University of Calgary

Calgary contractors lending more than a hand

By Kyle Glennie
Posted on December 22, 2008

From left to right: Dr. Tom Feasby, Neil Elford, Dr. Garnette Sutherland, Michael Rijavec: Photo by Chris KindratskyFrom left to right: Dr. Tom Feasby, Neil Elford, Dr. Garnette Sutherland, Michael Rijavec: Photo by Chris KindratskyFirst they gave their time and expertise to help install the world's first ceiling-mounted, movable three tesla (3.0T) magnet to be used at the Seaman's Family MR Research Centre at the Foothills Medical Centre Complex.  Now, a group of contractors who worked on the project have given something else: their money.

After they finished converting the Centre's intraoperative MRI (iMRI) system from a 1.5T magnet into a system based on a movable, 3.0T magnet, employees from JCB Industrial, Caon Services Inc., Acutech Electric Ltd., ASM Industries, Tri-Jay Carpets and Bridgeland Interiors decided they wanted to help in another way.  They got together and pooled resources to come up with a donation of $10,000 to be given to the Centre and Dr. Garnette Sutherland, professor of neurosurgery, UCalgary Faculty of Medicine, who spearheaded the Centre's MRI programs.

(More on Dr. Sutherland and his groundbreaking robotic surgery -- including video! - at http://medicine.ucalgary.ca/about/neuroarm_surgery)

"When the new MRI was installed, the trades people recognized the significance that the project would have on neurosurgery in Calgary, and out of a sense of community the idea of a group donation was formed," says Neil Elford, manager of special projects for Ledcor Construction, speaking on behalf of the contractors.  The money will go towards the Centre's ongoing magnetic resonance research.

The Centre's previous iMRI system based on a 1.5T magnet allowed it to help over one thousand patients with neurosurgical treatment.  The new system, based on a 3.0T magnet, has put the Centre again at the forefront of neurosurgical technology.

The new 3.0T iMRI platform: Photo courtesy Ledcor ConstructionThe new 3.0T iMRI platform: Photo courtesy Ledcor Construction"This is truly a first, there is not another movable three tesla magnet attached to ceiling rails on the entire planet.  This is a marvelous achievement and represents a considerable innovation for Calgary and the Centre," says Sutherland.

The generosity of all the men and women who worked on the project is something that Sutherland won't soon forget.

"We watched the contractors over the last four months pour their heart and soul into this project, they were here day and night.  Then they come along and say we want to also give you a gift, well that tells you what Calgary's community is all about."

That sentiment that was echoed by Dr. Tom Feasy, dean, UCalgary Faculty of Medicine.

"I think the contributions the contractors have made in the execution of this project, and in their donation, symbolizes the importance of the partnership we have with our community."


About the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary

The U of C's Faculty of Medicine is a national leader in health research with an international reputation for excellence and innovation in health care research, education and delivery. Through its educational programs, the Faculty of Medicine trains the physicians and scientists who will lead the next generation of health practitioners. Through its clinical work, continuing medical education programs, and close relationship with Alberta Health Services, the Faculty of Medicine moves new treatments and diagnostic techniques from the laboratory bench to the hospital bedside efficiently and effectively, improving patient care.

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