State-of-the-art MRI Suite officially opened at SMMC | THE DAILY HERALD

From left: Inspector General Dr. Earl Best, General Surgeon Dr. Luc Mercelina, Radiologist Dr. Brice Watinou, SMMC Medical Director Dr. Felix Holiday, Radiology Department Supervisor Johan Sabajo, cardiologist and Head Medical Staff Board Dr. Emiko Bird-Lake, Supervisory Council Vice Chairman Jim Rosen and radiologist Dr. Sander Bodewitz.


Inspector General Dr. Earl Best (third left) receives a live demonstration of the strength of the MRI magnet by SMMC radiologist Dr. Sander Bodewitz (left) and MRI installation technician and instructor Jack Jaspers (second left).

~ Off-island referrals no longer needed ~

CAY HILL–St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) officially opened its brand-new state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) department, the MRI Suite, during a ceremony on May 19.

  The ceremony was attended by several staff and invited guests, including Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor VSA Omar Ottley.

  “The MRI Suite, which is part of SMMC’s Radiology Department, has been a project that started last year with the lease of a special MRI housing unit in the Netherlands and MRI machine from General Electric in the United States,” SMMC said in a press release on Friday.

  SMMC Medical Director Dr. Felix Holiday said during the opening ceremony, “We are proud to have completed another medical care expansion project that continues to deliver on our strategic objective of providing quality care close to home for the community in St. Maarten and surrounding islands.

  “As we continue building the St. Maarten General Hospital (SMGH), we will not wait with offering medical expansions until we officially open the doors of the new hospital. Instead, we will continue to add services and improvements to SMMC so the community can benefit from those now. The entire SMMC team did a great job and I would like to thank each and every one for their part in making the MRI Suite a successful reality.”

  SMMC Supervisory Council Vice Chairman Jim Rosen said not only will the MRI Suite bring down the country’s cost of referrals abroad, but also provide much more convenience to the community, as travelling abroad for medical procedures is never a fun thing to do.

  Speaking on behalf of the government, VSA Ministry Inspector General Dr. Earl Best congratulated the entire SMMC team for a great job in getting the MRI facility constructed and operational: “We trust that you will take good care of it.”

  SMMC said in its release that the project had been complex, as it had many moving parts due to the sourcing of equipment from both Europe and the United States while construction of the MRI Suite at SMMC was ongoing.

  “Timing was of the essence,” explained SMGH Project Manager Erika van der Horst, who is also in charge of all biomedical equipment sourcing for the current and new hospitals. “Furthermore, the hoisting of the MRI machine through a tight open section on the roof of the MRI Suite was a meticulous exercise, but well executed by the local construction team.”

  The general public is hereby advised that MRI exams can only be requested by an SMMC specialist.

Source: The Daily Herald