home ›› patient information ›› media releases ›› TBRHSC launches 2nd MRI
TBRHSC Formally Launches 2nd MRI

August 30, 2005


Click to listen to this page using ReadPleaseMRIThe Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) has more than doubled its MRI capacity by commissioning and launching a state-of-the-art Siemens unit. This unit, funded both by the Ministry of Health and the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation (TBRHSF), is the second MRI at the Health Sciences Centre. It will add an additional 4000 to 5000 hours of scanning time to the already approved base MRI budget of 4400 scanning hours per annum.


Based on the challenge set by the provincial government through the Ontario Wait Time Strategy, each healthcare facility vying for new MRI funding had to prove that there was a need for the new equipment, through substantiated patient care volumes and wait time data. "The Ontario Wait Time Strategy through its commitment to provincial wait reduction targets, provided an opportunity for our facility to lobby for a second MRI," stated Ron Saddington, President of TBRHSC. "Our MRI team has worked tremendously hard to ensure that we met those guidelines for operating hours and patient volumes. Their business proposal resulted in the funding of our new state-of-the-art Siemens MRI and the necessary operating dollars to improve our wait and turnaround times."


To improve access and reduce waits for MRI and other diagnostic procedures, the Ministry of Health created the Diagnostic Imaging Replacement Fund to address the needs of those facilities eligible for equipment replacement and new installations. "The MOH, has provided this fund to improve the much needed diagnostic services in Ontario," said Michael Gravelle, MPP for Thunder Bay-Superior North. TBRHSC met all of the requirements set out by the Wait Time Strategy, and the Ministry of Health provided $3 million towards the new equipment and installation." MPP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan, Bill Mauro, agreed. "TBRHSC expanded their operating hours on the existing MRI to accommodate the large patient volumes waiting for those MRI procedures, and successfully proved the great need for the enhanced service in Northwestern Ontario. This second MRI will allow the Health Sciences Centre to further expand their operating hours by 4000 to 5000 this year. Our government will invest more than $1.5 million in new MRI operating funding which will allow the Health Sciences Centre to hire the necessary staff to meet these new wait time targets."


TBRHSC undertook a significant construction process in the Spring of 2005 to reconfigure the area to accommodate the new equipment. This has resulted in a highly ergonomic area, with a new reception area, physician access stations, and a control room area between the two MRIs, where the technologists operate the magnets and observe the patients.


The MRI, or Magnetic Resonance Imaging, uses high-powered magnets to detect any abnormalities in soft tissue, thereby focusing subsequent treatment planning and options. The new MRI is a product of Siemens Medical Systems, and is their Avanto TIM (Total Imaging Matrix) model of the Magnetom line. This particular MRI has enhanced imaging technology, reduced noise for the patient, and generates high-speed images. This technology provides 'whole-body functionality', meaning that there is no need to reposition the patient to image different areas of the body, and aids in fast and precise evaluation. It also takes any patient sensitivities into account, enabling 'feet-first' positioning, and weight accommodation of up to 400 pounds. "Siemens has always strived to provide leading edge technology, continually improving and building upon the successes of previous treatment and diagnostic equipment," stated Andy Hind, Vice President, Siemens Medical Systems. "Our medical systems provide an incredible range of applications across the spectrum of healthcare, and the Avanto only reinforces this mission. This new equipment provides the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre with a system that will allow for hardware and software interfaces, to utilize the latest technology and treatment applications with such diseases as cardiac and cancer."


Along with the funding from the Ministry of Health, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation (TBRHSF) has also contributed to the project. The construction, installation and equipment totaled approximately $4 million, and the TBRHSF has committed more than one quarter of that cost. The 'Reduce the Wait' campaign, launched in the Spring, will provide more than $1 million to the project. , "The Foundation is constantly assessing the needs for equipment, programs and services in the Health Sciences Centre," said Keith Jobbitt, Chair for the 'Reduce the Wait' campaign. "When we looked at the scope of the project for the MRI and the efforts already underway to address the wait, times and increasing patient volumes, we decided that this campaign was imperative. With the response we've received from our donors, like the Canadian Cancer Society, who contributed $125,000 to reduce waits for cancer patients in our region, it is obvious that this community recognizes the need and the opportunity to provide these enhanced services and ensure that our Health Sciences Centre is at the forefront of treatment and care for our region."


Members of the TBRHSC MRI Team


Click here to view the TBRHSC Diagnostic Imaging Update - August 2005 (Adobe PDF 660KB)

Image Gallery from Official MRI Launch


Ron Saddington Michael Power

Ron Saddington
TBRHSC President & CEO


Michael Power
TBRHSC Vice President Cancer & Diagnostic Services


Bill Mauro Michael Gravelle

Bill Mauro
MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan


Michael Gravelle
MPP Thunder Bay-Superior North


Andy Hind Dr. Andreas Von Ritshcl

Andy Hind
Vice President Siemens Medical Systems


Dr. Andreas Von Ritschl
TBRHSC Chief of Radiology


Keith Jobbitt Peter Vandry

Keith Jobbitt
'Reduce the Wait' Campaign Chair


Peter Vandry
Canadian Cancer Society


Canadian Cancer Society Donation

$125,000 Donation from Canadian Cancer Society


:: back Media Releases ::