Today a small group gathered outside the North Bay Regional Health Centre’s Diagnostic Imaging Department to officially open the hospital’s new, upgraded MRI machine. NBRHC staff were joined by representative, Jens Dettmann President, Canon Medical Systems Canada, and leadership donor Max Shapiro for the ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate both the completion of the MRI Upgrade Project and the community’s generosity that made it possible.
Paul Heinrich, NBRHC President and CEO, says the $1.7 million project, started in late August, is funded by our community. “Healthcare is a partnership with our government and our community,” Heinrich says. “We are grateful for the support of all of the donors who have contributed to this project,” he added.
Two of those donors are leadership donors, Max and Lorraine Shapiro, who accelerated the fundraising momentum with their $500,000 donation. “My family and I know first hand how important our hospital is to the health of our community,” Max Shapiro says. “We are honoured to support this important project that will ensure patients can receive scans, close to home. It is our way of giving back to a community that has been so good to us.”
Steve Touliopoulos, Manager, Diagnostic Imaging explains the upgraded MRI, which has been in service for a few weeks, is ready to ramp up its service. “The first couple of weeks of operation, we were scanning patients and ensuring that it was calibrated and producing the highest quality images,” Touliopoulos says.
Jamie McKay was referred for an MRI from her specialist in Toronto, and was pleased to learn she could have it done in North Bay. “I have had several MRIs and this time I noticed that the scan was quicker and the machine was much quieter than my past scans,” McKay says. “It brings me comfort knowing that we have the technology so that I can manage my healthcare locally.”
Each year, NBRHC provides thousands of patients with MRI scans. Some of the special features of our MRI means our Health Centre often receives patient referrals from beyond our catchment area – the furthest being Moose Factory. The MRI has an extra wide bore and table that can support patients up to 550lbs.
Dr. Jeff Hodge, Chief, Radiology explains medical equipment requires upgrades just like our personal electronic devices need to be upgraded and replaced over time. “Similarly, each upgrade comes with higher quality characteristics such as speed and image quality.”
Jens Dettmann President, Canon Medical Systems Canada shared that the relationship between Canon and the hospital spans thirty-four years. “We are incredibly proud of our relationship with NBRHC and we are delighted with this successful project and that the MRI upgrade was completed on schedule and is now serving patients.”
Tammy Morison, NBRHC Foundation President and CEO shared that $850,000 has been raised so far and the NBRHC Foundation will continue to secure community support to offset as much of the capital expense as possible.
“Our community’s generosity funded the purchase of our first MRI ten years ago,” Morison recalls. “We are grateful for our leadership donors and the Shapiro’s for inspiring others through their generous donations. So many large gifts and small gifts come together and have an enormous impact on the healthcare available for our community, close to home.”
Contact: Tammy Morison, CFRE
President & CEO
North Bay Regional Health Centre Foundation
Photo: Tammy Morison, President & CEO, NBRHC Foundation, Paul Heinrich, President & CEO NBRHC, Jens Dettmann, President, Canon Medical Systems Canada, Max Shapiro, Leadership Donor, Dr. Jeff Hodge, Chief, Radiology