Friday, March 01, 2013
Alexian Brothers Neurosciences Institute Celebrates 'Decade of the Brain'
ALEXIAN BROTHERS NEUROSCIENCES INSTITUTE CELEBRATES `DECADE OF THE BRAIN’
(Arlington Heights, IL) - The Alexian Brothers Neurosciences Institute celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, having established itself as a leading example of the positive impact that can occur when community healthcare needs are met with a strong commitment to high-quality advanced care and collaboration.
Our growth over the last 10 years has been incredible,” says Wende Fedder, Administrative Director of the Institute. “For us, it has been the decade of the brain. There was something more our patients needed, and we wanted to provide that high-quality service without them having to leave the community. We have been pretty successful in doing that.”
Since Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago, presided over the blessing and dedication of the Institute on June 15, 2003, it has become a nationally respected provider of neurology, neurosurgery, interventional neuroradiology and neuropsychology services. The Alexian Brothers Neurosciences Institute has attracted some of the nation’s leading specialists in diagnosing and treating stroke, epilepsy, brain tumors, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, and memory disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
In January, The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) awarded Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification to Alexian Brothers Medical Center (ABMC) in Elk Grove Village, Ill., making it the first hospital in the Chicago area and one of the first 20 hospitals in the nation to earn the designation. The Institute plans to hold a staff appreciation event on Tuesday, March 26, at ABMC to celebrate the designation of the hospital as a Comprehensive Stroke Center.
Past and current ABHS physicians recently gathered to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Alexian Brothers Neurosciences Institute. Pictured (left to right) are Dr. Tim Malisch, neurointerventional radiologist; Tracy Rogers, ABHS Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; Dr. Phil Gorelick, neurologist; Dr. Merrell Reiss, neurologist; Dr. Sanford Sherman, neurologist.
For the last four years, Alexian Brothers Health System (ABHS) has earned the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award, the most prestigious quality award for stroke treatment presented by the AHA/ASA. ABMC also has received the AHA/ASA Target Stroke Award. These achievements reflect the expertise of physicians and staff in the Institute’s neurosurgery, interventional neuroradiology and rehabilitation programs, as well as its commitment to sustaining quality improvements and to collaborating with AHA/ASA to adopt best practices, Fedder says. The Institute also has teamed with AHA/ASA to support the growth of Stroke Survivors Empowering Each Other, an advocacy group for stroke survivors and their caregivers, and with Retreat and Refresh Stroke Camp to support stroke survivors and their caregivers through a series of camps that offer fellowship, educational opportunities and activities.
Other accolades earned by the Institute include the National Association of Epilepsy Centers’ designation of ABHS as a Level 3 Epilepsy Center, which recognizes its comprehensive team approach to the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy. The ABHS epilepsy team, built in collaboration with Rush University Medical Center, includes epileptologists, neuropsychologists and neurosurgeons for adults and children. ABHS also operates an epilepsy monitoring unit at St. Alexius that features state-of-the-art technology for diagnosing epilepsy.
The Institute offers a comprehensive continuum of inpatient and outpatient services in collaboration with ABMC, St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates, Ill., Alexian Rehabilitation Hospital in Elk Grove Village and Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital in Hoffman Estates. In 2012, the Institute treated more than 2,200 inpatients and more than 6,200 outpatients, compared with 1,900 inpatients and 4,700 outpatients in 2007, Fedder says. The Institute will have a significant presence at the new Alexian Brothers Women & Children’s Hospital (ABWCH), scheduled to open April 6 on the St. Alexius campus in Hoffman Estates. The hospital will feature the Center for Pediatric Brain, which will bring together the Institute’s existing pediatric neurological programs in a convenient outpatient setting on the first floor. The Center is scheduled to open April 8 at ABWCH.
Two years ago, the Institute’s pediatric neuropsychologists and pediatric neurologists collaborated to establish a comprehensive concussion clinic for young athletes, one of the first of its kind in the Chicago area. The clinic partners with area high schools to increase awareness of concussions and to educate athletes, coaches and parents about diagnostic and treatment services. For patients’ convenience, the Institute plans to move the clinic – now divided between ABMC and pediatric neurologists’ offices – to one location at the Center for Pediatric Brain.
Since 2005, the Institute has operated the Illinois Gamma Knife Center at ABMC, where patients can undergo non-invasive brain surgery for treatment of cancerous and benign tumors, vascular malformations and functional disorders such as trigeminal neuralgia. Gamma Knife technology enables doctors to focus radiation directly and precisely on targets in the brain without affecting healthy surrounding tissue. In 2013, the Institute plans to install the latest version of the technology, which will expand treatment capabilities while reducing treatment times, Fedder says. The Institute’s growth also has included the development of the Illinois Magnetoencephalography (MEG) Center at ABMC into a regional provider of non-invasive, pre-surgical mapping of brain activity.
Major academic medical centers, as well as the Mayo Clinic in Florida, refer patients facing epilepsy surgery to the center. Its MEG system, which measures and tracks neuromagnetic signals generated by the brain’s electrical activity, has created new opportunities for brain research and enhanced treatment of epilepsy, brain tumors, vascular malformations and other brain disorders.
The Institute’s first program, the Memory Assessment Center, has grown steadily and has developed a highly regarded research department, which has been involved in more than 30 industry-sponsored studies related to memory and movement disorders and stroke. Because memory loss isn’t always easy to recognize, the Center offers free memory screenings for patients.
A key objective for the Institute as it moves forward is the development of integrated neurospine services. A board-certified spine pain specialist has joined the Institute to develop an outpatient spine pain clinic opening this year at ABMC and St. Alexius. The Institute plans to add a third neurosurgeon in 2013, allowing further expansion of existing spine services. The Institute also plans to increase collaboration with primary-care physicians “to ensure we provide seamless care for patients across the health system in stroke, spine pain, epilepsy and brain tumors,” Fedder says.
“Things have grown very quickly here, and now we have a presence on both acute-care campuses,” she says. “We still have more things to do to help our patients. The next 10 years promise to be bright and even more challenging, but our collaboration with physicians and community partners certainly has assisted us in creating a foundation for continued growth.”
About Alexian Brothers Health System
Ranked among the nation’s best-performing health systems, ABHS is part of St. Louis-based Ascension Health, the nation’s largest non-profit and Catholic health system. ABHS includes five hospitals, a center for mental health, immediate-care centers, diagnostic imaging facilities, occupational health centers, and a physician practice group that serves more than 2 million people every year in Chicago’s suburbs. ABHS also has an enduring commitment to identifying and developing effective responses to the unique health and housing needs of older adults through a dynamic senior ministries program that offers an array of residential, retirement and community resources in Missouri, Tennessee and Wisconsin. For more information, visit: www.alexianbrothershealth.org