MRI patient

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Our Goal

Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre (SLMHC) announced earlier this year that it will receive base funding from Ontario Health North West to support the operation of a new Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scanner. SLMHC is responsible to all capital costs associated with construction to house the new MRI, as well as the scanner itself. As new building construction is required, the cost is estimated to be around $7 million. The SLMHC Foundation has launched a fundraising campaign to directly support the required costs associated with this project to make a locally available MRI a reality within our region.

What is an MRI Scan?

An MRI scan is a painless, radiation free medical imaging technique that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce very detailed images of the organs and tissues inside of the body. An MRI scan is a noninvasive way for a medical professional to examine internal organs, tissues and skeletal system. It is performed by a certified radiology technologist and the resulting high-resolution images of the inside of the body help to diagnose a variety of conditions and injury, plan treatments and assess effectiveness of a previous treatment.

An MRI does not use X-rays or other radiation and it’s the imaging test of choice when patients need frequent imaging for diagnosis or treatment monitoring, especially that of the brain. An MRI exam can take anywhere from thirty to fifty minutes, but could take up to two-hours. Clients are placed inside a large, tunnel-shaped machine, that can produce loud noises during the exam when operating. Sometimes contrast agents, such as Gadolinium, may be given to a client intravenously to aid in diagnosis and/or the procedure.

Why is There Need for An MRI in Sioux Lookout?

MRI Services provide improved outcomes for patients

MRI Services is becoming a core health care diagnostic modality and improves patient outcomes due to more accurate and timelier diagnosis, and therefore treatment, and improved outcomes for patients. MRI services will compliment our other diagnostic services such as CT, Ultrasound, Mammography and X-Ray. The addition of an MRI to our already high functioning hospital will enable the necessary step forward to complete the comprehensive care in our region that those living here deserve. An MRI will further aid our indigenous communies who rely on the health care as they navigate the many health care hurdles that they sometimes confront, including the need for their culture to be understood, acknowledged, supported and respected during their time of care.

MRI diagnostic services will improve patient quality of care

Local access to MRI diagnostic services will improve patient quality of care in this area (primary and secondary catchment areas listed above) of Northwestern Ontario along with patient safety and experience. Having local access will improve wait times for patients in our proposed service areas, as well as reducing demand on the MRI units operating in Thunder Bay by approximately 10%. Implementation locally will also reduce the need for transfers therefore further reducing system strain on nursing escorts and paramedic resources. A unit in Sioux Lookout offers an opportunity to support the Dryden Ortho program for hip and knee surgeries by providing these much-needed MRI scans closer to home.

Diagnostic Imaging tools will keep specialists local

In order to continue to attract specialist physicians such as general surgeons and radiologists to Sioux Lookout it is apparent that we need to have this service available locally. As a hospital, we require these specialists to maintain the scope of services and individual care that are a current source of pride within Sioux Lookout’s remote hospital. Lack of proper Diagnostic Imaging tools will limit the ability to provide the high volume of patients, both the preemptive care and emergency care that are today’s reality.

The people of our area of Northwestern Ontario deserve a state-of-the-art diagnostic service

Lastly and most importantly, the people of our area of Northwestern Ontario deserve a state-of-the-art diagnostic service regardless of the remote challenges of this area. Travel and having multiple visits to a much bigger urban centre is stressful for our patients but by providing this MRI service locally, we will be able to treat patients more thoroughly, in a timelier manner, in an environment closer to home to encourage comfort. Our vision at SLMHC is to be the Centre of Excellence in First Nations and northern health care by working together to improve the health status of individuals, families and communities now and for generation to come. An MRI at SLMHC would
work toward this vision by creating more efficient access to safer and essential imaging, decreased time away from community and family, and decreased financial burden, which ultimately will improve the health status and outcomes of our current and potential new patients here in remote Northwestern Ontario.

Join us in our efforts to raise funds for a much needed MRI in Sioux Lookout!

Donate online, or download our donation form and mail or deliver it to the Foundation Office located in the main lobby at the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre at 1 Meno Ya Win Way.