News : 2020 : July

A Leadership Message

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce that Alexander M. McKinney IV, M.D., professor and vice chair for research, informatics and innovation in the Department of Radiology at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, has been named chair of the Department of Radiology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

As a leader in neuroradiology, clinical informatics, and collaborative imaging research at the University of Minnesota, Hennepin County Medical Center, and formerly at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Dr. McKinney has developed expertise and conducted extensive research in specialties including encephalopathic syndromes, pediatric neuroimaging, tumor imaging, head and neck imaging, spine therapy techniques, and advanced MR and CT neuroimaging techniques.

Dr. McKinney approaches academic medicine with a global view, describing what he calls the five spokes of our mission: clinical excellence, research/innovation, service to the organization (including quality and administration), patient engagement and outreach, and medical education.
In the Department of Radiology, Dr. McKinney has also served as vice chair for faculty affairs, helping the medical school develop different clinical tracks for promotion of faculty and implementing a “master mentors” program; the result was a marked increase in promotions in radiology, as well as across the school. The mentorship program also helped accelerate research output by the junior faculty, leading to eventual promotions.

Dr. McKinney’s focus on informatics is aimed in large part at ensuring that relevant images and information are easily accessible to patients. He has received both clinical informatics (CI) and certified imaging informatics professional (CIIP) board certifications, and he was instrumental in integrating clinical decision support into the university’s electronic medical record system. Dr. McKinney says it is critically important for radiologists to transform information into documented outcomes, to demonstrate that a diagnosis from an imaging report is “actionable” and relevant to the patient’s care. Correlating radiologists’ reports with eventual outcomes, he says, will aid the field’s transition from a volume-based specialty to a value-based specialty over time.

Building advanced imaging into research has also been a priority for Dr. McKinney. He helped create the Center for Clinical Imaging Research at the University of Minnesota and has served as medical director and MRI-CT safety director for the center, as well as for the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research. These initiatives enabled collaboration across many departments outside of radiology. As imaging has grown as a key component of medical research across departments, his recent foundational role in building the medical school’s Center for Radiology Research Resources is expected to elevate research throughout the institution.

Dr. McKinney is active on national medical committees for radiology and neuroradiology that address scientific content, practice standards, quality, and MRI safety. He has served as an editor and reviewer for many medical journals, and has published a long list of influential studies and book chapters, as well as three books. He received his undergraduate degree in engineering and mathematics from Vanderbilt University and his M.D. from the University of Minnesota, where he also completed a radiology residency and spent 18 months as a neuroradiology fellow.
Dr. McKinney replaces Robert M. Quencer, M.D., who had served as chair of the Department of Radiology since 1992. We are grateful to Dr. Quencer for his distinguished service and to Steven Falcone, M.D., M.B.A., for serving as interim chair of the department since January.
Dr. McKinney joins the Miller School of Medicine and the University of Miami Health System this week.

Please join us in welcoming him.


Julio Frenk, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.
Interim CEO, UHealth President, University of Miami

Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A.
Dean and Chief Academic Officer Miller School of Medicine