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MRI Upgrade Installed at Tillamook Hospital


An upgrade completed in June to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology Tillamook County General Hospital (TCGH) at is now providing patients with the most current computerized tools and enhancements, which means clearer images and, in some cases, shorter exam times.

MRI is an advanced technology that makes use of natural magnetic forces to create clear images of internal organs, blood vessels, muscles, joints, tumors, areas of infection, and more -- without x-rays, surgery, or pain.

Remaining very still for periods of time during MRI scans can be challenging. One of the new tools included with this upgrade to Tillamook Hospital's system helps to compensate for movements, such as breathing, which can impact the image quality for areas in the abdomen.

Early detection of conditions provided by MRI can help make treatment more effective. The excellent quality of these images can also provide the best possible information if surgery is required. If there is an abnormality, MRI can show exactly where it is, its size, and whether or not it has spread. Physicians use MRI to examine the brain, spine, joints, abdomen, pelvic region, blood vessels and other body parts.

Staff at Tillamook Hospital who perform MRI scans are all highly qualified Radiology Technologists with advanced training and experience in MRI. Gary Haley, supervisor for diagnostic imaging, has worked at TCGH for twelve years; Holly Hogan, six years; and Allen Altamirano, who also works at OHSU, has worked at Tillamook seven years.

"This upgrade puts our hospital at the leading edge for imaging capability equal to that of the Portland area providers," stated Haley. "Our patients can have confidence in the high quality of our exams, as well as enjoy the convenience of our comfortable facility without having to leave town. We are happy to work with healthcare providers outside of Tillamook County to perform MRI exams and send them the reports, even when rapid turn-around times are needed."