WINNIPEG – Construction has started on a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) suite at the Grace Hospital, a 251-bed facility in the west end of Winnipeg. The new MRI is expected to offer approximately 2,800 additional scans per year, increasing the number of scans available for Manitobans and helping address wait times.
“This project is an important addition to the services available at the Grace Hospital and I’m excited it’s now moving forward,” said provincial Health Minister Sharon Blady (pictured). “It will add capacity for thousands of additional scans each year, ensuring patients have timely access to these much-needed diagnostic tests.”
The $10.5-million MRI suite will be approximately 5,000 square feet and include staff offices, waiting areas, washrooms, housekeeping, storage, change rooms, sedation bays, the MRI control room, the MRI room and an equipment room. The suite is expected to be completed in the summer of 2016.
“Healthcare delivery is enhanced when the right tools are available to do the job,” said Arlene Wilgosh, president and chief executive officer of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. “When advancements in diagnosis are supported by advancements in equipment, the people we care for ultimately benefit.”
Plans are to locate the suite next to the existing diagnostics, imaging and laboratory department. This will improve staff efficiency by keeping all diagnostic services together.
“We are truly pleased to be the first community hospital in Winnipeg to have an MRI suite, as access to this essential diagnostic tool will have a major impact on the quality of care provided to patients at the Grace,” said Jeff Coleman, chair, board of directors, Grace Hospital Foundation. “We are also pleased to have an opportunity to support this vital initiative with the Tomorrow’s Grace Capital Campaign, which will raise funds to assist in the construction of the facility.”
MRIs use magnets to create and read signals from the water molecules in a patient’s body. These signals are used to form detailed images of the body and the function of organs such as the heart as well as other soft tissues.
The images produced by MRI scanners cover all areas of the body and commonly include images of the brain and spinal cord, muscles, bones, connective tissue, organs such as the liver, kidneys and heart, breast, prostate and blood vessels.