New equipment to provide lifesaving diagnostic services for more than 7,000 patients a year

On Tuesday, June 25, Alameda Health System’s (AHS’) long-awaited state-of-the-art 3T MRI scanner will be installed at Highland Hospital and Trauma Center. On behalf of AHS, AHS Foundation (AHSF) received a $6 million grant from Kaiser Permanente in 2016 to expand AHS’s MRI services at Highland with a large bore 3T MRI and an upgrade of its existing1.5T MRI.

Installation of the 3T MRI equipment will be an all-day event. First, an external wall of the hospital’s new acute care tower will be removed. Then, in a remarkable feat of engineering, an 80-foot crane will lift more than 22,000 pounds of the MRI system and its components 33 feet into the air. The 3T MRI unit will then be carefully lowered through the opened wall into a room that will house the new MRI scanner at Highland’s Diagnostic Interventional Services Center (DISC). It is anticipated that the MRI will be lifted into the air by the crane by 11:00 am.

As the leading safety­net integrated health system serving Alameda County, AHS is the primary provider of care for the County’s large, diverse low-income population. Given the high prevalence of complex conditions—such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes among its patients–there is a high need and demand for MRI scans that will provide accurate, fast, safe diagnosis to support early treatment.

“At Alameda Health System we want to remove as many barriers to quality care as we possibly can,” said Delvecchio Finley, Alameda Health System CEO. “Thanks to the generosity of Kaiser Permanente, the new MRI equipment will enable early detection of health conditions, helping to improve patients’ health outcomes and quality of life.”

The new 3T MRI scanner and upgraded 1.5T MRI will scan organs and bones with greater speed and enhanced capability, expanding access to MRI services significantly.

The new and upgraded equipment will provide lifesaving diagnostic services for 7,000+ patients a year and improve accuracy, as well as the speed of diagnosis of high-risk conditions. Additionally, it will improve patient experience through its ability to reduce time from diagnosis to treatment, better accommodate large patients, and reduce the noise and claustrophobia that are common in MRI machines.

AHSF has a long history of securing philanthropic support on behalf of AHS’ mission of “Caring, Healing, Teaching, Serving All.” The gift is the largest awarded to AHSF for medical equipment in its 28-year history. It was part of the AHSF’s 2013- 2016 capital campaign, which raised a total of $24 million for programs and essential equipment for the new Acute Care Tower at Highland Hospital, which opened in April 2016.

“This investment is consistent with our long-standing commitment to ensuring access to high quality care for the entire community,” said Yvette Radford, vice president of Kaiser Permanente’s External and Community Affairs.

Schedule of Events
8:00 a.m. Crane assembled in parking lot in front of Highland Hospital
9:00 a.m. MRI arrives on site
10:00 a.m. MRI offloaded by forklift
10:30 a.m. Michael Gomez, AHS Foundation Board Chair: Welcome and remarks
10:45 a.m. Heather Duke, Director of Cardiovascular Services
11:00 a.m. MRI in the air and transported into building


Jeanne Herrera