MCAS BEAUFORT --
The Lowcountry Federal Healthcare Alliance held a grand opening for their new mobile MRI at Naval Hospital Beaufort, Sept. 25.
The mobile MRI will support care on-site by giving faster test results for dependents, service members and veterans in the Lowcountry.
The Lowcountry Federal Healthcare Alliance includes: Naval Hospital Beaufort, Naval Health Clinic Charleston, Ralph H. Johnson Veteran Affairs Medical Center, and U.S. Air Force 628th Medical Group at Joint Base Charleston.
“Thanks to our partnership with Joint Incentive Fund, we are able to be sharing a new mobile MRI. With orthopedic injuries commonly occurring in the hospital’s young active duty population, particularly those in recruit training, and the VA’s more seasoned patients, having on-site access to MRI scans will enhance our ability to provide quality healthcare,” said Navy Capt. Joan Queen, Commanding Officer of Naval Hospital Beaufort.
The Lowcountry Federal Healthcare Alliance joint project began October 2006, as a partnership between Department of Defense and VA healthcare in South Carolina and Georgia. The mission of the alliance is to “enhance delivery of quality, patient-centered healthcare through collaborative federal and community partnerships” with a vision of “leading the charge in seamless federal health care.”
“On our own, both the Naval Hospital and the VA attempted to purchase an MRI. These requests were denied,” Queen said. Various staff members from both facilities sent a request to the Joint Incentive Fund for a shared MRI, Queen said.
“They realized that together we had a better chance of getting funding approved,” said Queen, “and they were right,” she finished with conviction.
An MRI is a machine that uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to make a 3-D image of the inside of the body. MRI’s do not generate ionizing radiation like CT scans and X-rays.
The new MRI cost $2.3 million and will save the DOD and VA around $500,000 each year.
The funding came from the Joint Incentive Fund, a project established in 2003 to prompt innovative solutions and facilities that can be shared between the DOD and VA. The Joint Incentive Fund has proved quite successful in the past, and the mobile MRI stands to uphold that success now and in the future.