SEPTEMBER 26, 2019

Dr Kivitz, recently appointed to Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine staff, teaches his initial session to first-year medical students. Introducing radiology images to students during anatomy class will certainly make them more informed physicians.


ASRT approves Phoenix General & Health Services, Inc to award 6 CE A credits to each technologist who completes its one-day QI, supervised hands-on positioning training at her work-site. This may fulfill her annual mammography requirement.


Quality Improvement

Quality Improvement (QI)program for your facility and staff. Solve MQSA,EQUIP and inspection issues as well as excellent marketing to the community for your facility. On-site hands-on positioning training for technologists can be included.

Comments of technologists from a recent QI program December, 2018:
"Thank you so much for all of the wonderful knowledge and teaching...."
"We gained a lot of knowledge...."
"...instruction tips and evaluation of my images will definitely help me get better images and be a better mammographer."

MAY 2015

Dr Kivitz was awarded the status of Lifetime Honorary Medical Staff Member of Stanford Health Care, Stanford University.

May 9, 2015 Dr Philip B Kivitz was awarded the status of Lifetime Honorary Medical Staff Member of Stanford Health Care, Stanford University. According to SHC Medical Staff Bylaws, “The Honorary Medical Staff consists of those individuals who, in the judgment of the Chief of Staff and the Medical Executive Committee, are distinguished practitioners whose contributions to SHC or whose recognized professional eminence merit special recognition.” This award occurred at the Annual Medical Staff Gala at Stanford University.


Follow up data from the QI program at Stanford University breast imaging section

Follow up data from the QI program at Stanford University breast imaging section confirm a significant decrease in repeat/additional images required after completion of project. Images were more consistent, less technologist's time required as well as less room time required. Better patient flow and satisfaction were noted.


Dr Kivitz provided a QI program for the breast imaging section of Stanford University

In February 2014, Dr Kivitz provided a QI program for the breast imaging section of Stanford University. It started in the morning with a lecture for mammography technologists which covered positioning and MQSA standards. He then supervised one-on-one several technologists as they positioned mammography patients. Following each case he discussed and critiqued the images with the technologist. Suggestions for improvement for each difficulty were presented.

Later in the day, Dr Kivitz lectured the radiologists, including faculty, fellows and residents, to help them establish uniform standards of expectation for clinical images. During this presentation MQSA standards were explained and stressed along with the importance for all radiologists to have the same expectations for image quality. Without uniform expectation from the radiologists, technologists may be confused and quality may falter. 

This program was part of several presentations on quality and MQSA that Dr Kivitz has given to the breast imaging section of Stanford University.

OCTOBER 21, 2013

New York Times, Letters to the Editor
A Global Focus on Breast Cancer

Dr Kivitz letter to the New York Times commenting on the recent breast cancer in Africa article stresses the importance of education in all populations. He reminds everyone that it was not so long ago in the United States that most women rarely told anyone when they were diagnosed with breast cancer. It was felt by many to be a stigma. As science progresses we sometimes lose sight of the emotional and the unseen impact and scars.

Read the letter >

Ormylia Program

(click photo to enlarge)


Ormylia Foundation Panagia Philanthropini and the University of Pennsylvania Global Center for Women's and Children's Health Collaboration
Athens, Greece

On 1 October, 2012, Dr Kivitz and his wife, Susan T. Marx, attended a reception at the home of the United States Ambassador to Greece Daniel B. Smith & Mrs Diane Smith in Athens to celebrate the collaboration between the Ormylia Foundation Panagia Philanthropini and the University of Pennsylvania Global Center for Women's and Children's Health. He and his wife were invited because of their efforts to arrange this collaboration. Dr K has been consulting, training, teaching and lecturing at the Ormylia Center for over a decade. His wife, a graduate of the Uinversity of Pennsylvania, learned of the newly created Global Center by the School of Nursing. Because of Ms Marx experience matching non-profits to possible funders, she suggested the Global Center consider Ormylia as a possible affiliate. After a May 2012 visit to Ormylia by Dr Lynn Sommers who heads the Global Center, she and Brother Charles Anthony worked together to create a formal collaboration. Prior to the reception at the Ambassador's home, Dr Sommers and several of her associates gave their first three-day course at the Ormylia Center. Plans are underway for other programs in collaboration with the Ormylia Center.


NMPOA breast cancer screening project

Dr Kivitz spent a week auditing the NMPOA breast cancer screening project he has been supervising since 2003 in southern Brazil. Along with review of image quality, reports, recall rates, quality control and other United States standards, the Brazilian center continues to maintain standards comparable to an MQSA qualified facility. When the center was originally opened, MQSA standards were implemented as if it required FDA accreditation. Over periodic auditing visits for almost 10 years, the center has been found to consistently maintain these standards.

During this recent visit, Dr Kivitz reviewed many of the charts of the patients who have been diagnosed with cancer. Remarkably many of the women did not need chemotherapy because their cancers were found early. Prior to the existence of this center, most women's cancers were found in late stages and therefore required chemotherapy.

The study of almost 10,000 women at this center continues for several more years before final data are available. However, preliminary data suggest some very exciting findings.


Breast cancer screening center
Ormylia, Greece

A few days before Thanksgiving, Dr Kivitz traveled to the breast cancer screening center in Ormylia, Greece. The facility has recently installed two new mammography machines donated by Hologic. During his previous visits to Ormylia, Dr Kivitz saw the need for new mammography equipment at Ormylia. He approached Hologic. The company was very receptive and willing to support the work at Ormylia and agreed to donate the equipment.

During Dr Kivitz visit, working with the technologists and radiologists, the transition was smooth and complete. One problem was the variability in the density of the films. This was noted and discussed. It would be surprising for the new Hologic machines to be the cause.

After his departure, Ormylia had the machines rechecked thoroughly with nothing found. The center then checked the power source from the local company and found it to the extremely inconsistent. This has been corrected and solved the problem of variation in the images.

OCTOBER 27, 2011 (Published October 29)

New York Times, Letters to the Editor
The Debate Over Routine Mammograms

To the Editor:

Much has been written challenging the economic value of screening mammograms. But mammography certainly has a critical role in the quality of life for most patients, because breast conservation is possible with early diagnosis.

Fifty years ago every breast cancer, regardless of its size, was treated by surgically removing the entire breast, the underlying muscles and all of the underarm lymph nodes, as well as with radiation and chemotherapy.

Today, such surgery is much less common, and chemotherapy can often be avoided when the cancer has not spread beyond the breast.

That means a quicker return to normal daily life, at work and home, without the side effects.

Women who are routinely screened may have saved not only their lives but also their breasts.

San Francisco, Oct. 27, 2011

The writer is an adjunct clinical professor of radiology at Stanford University Medical Center.

OCTOBER 3-7, 2011,

Joint ICTP – IAEA Advanced Course on Mammography
Trieste, Italy

Dr Kivitz was invited by the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and the ICTP (International Center for Theoretical Physics) to be the keynote speaker at a meeting for medical physicists from developing countries around the world. Chosen from hundreds of applicants, approximately 50 attendees from 32 countries participated. His presentations focused on Global Issues of Breast Cancer, MQSA including other quality standards and new breast imaging techniques. His talks were covered by Italian newspapers.

Other speakers, who are medical physicists, gave presentations ranging from basic breast imaging equipment testing to comprehensive evaluations of breast imaging facilities for equipment standards and image quality. The topics covered in presentations and workshops are practices and standards currently used in the western world. They are proven to be critical for the best breast cancer detection.

Dr Kivitz was invited to participate in this meeting to demonstrate the medical physicist's pivotal role which gives technologist's the ability to produce the best images, thereby presenting the radiologist with the best opportunity to find the smallest cancers.

In his closing remarks, Dr Kivitz asked the participants to become instruments of change for the women in their respective countries. He stressed the importance of the medical physicist in making it possible for the radiologists to have the best breast images with the lowest radiation dose.

APRIL 7, 2011

Webinar: Breast Cancer and Innovative Engineering and Entrepreneurship

Dr Kivitz participated in a global webinar “Breast Cancer and Innovative Engineering and Entrepreneurship”, which stressed the importance of breast cancer as a worldwide problem with significant differences between the developed and the developing world. Because of its global importance, breast cancer is a fertile area for innovative solutions to a common issue.

Breast Cancer Seminar:
View the webinar >

Breast Cancer Discussion:
Watch the informal discussion among the webinar participants that followed >


Breast Care in Cuba

Dr Kivitz recently returned from a trip to Cuba during which he met with Dra. Maria Caridad Rubio Hernandez of the Instituto Nacional de Oncologia Y Radiobiologia. She is a leading breast surgeon in Cuba. Among the topics discussed during the meeting were breast cancer screening (Cuba offers biennial screening starting age 50), diagnosis and treatments.

Dra. Maria mentioned that surgical biopsies are more common because results of needle biopsies are less reliable. Vacuum core devices are not readily available in Cuba. It appears that the amount of tissue obtained from techniques used may not be sufficient for accurate information. Dr Kivitz mentioned the literature documenting the need for sufficient tissue for reliable results in needle biopsies.

Dra. Maria also expressed interest in intraoperative radiation therapy for breast cancer patients.

Dra. Maria invited Dr Kivitz to present a course with some of these breast topics in Havana during January 2012. The preliminary program and details for this meeting are underway and will be posted on this site when completed.


Department of Health and Human Services updates its web site

The section of the Department of Health and Human Services new web site dealing with quality of care for imaging includes an area comparing recall rates from screening mammography by institution, suggesting that a facility with recall rate outside HHS guidelines may be of uncertain quality. Unfortunately, quality of screening mammography is determined by many factors which are not obvious from a single number. How many biopsies are recommended, and how many cancers are found? What is the average size of the cancers found by the breast imaging section? Performance measurements are coming for all facilities and for multiple aspects of care – at this time, recall rates are just the easiest to measure.

OCTOBER 1-3, 2010

American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting

At the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting, a poster from Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN was presented – “The Impact of the New USPSTF Screening Mammogram Guidelines Among Health Care Providers and Patients in Primary Care” Summer Sawyer Allen, MD, et al.
“1. Findings support the notion that the new USPSTF screening mammogram guidelines contributed to confusion among patients and health care providers.
2. They may also have contributed to patients' anxiety related to screening mammography and health status.”

Breast imaging facilities need to be especially sensitive to patients' concerns whenever there has been media coverage of controversial statements about mammography.


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