2009-03-11 / Business

Buffalo MRI completes $10.5 million expansion project

Buffalo MRI, at 4925 Main St. in Snyder, recently completed an extensive expansion project, including a new CT scanner. Discussing the new equipment at the March 5 open house are, from left, medical director Dr. Ronald Femia and owners Kevin Burns and Colleen Burns, chief executive officer. Photo by Jim Smerecak Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Buffalo MRI, at 4925 Main St. in Snyder, recently completed an extensive expansion project, including a new CT scanner. Discussing the new equipment at the March 5 open house are, from left, medical director Dr. Ronald Femia and owners Kevin Burns and Colleen Burns, chief executive officer. Photo by Jim Smerecak Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Buffalo MRI marked the completion of its $10.5 million expansion and relocation project on March 5 in Amherst.

The facility, located in Snyder Place Plaza at 4925 Main St., at Kensington Avenue, in Amherst, has relocated to a new 12,000-square-foot location within its current plaza.

Buffalo MRI's previous space was 4,200 square feet.

Buffalo MRI invested $9 million in new medical imaging technology for the upgraded facility, including new MRI and CT machines. The facility also developed a relationship with Siemens to showcase the company's latest technology to potential customers.

"Siemens brings global competence to Buffalo MRI with a compendium of innovative imaging solutions," said Mark Wofford, senior vice president of the RIS division in the Image and Knowledge Management business unit, Siemens Healthcare. "Our medical imaging and I.T solutions will help Buffalo MRI cater to their patients' needs in order to help provide the best quality of care."

One of the new technology additions is the Siemens 3T MAGNETOM Verio, which boasts the strongest magnetic field strength clinically used today and with a larger opening, is wide enough to accommodate a diverse array of patients, including individuals who have traditionally been hard to image, such as children, those who are large-statured, the elderly and those who are claustrophobic.

Also added was a Siemens SOMATOM Definition AS+ 128-slice CT scanner that Buffalo MRI can use for routine diagnostic work as well as for more complex examinations.

In addition to the collaborative efforts with Siemens, Buffalo MRI also installed the Philips Panorama high-field open MRI to accommodate patients who suffer from claustrophobia. This $2 million open MRI suite was built specifically for claustrophobic and anxious patients and uses the Ambient Experience to create a virtualized 3-D environment.

Before entering the scan room, each patient chooses their most comforting surroundings, like a beach, a mountain-side lake or the French countryside. Children can choose an animated under the-sea adventure or watch monkeys playing with their friends in a tropical rain forest. It's all done with high-definition video, fiber-optic lighting and surround sound for the most realistic experience.

Buffalo MRI has also invested in new x-ray and ultrasound machines.

"From a medical perspective, we want the highest-resolution images possible so that pathology can be detected in its earliest stages," said Dr. Ronald Femia, medical director at Buffalo MRI.

In addition to the investment in technology, Buffalo MRI also spent $1.5 million in facility renovations and information technology infrastructure. Owned and operated by siblings Colleen and Kevin Burns, Buffalo MRI has been in the diagnostic imaging business for 15 years.

With this expansion, Buffalo MRI has hired 12 new employees, a 30 percent increase, with several new hires planned in the near future. Along with the expansion came the hiring of two patient coordinators to handle patients' needs and questions.

Buffalo MRI is open from 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.

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