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HEALTH CARE: Your image is everything

The Aurora Medical Park's newest tenant is bringing new services - but not a new attitude - to a growing community of independent physicians on the south end of Grand Forks.

The Aurora Medical Park's newest tenant is bringing new services - but not a new attitude - to a growing community of independent physicians on the south end of Grand Forks.

Aurora Imaging, a branch of Fargo-based Imaging Solutions Inc., gradually began serving patients in April. The facility offers diagnostic imaging services, including MRI technology, CT scanning, radiography, mammography, nuclear medicine and ultrasound - all with an emphasis on atmosphere.

Patrick Krueger, vice president for clinical services at Imaging Solutions, said Aurora Imaging offers patients a laid-back atmosphere, which is similar to what patients will find throughout the Aurora Medical Park.

For example, individuals can bring in their own CDs to listen to while they are undergoing an imaging procedure, and the rooms that house imaging equipment are decorated with inviting artwork and colors.

"I think that's what really wins over the patient," he said.

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Beyond the atmosphere, Aurora Imaging provides up-to-date digital technology. Krueger said patients can take their images home on either a DVD or a CD equipped with a browser that will allow them to view the images on their home computer.

He added physicians can log into Aurora Imaging's computer system and view their patient's images online from a remote location shortly after an imaging procedure is completed.

Krueger said Aurora Imaging works with any doctor or patient, but focuses primarily on independent physicians and rural health-care providers. "The rural areas, that's who is struggling from the imaging standpoint," Krueger said.

According to Imaging Solutions regional manager Cathy Krueger, the facility began operations in April. Aurora Imaging started offering mammogram and MRI services about a month later.

In mid-June, the facility installed and began operating its CT scanning equipment.

Other Aurora news

After sparking intense debate with a proposal to build a privately owned hospital in Grand Forks earlier this year, the physicians practicing at the Aurora Medical Park have quietly gone back to business as usual.

Dr. Tom Peterson, the driving force behind the development of the Aurora campus and the Richard P. Stadter Psychiatric Center, said many of the clinics are focused on expanding workspace and adding to their staff. "The biggest thing is people have been focused on having people join their existing clinics," he said.

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Plans for an outpatient surgery center at Aurora are nearly completed as well, Peterson said. Construction on the facility should begin soon and is tentatively scheduled for completion in January.

Peterson said Aurora's hospital bid is still back at the drawing board after the City Council voted down Aurora's request for a five-year property tax exemption on the new building.

Edison reports on business. Reach him at (701) 780-1107, (800) 477-6572, ext. 107; or jedison@gfherald.com .

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