Marianna- People in rural communities have often had to travel to larger cities to receive state of the art diagnostic medical care.
But, officials at Jackson Hospital in Marianna said they were not only hoping to keep patients at home, but also attract a new patients from surrounding larger cities.
Jackson Hospital became the new home to a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) system that's state of the art. It's only the third facility in the country to receive the new 1.5 Tesla MRI Imaging Suite.
Shannon Powell, Director of Radiology for the hospital told us the cutting edge technology would be a big benefit for the community.
"It had some features on there that we didn't have before that we're able to offer to our patients now" Powell said.
The Tesla takes pictures of soft tissue such as organs, muscles, ligaments and nerves. MRI Technician Supervisor, Jim Arwood showed News Channel 7 how it worked during a special demonstration.
"You can see inside the body, almost as if you cut somebody open and took a photograph" he said. "It's incredible."
The new MRI system utilizes magnetic technology. "It's gravitational pull is one Gauss" Arwood explained. "That's what the magnetic field is measured in- Gauss. One Gauss for the earth, this is 15000 Gauss. It's tremendous. This thing is strong enough to pick a car up."
The Tesla produces superior images, which Powell said would provide better diagnostics for patients.
And from a patient stand-point, it's quicker than traditional MRI machines
"The scans that I'm running now in two to three minutes used to take an hour to do" Arwood explained.
The new MRI suite was part of an $8.5 million expansion at Jackson Hospital. The project also included a larger emergency room, more medical staff and specialists, and a new primary care clinic in Sneads.