New high tech medical equipment could improve care for area veterans. A six-week construction project is underway right now at the Van Zandt V.A. Medical Center. When all of the planned upgrades are completed, the hospital in Altoona expects to have one of the most advanced imaging centers in the V.A. system.
The actual building and remodeling is going on inside the hospital. Their old CT scanner has been removed and the room is being readied for a scanner the hospital says has the highest quality imaging that CT currently allows.
“It’s going to be faster it’s going to be better image quality, and less radiation dose,” says Gregory Woelfl, Radiology Supervisor.
In the meantime, patients who need a CT scan now have access to one in a mobile unit parked just outside the building. The current MRI, which is ten years old, is still in operation, but that’s also slated for an upgrade this summer.
Woelfl says,”The MRI very unique. We will have one of the most advanced MRI imaging equipment that they offer.”
The new MRI will have a larger opening and will include a projection system and lighting to create a more comfortable environment for patients.
“One of the goals we’ve had as a leadership team is to talk to the veterans in our community and find out what care is important to them and what they need and this is one of those things,” adds Derek Coughenour, Associate Director for Operations.
The hospital says since imaging is used to diagnose everything from cancer to an aneurysm, it’s very highly used. Newer, faster equipment will mean that more patients can be cared for.