14th Field Hospital helps improve healthcare focus with new CT scanner
Winn Army Community Hospital and the 14th Field Hospital, supporting Soldiers and Family members in the Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield community, are partnering to provide radiological healthcare services as the hospital upgrades their Computed Tomography Scanner, beginning around Oct. 20. (Photo Credit: Gustave Rehnstrom) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT STEWART, Ga. — Winn Army Community Hospital and the 14th Field Hospital are partnering to provide radiological healthcare services to Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield area Soldiers and family members as the hospital upgrades their Computed Tomography Scanner, beginning around Oct. 20.

Winn ACH Chief of Radiology, Maj. Salvatore L. Versaggi said the 14th Field Hospital commander, Lt. Col. Edgardo Ramirez and his team have really come through for the Fort Stewart community as they provided their prototype iso-shelter CT scanner for use while Winn ACH upgrades their older model.

He noted the 14th Field Hospital’s prototype iso-shelter CT scanner, valued around $2 million dollars, is a significant upgrade to the existing scanner and is comparable to CT scanner destined to be installed at Winn beginning the next year.

“The scanner is top of the line medical instrument capable of performing all the studies we currently perform at Winn, but -- faster, more accurately, and with less radiation,” Dr. Versaggi said. He noted this family of CT scanner is already in use across multiple trauma hospitals throughout the country; adding that the new Winn CT scanner is very similar to 14th Field Hospital one, albeit the new Winn scanner will be larger with a more robust and advanced software package. The 14th FH Scanner is set to become operational around Oct. 20, with the new Winn CT scanner scheduled for service early December of this year.

CT scanners are a necessity for any radiology department and are used in diagnosing, treating, and occasional intervening in patients experiencing emergent as well as non-emergent medical adversity.

“Additionally, we use CT for surveillance imaging regarding chronic medical conditions ranging from cancer, coronary artery disease, pulmonary hypertension, inflammatory bowel disease, and host of metabolic and congenital etiologies,” Versaggi said. “CT Scanners are very similar to X-ray in that ionizing radiation is utilized to create the image.”

He explained the system generates images by slamming electrons into tungsten at a very high velocity, creating x-rays that either penetrate or are absorbed by the patient. The combination provides signals that ultimately produces medical images. The images are subsequently interpreted by the Radiologist, who has special training and certifications related to medical imaging.

The use of the 14th Field Hospital CT scanner and ultimately the installation of the new Winn CT scanner will improve access to care in the Low Country Market. The increased capabilities generate an increase in the number/variety of studies that can be performed locally; which many include vascular and cardiac imaging.

“For our patients, this translates to decrease wait times, less referrals to civilian networks, and assurance that Winn Radiology is providing the most up-to-date imaging available on the market,” Versaggi said.

Additionally, the Winn and 14th Field Hospital partnership is an excellent example of how technology advances can push healthcare services forward, and produce valuable educational healthcare experiences as the military radiology technicians assigned to 14th Field Hospital will work side-by-side with Winn Radiology CT technologist who have 20 plus years of experience.

He credits the opportunity through partnership with the 14th Field Hospital team members, and extraordinary effort of individuals like the 14th Field Hospital--Executive Officer Maj. Angel Soto, Headquarter Company Commander, Capt. Shai Zilka, Radiology Noncommission Officer in Charge Staff Sgt. Christian Reiter; as well as Winn Radiology— NCOIC Sgt. 1st Class Tommy Linville, Radiologist Maj. Joseph Salama, and IT specialist, such as Systems Administrator Chris Oden, Engineer Thomas Flaherty, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Don Divinity, Maj. Wayne Hammond and Master Sgt. Nicholas Canale.