Trips to Augusta for medical imaging services might not be required soon for many Columbia County residents.
University Health Resources Inc. and Brown Radiology Associates hope to join up in operating an imaging lab in Evans, the first of its kind in Columbia County, officials say.
Services offered at the Evans Imaging LLC might include MRI, CT scans, radiography and mammography, said David Henderson, a senior consultant for University Health Services Inc.
Henderson called the lab a "big benefit" for the 70 physicians operating out of the University Professional Center 3 at 465 Belair Road, which is the same campus where the imaging lab might be constructed.
"All those physicians, if they need any of those imaging modalities, have to refer their patients anywhere from five to 15 miles away," he said.
"If this gets approved, they would have those services right next door to their facility."
In November, the Georgia Department of Community Health granted University Health Services Inc., the parent company of University Health Resources Inc., permission to build a $1.8 million medical office building.
Now, the two entities that are hoping to operate the business are awaiting approval from the same health agency to open the business.
"It's a much more rigorous application process than having a building approved," Henderson said.
Approval from the state health agency might take until March, he said.
Henderson provided no specific date on when the lab might open.
The consultant believes the community support for the imaging lab, which includes many letters of recommendation from medical and government officials, will convince the health agency.
"It certainly merits approval," he said. "It's something the community is behind."
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