New MRI Machine for Pecos County

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

Work is underway setting up the new MRI machine at Pecos County Memorial Hospital. And NewsWest 9 found out just when the new piece of medical equipment will be up and running and what it means to this community.

"The progress we've had so far is that we've brought in a building. We've had a building constructed here on campus, we're fabricating the inside. The MRI machine itself has been delivered. It weighs 35 tons, and so we're just finishing up the inside of the building," said Russell Tippin, the CEO of Pecos County Memorial Hospital.

And workers have been busy setting up the brand new addition to the Hospital.

"This machine is called an open air MRI machine, where you're in the middle. We don't put you in a tube. The machine comes in around the patient, so people who are claustrophobic or have a hard time getting those machines. This will be the only one in this area. That will attract patients to want to come here," explained Tippin.

At first glance, you would think the new MRI building and machine itself are months away from being ready for patients. But those in charge at the hospital said it's actually all going to be finished up and ready to go within the next week and a half.

"The MRI machine is going to be a big asset to the community, to the hospital. One of the things we have been focusing on is trying to provide services in Fort Stockton that people passing through our community to get," said Tippin.

In addition, administrators said the MRI machine is one part of multiple levels of expansion for the hospital.

"We have three big projects for that have gone off this year. First we opened a sleep lab facility here where we are doing sleep studies. The second was the MRI machine, which is what we are speaking of now that is almost complete, and our third is on November 6th, we are going out for a five million dollar bond issue for a wellness center," said Tippin.

For now, the work continues on the MRI building and machine, which hospital officials said will be ready in the next ten to fifteen days.