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St. Joseph's Health Centre Toronto

St. Joseph’s Health Centre receives a brand new MRI thanks to generous donation

The Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) department at St. Joseph’s Health Centre performs approximately 15,000 exams every year and now they’ll be able to increase that number thanks to a brand new MR scanner and MRI suite made possible by donors Myron and Berna Garron.

Diagnosis is a critical piece of health care – specialized equipment such as the MR scanner is used to confirm whether patients have a variety of illnesses and conditions such as cancer, stroke, infections, herniated discs, musculoskeletal injuries and more. Once that information is known, health care teams can work on treatment plans to support patients in getting back to their normal.

“We are very grateful to the Garron family for their generous donation,” said Tara Williams, Chief Radiologist of Diagnostic Imaging at St. Joseph’s. “The new MRI will allow us to perform better quality scans at a faster pace in a much more improved environment for patients. The addition of a second MRI in the near future will improve our diagnostic capacity even more.”

This brand new, energy-efficient Siemens Sola 1.5T MR scanner has advanced digital technology that will improve medical imaging by providing faster exam times and diagnosis, and clearer images. The MRI Department will be able to perform procedures that were not possible previously such as MR-guided breast biopsies.

The new MR suite has multiple state-of-the-art features: the MR scanner has a wider and shorter tunnel size so that patients feel less enclosed while inside; a frosted glass door leading into the scanner allows light in; and patients can look at beautifully lit landscaped scenery on the wall and ceiling sky panels during their exams. All of these features have been put in place to help alleviate any anxieties patients may have as a result of being inside a small space and to make it a better experience overall.

Tracie Draffin, MRI Operations Leader at St. Joseph’s, says several patients have said after their exams that the new scanner and the scenery helped make the test feel more calming.

“This new MR scanner that’s replacing our old one is really going to advance our diagnostic imaging capabilities at St. Joseph’s by helping us serve more patients with its faster exam times,” she said. “It’s a very exciting arrival and we’re so grateful to Myron and Berna Garron for their donation that helped make this happen.”

The patient-friendly features of this new MR scanner also include improved communication technology between Technologists and patients through a video intercom and staff/patient assist panels.

St. Joseph’s Health Centre Foundation President Maria Dyck says the Garrons believe in the importance of great community care. “They’ve made significant investments in other community hospitals and knew what a difference having better imaging would mean for our patients at St. Joseph’s. Their $10 million donation will help us purchase two new MRIs to double our capacity,” said Dyck. St. Joseph’s is recognizing the Garrons’ generosity by renaming the Our Lady of Mercy Wing and entrance to the Garron Family Our Lady of Mercy wing. This change in name will take place later this year.

Want to know how the massive Magnetic Resonance scanner was delivered to the MRI department inside St. Joseph’s? Watch this time lapse video!

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