USF and Parkview Heart Institute collaborate on new sonography program

May 13, 2022

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—The University of Saint Francis and Parkview Heart Institute announce their collaboration on an innovative program designed to attract, educate and train sonographers in advanced cardiac imaging.

The program will be called the Echo Academy at the University of Saint Francis.

The new program will offer educational incentives to sonographers interested in specializing in echocardiography, and develop staff who are committed to learning and caring for patients within the community. The Echo Academy complements USF’s newly established A.A.S. in Diagnostic Medical Sonography degree and provides educational advancement opportunities for sonographers in the region.

Starting in fall 2022, registered sonographers will have the opportunity to become a part of the Echo Academy program.

The 17-month, four-semester program is designed for sonographers to complete the first two semesters of the program while working, with evening labs held at Parkview Heart Institute. They will then transition to paid clinical internships during the final two semesters of the program. The Echo Academy will help address the echocardiographer shortage in this region by graduating more trained clinical staff who desire to remain in the community in which they are educated.

“As a Fort Wayne native and University of Saint Francis alumnus, I couldn’t be more excited to have a role in developing this partnership between USF and Parkview Health,” said Kory Kinsey, MBA, BS, RDCS, echo lab supervisor and technical director at Parkview Heart Institute. “For decades, these elite organizations have exemplified excellence in their pursuits of serving Fort Wayne and the surrounding communities. To be a part of a collaborative effort with these two institutions to bring an echo program to Fort Wayne leaves me excited and optimistic for a bright future filled with talented sonographers and passionate caregivers in our health system.”

Dr. Angie Harrell, Dean of the USF College of Health Sciences, said this partnership not only represents an investment in sonographers, but also the creation of new educational opportunities that will strengthen the healthcare services and the health of our communities.

“We are always looking to implement ways to train our students in the most efficient ways to produce high-quality health professionals who can fill high-demand positions,” Harrell said. “We look forward to the students who will thrive and become valuable professionals in northeast Indiana through the Echo Academy at the University of Saint Francis.”

Applications will be accepted now through July 1, 2022.  Acceptance into the Echo Academy will be a competitive process and spaces are limited. More information about the program and the application materials can be found by visiting sf.edu or by contacting Audra Koldyke, Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program Director, at akoldyke@sf.edu.

Founded in 1890 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, the University of Saint Francis offers more than 60 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs through the College of Health Sciences; College of Arts, Sciences and Business; and College of Adult and Distance Education. In addition to its traditional programs, USF designs focused curricula for working adults in Fort Wayne, Crown Point and online. USF Downtown houses the university’s business and music technology programs while offering enhanced internship and networking opportunities for students. The University of Saint Francis, recognized as an NAIA Five-Star Champion of Character institution, has 18 athletic programs boasting two individual and four team NAIA national championships. Approximately 2,200 students from a broad geographic region attend USF.