MCV Physicians Distinguished Clinician Award

What more could you ask of your doctor than to demonstrate, in the words of a colleague, “clinical excellence and effectiveness, efficiency, availability for patient care, compassion, and responsiveness to patients and referring physicians”? Dr. Uma R. Prasad, interventional radiologist, Associate Professor of Radiology and Director of Ultrasound and the Non- Vascular Interventional Radiology Service, has demonstrated exceptional commitment to providing the best possible patient care during nearly 30 years of service in the VCU Health System.

Her Department Chair, Ann Fulcher, M.D., Professor of Radiology and Director of Abdominal Imaging, met Dr. Prasad, then a 3rd year VCU radiology resident, on her very first day as a resident in the Department of Radiology. “Even at that early point in my education, I recognized her dedication to patient care, professionalism, outstanding fund of knowledge and the respect shown to her by faculty members, fellow residents, and technologists. Since (then), I have witnessed on a daily basis the manner in which she cares for patients as well as her high level of expertise in the arenas of interventional radiology and sonography. At all times, her demeanor is one that exemplifies professionalism.”

Since joining the Department of Radiology as faculty in 1989, Dr. Prasad has been recognized for introducing or adopting procedures and processes to improve care for her patients. In the mid-1990’s, Dr. Prasad fostered transcatheter embolizations of splenic artery aneurysms in collaboration with radiology and trauma surgery colleagues and performed the first placement of metallic stents in the tracheobronchial tree at VCU. In 2003, Dr. Prasad pioneered the performance and implementation of uterine fibroid embolization and laser vein treatments at our institution. To this day, she is the primary VCU radiologist who performs uterine fibroid embolizations and who educates the community about the advantages afforded by this technique. In 2005, she founded the Non-Vascular Interventional Radiology Service which provides high quality and timely services such as biopsies and drainages for inpatients and outpatients. In 2006, she implemented the placement of Aspira catheters for palliative care patients at VCU which allowed the avoidance of repeated interventions to relieve ascites. In 2010, Dr. Prasad created a Botox injection service for the treatment of sialorrhea, especially helpful in Parkinson’s patients. In 2012, she adopted ultrasound guidance for abdominal wall injections for pain relief and, in the same year, implemented the placement of fistula plugs for the treatment of enterocutaneous fistulae. In 2013, in association with the VCU Division of Urology, she performed penile Doppler ultrasound. This year, Dr. Prasad established a contrast-enhanced ultrasound service at VCU. This technique is performed at only a few institutions in the US and is used to screen for and evaluate a number of diseases involving the liver, kidneys and ureters.

Dr. Prasad actively contributes to scholarship in her field, with over 66 articles published in peer-reviewed publications, and over 150 scientific posters and papers presented at specialty meetings. She has created instructional materials to train others in advanced clinical approaches. Dr. Prasad has been honored with the Best Teacher and Outstanding Faculty of the Year awards by radiology residents, the Anthony V. Proto Resident Research Fund Outstanding Faculty of the Year and Outstanding Mentor awards, and VCUHS Shining Knight honors from the Department of Surgery.

Dr. Prasad’s expertise in interventional radiology and sonography has benefitted innumerable patients and has advanced patient care in her field. She has shared this expertise with thousands of medical students, trainees, and colleagues. Dr. Uma R. Prasad is a role model for continuing improvement to provide excellent patient care, effective interdisciplinary practice, and professionalism, and we honor her with the 2017 MCVP Distinguished Clinician Award.