The founders of Pediatric Radiology of America (PRA) fielded many acquisition offers over the years, but it was not until Aris Teleradiology came calling that the situation felt right. Shehnaz Pancholi and Paras Pancholi, MBA, had spent the last 6 years tirelessly building a national pediatric teleradiology service provider, and they wanted the perfect fit.
Now officially operating as a division of Hudson, Ohio-based Aris, PRA can stay true to its subspecialty roots without diluting its pediatric component. For now, the division will keep the PRA name, which is also part of parent company Specialized Radiology Services.
“The whole imaging market is moving toward subspecialty right now,” says Paras Pancholi, vice president of the new division. “When we looked at Aris and their subspecialty group of doctors, we felt we could successfully add our subspecialty expertise and become an even bigger imaging player.”
PRA is the nation’s only JCAHO-accredited pediatric teleradiology company, and the founders emphasize that their radiologists will be able to continue to practice their particular subspecialty. “The attraction to our company for our radiologists on staff is that they get to be 100 percent pediatric,” says Shehnaz Pancholi, also a vice president at the newly created division. “The pediatric subspecialists appreciate the intellectual challenge of reading the cases. They tend to be more passionate about their reads than the other subspecialty-trained radiologists.”
According to the Pancholis, the nationwide pediatric subspecialty market is limited to only about 1,000 pediatric radiologists. With relatively few radiologists electing to go the pediatric route, the search for the best talent has been difficult at times, but ultimately successful.
“There is a notion that pediatric imaging is not very lucrative,” says Shehnaz. “But we have worked hard to reach out and attract an excellent faculty. We have sought to be pioneers in the market of pediatrics, and Aris recognized that when they approached us.”
Roanoke, Va-based PRA will continue to operate at its current offices, with additional matters of branding and culture integration still to be worked out. There will be no job loss as a consequence of the acquisition, with Aris electing to keep all PRA’s 18 to 20 radiologist positions, plus all administrative personnel.