Cushing Regional Hospital recently purchased a “new” MRI unit – well, it isn’t actually brand new, but it is new to them and an upgrade from what they had before.

The Philips Intera 1.5 T MRI unit is replacing the older model that was purchased a couple of years back. According to Todd Bonine, director of radiology at CRH, this unit has a few more “bells and whistles” than the previous one.

“Not only does it provide us with a better image, now you will be able to listen to music while having your exam done,” Bonine said. “We weren’t able to provide that comfort with the old MRI unit. What you heard was a clacking sound.”

Not exactly calming and/or comforting for a nearly 45 minute procedure.

“This one also requires a slightly shorter amount of time,” Bonine said. “That’s important to someone who may be a little claustrophobic.”

The MRI replacement project started Feb. 25, 2009, although former CEO Ron Cackler put the ball in motion back in March 2008.

“It takes a lot time to do something like this,” Bonine said.

He said the old magnet was removed April 6 and the new one put in its place – procedure that on the surface may sound easy, but is not.

“They had to remove part of the roof,” Bonine said. “Then it required a 330 ton crane to remove the old one and place the new one.”

Now it’s left up to the “experts” to put everything back together and in working order.

“It should be up and running May 1st,” Bonine said. “We are so excited to be able to meet the needs of this community even better than before. The more we have to offer, the less reason there is for folks to go out of town for their radiology needs. That’s what we’re striving for here at Cushing Regional Hospital.”