Neighbor Islands First Open Bore MRI at Kona Community Hospital

Kona Community Hospital has installed the region’s first Open Bore, 1.5 Tesla, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system that combines a larger bore, or opening, for obese and claustrophobic patients with the ability to capture high-field quality diagnostic images. It is identified as the best on the neighbor islands and is the same premier machine as in Queens Medical Center located on Oahu.

A special blessing for the new MRI is scheduled for Wednesday, August 31 from 3 to 5pm at Kona Community Hospital’s Imaging Department. The event will feature guest speaker Mayor Billy Kenoi, tours of the department, music, pupus and more. Please RSVP to 322-6960 or

“We invite our entire community to attend the new MRI blessing so they can see first-hand the state-of-the-art MRI machine,” commented Jay Kreuzer, Chief Executive Office of Kona Community Hospital. “We are excited to have this new addition to our array of services. They will be able to view the MRI as well as other Imaging capabilities such as CT Scan, Nuclear Medicine and Ultrasound.”

The Siemens Medical Solutions MAGNETOM Espree installed at Kona Community Hospital features a bore opening of nearly 2.3 feet in diameter and almost one foot of free space between a patient’s head and the magnet. Approximately four feet long, the magnet allows more than 60 percent of exams to be completed with the patient’s head outside the bore which can help ease claustrophobia.

The first patient to have a MRI on this new machine is scheduled for later this week. “This is going to increase our efficiency and patient convenience,” says Melody Sulliban, Director of Imaging at Kona Community Hospital. “The patient-friendly design of this magnet will make it easier for larger patients and those with claustrophobia to have a MRI examination which produces higher quality images. This will potentially reduce the need to repeat and interrupt exams. It will also enable us to perform other MRI services in areas that we could not before such as the breast and extremities.”

Lance Anderson, Assistant Administrator at Kona Community Hospital commented, “Not only does our new MRI machine provide better image quality and more comfort to patients, we have renovated the entire MRI suite and other imaging areas in order to have a more welcoming and relaxing setting to provide a great experience for our patients. Plus, patients do not have to leave this island to get the care that they need because it is here in their own backyard.”