Date: 3/19/2009

St. Mary Medical Center Opens New Advanced Imaging Center

HOBART — St. Mary Medical Center will unveil their new $6 million imaging center on Thursday, March 26th at 2 pm, with a ribbon cutting ceremony and blessing at 2:30 pm. The new 5,365 square-foot-addition brings together in one convenient location new state-of-the-art imaging services, CT, MRI and Ultrasound.

“Our new imaging center is clear confirmation of our commitment to provide the most advanced technology available for patients in Northwest Indiana,” says Janice Ryba, CEO. “The new space enhances patient comfort and provides staff and physicians with the best technology and facilities available today.”

“The new CT and MRI will enable St. Mary to do a variety of new diagnostic tests quicker and more comfortably, including those in the rapidly emerging field of breast MRI,” says Jayesh Thakrar, MD, medical director of radiology at St. Mary Medical Center.

Housed in the new addition is the Siemens SOMATOM Definition™ AS Scanner, a 64-slice CT system. Considered to be the fastest, most adaptive technology available, the scanner produces precise, high definition cross-sectional images of body structures, such as the brain, within 5 to 10 seconds. This can be especially beneficial in patients where time is crucial - for example, those who are diagnosed with a stroke - as therapy can begin immediately.

The SOMATOM Definition CT™ scanner’s versatility is evident in its capability to meet the needs of each patient’s health situation such as a stroke or cardiac diagnostic tool, or as a therapy management tool for cancer patients.

“This CT scanner will enable our hospital to perform virtually any type of CT exam imaginable,” says Thakrar. “It serves as a great new tool in various orthopedic, neurologic, oncologic and vascular applications and adapts to the unique needs of each individual.”

This particular SOMOTOM Definition CT™ system also features one of the industry’s largest gantry openings and a table weight limit of 650 lbs., providing a wide open space for exams and capable of accommodating a variety of body types.

Benefits of this new CT system are enhanced with the use of Vital Image’s Vitrion software which provides two, three, and four-dimensional imagery, including cardiac and other vascular images.

Also housed in the new addition will be the ultra-high-speed 1.5 Tesla Siemens Symphony Short-Bore Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) system. In addition to providing outstanding image quality, this MRI has the added advantage of shorter examination times thus maximizing patient comfort. Using MRI, doctors can get highly defined images of the body’s interior organs and tissues without surgery. It is particularly useful for imaging the brain and spine, as well as the soft tissues of joints and the interior structure of bones.

Completing the suite of services offered in the new imaging center is the latest Siemens Ultrasound technology as well as a comfortable family lounge that is centrally located to all services.

The new hospital addition accommodates an increased demand for both inpatient and outpatient imaging procedures. The Center for Imaging and Radiation Oncology (CIRO) imaging services — a separate building located nearby on the main hospital campus — will remain fully operational.

Advantages to the new system reach beyond St. Mary’s hospital walls. Physicians from hospitals throughout the Community Healthcare System® will also have instantaneous access to radiology and cardiology images performed at St. Mary, thanks to the Philips iSite PACS (Picture Archiving and Communications System). iSite PACS is an innovative image and information management system that delivers on-demand diagnostic-quality images over existing hospital networks.

For more information about the imaging services offered by St. Mary Medical Center, a member of Community Healthcare System, log on to the web site