By Peter H. Milliken
A ribbon-cutting took place Sunday at Southwoods Imaging, which calls itself “the region’s most comprehensive and advanced diagnostic imaging center.”
Southwoods executives celebrated the grand opening of the new, $10 million freestanding, outpatient medical diagnostic center at 7623 Market St.
With seven radiologists and a support staff of 35, the center is open Monday through Saturday.
“This building was actually designed from the ground up as a radiology center,” said Corey Shaner, medical- services coordinator. “We’ve got 17,000 square feet with the most-advanced technology, all under one roof,” he added.
Typically, three radiologists are on the premises whenever the imaging center is open, he said.
The center, which is a subsidiary of the nearby physician-owned Surgical Hospital at Southwoods, took its first patient images April 14.
“Now, we’re capturing that patient a little bit earlier, and servicing them the way they should be, with the technology they should be seen on prior to needing surgery,” Shaner said when asked how the Southwoods imaging and surgery centers complement each other.
The new imaging building has one of the region’s two three-tesla-strength MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) machines. The stronger magnet produces more detailed images during shorter examinations than other units, according to the center’s news release.
Magnet strength is measured in tesla. Three tesla is the strongest magnet in medical use.
The only other three-tesla MRI in the Greater Youngstown Area is the one at Salem Regional Medical Center, Shaner said.
“We have the same 3T magnet that you’re going to find at the Cleveland Clinic or UPMC,” Shaner said, referring to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
The Southwoods MRI is a “wide-bore” unit that provides additional room for patients who are uncomfortable with confined spaces and allows most patients to be examined feet-first, with their heads outside the machine.
Southwoods also features a women’s health suite with three-dimensional digital mammography, automated whole-breast ultrasound and a nurse-navigator to streamline the diagnostic process and expedite follow-up care when needed.
The center also says it has the area’s only fixed-location PET scan (positron emission tomography) machine to provide early cancer screenings. Other PET scan units used locally are vehicle-mounted machines.
“There’s no need, if you need a PET scan, to go to Cleveland anymore, or to get one that’s on a bus going here, there and everywhere,” said Ed Muransky, chief executive officer of the Surgical Hospital at Southwoods, at the imaging center’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The opening of the new Market Street building follows the March 2013 acquisition by Southwoods of the Hitchcock Imaging and Genesis Breast Center, which moved to the new location last month, and the October closing of the Southwoods Imaging Center that was owned by St. Elizabeth Health Center.
The radiologists from the St. Elizabeth facility were absorbed into Hitchcock and then into the new Market Street building.
The new center offers patients spalike comfort items such as heated robes, slippers and modern decor.