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Medical Equipment Begins to Arrive for New Hospital

By Tricia Schug

A major piece of medical equipment was installed this week, signaling a milestone in the countdown to a late January opening of the new hospital addition. 

The brand-new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine arrived on Tuesday, Nov. 27, and took expert medical equipment installers most of the day to offload the equipment by crane, muscle it into place and fully install the equipment in its new location on the first floor. To accommodate the machine’s size, which is much larger than hallways, construction crews had to leave an opening in the first-floor wall to allow for installation. 

Because the MRI utilizes powerful magnets and radio waves to capture detailed images of the body’s organs, the room housing the equipment had to be specially designed. The carefully constructed enclosure is lined with radio frequency (RF) shielding and uses highly specialized filters, air systems and nonferrous materials to reduce the electric and magnetic transmissions from one space to another. The MRI room is one of the most complex of all the rooms in the hospital because of its many requirements.

With the installation of the MRI, finishing work can be completed on the first floor, and will also continue on the other two floors. The hospital’s three-story new addition is on track to be fully operational for patients on Thursday, Jan. 31. Following occupancy of the new structure, interior demolition will begin on the current two-story brick hospital. That structure, which will be taken down to its studs for seismic retrofitting and complete renovation, is expected to be finished in early 2020.

The new MRI machine will provide a less-enclosed area for patients with sensitivities to tight space, will accommodate higher weight limits and will allow for easier access onto the table for patients with mobility challenges. Through the improved technology, clinicians will have the highest resolution of images to better inform medical treatment. 
This machine is part of more than $10 million in new medical equipment that will be installed throughout the new hospital by the time the project is complete.