MEDINA – Staff of Orleans Community Health are determined to dispel myths that people have to go to the big cities to find the latest advancements in X-ray technology.
Some of the scanning and X-ray equipment at Medina Memorial Hospital are comparable to those found in many bigger hospitals, according to Erica Chutko, director of Radiology and Cardiac services at the hospital.
One of their latest advancements is having digital capability on all X-ray equipment.
“We previously had to take X-rays using film, then wait while the film was developed,” Chutko said. “Now we take an X-ray and the results are available within seconds on a computer.”
Another new service at the hospital is walk-in service 24/7 for general X-ray. There is no need to make an appointment any more, other than for special X-rays.
The hospital is also fortunate to have a highly trained radiologist, Dr. Dale Sponaugle. The doctor graduated from medical school in 1985 at the University of Buffalo; did his internship in general surgery from 1985 to 1987 at the University at Buffalo; did his residency from 1987 to 1991 in diagnostic radiology at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine; did his fellowship from 1991 to 1992 in body MRI at the University at Buffalo; and is board certified by the American Board of Radiology in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
He has been at Orleans Community Health since February 1991.
The department also takes in many student interns, said Cindy Perry, director of Education, Wellness and Marketing at the hospital’s Community Partners.
“Dr. Sponaugle does a lot of educational things with them,” Perry said.
Chutko said they also allow high school students to shadow them for a day to decide if a career in radiology is what they want to do.
Perry reinforced the fact that people sometimes think they have to go to the big cities for their diagnostic testing, when the same opportunities are available right in Medina.
“We have great equipment here,” Chutko said. “Someone can even come in after work at midnight. Our Nuclear Department has taken clients on Saturday when they can’t get here any other time. Our equipment is all state-of-the-art.”
The hospital’s ultimate goal would be to have 3-D mammography, something which is only available now in the big university hospitals.
“We can provide a lot of quality services close to home,” Perry said.
For instance, one of the newest pieces of equipment is a 64-slice CT scanner. The more slices, the more information it provides, Dr. Sponaugle said.
Chutko said Sponaugle is an amazing radiologist.
“He is scary smart,” she said.
Also a benefit to the hospital is the fact the majority of people in the Radiology Department have been there 10 years or more. She has been there 25 years.
Chutko said she practically grew up there. Her mother started as an aide at 16 and worked 30 years in Obstetrics, two years as manager. Her aunt worked almost 35 years in various departments, including two years as manager of the ER.
“We are always up on the latest technology, and we cross train, giving us an edge on other facilities,” Chutko said. “This enables us to offer all our services all the time.”