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Diagnostic imaging

Vancouver General to replace 20-year old MRI machine

VANCOUVER - A multi-million dollar donation to Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) means the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine that has been in use there for the past 20 years can finally be replaced. A generous donation of $3.7 million from the Milan & Maureen Ilich Foundation has made this possible.

Milan and Maureen are residents of Richmond, BC who have been leaders in the construction and real estate development business for many years. They have supported a number of areas of healthcare and research at VGH and UBC Hospital in the past, as well as many other charitable causes. They are well-known members of the community, with Milan Ilich recently being named as a 2010 Order of British Columbia recipient for the exceptional contribution he has made to his community and the province.

When Mr. Ilich learned a new MRI was VGH’s highest fundraising priority, and that it could have an enormous impact on the health of thousands of British Columbians, he was moved to action. He explained, “In any business, having the right tools available helps people get the job done. I want the medical experts who care for our friends, family, and people from our communities to have the best equipment and technology they can for the best healthcare possible. I’m pleased to show our support.”

Their donation covers the majority of the costs associated with the acquisition and installation of a new MRI. By adding the substantial donation from Milan and Maureen Ilich to other donor monies already allocated to the important initiative, the purchase has been enabled and the hospital can proceed.

The unit that the new MRI will replace is the oldest and most active scanner in the province. It is in use an average of 14 hours a day, seven days every week. Last year alone, more than 11,000 MRI procedures were performed at VGH.

The new MRI will allow doctors to do even more for patients who come from all over the province to be treated at VGH. The hospital serves all of British Columbia, providing highly specialized care for adults in the most serious of medical situations; in many cases the hospital’s medical experts provide care that is not available elsewhere in B.C.

Neither a vendor nor type of MRI machine have yet been selected, said a spokesperson for Vancouver Coastal Health.

With the improved imaging quality and faster scan time that today’s technology can deliver, the new MRI will help medical experts diagnose and treat patients with a wide range of diseases and injuries. Those areas of care include some of the most complex diseases, conditions and injuries including, but not limited to diagnosis of often cancerous tumors in the brain, breast, and lung, liver and kidney diseases, hip and spine injuries, as well as cardiac and vascular abnormalities including stroke.

“This powerful act performed by Milan and Maureen Ilich will deliver positive impacts to VGH and patients from across British Columbia for years to come,” said Ron Dumouchelle, President and CEO, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, which accepts donations on the hospital’s behalf.

VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation raises funds for sophisticated medical equipment, world-class research and improvements to patient care for VGH, UBC Hospital, GF Strong Rehab Centre and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. For 30 years the Foundation and its donors, who make donations of all sizes, have been a bridge between the essential health care that governments provide and the advanced health care offered at these hospitals.

Posted August 26, 2010