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Regional Modality Leader Steve Plummer with GE Healthcare explains the benefits of UT Health’s newest piece of equipment, a nuclear medicine camera, to hospital staff and Nan Travis Foundation board members.

UT Health-Jacksonville revealed a new piece of equipment, a nuclear medicine camera, in a ceremony Wednesday, Nov. 11. The apparatus was purchased with funds raised by the Nan Travis Foundation, saving the hospital approximately $500,000 through the donation.

Nan Travis Foundation board member Cindy Day stated the organization’s interest is in “keeping as high level a hospital as possible in our town.”

The last fundraising project undertaken by the Nan Travis Foundation while the hospital was still a part of the East Texas Medical Center system was for this specific piece of equipment, according to Day.

“We’re very excited about the services we’ll be able to offer people in our community,” Day said.

“We’re trying to do things that will build up the services that are available to the members of our community, to have a good level of healthcare in our community. We’ve always been very focused on that.”

DeLeigh Haley-McCune, UT Health-Jacksonville CEO, and Beth Killingworth, Director of Radiology both termed the gift from the foundation a “very generous donation.”

The nuclear medicine camera can image any part of the body using radioisotopes, according to Killingworth.

With this equipment, patient scan times will be reduced, making the experience more comfortable, Killingsworth stated. It also has better image quality than what was provided by previous equipment.

Steve Plummer, GE Healthcare Regional Modality Leader, assisted UT Health in purchasing the nuclear medicine camera.

The camera, which he defined as “a functional imaging modality,” is primarily used for issues related to the heart, but can be used for lungs, gall bladder and other organ functions.

“General nuclear medicine can image just about any organ system or function within the body,” said Wade Peirsol, GE Healthcare Clinical Applications Specialist. “We’re just like CT or MRI except we’re the functional modality. They show you how something looks, we’re going to show you how organ system or disease process functions.”

The hospital is grateful to the Nan Travis Foundation for its contribution and all the nuclear medicine camera will allow staff to perform.

“We just celebrated our 100th year last year and for us to be able to put this piece of equipment in place in this facility secures that legacy for the next 100 years,” Haley-McCune said. “It increases patient satisfaction and allows us to provide the best care that we can for folks in Cherokee County.”

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