New MRI arrives at ARMC; operational beginning Monday

ALPENA – The new magnetic resonance imaging machine has been installed at Alpena Regional Medical Center and will begin opperating on Monday.

“This new machine allows our new specialty doctors to do different studies with the improved imaging,” Doug Kreis, director of diagnostic imaging and oncology services, said. “Our technologists are already familiar with the Siemens MRI platform, so it will be an easy transfer.”

The old MRI machine was purchased in 2003 and was obsolete. Kries said the new doctors needed a new machine for higher quality imaging in order to do the best job they could because they were used to university-quality images, which the 2003 MRI machine did not offer. A new system also will be installed to detect metal objects on patients when they walk through the door of the MRI room, adding to patient safety.

The new machine has an open bore design, different colored mood lights, music, and headphones so the patients can be relaxed and calm..

“We’ve tried to make the room more comfortable, and there are new safety features like a detachable table and a camera to monitor patients while they’re in the tube,” Kreis said.

The hospital does approximately 20 MRIs per day, with this new machine, it can do about 22 per day. This doesn’t sound like much of a difference, but when looking at an entire year it adds up to over 365 more patients getting the care they need faster every year, Kreis said.

“We are the premier center in northern Michigan bar none,” Kreis said. “We now have the best MRI north of Grand Rapids.”

Adding the new MRI was approved by the board in July, then had to be approved by the state, and has been made to order specifically for ARMC.

“The latest and greatest tools are right here in Alpena,” Kreis said. “It’s about providing metropolitan type care in a rural setting.”

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5687.