GULF COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Ascension Sacred Heart Gulf is bringing new technology into their hospital.

This new equipment upgrade will improve how they diagnose their patients.

Ascension Sacred Heart Gulf welcomed a state-of-the-art $1.2 million Computed Tomography (CT) scanner at their hospital.

“We are very excited because this will expand our capabilities and ability to serve the patients here in our community and in the surrounding area and keep the patients close to home which has been part of our mission,” Ascension Sacred Heart Gulf Vice President of Nursing Kelly Beach said.

The new CT scanner can be used for head and neck, heart and cardiac, pediatric, pelvic imaging, and more.

Beach said the new 128-slice CT scanner will be replacing the 16-slice CT scanner they’ve had since they opened in 2010.

An upgrade she says the hospital has needed for a while.

“In 2021 we had several episodes where our CT scanner machine was down creating times where we had to go on diversion and patients had to seek care elsewhere and the machine really started to show its age,” Beach said.

She said this will broaden their capabilities of testing.

Instead of 1-2 minutes for a scan, they will be able to do imaging in 3-5 seconds, depending on the study the patient is having.

She hopes this will allow Port St. Joe residents to use their services without having to travel to Panama City or Tallahassee for care.

“This is a great tool and ability for this Ascension Sacred Heart Gulf community to have locally and we are here and happy to serve our patients in any way they need,” Beach said.

Beach said their foundation fully funded the CT scanner.

On Wednesday, they passed their inspections and they plan to start using the new CT scanner on Friday.