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State-of-the-art MRI available in Great Bend
COURTESY PHOTO A new MRI machine has been installed at The University of Kansas Health System - Great Bend Campus.

People in Great Bend and surrounding communities have access to state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) services with the installation of a new MRI at The University of Kansas Health System - Great Bend Campus. 

With the most up-to-date MRI services available locally, people no longer have to travel for testing with this newest technology, said Shannon Deines, imaging services manager for Great Bend Campus.

 “The new MRI has all the bells and whistles,” Deines said. “It has a wider, shorter opening, making it more comfortable for patients. It also has the newest software to provide sharper imagery, which will help our staff diagnose patients.”

The new MRI is also adjustable to accommodate patients with implanted devices. It includes updated air coils that act as a blanket that can fit many body types and make the patient more comfortable.

MRI technologist Crystal Schwamborn, who performs most of the MRI exams at Great Bend Campus, nearly 150 each month, agrees that the new MRI has many advantages. “Exam times will be shorter, improving patient comfort without compromising the quality of the exams,” she said. “We even have a new sound system that lets patients listen to the music of their choice to make the exam more enjoyable.”

Continuing advancements

The advances in MRI technology resulted in a renovation of the imaging area. 

This required thoughtful planning to coordinate the construction with GE for installation of the MRI, said Josh Gant, director of ancillary and support services for the health system in Great Bend.

“The great thing about this project is that we were directly involved with the contractors,” Gant said. “We wanted to ensure our patients are safe and that we are adhering to all the newest guidelines and codes. We had been working with the old MRI for some time, so it was imperative that we updated both our physical space and technology now.”

Construction necessary for the new MRI began in December 2022. The health system used Brentwood Builders of Great Bend to complete the renovation work, which included new walls, flooring, electrical, paint and other features. 

GE installed the MRI in the building Jan. 31 and was fully functional Feb. 14.

The MRI installation follows closely on the heels of other technological advancements for the health system in Great Bend. 

In late 2022, the hospital installed a new CT scanner, which also provides clearer images with a shorter time scan. 

A little earlier in 2022, new X-ray services were made available at St. Rose Medical Pavilion. This addition means patients who need an X-ray don’t have to travel to a different location to get it, and the X-ray results are immediately available to their care team.