Sharing knowledge is the ultimate gift 

Sharing knowledge is the ultimate gift 

RAD-AID International volunteers help on a global level

ROCK SPRINGS — Volunteering your time in a profession you love can be life changing, according to Tasha Harris.

Harris is a Certified Medical Dosimetrist and Director of Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County’s Radiation Oncology Department at Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center. She began volunteering about six months ago with RAD-AID International, a global health outreach organization providing training and education to radiation oncology professionals in underserved areas.

In February, she hosted a Zoom presentation on how to design treatment plans for breast cancer patients. Those sitting in on the presentation were dosimetrists and physicists from various countries, mostly in Africa. 

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“Right now, we are giving quarterly trainings via Zoom. One of the upcoming presentations will cover treatment techniques for pelvic cancers, including prostate and gynecological cancers,” Harris said. “In the future, I hope to have the opportunity to travel to an underserved country and give hands-on dosimetry training.”

RAD-AID began in 2008 to answer the need for more radiology and imaging technology in the resource-limited regions and underserved communities of the world. RAD-AID began as a few people, and has grown to include over 17,000 volunteers from 146 countries, serving 100 hospitals in over 40 countries, according to

“In volunteering with RAD-AID, I’ve come to realize that the impact of our work goes beyond treatment plans, it’s about empowering communities and saving lives.”

Tasha Harris

“Being part of RAD-AID International has been a deeply rewarding experience,” Harris said. “I’ve experienced the power of knowledge sharing, collaboration and compassion in bringing quality healthcare to underserved communities.”

When she was younger, Harris lived in Uruguay for a year and half as a missionary. She came to love the people and their culture.

“When you live in a country like that, it is eye opening to see how so much of their life is simply meeting the basic needs of life. They walk to market. They walk home. They prepare the food. They wash their clothes by hand.

“In these low- to middle-income countries, there is so much they have limited access to,” she said. “RAD-AID is helping to bridge the gap in healthcare disparities, ensuring that patients in under-served communities receive the quality care they deserve.”

Harris became involved with RAD-AID after listening to a presentation during a dosimetry conference several months ago. The group talked about a trip to Africa and the training they were doing. She immediately tracked down the presenters and raised her hand to volunteer.

RAD-AID’s mission is to increase and improve radiology and radiation oncology in low-resource and medically underserved regions of the world, including low- and middle-income countries and high-income countries alike. Radiology is a part of nearly every segment of health care, including pediatrics, obstetrics, medicine and surgery, making the absence of radiology a critical piece of global health disparity.

RAD-AID International poses these varied scenarios: a pregnant woman in Africa loses her baby from a complication that could have been avoided using ultrasound; a woman in Asia dies of breast cancer that could have been treated if mammography had been available; a child in Latin America loses use of his leg after trauma from a bone fracture that could have been detected and treated if X-ray radiography had been available. Even high-income countries have large medically underserved populations and communities suffering more deaths and disease in the absence of vital radiology.

“In volunteering with RAD-AID, I’ve come to realize that the impact of our work goes beyond treatment plans, it’s about empowering communities and saving lives.” Harris said.