FRANKFORT — A new MRI machine and an expanded schedule will help unify radiology procedures at Munson Healthcare facilities like Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital in Frankfort.

A new Siemens Aera model MRI machine will allow Paul Oliver to offer appointments on Monday and the third Friday of every month in Frankfort, said Stephanie Williams, fitness center and community outreach manager at Paul Oliver.

“It’s the most recent technology available,” Williams said. “The mobile unit serves a number of communities across northern Michigan.”

The new MRI machine is at Kalkaska Memorial Health Center on Tuesday, Wednesday and two Saturdays a month. The machine is at Munson Healthcare Charlevoix Hospital on Thursdays and Sundays.

Dan Fly, director of radiology for Munson Healthcare, said in a release that the Siemens Aera machine will help insure a continuum of care.

Fly said the upgrade will ensure that “all of our Munson Healthcare sites are using the same technology allowing for standardization of protocol, image quality and the types of studies performed.”

According to Medical News Today, MRI scans are a common procedure and are used to create detailed images of organs and tissues.

Paul Oliver previously was using a 2007 Standard Bore Unit. The Siemens Aera model has less of a closed-in feel, which Williams said will increase the comfort-level of the patients, particularly those who struggle with claustrophobia.

The old mobile MRI machine was available for Monday appointments at Paul Oliver. Williams said appointments on the third Friday of every month will allow “for added convenience.”

Williams added that additional day should assist patients who live close to the Frankfort facility who otherwise would travel to Traverse City for the procedure.

“It does help reduce some of those trips,” Williams said.