Newport hospital to take up nuclear medicine

New equipment is now in use at the Newport hospital. (Courtesy photo)

NEWPORT — Nuclear medicine services will be offered at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital beginning on Tuesday, April 2, with new, state-of-the-art medical equipment.

The new service at SPCH’s Diagnostic Imaging Department is transferring from Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital, which closed its nuclear medicine program on Friday, March 22. Staff for the service line will remain the same at its new location in Newport.

The department’s move from Lincoln City to Newport has to do with hospital size and the reach of the service, said Virginia Riffle, chief operations officer at SNLH.

“With the unique situation of both communities designing and building new hospitals at the same time, this gave us the opportunity to examine service lines while applying our mission to best serve our communities in a sustainable manner,” said Riffle. “After considering new equipment needs, space requirements, and patient access needs, we decided it makes sense to transfer the nuclear medicine service line to SPCH.”  

Nuclear medicine uses a sophisticated camera that, along with very small amounts of radioactive material, provides accurate images of internal organs. Those images enable clinicians to better diagnose a variety of diseases, including types of cancer, heart disease, gastrointestinal problems, spinal issues and other abnormalities in the body. The procedure is safe and carries risks similar to a common X-ray.

The new equipment is already on-site in the recently opened hospital building in Newport. Because the staff operating the equipment remains the same, the transition is expected to be relatively seamless, said Jane Russell, chief operations officer at SPCH.

“While there will be a period of about one week of downtime in service as we move and recalibrate additional related equipment from one hospital to the other, we expect a smooth transition for our patients,” Russell said.

“We are pleased that we can continue this service at the coast with the very best in medical equipment, so our patients do not have to travel far for testing,” she added.

— SPHC

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