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SMC buys Magnetic Imaging Center for $825,000

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Samaritan Medical Center has purchased the Magnetic Imaging Center building, 629 Washington St., for $825,000 to accommodate the revival of its neurosurgery practice.

Hospital spokeswoman Krista A. Kittle said the purchase, which was recorded Dec. 27 in the Jefferson County clerk’s office, is a wise investment considering the property will house the neurosurgery practice and be a source of income for Samaritan.

Magnetic Imaging Center “will be leasing space from us, and upstairs will be dedicated to our neurosurgeons,” Ms. Kittle said. “We felt it was a wise decision not to lease space.”

The 7,000-square-foot building is at Washington Street and Flower Avenue East, and was purchased from Washington Realty, Watertown. It is about one block from the main hospital, 830 Washington St.

“The proximity to the hospital was attractive to physicians,” Ms. Kittle said. “It’s important for those surgeons to be close to the hospital for surgery or emergency cases that come in.”

She said she did not have lease agreement details to know how much the Magnetic Imaging Center would pay Samaritan to lease the first floor, where its current operations are.

The second floor previously was occupied by the practice of neurosurgeons Dr. John Krawchenko and Dr. Michael P. Owen. Since the practice closed more than a year ago, the hospital has searched for ways to fill the void it left behind. In November, the hospital contracted with five neurosurgeons from a practice associated with Upstate Medical University, Syracuse. Drs. David A. Carter, Lawrence S. Chin, Walter A. Hall, Fassil B. Mesfin and Craig T. Montgomery will fill in holes in the on-call rotations when the hospital hires permanent neurosurgeons.

Samaritan has identified two permanent neurosurgeon candidates and is in discussions with both to bring them here. The two full-timers will be based in Watertown, but also will be employed by the same practice as the five other contracted neurosurgeons.

Ms. Kittle said the first permanent recruit is expected to arrive here in April.

Since the building is in great condition, she said, only minor work such as painting needs to be done before the new practice opens.

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