Sioux Lookout’s Meno Ya Win Health Centre is looking to start a $7 million fundraising campaign to pay for a new MRI scanner and addition to the hospital.

SLMHC has announced it will receive base operating funding from Ontario Health North West to operate the MRI, but the hospital is responsible for all costs to buy and house the device – which will require the construction of a new addition.  

“The SLMHC Foundation Board is extremely excited about this great news, and we will be starting a formal fundraising campaign in the very near future with details announced by early spring,” says Christine Hoey, SLMHC Foundation President.

“We want to have the MRI operational as soon as possible, so we will be reaching out to the community and all the areas we service to help us reach our goal.

The Mayo Clinic explains an MRI, or a magnetic resonance imaging scanner, uses magnetic fields and computer-generated radio waves to create detailed images of the organs and tissues in your body, as well as 3D images.

“The radiologists and physicians are thrilled with the addition of an MRI to our Diagnostic Imaging Department. It will enable another step forward to ensure full comprehensive diagnostic imaging services closer to home,” says Dr. Neety Panu, Radiologist.

Leena Thibodeau, Manager of Laboratory and Diagnostic Imaging Services, explains area patients regularly have to travel to Thunder Bay and Winnipeg for MRI scans, and this will significantly reduce wait times.

“We are thrilled that this one-of-a-kind technology will be available in our region. Our team looks forward to bringing on new members who have expertise in the field of Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Together, we will strive to build a program that reflects the high-quality standards we aim to put forth every day,” says Thibodeau.

SLMHC serves roughly 30,000 residents across the region, including those from Sioux Lookout, Hudson, Pickle Lake, Savant Lake and 28 northern First Nation communities.