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First PET-CT scanner in York Region opens at Southlake

Monday September 18, 2023

 New advanced equipment will improve cancer care by serving 1,200 patients annually

Southlake Regional Health Centre is proud to unveil a new PET-CT Simulator scanner at the Stronach Regional Cancer Centre, which will begin serving patients later this month after five years of planning and construction. The new Positron Emission Tomography – Computed Tomography (PET-CT) machine uses nuclear medicine to detect change within cells at a metabolic level, allowing for earlier cancer diagnosis. With this revolutionary technology and detailed insight, Southlake will be able to deliver tailor-made cancer treatments to patients.

“We are thrilled to be opening the new PET-CT scanner to improve cancer care in the communities we serve,” says Arden Krystal, President and CEO of Southlake. “Thanks to the investment from the Ontario government and the generosity of our donors, patients will no longer need to travel downtown for this service, and we can diagnose patients more quickly right here in York Region.”

Earlier today, Southlake representatives, local dignitaries, and donors celebrated the momentous occasion made possible thanks to an investment of more than $2.8 million dollars from the provincial government and more than $12 million in fundraising for the campaign that includes support for the PET-CT.

In 2021, Southlake Foundation launched the $20M HERE is Where Cancer Meets its Match campaign to keep pace with technological advances and grow the Stronach Regional Cancer Centre’s capacity to address the increased demand for cancer care caused by a rapidly expanding and aging population. A generous outpouring of community support means that Southlake has raised over $12 million of the $20 million campaign goal, enabling the hospital to bring the first ever PET-CT scanner to York Region, as well as other site and technology improvements to increase capacity and improve the patient experience.

“Our donor community shared our vision over a decade ago to build the Stronach Regional Cancer Centre and bring leading edge cancer treatment to York Region and South Simcoe. We are honoured that our supporters, including long-time benefactor to Southlake, Mr. Frank Stronach, continue to champion us through the HERE Is Where Cancer Meets Its Match campaign,” shared Jennifer Ritter, President and CEO, Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation. “The opening of the PET-CT is an amazing milestone and an extraordinary example of what we can achieve through philanthropy. A special thank you to our early investors including Magna International. We hope this significant achievement inspires our community to help us get over the finish line of our campaign goal. Cancer always hits close to home, and we believe care should, too.”

“We have to be constantly searching to make things better. I want to see this hospital be a leader in global healthcare,” said Mr. Frank Stronach, Founder of Magna International, from his remarks at the unveiling event.

The PET-CT scanner is an advanced piece of equipment that serves two purposes. The PET identifies active cells in the body, which allows for early detection of cancer diagnosis and can determine whether cancer treatments have worked, or if cancer has spread. The CT scanner serves as a CT simulator used for treatment planning of radiotherapy for patients. Having this technology at Southlake also opens new opportunities for patients to participate in clinical trials of novel therapeutics involving the use of PET scanning as part of the treatment strategy.

Left to right: Nathan Robinson, Southlake’s Director of Capital Development; Lorrie Reynolds, Director, Central Regional Cancer Programs at Southlake; Hon. Stephen Lecce, MPP, King-Vaughan; Arden Krystal, President and CEO, Southlake; Frank Stronach, Founder of Magna International; Dawn Gallagher-Murphy, MPP, Newmarket-Aurora; Jennifer Ritter, President and CEO, Southlake Foundation; Dr. Peter Anglin, Physician Lead, Stronach Regional Cancer Centre.