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Piedmont Mountainside Debuts First-in-Region, State-of-the-Art MRI

Jasper, GA. (November 18, 2019) — Piedmont Mountainside Hospital has unveiled a new, state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine. It is the first of its kind in North Georgia and offers patients higher resolution images in a shorter time, more ‘feet first’ scans, a larger opening and more procedure capabilities than have previously been offered.


“Piedmont Mountainside is excited to bring this leading-edge technology to people in our community,” said Denise Ray, CEO of Piedmont Mountainside. “This equipment supports Piedmont’s goal to offer the latest imaging technology for our patients and allow them to receive their care closer to home.”


In addition to offering convenience, the GE Signa™ Artist MRI has features to make the process of getting imaging studies and procedures easier for patients. The scanner, which Ike Ichite, Piedmont Mountainside’s Director of Imaging Services, describes as GE’s premier, top-of-the-line 1.5T MRI machine, offers additional benefits.


“With this new scanner, we will be able to produce sharper images with a faster scan time, meaning quicker diagnosis, better patient flow and reduced wait times overall,” said Ichite. “The new equipment also has increased capabilities to do scans that patients had previously been sent to Metro Atlanta to receive. Now we are able to offer enhanced procedures including prostate, breast and cardiac MRIs and MRI-guided biopsy.”  


In addition to offering clearer images faster, the scanner boasts features that will help patients feel more comfortable during testing. It has GE’s most advanced noise-reducing technology and a wide-open 70-centimeter bore, which is nearly half a foot larger than many scanner openings. The larger opening makes it more comfortable for people with broader frames, while GE SilentWorks technology reduces sound levels, combining for an overall more relaxing experience.


“The more expansive opening will make it easier for our bariatric and claustrophobic patients, while the noise canceling feature will make it better for all,” said Richard Lillibridge, Piedmont Mountainside MRI Technologist. “We’ll also be able to do more MRI scans where patients go in feet-first rather than head-first, which reduces anxiety for some people.”


To learn more about Piedmont Mountainside’s MRI, please visit or call 706-301-5401.


About Piedmont Mountainside Hospital


Piedmont Mountainside Hospital – a 52-bed hospital, located in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains – dedicates itself to delivering unsurpassed medical care to the residents of Pickens. Gilmer and North Cherokee Counties and surrounding communities. We provide a range of services from cardiac rehabilitation and imaging to orthopedic services to cardiac catheterization and general surgery. Piedmont Mountainside offers intensive care, 24-hour emergency services with 18 beds and a fast track area. At Piedmont Mountainside, we take pride in providing outstanding care and our record of accomplishment speaks for itself. In the past few years, Piedmont Mountainside has consistently ranked in the top five Atlanta hospitals in patient experience as well as received top marks for our commitment to patient safety by Leapfrog 9 consecutive times. It was named one of the nation’s Top 100 Hospitals by IBM Watson Health in 2019.       


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