Services available are:

  • All Radiology procedures (Spine, Head, Chest, Abdomen, Pelvis, Joints, Extremity’s etc.)
  • Digital Mammography with a private waiting room and mammography-certified women technologists
  • Low-dose 64-slice CAT Scanner (Head, neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis extremity, spine, sinuses and vascular studies). This state of the art scanner can reconstruct images in any plane including 3D.
  • Ultrasound (Head, neck, abdomen, pelvis, OB/GYN, extremity, joints, small parts, echocardiogram, stress echo, and vascular exams-arterial and venous)
  • MRI/MRA (abdomen, chest, brain, spine, pelvis and extremity). MRA stands for Magnetic Resonance Angiography. It specializes in looking at the vascular structures within the body.
  • Stress Echocardiogram (To determine if coronary artery disease is present and if further studies and/or treatment are required; evaluate progress following a major cardiac event such as heart attack and heart surgery; investigate the effort of exercise on heart valve function. Visit Cardio Smart for a short video on the procedure.
  • Nuclear Medicine – mobile unit visits NVH weekly.  For more information: Nuclear Medicine at NVH
  • DexaScan – Wed, Thurs, Friday in the hosptial imaging department.  Dexa Information Card


What is Osteoporosis

What is Osteoporosis?

  • Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones. It happens when you lose too much bone, make too little bone or both. As a result, your bones become weak and may break from a minor fall or, in serious cases, even from simple actions, like sneezing or bumping into furniture.
  • Osteoporosis means “porous bone.” If you look at healthy bone under a microscope, you will see that parts of it look like a honeycomb. If you have osteoporosis, the holes and spaces in the honeycomb are much bigger than they are in healthy bone. This means your bones have lost density or mass and that the structure of your bone tissue has become abnormal. As your bones become less dense, they also become weaker and more likely to break. If you’re age 50 or older and have broken a bone, talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider and ask if you should have a bone density test.

Osteoporosis is Common

  • About 54 million Americans have osteoporosis and low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis. Studies suggest that approximately one in two women and up to one in four men age 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is Serious

  • Breaking a bone is a serious complication of osteoporosis, especially when you’re older. Broken bones due to osteoporosis are most likely to occur in the hip, spine and wrist, but other bones can break too. Broken bones can cause severe pain that may not go away. Osteoporosis also causes some people to lose height. When osteoporosis causes the bones of the spine, called vertebrae, to break or collapse, it affects your posture and causes you to become stooped or hunched.
  • Osteoporosis may even keep you from getting around easily and doing the things you enjoy, which may bring feelings of isolation or depression. It can also lead to other health problems. Twenty percent of seniors who break a hip die within one year from problems related to the broken bone itself or surgery to repair it. Many of those who survive need long-term nursing home care.

 Osteoporosis is Costly

  • Osteoporosis is responsible for two million broken bones and $19 billion in related costs every year. By 2025, experts predict that osteoporosis will be responsible for approximately three million fractures and $25.3 billion in costs each year.

Osteoporosis can Sneak up on You

  • Osteoporosis is often called a silent disease because you can’t feel your bones getting weaker. Breaking a bone is often the first sign that you have osteoporosis or you may notice that you are getting shorter or your upper back is curving forward. If you are experiencing height loss or your spine is curving, be sure to talk to your doctor or another healthcare professional right away as the disease may be already be advanced.

Source: National Osteoporosis Foundation

DexaScan Technology and Exams Offered at NVH

NVH DexaScan Technology – Prodigy for Bone Health, by GE

The technology we use delivers dependable dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) assessment, with exceptional precision and low-dose radiation. Prodigy also provides precise data on soft tissue and bone composition, including bone-mineral density (BMD), lean- and fat-tissue mass, and percentage of fat.  At the same time, Prodigy streamlines our patient care and practice workflow.

For more information see: GE Healthcare – Bone Health

Exams Offered Currently at NVH

Central DXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry)

    • NOF (National Osteoporosis Foundation) recommends a bone density test of the hip and spine, or in some cases the forearm, using a central DXA machine to diagnose osteoporosis. These locations are preferred for several reasons. First, people with osteoporosis have a greater chance of fracturing these bones. Second, broken bones in the hip and spine can cause more serious problems, including longer recovery time, greater pain and even disability. Bone density in the hip and spine can also predict the likelihood of future breaks in other bones.
    • With most types of bone density tests, a person remains fully dressed. The test usually takes less than 15 minutes. Bone density tests are non-invasive and painless. This means that no needles or instruments are placed through the skin or body. A central DXA uses very little radiation. You are actually exposed to 10–15 times more radiation when you fly roundtrip between New York and San Francisco.
    • When repeating a bone density test, it is best to use the same testing equipment and have the test done at the same place each time. This provides a more accurate comparison with the patient’s last test result.
    • Standard x-rays cannot be used in place of bone density tests. Unlike bone density tests, X-rays are not able to show osteoporosis until the disease is well advanced.

Source: National Osteoporosis Foundation


Vertebral Fracture Assessment (VFA)

    • Duel-energy Vertebral Fracture Assessment (VFA) software helps detect vertebral fractures, which can be difficult to diagnose. In fact, studies show up to half of all vertebral fractures are not diagnosed. Yet it is important to do so.  An existing vertebral fracture increases the risk for subsequent vertebral fractures three to 10 times, regardless of bone mineral density (BMD). Moreover, patients with an existing fracture and low BMD are 25 times more likely to fracture than those with normal BMD and no fracture.VFA enables detection of vertebral fractures, which helps to provide effective care — before more severe complications occur.
      For more information see: GE Healthcare


Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX) Software

    • FRAX software application helps to identify which of our patients are more likely to suffer a hip fracture or a major osteoporotic fracture of the clinical spine, forearm, hip, or shoulder within the next 10 years. Using an algorithm developed by the World Health Organization, it automatically incorporates the results from a femoral bone mineral density (BMD) test, while also considering risk factors. The FRAX model also helps to identify the subset of patients in the low bone mass category that would likely benefit most from treatment.
    • Compared to BMD T-scores alone, the use of 10-year fracture-probability assessments may provide a better basis for shared decision-making between patient and physician.

For more information see: GE Healthcare Bone Health


Body Composition Screening and Analysis

    • DXA directly measures how much lean mass, body fat, and bone mass makes up the body. Recognized as the gold standard and leading reference method for body composition analysis, the test is quick (about six minutes), accurate, and easy. The report outlines the exact percentage of lean mass, fat mass, and bone mass in arms, legs, trunk, stomach (visceral fat), and gynoid region (hips/thighs/butt). Information on muscle symmetry and imbalances, as well as health risks correlated with body fat distribution is also available.
      For more information see: Dexafit – How it Works


Orthopedic Prosthetic Assessment

    • Our orthopedic DXA software can provides accurate measurement of the total and regional periprosthetic bone mineral density after a total hip arthroplasty. This method has been shown to be useful in evaluation of the redistribution of mechanical forces around the hip joint following implantation of a prosthesis, and in assessment of how the proximal femur remodels around the implant.
      Source: Nordic Orthopedic Federation



Imaging at Outreach Clinics:

North Country Medical Clinic in Eureka:

  • Digital X-Ray
  • Mobile Ultrasound operated by a North Valley Hospital sonographer on Mondays and Thursdays.

North Valley Professional Center in Columbia Falls:

  • General radiology services for extremities, chest, abdomen and spine.
  • Regardless of where your doctor or health care provider is located, you can have your X-ray performed at this location.
  • The hours are 8:30 am to 5 pm (closed from 12-1 pm) Monday through Friday.
  • Ultrasound available on Tuesdays.

Glacier Maternity in Kalispell:

  • Ultrasound available on Wednesdays



Patient Preparations:

Patient Preparations for CT Scans

For all exams, please check in at the north or south hospital Admitting desk 10-15 minutes prior to your exam.

Upper Abdomen, Complete Abdomen (Abdomen and Pelvis)

You will be given a a Barium Mixture so that the Radiologists can evaluate your digestive system more accurately. It is called Readi-Cat 2. For an exam of your upper abdomen you will be given one bottle of Readi-Cat 2. Shake READI-CAT 2 well before drinking.. Drink 10 oz. (two-thirds) of a bottle of READI-CAT one hour prior to exam. Bring remaining READI-CAT with you to your exam. For an exam of your Abdomen and Pelvis you will be given 2 bottles. Drink the first bottle 2 hours before your exam and 10 oz. (two-thirds) of a bottle one hour before your exam and bring the remainder with you.


No preparation is needed.

Patient Preparations for Radiology

For all exams, please check in at the north or south hospital Admitting desk 10-15 minutes prior to your exam.


Upper GI or Small Bowel Follow-Through

Nothing to eat or drink after midnight.


Barium Enema

Eat according to the following schedule the day before your exam. You may take your regular medications with water. ***NOTE: The amount of fluid taken is very important to this exam. Drink at least 8 oz. of clear liquids every hour.


12:00 noon (lunch)-

Broth, strained fruit juice, jello, coffee or tea – NO MILK or CREAM


1:00 pm-

1 bottle Magnesium Citrate 8 oz. clear liquids per hour until bedtime


3:30 pm-

3 Dulcolax tablets with full glass of water


5:00 pm-

Clear liquids for supper


12:00 midnight-

Nothing to eat or drink (NPO) after midnight

Patient Preparations for Ultrasound

For all exams, please check in at the north or south hospital Admitting desk 10-15 minutes prior to your exam.


Upper Abdomen

No food or drink after midnight. This can be one of several specific exams such as spleen, kidney, liver, gallbladder or pancreas. These exams will be scheduled in the morning.


Pelvic and OB

Drink 1 quart (32 oz.) of water 1 hour prior to exam and “hold it”. You need a full bladder for this exam.


Renal (Kidney)

If this is the only exam you are having, no food or drink after midnight and drink one 8 oz. glass of water 45 minutes prior to exam.


Renal Artery

You may drink clear liquids, but no food, after midnight.



If this is the only exam you are having, no food or drink after midnight.