St. John River District and St. Joseph Mercy hospitals are pleased to announce that Open Bore MRI services are now available for patients across St. Clair County and surrounding areas. Advanced MRI offers access to the Open Bore, 1.5 Tesla, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system combining large bore (2.3 feet opening) for obese and claustrophobic patients with high-field quality diagnostic images. It is estimated that more than 60 percent of American adults are overweight, and the healthcare industry is challenged to accommodate larger patients with the available equipment designed for people who weigh much less. Currently, patients too large to fit inside the bore of a high-field MRI often have image studies done in open systems with low-field magnets. This limits the diagnostic usefulness of the images obtained. This system also is designed to support claustrophobic patients who previously may have had to be sedated to obtain the exam. ”This Advanced MRI service will increase patient convenience while providing access to an important diagnostic tool that many have to travel out of the area to obtain,” comments Carl Anderson, MS-RT, Director of Diagnostic Imaging Services, Advanced MRI. “This magnet has been specifically designed to be both patient-friendly and of the highest quality. It will also reduce the need to repeat and interrupt exams.” ”Our research indicates that approximately 25 percent of patients have size or claustrophobia concerns prior to scheduling an exam,” continues Anderson. “Additionally, up to 10 percent of patients find themselves unable to complete a MRI procedure due to size, weight or claustrophobia after they’ve arrived at the unit, reducing the overall efficiency of health care provision.” ”Certainly all patients deserve the same access to innovative medical imaging technology used for visualization, diagnosis and treatment planning of cancer, diabetes, heart and vascular disorders and many other diseases,” explains Daniel Shogren, DO, Radiologist with X-Ray Associates, PC, and member of the Advanced MRI services board. “We are pleased that Advanced MRI can offer this exceptional level of image quality with an Open Bore system.” A joint undertaking between St. John River District Hospital and St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron, Advanced MRI services are provided at either St. John River District Hospital, in East China Township; or Mercy Health Center, in Fort Gratiot Township. Utilizing mobile MRI equipment, this diagnostic imaging service is a medical imaging technique generally used in the diagnosis and treatment planning for bone and joint disease, soft tissue disease, brain and neurological issues and in treatment of back and spine conditions. Advanced MRI services are available Monday through Saturday each week, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. For ease in scheduling an appointment at either Advanced MRI location, please call 810-985-1455.