Wamego’s new MRI unit. Photo by Brandon Peoples/KMAN

A new MRI scanner suite was officially unveiled to the public Friday at Wamego Health Center.

The permanent facility replaces a mobile MRI unit that came to the hospital twice a week. Hospital Administrator Brian Howells says construction on the roughly $3 million project took less than a year and came in under budget.

“It’s been really about the last 9 to 10 months we’ve started from ground zero to up and running which has been terrific for us,” Howells said.

The idea to bring an MRI suite to Wamego was born from conversations between the city and hospital over the past several years. Funded by the Wamego Hospital Foundation and generous community contributions, Howells says the health center is part of a unique public-private partnership between Ascension Via Christi, which operates the health center and the City of Wamego, which owns the building and land.

Photo by Brandon Peoples/KMAN

“Together we were able to have the board of the Wamego city hospital pay for the construction and the board of Ascension Via Christi pay for the actual scanner,” Howells said.

By splitting the costs the project was able to be achieved and Howells says they expect to serve between 50 to 70 patients per month initially, with plans to grow that reach in the future.

The new MRI will be permanently housed in the newly renovated space on the backside of the health center (west side). It will provide head-to-toe imaging five days a week.

The MRI will open to patients officially on May 13.

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