Completion of a six-month, $3 million emergency-department expansion project will be celebrated at Pioneer Valley Hospital, 3460 S. Pioneer Parkway (4155 West), Saturday, Jan., 19, at a public open house, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Children, as well as adults, are invited. Representatives from the West Valley Police Department will be on hand to provide parents free copies of their children's fingerprints. Parents will also be able to pre-authorize treatement for their children so that in the event a child needs medical care in the parent's absence, the child can be treated.Dr. Terri Aagaard, an emergency physician, will discuss "Emergency Medical Treatment for Children" at noon.

The latest in helicopter and ambulance equipment will be on display. Emergency preparedness experts from West Valley City Emergency Services will show visitors what they should have on hand in case of a disaster.

Pioneer Valley Hospital's emergency room is the second busiest in Utah. Only Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo treats more emergency patients annually, according to the Utah Department of Health Division of Facilities Licensure.

Waiting and reception areas have been expanded, and a new entrance has been built on the north side of the hospital. In addition, four new types of diagnostic equipment - cardiac catheterization, Doppler ultrasound, nuclear medicine and mobile magnetic-resonance imaging have been added. Equipment will be on display throughout the day.

Patients in western Salt Lake Valley no longer need to be sent across town for comprehensive medical testing due to the addition of this diagnostic equipment.

"When patients in the West Valley area have signs and symptoms of heart disease, for instance, they want to undergo tests close to home," said Karen Handsaker, director of cardiac services. "If this is their hospital of choice, they'll no longer have to be transferred somewhere else for tests."

Hospital officials expect to perform 28 cardiac catheterization procedures (angiograms) per month beginning in February.

In an effort to stem the rising cost of health care while providing the wide range of testing procedures patients and doctors require, Pioneer Valley Hospital is sharing a mobile magnetic resonance imaging unit with four other Utah hospitals.

"It's a way of introducing a sophisticated piece of equipment into a hospital and making it affordable," Dr. Martin I. Gelman, chairman of the department of radiology said.

While the tests are complex, all of the new disagnostic procedures the hospital is offering are provided on an outpatient or short-stay basis. That saves patients time and money.

Nuclear medicine is a diagnostic technique that can be used to record bodily functions - not just the anatomy.

After a low-dose radioactive substance is injected, a scanner is used to detect how a particular tissue or organ is functioning. Using a scanner called Single Photon Emission Computierized Tomography (SPECT), cross-sectional pictures of tumors, inflammed for arthritic tissue, or blood clots can be identified.

New Doppler ultrasound techniques use the echoes from high-frequency sound waves to look at moving objects inside the body.

"Sometimes a doctor may think that a patient has had a stroke and orders a brain scan. The problem may be due to abnormal narrowing of arterial blood, which the Ultrasound would pickup while a CT scan may not. The condition could be surgically preventable and prevent a stroke later on . . .," Dr. Gelman added.