EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — As technology advances, the field of radiology has grown. Atlantic Medical Imaging is following suit, breaking ground on its newest office Tuesday, a $5.5 million flagship facility on the site of a former pediatrician’s office.
“We’re continuing to try to expand,” Dr. David Levi said. “It’s good for us, good for our patients and good for the community.”
Levi, AMI president and CEO, said advancements in technology have made it easier for doctors to see what’s going on inside with non- or minimally invasive procedures, leading to faster diagnoses.
The 15,000-square-foot facility at Black Horse Pike and Spruce Avenue will replace the company’s smaller Hingston Avenue location and provide a better experience for patients.
“We’ve been around for 53 years now, and we’ve always believed we need to push the envelope on what we’re bringing to the community in medical care,” Levi said.
While older facilities don’t optimize patient care, the new office will move patients along to their exams in a quick and comforting fashion, he said.
Levi said AMI has six offices in Atlantic County with 425 employees. It has 11 offices in the state.
The site also will be home to a 6,000-square-foot office. The township Planning Board approved both buildings in February.
The new AMI location will be a full-service imaging center with CT, MRI, X-ray and ultrasound. A Women’s Imaging Center will include 3-D mammography, DEXA, ultrasound and minimally invasive breast biopsies.
Levi said the 3-D mammography is basically the same procedure as the 2-D mammography, but the results are more precise.
He said AMI has been a pioneer in radiology and trains radiologists from around the world in a heart imaging test called Coronary CTA.
“Our size enables us to have radiologists specialized in so many different areas,” Levi said.
He said the most prevalent cancer detected at AMI is breast cancer, but Atlantic County has a high prevalence of lung cancer, as well. AMI was one of the first offices in the nation to offer outpatient screening via low-dose CT scan for lung cancer, Levi said.
“The problem with lung cancer is, you often catch it when it’s too late,” he said. “What we can do is, if they’re a high-risk smoker, we can bring them in, get them a CT scan before it’s too large to remove.”
The site, formerly the home of Kids Care Pediatrics, was cleared earlier this month. AMI bought it from Dr. Barry Kessler in April for $750,000.
“It’s not lost on me that we will be located on his former site,” Levi said. “It makes this site and today even more special.”
Kessler treated children at his office for more than 30 years. Kids Care was purchased by Reliance Medical Group, of Pleasantville, in 2012. Kessler left the practice in August when he joined Dr. Dana Sless part time at Brighton Pediatrics in Atlantic City.
Kessler’s former wife, Marilyn, was at the groundbreaking Tuesday morning to mark the occasion.
“We’ve always loved this corner, so we’re thrilled to know a facility like AMI can be here,” she said.
Based in Galloway Township, AMI has 11 offices over four counties.
Mayor James “Sonny” McCullough congratulated AMI on its new location, which he said would be AMI’s largest.
McCullough said the office is one of many new developments on the pike this year, including a Walmart at Fire Road, a Mercedes dealership at Riddle Avenue, redevelopment of the motels in West Atlantic City and the expansion of the ShopRite at English Creek. He said in the wake of casino closings in Atlantic City, the township is doing its part to develop the county.
“We feel like we’re making that commitment to Atlantic County,” he said.