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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Health Facilities Review Committee approved St. Louis Children’s Hospital‘s application to replace its CT unit, making it the first pediatric hospital in the world to acquire a new type of scanner.

The project, expected to cost more than $2.8 million, will provide a powerful scanner the hospital said would eliminate picture issues created by patient motion and cut down on the amount of radiation used during a scan. The committee granted a certificate of need (CON) during Tuesday’s meeting.

“The challenge with small patients is sometimes needed sedation so they don’t move and disrupt the image,” St. Louis Children’s Hospital Diagnostic Radiology Specialist Dr. Marilyn Siegel said. “That motion obstructs the images and creates a real challenge. I think we’ve got a real chance to reduce the sedation rate and provide a safer option for patients.”

The machine is undergoing final approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure it provides services “substantially equivalent” to machines already in use. It is expected to be operational by early October.

The committee approved another CT unit replacement during the meeting for Mercy Hospital Joplin. The $1.8 million project will replace the hospital’s current unit, purchased in 2012, with a higher-end version.

Hannibal Regional Hospital was approved for a myriad of equipment upgrades, including new software and a Mac Lab. The project is expected to cost more than $2 million.

Mercy Hospital South in St. Louis applied for an additional Biplane Imaging System, a lab used to examine the heart and treat abnormalities. The $2 million upgrade would be a Siemens product, the same company developing St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s new CT unit. The committee approved the project after administrators projected increased efficiency for stroke treatments.

Mercy South was also granted a CON for an additional MRI machine. The hospital plans to have the $2.4 million addition online by March 2022.

Hampton Manor of St. Peters was approved for a 98 bed assisted living facility with memory care services. The facility would offer private and shared apartments, dining services, a wellness center, and other amenities. Between construction, equipment, and land acquisitions, the project is slated to cost $16 million.

Several previously approved projects were granted extensions Tuesday, including:

A one-year extension for Monterey Park Assisted Living’s approved 60-bed facility
A six-month extension for Country Bluff Executive Senior Living’s 70-bed residential facility
A one-year extension for CorrectLife Fulton’s 150-unit skilled nursing facility

The next full CON meeting is scheduled for Nov. 8.

Cameron Gerber studied journalism at Lincoln University. Prior to Lincoln, he earned an associate’s degree from State Fair Community College. Cameron is a native of Eldon, Missouri.

Contact Cameron at cameron@themissouritimes.com.

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