Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 9:54 PM on Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hospital receives new MRI


Photo provided

A crane moves the main MRI unit into its new facility at South Peninsula Hospital on Monday.

South Peninsula Hospital received its new, state-of-art, magnetic imaging resonance machine on Monday. The $1.5 million Siemens Aera model is one of the first installed on the West Coast.

With a wide bore and super-short magnet, the new MRI allows many images to be made with the patient's head outside the large, doughnut-shaped device.

The previous MRI unit was in an outside trailer. The new MRI is housed in a 1,500-square-foot addition and marks the last part of construction for the hospital expansion. To get the main unit into the new room, a temporary wall was taken down and a crane used to maneuver it into the room.

The cost of the Aera MRI includes equipment, delivery, installation, setup, computer software and training. It was paid for through SPH operating and capital funds and a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Community Facilities Program and a loan from the Kenai Peninsula Borough. The new MRI is expected to be up and running by the first week of April.