Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Margaret Koko Park Margaret (Koko) M. Park, BS, ACS, RVT, RDCS, FSDMS, FASE
SDMS & SDMS Foundation Director

Margaret (Koko) M. Park, BS, ACS, RVT, RDCS, FSDMS, FASE
, is lead HVI imaging specialist at The Cleveland Clinic. She serves as a clinical trial lead for C5 Research in the Cardiovascular Imaging Core Laboratories within the Cleveland Clinic Heart, Vascular, and Thoracic Institute. A longtime team member of the Inflammation and Immunity section of Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research, she additionally serves as a clinical research coordinator. Koko has published more than 70 research articles and scientific abstracts in peer-reviewed journals and presented more than 150 lectures and live webinars to international, national, local, and virtual audiences. At the start of her career, she was a senior echo technologist and research assistant conducting echocardiography and stress testing in the Cleveland Clinic Foundation’s Cardiac Function Laboratory. She moved to the Mount Sinai Medical Center Echocardiography Lab in 1977 and received training while there to launch a mobile echocardiography service in 1988. Eventually, she returned to the laboratory as technical director of an echocardiography and vascular lab and then came back to the Cleveland Clinic in the early 2000s. Koko has been a member of the SDMS Board of Directors since 2021 and associated with the Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JDMS) since 2009, on the editorial board, as a manuscript reviewer, and mentor. She also is an active volunteer for the American Society of Echocardiography, the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, the Society of Vascular Ultrasound, and regional imaging associations.

Seek opportunities and the wisdom of the experts around you
Over the years, Koko has learned to stick her neck out for new opportunities and to not be intimidated. “Surround yourself with the people you want to be like and learn all you can from them,” she says. “I was echo-trained by a leading cardiology physician. There were no schools available since echo was still developing,” she says. She took an opportunity to open and manage an echo lab using one of the first 2D machines released for clinical use and benefitted from training and working directly with the head of cardiology/medicine at Mt. Sinai Medical Center. “Dr. Edelstein taught me how to perform a complete cardiology exam on a patient. He had me join him on grand rounds, cases in the cath(eterization) lab and attend Fellows training sessions. He encouraged me to sit for my registry, which was pretty new at the time. The things I learned at Mt. Sinai laid a significant baseline of knowledge for my future,” she says.

Achieving goals requires self-motivation and commitment
In addition to getting guidance from leading experts, Koko immersed herself in learning to achieve career success. “There were no ultrasound programs available at the time of my training. I had to do a lot of self-study. I have worked really hard over the years and made many sacrifices. You don’t author a 700-page book in a week. It takes over your life, every night, relentlessly until completion. For all the lost sleep, sweat, and tears, I am fulfilled by the feeling that I have made a difference. The best reward is what you feel inside,” she says. “Getting my bachelor’s degree inspired me to get more involved in the science end of things – research, writing for journals, collaboration, all the things you thirst for as a scientist. My career really took off after that, and I became more involved nationally. If I were younger, I would aim for my PhD but I am getting closer to the golden years when girls just want to have fun!”

Best icebreaker
Ask her about her pair of shitkickers or tell her about yours. “That may sound abrasive to some but shitkickers are a good, worn out pair of boots, and I have met a lot of good people talking about our shitkickers.” says Koko who has enjoyed owning and showing horses and loves horseback riding.

Work is done, what are you doing?
“Spending time with family and friends, including my twin grandsons, walking the dogs, gardening, and just smelling the roses.”

Inspiration
“Treat all your patients like family. Someday, you are likely to be the patient,” she says.

Margaret M. Park, BS, ACS, RVT, RDCS, FSDMS, FASE “At-a-Glance”

Education
  • Bachelor’s degree in echocardiography, Oregon Institute of Technology
  • Certificate, Medical Biostatistics, Cleveland Clinic Education Institute


Certifications

From the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS)

  • Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS)
  • Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT)

From Cardiovascular Credentialing International

  • Advanced Cardiac Sonographer (ACS)


Research/Publications

  • Hemnes AR, Leopold JA, Radeva MK, Beck GJ, et al., including Park MM. Clinical Characteristics and Transplant-Free Survival Across the Spectrum of Pulmonary Vascular Disease. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2022;80(7):697-718.
  • Farha S, Comhair S, Hou Y, Park MM, et al. Metabolic Endophenotype Associated with Right Ventricular Glycolysis in Pulmonary Hypertension. Pulmonary Circulation. 2021;11(4). Published online November 25, 2021.
  • Jellis CL, Park MM, et al. Comprehensive Echocardiographic Evaluation of the Right Heart in Patients with Pulmonary Vascular Diseases: the PVDOMICS Experience. European Heart Journal-Cardiovascular Imaging. 2021:1-12.
  • Johri AM, Nambi V, Naqvi TZ, Feinstein SB, Kim ESH, Park MM, Becher H, Sillesen H. Recommendations for the Assessment of Carotid Arterial Plaque by Ultrasound for the Characterization of Cardiovascular Risk: From the American Society of Echocardiography. Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography. 2020;33:917-933.
  • Sehgal S, Chowdhury A, Rabih F, Gadre A, Park MM, et al. Counting Steps: A New Way to Monitor Patients with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Published online May 29, 2019.
  • Cheong H, Farha S, Park MM, et al. Endothelial Phenotype Evoked by Low-Dose Carvedilol in Pulmonary Hypertension. Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine. 2018;5(180).
  • Linder JR, Porter TR, Park MM, et al. American Society of Echocardiography Guidelines and Recommendations for the Contrast Echocardiography: A Summary for Applications Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. June 2018.
  • More than 30 other published journal articles with MM Park as lead author or co-author, dating back to 2008.
  • Basic to Advanced Clinical Echocardiography: A Self-Assessment Tool for the Cardiac Sonographer. 2020. Co-Edited by Bonita Anderson and Margaret M. Park.
  • American Society of Echocardiography, Advanced Cardiac Sonographer Registry Review Workbook and Video Series. 2017. Edited by Margaret M. Park, chair, and Deborah Agler, co-chair.
  • 10 or more book chapters authored by Margaret M. Park from 2010-2022.​


Awards

  • Biggest Heart Award, American Society of Echocardiography Foundation, 2021
  • Fellow, Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, 2018
  • Sonographer Lifetime Achievement Award, American Society of Echocardiography, 2017
  • Caregiver Celebrations, Excellence Award, Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute, 2013
  • Echo Volunteer of the Month, American Society of Echocardiography, 2011
  • Outstanding Individual Recognition Award, Society for Vascular Ultrasound, 2005
  • Fellowship, American Society of Echocardiography, 2002


Professional Roles

  • Lead HVI imaging specialist, Cleveland Clinic Coordinating Center for Clinical Research (2016-Present)
  • Imaging specialist III, Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute, Cardiovascular Imaging Core, Cleveland Clinic Coordinating Center for Clinical Research (2004-2015)
  • Clinical sonographer specialist, Cardiac Function Lab, Clinical Echo Laboratory, Cleveland Clinic Foundation (2002-2004)
  • Adjunct clinical instructor – echocardiography, Lorain Community College (2014-2015)
  • Technical director, Echocardiography and Vascular Lab, Lakeshore Heart (1996-2002)
  • Sole cardiac sonographer, mobile echocardiography service, Cardiovascular Diagnostics (1988-1996)
  • Supervisor, non-invasive labs, and echocardiography sonographer, Mt. Sinai Medical Center (1977-1988)
  • Senior echo technologist and research assistant, Cardiac Function Lab, echocardiography and stress testing, Cleveland Clinic Foundation (1973-1977)


Voluntarism for the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) and/or SDMS Foundation
Task Forces, Committees, and Work Groups

  • Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JDMS)
  • Editorial Board (2009-Present)
  • Manuscript reviewer (2009-Present)
  • JDMS Editorial Board Awards reviewer (2019-2020, 2022)
  • JDMS editorial mentorship, national workshop (2010-2015, 2017)
  • Micro-volunteer (2016-2021)
  • Cardiac Co-Chair, Conference Management Committee (2009-2013)
  • Webinar presenter (2017-2020)
  • National speaker (2008-2019, 2021-2022)
  • Practice Management Committee (2005-2014)
Executive, Director, Board Liaison, and Board Representative Roles
  • SDMS and SDMS Foundation Board of Directors (2021-2023)
  • SDMS Board of Directors representative, Emerging Leaders (2022)
  • SDMS eLearning Project, Foundations of Original Research Design, Curriculum Design, and Instructional Methodologies
 

Selected Service, Other Voluntarism in the Sonography Community
American Society of Echocardiography (ASE)

  • Board of Directors (2011-2014)
  • Board member, Sonography Council (2011-2015)
  • Editorial Board, CASE Journal (2016-2022)
  • Writing group member, multiple manuscripts (2015-2021)
  • Chair, Advanced Cardiac Sonography Registry Review Writing Committee (2016-2017)
  • Committee memberships include: Industry Relations (2021-2023), ASE Foundation Annual Appeal (2019-2022), Nominations (2013-2019), Bylaws and Ethics (2011-2015) Research Awards (2010-2015), Governance Task Force (2016-2020), Scientific Sessions Program Committee (2016)
American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS)
  • Sonography Principles and Instrumentation Examination volunteer (current), content working group lead (2016-2017), exam development task force member (2012-2016), content expert (2012-Present) 
Society for Vascular Ultrasound (SVU)
  • Chapter co-chair (2008-2010)
  • Advisor, Midwest Region (2004-2008)
  • Membership Committee (2004-2008)
Northern Ohio Vascular Association (NOVA)
  • Board of Directors (2006-2020)
  • President (2008-2010)
  • President-Elect (2006-2008)
Northern Ohio Cardiac Imaging Association (NOCIA)
  • Director of Education and Continuing Medical Education (2009-2015)
  • Founding member (2009-Present)