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PCVH brings specializes services to area on weekly basis
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Beginning in September, Larned-area patients requiring Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) services will no longer have to travel to other communities to receive these tests.

As a result of the recently begun partnership with HaysMed, Pawnee Valley Community Hospital will provide mobile MRI services on a weekly basis at the hospital.

"MRI uses radio frequency waves and a strong magnetic field rather than X-rays to provide clear, high-quality, detailed pictures of internal organs and tissues," Pawnee Valley Community Hospital CEO Matt Heyn explained. "It does not use ionizing radiation and has proved effective in diagnosing a broad range of conditions, including cancer, heart and vascular disease, stroke, and joint and musculoskeletal disorders. Because of the specialized equipment and expertise involved, MRI allows evaluation of some body structures that may not be as visible with other imaging methods."

A special motor coach houses a completely self-contained MRI system which allows it to operate directly adjacent to the hospital, Heyn said. "It offers state-of-the-art mobile MRI technology, including the latest software and accessory packages for advanced imaging capabilities."

Pawnee Valley’s radiology supervisor, Shelly Stanton, RTRM, and Pat Keenan, RTR, — supplemented by HaysMed staffing as needed — will handle all scheduling of MRI services as requested by the patient’s physician or health-care provider. They will also be responsible for preparations for the patient and the technicians in advance of the MRI.

"This is a great, exciting opportunity for us to be able to offer these services at our local hospital," Stanton said. "MRI is a valuable tool that is instrumental in diagnosing spinal injuries and disorders, as well as soft tissue injuries of the joints which can’t always be seen on X-ray or CT. We look forward to expanding our services to better accommodate our patients’ needs."

Registered, qualified and patient-oriented technologists perform the tests using a GE 1.5HD MRI scanner powered by high definition technology equal to or greater than equipment used at larger, metropolitan hospitals. Results are sent electronically via advanced software programs to radiologists at HaysMed for interpretation, then provided to the referring physician. Patients must be referred by a physician or other health-care provider for scheduling.

Local physicians are enthusiastic about the new MRI services as well. "It will be very valuable for Pawnee County residents to have MRI services available locally," Dr. Mark Van Norden, D.O., said.

Dr. David Sanger, M.D., also expressed excitement about having access to MRI services at Pawnee Valley Community Hospital. "This service is rarely an emergent need, so having the MRI here once a week will work out perfectly," he said. "For many years I have felt that this is one of the services which would benefit our community. To see a hospital that is looking to fulfill community needs is refreshing."

The first visit of the mobile MRI is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 2, and visits will occur weekly on Thursdays thereafter at Pawnee Valley Community Hospital.

Heyn said mobile MRI services offer a perfect fit for Pawnee County and Pawnee Valley Community Hospital. "It’s certainly more affordable than buying our own system and it allows us to provide leading-edge imaging resources so area residents can access those services right here in town."