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BROOKINGS BUSINESS OFFERS PATIENTS 'OPEN' MRI MACHINE

By Ellen Babin

Pilot staff writer

A new business in Brookings will provide added comfort to patients needing Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

The business, Brookings Open MRI, is in the process of installing an "open" MRI scanner at its new location, 555 Fifth St.

On Thursday, December 27, the 34,000-pound Hitachi MRI was lifted from the a semi-truck by a crane, then set into place inside the new business.

Brookings Open MRI is the second facility of its kind owned by Medford Open MRI in Medford.

According to Shelle Franceschini, administrator of the two sites, an open MRI does not enclose the patient within a confining tunnel as in other types of MRI equipment.

Instead, an open MRI has open sides, giving all patients – including those who are claustrophobic or larger-sized – added comfort.

She noted that in the past, people had to travel to Medford Open MRI.

Franceschini said that the Brookings facility will include an on-site MRI rechnologist. A special computer system will be used to relay information within a few seconds to a radiologist in Medford.

Brookings Open MRI is scheduled to be open sometime in February. Its hours will be Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Company representatives will personally visit all medical offices in Crescent and Brookings before opening, to make practitioners aware of the new MRI.

"We are going to be bending over backwards so referred patients are able to get their scan as soon as possible," Franceschini said.

For more information, phone Medford Open MRI, (541) 857-8563.

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