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Published on August 11, 2021

New MRI Scanner Brings Better, Faster Images to Rockingham County 

A state-of-the-art MRI scanner offers faster, better-quality scans at Annie Penn Hospital. 


Reidsville– An innovative new addition to Annie Penn Hospital is making it easier for people in Rockingham County to get an MRI. 

Annie Penn recently upgraded its MRI suite to include a top-of-the-line scanner that offers expanded services to people in the Reidsville area. The brand-new Siemens Sola combines a powerful magnet with the latest software to provide quieter, faster and better-quality MRI scans. Most importantly, the machine will help patients find the care they need without leaving the county. 

“Keeping the care very close to home, that’s what Cone Health wants to do in every community we serve,” said Michael Gilliam, director of radiology at Annie Penn. 

An MRI uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs inside the body. The tests help doctors detect, diagnose or treat a medical condition. 

Gilliam oversees the renovated MRI suite at Annie Penn that places patient safety and comfort at the center of the experience. The suite has been redesigned to include additional safety zones that protect patients throughout their scans. The scanner itself features a wider opening that gives patients more space as they undergo MRIs in a room with peaceful lighting, a mural and calming music to make the experience as pleasant as possible.  

Equipped with the latest software, the new MRI scanner produces better images and has the capability to offer MRI services not available with Annie Penn’s previous scanner, including the ability to better image abdominal blood vessels. The new machine will also allow staff to safely scan patients who previously could not be scanned because of certain implanted medical devices. 

“We can accommodate people locally who might have had to drive a couple of hours away in the past,” said Sharon Dorminey, MRI technologist and registered magnetic resonance safety officer at Annie Penn. “This new unit makes care a lot more accessible.” 

The Sola can complete a scan in nearly half the time of the previous MRI scanner at Annie Penn while improving the quality of the scan. With speed, accuracy and comfort, this new MRI suite gives patients more access to the exceptional care they deserve. 

“If we can relax you, not only can you tolerate the test better, but we get much better results,” Gilliam said. “So, you’ll get out of it better, it’ll be less stressful on you as a patient, and we get better images for the doctor, so you get a better report.”