Testimonial from Dr.  John  Simon, Founder of Simon Med Imaging:

“I couldn’t have done it without you!were the words said by Dr. John Simon to one of the founding members of MRI Optimize Consultants.


One of the members of MRI Optimize Consultants (Catherine) was recruited to help start up a new imaging center business in 2003.  What started off as Advanced Imaging Specialists became SimonMed Imaging within the first two weeks that the business opened its doors.  Starting without an issued IDTF, Dr. Simon relied on his senior staff to help get his site up and running, which included showcasing the Siemens Sonata 1.5T MRI scanner, the first of its kind in the state.  The image quality , and patient flow processes from this new site were supreme to any of the nearby competition and became one of the main differentiators referring physicians and patients relied on.

Physicians were sending hospital inpatients via ambulance to get scanned under the MRI parameters setup, clearly due to high image quality from the 1.5T system. One neuro-surgeon who mentioned his discussion with the local hospital administrator, asked “Which images would you like me to use when I do your back surgery? The ones from your site, or these?!” Side by side, the SimonMed MRI images those days were much better.

We’ve captured that high quality competitive spirit in our daily practices at MRI Optimize Consultants now, and have taken that methodology to share with all who have MRI systems.

Within six months of the start-up, the single site was grossing over $1.8 M per month, mostly from the MRI cases going through the first center.  The schedule was sometimes so packed with MRI requests, that MRI staff would have to go in at 4:00 am or stay until after midnight, for cases that could not be scheduled at any other time. Those cases had to be done for the patients’ sake due to accommodating the physicians and the sense of urgency.

testimonial from dr. john simon

Dr. John Simon and Cathy Leyen during the setup and opening of the first Simon Med Imaging Center.

While most radiology outpatient sites average twelve to fifteen MRI cases per day, this initial site setup was averaging twenty-eight to thirty MRI cases per day.  The images those days from the MRI system were programmed to be better than any of the images taken by the competitive sites nearby, which is one of the specialties that MRI Optimize Consultants are experts in doing.  Along with patient throughput, staging and patient satisfaction, these are primary principles that will help build a radiology business for success, with marketing, referral appreciation and more.

From the income created by the volume from MRI cases done, the opportunity for a second center was available in under a year, and a second location was leased with objectives on setting up another radiology site.  As of June 2012, Simon Med Imaging consists of many centers, and has become the largest radiology business in Arizona, with sites in California, Florida and Nebraska.

In 2003, at the same time Simon Med started up, another competing radiologist opened up two imaging centers in Phoenix; one in Ahwahtukee and another in central Phoenix.  Having the right MRI experts set up your MRI parameters and build your business processes is very important, as this other radiologist later found out.  Those competing radiologist sites were not nearly as successful, and were eventually sold out to another radiology firm.

MRI Optimize Consultants created the business processes that makes a business successful, by optimizing the image quality, patient processes, and procedures.

Catherine Leyen, co-founder of MRI Optimize Consultants brought many new MRI procedures to the Phoenix area when she was at SimonMed.

She encouraged Dr. Simon to attend Dr. Bruce Porter’s educational Breast MRI seminar in Seattle, and to implement 4D dynamic breast imaging with a 3D post-processing Cadstream/Confirma system, which he did.  Getting other seasoned radiologists to buy into using new imaging methods was not always easy, and is typical in many circumstances.  SimonMed was first in the city to do Cardiac MRI for viability, research and evaluations, as well as utilize CT cardiac scoring among other state of the art exams at that time.

Additionally, Catherine demonstrated live cardiac MRI scanning for a Harvard Brigham & Women’s Conference that took place in Scottsdale.  Dr. Nabil Dib, who is now medical director of Mercy Hospital in Gilbert, sent his research cardiac myoblast stem cell studies (when he was at Arizona Heart Center) to Catherine at SimonMed, as she was the first in Arizona able to image dynamic cardiac using MRI.

Additionally, MR prostate imaging and a spectroscopy research study were also the first to be implemented in the state in 2003.

We’ve been promised a more lengthy testimonial from Dr. Simon, but we are still waiting!

MRI is often one of the highest reimbursed modalities, and because of this, with the right processes implemented, a business can grow!


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