Patients in Langley, and across the region, are now accessing important care provided through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams as well as benefiting from shorter wait times, thanks to the newly opened, first-ever, MRI suite for Langley Memorial Hospital.

The suite was officially opened on January 28, 2021 in a virtual ceremony attended by MLAs Andrew Mercier and Megan Dykeman, Langley Memorial Hospital Executive Director Jason Cook, Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation Executive Director Heather Scott, and one of the MRI Suite's first patients, Jessie Pears. 

The MRI suite began scanning patients in December 2020 and became fully operational on Jan. 4, 2021. 

"Langleys’ MRI is a game changer for our hospital and our community," said Langley Memorial Hospital Executive Director Jason Cook. "It helps us strive toward ‘better health – best in health care’ in Langley."

"Our admitted patients will no longer need to be placed on stretchers, often in pain or discomfort to travel by BC Ambulance and nurse escort, to another site for their MRI."

The MRI Suite, made possible in part, thanks to generous donors of the Foundation's Emergency Response campaign to build a new Emergency Department at Langley Memorial, is a game-changer for Langley’s medical care. 

"The significant investment made by the Province of British Columbia, the Fraser Health Authority, and by our community donors, honours our strong community history, our local residents and our great hospital staff," said the Foundation's Heather Scott. 

"A new MRI Suite in Langley represents more than just improved diagnostic capacity: it represents hope for thousands of patients every year; it represents the pride and ownership the community feels over local health services; and, it represents the improvements in quality health care facilities that Langley residents have long deserved."

The suite will allow patients to get the diagnostic support they need close to home and will alleviate the high demands placed on neighbouring communities’ MRIs.

In it's first month alone, over 580 patients were scanned in the new suite. 

Jessie Pears was one of those first patients.

Pears - now 95 years young - was pleasantly surprised by the experience.

“I had been trying to get an MRI at Jim Pattison (another facility) for months and months, but then a call came in last week that I could get the MRI done in Langley instead,” she said in an interview earlier this week with the Foundation.

“I was so pleased. It’s nice to be closer to home, especially because I don’t drive anymore.”

Pears, who had her MRI scheduled for spine/back issues, thoroughly enjoyed the new suite.

“If I need an MRI again, I want it to be there.”

MRI machines are used to diagnose medical conditions, such as abnormalities of the brain, as well as tumours, cysts and soft-tissue injuries in other parts of the body. MRIs can help facilitate early diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions, vastly improving a person’s quality of life. Both new machines come with equipment to perform specialized exams such as breast imaging.