Make a video -- win an MRI system

  • Article by: RANDY A. SALAS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 27, 2007 - 8:08 AM

Seven Minnesota hospitals are among 100 vying for the prize from a Pennsylvania company in an online contest.

The MRI results have come back on YouTube, and everything looks fine.

The ubiquitous video-sharing website has inspired an unusual online contest in which a U.S. community hospital will win a magnetic resonance imaging system. All the winning hospital needs to do is receive the most votes for a self-produced video that makes the case for why it should get the MRI system.

So far, seven community hospitals in Minnesota are among nearly 100 hospitals nationwide vying for the $800,000 prize from Pennsylvania-based Siemens Medical Solutions. Throw in some extras and factor in the $25,000 to $50,000 a month that some small hospitals pay to borrow a mobile MRI system, and the prize is easily worth more than $1 million, said James Egert, director of medical imaging at Glencoe Regional Health Services in Glencoe, Minn.

"Our goal is to be in the top five," said Egert, whose community is about 60 miles west of the Twin Cities.

Right now, Glencoe -- whose lighthearted clip, "Life's Disappointments," shows an old farmer walking all the way to the hospital to get an MRI scan, only to find out that the facility can't afford the service -- is just shy of the top 10.

The highest-ranked Minnesota hospital so far is Bloomenson Community Hospital in Ely, whose episode of "Extreme Hospital Makeover" is ranked No. 5. Murray County Memorial Hospital in Slayton is at No. 10 with its takeoff on MTV's "Cribs."

The other Minnesota entrants are "Help Us Grow" from Sanford Canby Campus in Canby, "The Electric Turkey" from Swift County-Benson Hospital in Benson, a self-titled clip from St. Peter Community Hospital in St. Peter, and "Unlocking Secrets" from Riverwood Healthcare Center in Aitkin.

There could be more Minnesota entries. Small hospitals have until Friday to submit a video.

Anyone can view the videos and vote by going to www.winanmri.com. The last day to vote -- one per computer per day -- is Dec. 31.

Randy A. Salas • 612-673-4542

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