Deborah Heart and Lung Center unveils newly installed $1M MRI scanner

Federal funding bill appropriation brings highly specialized diagnostics to region

Less than one year after U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker were able to secure a $1 million federal appropriation for Deborah Heart and Lung Center to purchase a magnetic resonance imaging scanner, the equipment has been received, installed, calibrated and is now ready for use.

This highly specialized diagnostic tool creates detailed images of the heart without using radiation.

Recently, before its powerful tesla magnets were turned on, a celebratory team at Deborah Heart and Lung Center officially “unveiled” the new MRI.

“This is a great day at Deborah,” CEO and President Joseph Chirichella said. “I am thankful that Sens. Menendez and Booker advocated for the residents of Burlington County and supported funding to expand access to cardiac care in the region. This technology is essential to diagnose and monitor a variety of cardiovascular conditions, especially disorders of the cardiac muscle and valves, as well as congenital heart defects. Cardiac MRI is critically valuable in predicting the risk posed by different heart conditions and is used to identify and tailor specific cardiac therapies, including for heart rhythm disturbances, as well as conditions related to COVID-19.”

Deborah said the state-of-the-art, rapid-acquisition and wide-bore scanner MRI will provide excellent access for its patients without many of the limitations of earlier scanners for comfort and study quality.

Chirichella noted that, in addition to providing access to sophisticated images of the heart, the MRI scanner also provides an opportunity for local patients to have MRI imaging beyond the heart, including organs, bones, joints and muscles.

“Deborah is located in a designated medically underserved area,” he added. “As one of the country’s leading cardiac centers, a cardiac MRI builds on our program of excellence. However, community access to an MRI for a variety of other medical conditions will vastly reduce the need for residents to travel long distances for this type of specialized, detailed imaging, allowing people convenient, earlier and more precise diagnosis of their conditions. We at Deborah are delighted to have this innovative technology on our campus and are excited to play a role in a significant expansion of providing community-based health care.”

Said Menendez (D-N.J.): “I was proud to advocate for community projects across our state in 2022’s federal funding bill, including delivering $1 million for a state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging scanner for Deborah. It is rewarding to know that this life-saving equipment is now installed at the hospital, where it is working to diagnose a variety of cardiovascular conditions and defects and will be essential in improving outcomes for patients.”

Booker (D-N.J.) added: “Deborah’s new MRI scanner will make cardiovascular monitoring more accessible to South Jersey families, continuing the center’s century-long tradition of delivering high-quality heart, lung, and vascular care in a medically underserved area. I will continue to fight for projects like this that keep New Jersey families healthy and safe.”