San farewells radiology chief

Adventist HealthCare CEO Brett Goods bids a fond farewell to Geoff Andrews.

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When Geoff Andrews first walked into Sydney Adventist Hospital’s small radiology department back in 1987, he would not have imagined the medical imaging centre of excellence it would become, nor the pivotal role he would play in its growth and modernisation over the next 36 years.

By 1994 the radiology service at Sydney Adventist Hospital (the San) had grown to perform 24,000 radiology examinations each year, and now performs more than 100,000 diagnostic and interventional episodes of care per year. Back then there were only two radiologists rostered on each day, whereas now there can be up to 13 radiologists and nuclear medicine physicians on some days.

Mr Andrews has championed new services and imaging modalities to ensure the needs of the hospital and its community were met over the years. The radiology service grew from one CT scanner to four; one MRI to two; one echo machine to four; and one ultrasound room to seven. There have been three significant department constructions to accommodate the expanding services, and a satellite comprehensive radiology practice opened at the nearby Parkway San Clinic. 

The acquisition and integration of Northern Nuclear Medicine, and the introduction of a theranostics service to treat cancer patients, have both contributed to improved patient outcomes. This is just a snapshot of the many radiology and nuclear medicine team achievements under Mr Andrews’ leadership. He was also involved in the establishment of hospital-wide services including the Prostate Centre of Excellence and the integrated Breast Imaging Service.

At Mr Andrews’ farewell event.

Mr Andrews always stayed informed about the latest technologies and developments in the imaging sector and considered how these might benefit patients, radiologists and the San.

Regularly attending the world’s largest radiological conference enabled him to assess emerging trends for their likely clinical longevity and value to the San and its patients and referrers. He would then apply a commercial lens, and where clinical value and financial sustainability met, he would form a strategy, develop a business case and seek funding to implement the new initiative. This approach culminated in San Radiology bringing the first dual-source CT scanner to Australia. Dual-source CT enables cardiac imaging to be conducted using the lowest radiation dose, and the San held the world record for the lowest coronary artery CT Scan radiation dose at one time.

Mr Andrews is known for his calming presence during stressful times, and for being a strong advocate for the imaging service he led. He loves his spreadsheets, and he has a logical and methodical approach. His faith gives him a steadfastness, and his staff commented that they could talk to him about any topic—everything from philosophy, religion, the way of the world and his adventurous travels.

“We farewell Geoff after 36 years of service, and we are grateful for his skills and dedication,” said Adventist HealthCare CEO Brett Goods. “The growth of the hospital’s radiology and nuclear medicine services over the years is a legacy Geoff can be proud of.  

“The radiology department runs 24/7 to meet the needs of the largest not-for-profit private hospital in NSW and with that comes added complexity that a standalone suburban radiology practice would not experience. Geoff would always consider the big picture—the whole hospital—as well as the patients, the doctors and his team. The San’s high-calibre radiology and nuclear medicine practice is a credit to Geoff and his team, and testament to his broad skills and visionary thinking.”

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