Dr. Mike Concannon, ER Vernon Jubilee Hospital, Dr. Ed Hardy, Oncologist, MLA Eric Foster, Dr. Adam Weathermon, Head of Radiology and Dr. Curtis Mohamed, Medical Representative for VJH Foundation. (Photo: Min Sidhu)

Cutting-edge MRI machine comes to Vernon Jubilee Hospital

As of Friday the $7-million machine is fully operational

Patients in Vernon and throughout the North Okanagan will no longer have to travel to Kelowna or Kamloops for an MRI scan.

The Vernon Jubilee Hospital has been testing out its state-of-the-art MRI machine since it arrived in early September, and on Friday, the machine became fully operational.

“It’s a cutting edge MRI and it can do a lot of exams in significantly less time than traditional scanners, and it’s also larger than some of the other magnets in the area,” says Dr. Adam Weathermon, head of radiology at the Vernon hospital.

According to Weathermon, the machine is a Siemens 1.5T Sola MRI, and it’s just the fourth one to be installed in Canada. Between the machine itself and the MRI suite it lives in, the cost of the project was around $7 million.

Penticton also has an MRI that’s just become fully operational as part of its tower expansion, in place of a mobile machine that came to its hospital on a rotating basis.

With the new high-speed scanner, the hope is that wait times for MRI scans will decrease in the area.

“The MRI in Kelowna has been very busy and so wait times have been a problem,” says Weathermon. “I think the additions of a permanent new MRI in Penticton and Vernon is really going to improve access, and that means shorter wait times for patients.”

According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, half of the patients in B.C. who are in need of a scan wait an average of 44 days, while the average wait time for patients in the 90th percentile is 214 days.

While the machine only became fully operational on Friday, it’s been scanning between 10 and 15 patients a day over its month-long training period.

“The technologists were getting used to the machine and just basically fine tuning everything, but we’re doing real scans and it’s been going very well so far,” says Weathermon.

It’s a significant piece of equipment to add to a radiologist’s toolkit to say the least, and Weathermon is excited to be able to provide patients with the treatment they need without having to travel far.

“It really gives the doctors here the tools that they need when they have patients who need evaluations of their joints, their brain, their spine, their cancer,” he said. “So it’s very important for us.”

READ MORE: ‘It’s never too early’: B.C. women urged to speak to their doctors about breast cancer

WATCH: Canadian doctor says blowback to meat study is ‘hysterical,’ more discourse needed


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COLUMN: Choosing a face to show the world

It will not be easy to select the face to display on Canada’s new $5 bill

Summerland Steam lose twice in Junior B hockey action

Next action for Junior B hockey team is on Friday, Jan. 17 in Summerland

Summerland drama students to stage Matilda

Story by Roald Dahl will be presented at Centre Stage Theatre in February

Petition to install safety barriers on Hwy 97 garners over 500 supporters

Yesterday a fatal collision on Hwy 97 claimed the life of one individual

Scholarship receives funds from KIJHL

Launched in September, the scholarship is available to all KIJHL players

Older Canadians highlighted in Kelowna film project to fight ageism

The project is part of a campaign to combat ageism

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Princeton – a Prince Town in waiting?

The Town of Princeton has been waiting 160 years for a Royal… Continue reading

Group builds shelters for Vernon’s stray cats

Twenty insulated cat shelters were constructed by volunteers and delivered around town

UBCO partners with Boeing to test new anti-ice coating technology

The coating could one day be applied to all airplanes to prevent ice buildup

Revelstoke already double last year’s snowfall

The city is just below halfway to the snowiest winter on record

True Stories: Okanagan memoir-writers, reading

Reading with local North Okanagan writers Art Dalton, Patti Shales Lefkos, Raven Dahl, Janelle Hardy

Kelowna’s last video store, Leo’s Videos, to remain open despite failed sale

Kelowna’s last video rental store will remain open and under its namesake’s ownership

Most Read