Shine a Light: a Q&A with RAYUS Radiology CEO Kim Tzoumakas

On March 4, 2021, Kim Tzoumakas was appointed CEO of the company formerly known as the Center for Diagnostic Imaging (CDI) — now RAYUS Radiology by Wellspring Capital Management. Wellspring knew CDI had significant potential for growth and chose Tzoumakas to lead the organization; Tzoumakas was fresh off a successful turnaround and sale of 21st Century Oncology to GenesisCare in May 2020.

On day 100 in her new role, Tzoumakas set a clear vision: Build on the company’s 40-year reputation of delivering high quality radiology care and grow to the nation’s preferred radiology platform. Embarking on a vast national expansion, Tzoumakas and her team engineered a coast-to-coast marketing debut — unconventional in the realm of radiology, but integral to her vision. CDI is transforming into RAYUS Radiology, and launching a multi-media campaign, including major sports sponsorships and more, to raise awareness among its referring physicians, hospital partners and patients.

Tzoumakas has an ambitious vision, and we wanted to know more. So we sat down with her one morning, and dug into the motives behind RAYUS Radiology’s ground-up transformation.

First things first: Why the name change? What made you want to shift from CDI, and how did you land on RAYUS?

I just completed my first 100 days as CEO. My starting point is always people. I have spent most of my time in the local markets talking with our physicians, technologists, and teammates…even meeting patients. This is the only way that I can truly understand the DNA of the company, including its history and strengths. What’s amazing is the brilliance and passion of our team for delivering quality care in a commoditized industry. We have a network of 400+ subspecialists who have an always-on approach to delivering expert and timely diagnosis. Our Quality Institute is setting standards for the entire field of radiology. It quickly became clear to me that we are so much more than a local center for imaging. Rather, we are delivering the highest level of subspecialty and advanced care. We’re a national radiology platform. A new name is the first step.

We chose RAYUS Radiology out of hundreds of names that were considered. The “RAY” defines the business we’re in as well as illuminates the brilliant medicine, technology and service we deliver. It also symbolizes our difference, which is shining a light on the way we practice radiology. “US” or U.S. is an immediate connection to our national footprint. Plus, “we” are “us.” It’s about our team and inclusivity. We’re one team with one vision.

You touched on this briefly, but tell us a little more about the category consolidation… how is RAYUS Radiology is addressing this?

This is a unique moment in time. There is great fragmentation in the industry. And many players are under margin pressures. The way we see it is that patients are not a commodity. And the roles of the radiologist and the technologist are critical in care and treatment of a patient. Will we expand and grow? Yes, absolutely. But we will never sacrifice on the expertise, innovation and quality care that we are known for.

For 40 years, we have delivered high quality patient care that has been the foundation of our success. We have performed over 2.4 billion scans and solutions. Our radiologists are subspecialists. And our subspecialists are available 24/7. If a patient has a head injury, they’re being seen by a neuroradiologist. If a patient has an appendicitis attack, they’re seen by a body radiologist. It’s this level of expertise and attention to every part of the body we’re known for and our referring physician partners count on.

Plus, we deliver a level of care and understanding toward our patients and partners that is full of compassion. We strive to deliver solutions to our partners before they see their patients next, so that they’re armed with the diagnosis to map out a treatment plan. We also have our anonymous peer reviews to be sure we’re a beacon – always improving and getting better ourselves. When patients come to RAYUS Radiology, they are truly taken care of by people who care. You feel it when you walk into one of our locations.

Do you worry that, by expanding nationally, you’ll sacrifice some of the quality that you’ve been able to sustain on a more local level?

Not in the slightest. On the contrary, I believe that national expansion will only bring to light our commitment to quality to many more corners of the country. Importantly, we have been in 22 states with freestanding locations and in 50 states with our hospital short- and long-term solutions, so our strategic expansion is a continuation of what we’ve already done successfully. Patients want to be taken care of the same way a physician would take care of their own family. RAYUS Radiology is personal, caring, and committed to quality. Further expansion will come as a ray of sunshine for our patients and partners.

Further, our radiology platform is so much more than advanced imaging. Our team is performing interventional and regenerative radiology. We’re conducting clinical trials, expanding our research efforts and setting standards that the entire industry follows.

A key engine of our success is our Quality Institute (QI). It is the nonprofit organization we set up in 2003 to define and pursue quality measures in radiology. The QI includes the Radiologist Quality and Mentoring Program, by which our radiologists and physicians review patient cases, giving each other instantaneous feedback. That way, our peers always review each other’s work, increasing accountability and improving procedures across the organization. We already have more than 2,000 team members whose voices factor into this process; further expansion will allow us to incorporate even more.

Finally, radiology is the unsung hero in medicine. There is a valor to radiology as it is a pivotal moment in the health, wellness and care of a patient. Our expansion will bring valor to radiology – for our team and the industry at large.

Not all radiology outfits embark on marketing campaigns as ambitious as “Shine On.” This is a bold move. What does it mean to you?

Well, as we’ve discussed, radiology has been commoditized and seemingly impersonal. For many, it’s about magnets, number of scans, or low cost. The reality is that this is the most important yet uncertain part of a patient diagnosis and treatment plan – both for the referring physician looking for confirmation and solution, and for the patient who wants to understand their situation and know what to expect when they visit us.

RAYUS Radiology is different. We are delivering brilliant medicine with the most highly accomplished radiology subspecialists in the nation. Plus, we’re doubling down on research and innovation, and our physician-led Quality Institute. We are delivering brilliant systems, from AI to new technology, to facilitate an exceptional patient experience. And we are guided by a set of core values that drive our brilliant people to deliver compassion and do what’s right every single day – for our partners, patients and each other. With our “Shine On” campaign, we want to shine a light on that.

“Shine On” also introduces a whole new way to think about radiology. We are pushing against status quo. Everyone else is living in a sea of sameness – healthcare blue and red, and category table stakes. Our research shows that patients want to achieve total health and wellness; referring physicians want certainty, and to achieve their best possible self. Orange is uplifting and delivers health, energy, vitality and determination. Our yellow is called “illuminating yellow”. It’s actually the color of the year which conveys joy, happiness, and optimism. And cyan is about trust, accessibility and reliability. That’s what we deliver. And that’s what our patients and partners want. I guess you could say we’re shining a light for the entire industry.

As part of the rebrand, you defined a set of six Core Values. How did you arrive at that list?

Culture is core to who we are; it’s why people join our company. We have so many people who have been with the company 10, 20…even 30+ years. We have boomerangers—people who left and came back because it’s really a wonderful place to be. We have great people doing great work. As we position ourselves for the future, we felt it was important to craft a set of core values that will guide who we are and how we work. And our people helped shape these core values. They have to be authentic. We call them the Shine On core values:

  • Go Above and Beyond
  • Be the Beacon
  • Do the Right Thing
  • Brighter Together
  • Passion for Compassion
  • Inspire Excellence

Living by a set of core values also makes good business sense. According to Jim Stengel, the author of Grow, companies that have a set of shared values outperform the market by 400%. Plus, as we grow and expand, we want people to shine together.

Click here to watch the SHINE ON video

Other content sponsored by RAYUS Radiology™