BUCKHANNON – Shorter MRI scan times and higher quality images are now available to local patients right here in Buckhannon thanks to a new mobile MRI unit at WVU Medicine St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce members and St. Joseph’s Hospital staff gathered for a ribbon cutting on Tuesday to officially open the doors to the mobile MRI unit.
Thanks to Siemens wide bore technology, the unit can scan patients faster, helping reduce anxiety and claustrophobia symptoms. A routine lumbar spine scan previously took around 30 minutes; that’s now 15 minutes or less in the mobile MRI unit. Magnetic Resonance Imaging technology uses a magnetic field – not radiation – to capture detailed scans of a patient’s nerves, tendons, ligaments and muscles.
“The mobile MRI unit will help reduce our times, increase our productivity, and significantly improve our image quality,” said Tom Nestor, Director of Diagnostic Imaging at St. Joseph’s Hospital. “This unit is going to bring us in line with larger scale hospitals like United Hospital Center and J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital as far as technology, so all the scans that were going north, can now stay right here in Buckhannon.”
The advancement in image quality is brought, in-part, by multi-coil technology – DOT (Day Optimizing Technique) – that uses an individual’s own anatomy to select scanning parameters, and the latest MRI software.
As part of the ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, Sister Francesca Lowis presented a prayer over both the space and those who are positively impacted by the service.
“Through the work of our hands, and the gift of this space, You (Oh, God) enhance our ability to bring wellness, healing and hope to all, including the underserved,” said Sister Francesca Lowis, SAC, Vice President of Mission Integration. “Let us responsibly steward this space and the variety of our gifts and talents, ever mindful of the humbling privilege that we bear: bringing God’s healing and hope to our sisters and brothers in need.”
The mobile MRI unit is open for patients Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the hospital’s staff entrance ramp. WVU Medicine St. Joseph’s Hospital is located at 1 Amalia Drive in Buckhannon. The unit then makes its way to Jackson General Hospital in Ripley, West Virginia for the remainder of the week.
To schedule an appointment and learn more about the Mobile MRI Unit, please contact the St. Joseph’s Hospital Diagnostic Imaging Office at 304-473-2053. For general hospital inquiries, please call the hospital at 304-473-2000 or visit their website.