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Section History

The NMA was founded in 1985 and is the largest and oldest organization representing African American physicians and health professionals within the United States. NMA’s mission is to advance equitable healthcare for disenfranchised individuals through education, advocacy, and health policy. The SRRO was established in 1949 under the helm of Dr. William Allen, who was the first Black radiology to become a Diplomate of the American Board of Radiology and member of the American College of Radiology.


The founding charter members of the section include:

William E. Allen

Charles R. Humbert

James L. Martin

John W. Lawlah

Robert W. Henry

Benjamin W. Anthony

The logo of the SRRO was designed by John A. Campbell, MD, FACR, when he was chairman of Radiology at King/Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles. In this logo, he included the core elements of imaging at the time, including ultrasound, radiography, nuclear energy and radio-therapy in the center. 


Women within the SRRO

Dr. Ivy Roach Brooks (1916-1986) was the chief of radiology at the Tuskegee VA Medical center and served as secretary of the section for many years. 


Dr. Elizabeth A. Patterson (1936-) was the first chairwoman of the NMA SRRO. Dr. Patterson ushered the NMA SRRO into the 21st century and lead many federal initiatives advocating for increased breast cancer awareness and detection.


Dr. Beverly Coleman (1948-) is the first Black woman full professor at the University of Pennsylvania and served as chair of the NMA SRRO. 


Dr. Maria Gordian (1961-) was national president of the SNMA and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation clinical scholar. 


Rose Marie Pegues-Perkins, RN, RT (1913-1992) was trained by Dr. William Allen and was the first Black registrant of the American Association of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) in 1936.

This section history was taken from the work of Dr. Alan E. Oestreich in his book, A Centennial History of African Americans in Radiology. For a copy of this book please contact us (add a link to the contact us page) to request purchase.  (attach a picture of the book here)

Today the section remains a beacon for Black radiologists and a place for under-represented members of the radiologic community to foster mentorship, sponsorship, friendship, and allyship. 

Join us in celebrating the 75th anniversary of the NMA SRRO throughout 2024 and consider donating to help support our continued endeavors.

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