstetrical sonography and the award recognizes superior writing and contributions to sonography’s professional medical journal.


Joy Guthrie, PhD, ACS, RDMS, RDCS, RVT, Assistant Professor of Medicine at UCSF-Fresno
published research last year on a more accurate way to measure whether premature infants need to have heart surgery to correct abnormal blood flow between the heart and lungs. Joy’s paper – A Novel Echocardiographic Marker (PDAM) Incorporating the Diameter of the Patent Foramen Ovale to Assess Hemodynamically Significant Patent Ductus Arteriosus – looked at 191 cases of premature infants in which the ductus arteriousus, a blood vessel that diverts blood from a fetuses lungs before birth, did not close up as should right after birth. This condition, called PDA, is easily heard as a heart murmur in full-term babies, but only detectable in premature infants with an echocardiogram – which Joy is an expert in and teaches others how to do on our tiniest, most fragile patients.

Because of Joy’s hard work, Community Regional became the second program in the nation to be accredited to teach pediatric cardiac echo techniques to other sonographers. Our hospital currently has the only sonography program in the nation accredited to teach all four learning concentrations – General Sonography, Adult Cardiac Echo, Pediatric Cardiac Echo and Vascular Sonography – and the first accredited to train Advanced Cardiac Sonographers. Joy established the program and continues to push it to pursue excellence and train others in this field. [You can find out more about our training program here.]
Sonographer Mario Madrigal performs a pediatric echocardiogram on a 2 lbs. newborn at Community Regional’s NICU as Joy Guthrie supervises.
research showed that besides using measurements of the pulmonary artery and the aorta, also using measurements of the open foramen ovale (a small flap-like opening between the right and left upper chambers of the heart that normally closes after birth) could more accurately show whether a baby needed surgery. Joy tells me, not only is this helping our premature newborns in Fresno but that Boston Children’s Hospital’s sonographers have begun using her methods to look at PDA.  Boston Children’s was named one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation on the last U.S. News & World Report ratings.
We’re proud to have Joy as part of the Community Regional team and grateful for her passion to constantly enhance patient care. It should give great comfort to Fresno families to know that we have nationally recognized experts helping care for their tiny babies.
Kudos Joy! Thank you for all you do for our patients and to further the field of sonography.
Alan Christianson
VP Professional Support Services
Community Regional Medical Center