SUDBURY -- A final donation of $2.25 million from Mississauga-based FDC Foundation has brought Health Sciences North Foundation's $7 million fundraising campaign to a successful end.

In a news release Tuesday, HSN said they now have the funding to buy a second MRI -- a new 3 Tesla MRI model – and to upgrade the existing MRI scanner at the hospital.

"Reaching this exciting milestone in the campaign means that patients across northeastern Ontario can soon look forward to shorter wait times for high quality MRI scans and faster diagnosis," HSN said.

The effort was a joint fundraising initiative of HSN Foundation, NEO Kids Foundation and the Northern Cancer Foundation and is wrapping up ahead of schedule and at a critical time.

"The sole MRI at HSN is already operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it is still a challenge to keep up with patient needs," the release said.

The addition of the second MRI will add capacity to current operations, helping to reduce wait times – currently 84 days or more -- closer to the provincial target time of 28 days.

“On behalf of the boards of directors of the three foundations, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to FDC Foundation for their transformative gift of $2.25 million that will have a tremendous impact on all patients who rely on an MRI for quality and timely care,” Anthony Keating, HSN Foundation president and chief development officer, said in the release.

“We are grateful to have the support of a philanthropic leader that values the importance of equitable access to health care services for all patients, regardless of where they live.”

The new 3 Tesla MRI model for HSN provides superior imaging abilities, improved patient experience and faster scan times. It produces detailed pictures of the brain, soft tissues, bone and virtually all other internal body structures.

Will reduce wait times

MRI scans are integral to many specialties in medicine, including neurology, cancer, pediatrics, orthopedics, women’s health and cardiology.

“Thanks to FDC Foundation, we will be able to deliver high quality imaging, in a timely manner, to ensure that all patients get the care they need, when they need it,” said Dr. Heidi Schmidt, chief and medical director of medical imaging and radiologist at HSN.

“A second MRI with advanced capabilities will help address wait times, achieve quality results and improve overall patient experience.”

“We are beyond thrilled to be able to deliver on the acquisition of a second MRI with the support of generous donors, like FDC Foundation, along with our community partners and the three Foundations,” Dominic Giroux, president and CEO of HSN, said in the release.

“We thank FDC Foundation for their significant gift that will support the health of patients across northeastern Ontario for many years to come.”

“We are pleased to help bring advanced MRI technology closer to patients across the northeast,” FDC Foundation said in a statement.

“Waiting or travelling to have an MRI can often be stressful for patients and their loved ones. We are happy to know that patients will have easier access to quality diagnostic imaging to ultimately improve patient outcomes.”

Construction of the new MRI suite began in March 2021 and the full project will be complete before the end of this year. The total cost for the new MRI, upgrades to the existing scanner, construction and installation is about $7 million.