Siemens Healthcare donates MAGNETOM ESSENZA MRI system to Phoebe Sumter Medical Center

After three long years of hardship to rebuild a cornerstone of the community, the staff of Phoebe Sumter Medical Center welcomed the arrival of a new MAGNETOM® ESSENZA magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system, compliments of Siemens Healthcare. The new MRI scanner premiered today at the official ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark Siemens’ donation after a tornado destroyed the hospital in 2007. State and local political dignitaries and community leaders were on hand for the event.

"I know I speak for everyone in our organization when I say I am so proud and excited that this day has arrived," said Keith Petersen, CEO of Phoebe Sumter Medical Center. "The reason we have this new MRI is because of the tremendous support of our community and so many other people across the country and the world, for that matter. And we also want to thank Siemens for their generosity and support. Having this state-of-the-art piece of equipment will help us as we continue to move forward in meeting the healthcare needs of our citizens."

On the evening of March 1, 2007, an F-3 tornado – with winds reaching up to 165 miles an hour –tore through the town ofAmericus, Ga., leaving a path of destruction in its wake for its 17,000 residents. But fortunately, through the many acts of heroism from rescue workers and hospital staff, all 70 patients in the hospital that night were safely evacuated just in time, before the tornado completely destroyed the building.

But, from the devastation of that night came a new hope. Due to the tireless effort of the hospital personnel and the generous support of the town of Americus and beyond, Sumter Regional (as it was then called) has now reopened as Phoebe Sumter Medical Center.

The plight of the hospital first came to the attention of Siemens Healthcare back in the Fall of 2007, after the company announced its "Win an MRI" contest, in which rural and community hospitals without an MRI scanner in their facilities could submit videos pleading their cases on why they should receive a new 1.5 Tesla (T) MAGNETOM ESSENZA MR system from Siemens.

Touched by the special circumstances that surrounded Sumter’s situation, Siemens announced in January 2008 that it would donate a MAGNETOM ESSENZA, worth approximately $800,000, to the hospital once the facility was rebuilt and could support the new system.

"Siemens is proud to donate a new MRI scanner to Phoebe Sumter, and be a part of the rebuilding of this worthy institution," said Don Fowler, vice president, Magnetic Resonance, Siemens Healthcare. "Phoebe Sumter can now provide much-needed MRI exams to its patients in-house and help ensure that its patients receive optimal medical imaging services and quality patient care."

The MAGNETOM ESSENZA was developed from the ground up to be an affordable, reliable system that can support both a hospital’s clinical and financial success. The powerful 1.5T magnet and exclusive Tim technology helps physicians provide comprehensive image services to their community. Designed with small hospitals in mind, the MAGNETOM ESSENZA combines excellent system performance with a patient-friendly design at one of the lowest total costs of ownership in the industry today.

Phoebe Sumter Medical Center is currently housed in an interim facility, but plans to open the doors of its new hospital building in late 2011/early 2012. With the addition of Siemens MAGNETOM ESSENZA, the staff at Phoebe Sumter are now one step closer to providing complete patient care to a community it has served for nearly a century.