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In March, Radiology Partners announced the launch of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), naming 13 radiologists to senior executive leadership roles. One newly named Associate CMO is Dr. James Lyons, Associate CMO of Clinical Operations for the West region.

Dr. Lyons is a vascular and interventional radiologist and currently serves as Chairman of the Southwest Diagnostic Imaging (SDI) LPB, which includes RP Phoenix, RP Valley and RP SMIL. Prior to joining RP, James served as RP Phoenix President for 12 years and was one of three Executive Vice Presidents leading Southwest Diagnostic Imaging during the transition into RP in 2017. Dr. Lyons earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, and completed his residency and fellowship at the Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He joined RP in 2017.

As Associate CMO of Clinical Operations for the West Region, Dr. Lyons will serve as a clinical partner to RP’s Senior Vice President of Operations of the West region Vijay Vaidya, supporting implementation of clinical programs, IT and AI tools; resolving clinical issues within their respective regions; assisting with operations, client and radiologist issues; and serving as a resource for Practice Presidents within the region.

We sat down with Dr. Lyons to learn more about his aspirations for RP’s Office of the CMO and his role as Associate CMO of Clinical Operations for the West Region.

Tell us about your tenure/history with RP.

My local practice was fairly small, and we were looking to scale, so we joined SDI in 2014. However, we wanted to accomplish more, so we started looking for a national partner. The only one that made any sense for the practice was RP.

What attracted you to RP?

In radiology, we see more patients every day than most physicians do in a week, and while we are not always seen directly by patients, we are integral to the healthcare system.  Radiology is the only specialty that gets to participate in a patient’s healthcare from before birth to end of life. I believe RP strives to elevate radiologists in the healthcare system to where we really should be and aims to do something revolutionary and different in our field.

How has your experience prepared you for your role as Associate CMO of Clinical Operations for the West Region?

I have been a leader in a practice that has had multiple divisions, which uniquely positions me to have the experience and problem-solving skills to meet the needs of multiple people, teams and groups at the same time.

What do you want to accomplish in this role?

I never do anything small, mediocre or average. I want to make RP the only place that radiologists want to work. If they need to move, I want them to work for another RP practice. It is a big goal, but I think we have the ability to accomplish it. I am afraid people have disconnected from their original purpose of why they practice medicine, and I think RP helps radiologists get re-connected to the excitement and purpose of our roles. RP allows us to make a larger impact.

What does the future of radiology look like in 5 years? 10 years? How will RP contribute to that?

As RP grows, I think we are going to set the standard for radiology in the country. With access to so many technologies and the development of best practices, we can improve lives and reduce unnecessary procedures through imaging. Because of this, radiology will continue to be utilized more and viewed as integral to patient care. I believe RP is making it better for all of radiology, not just for our practice. That is something I appreciate about RP – we’re all radiologists, no matter what practice we are in. It’s not just about RP, but it is about the specialty of radiology, and I am grateful to participate.

Dr. James Lyons is the Associate Chief Medical Officer for Clinical Operations for the West Region at Radiology Partners, the largest physician-led and physician-owned radiology practice in the U.S. For the latest news from RP, follow along on our blog and on TwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.