UH Neurological Institute Update | Fall 2020

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Institute continues to excel at providing cutting-edge neurological care to patients despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic

Nicholas Bambakidis, MDNicholas Bambakidis, MD, Director, UH Neurological Institute

Through a year of crisis and uncertainty, University Hospitals Neurological Institute has positioned itself as a preeminent provider of neurologic and neurosurgical care nationwide. U.S. News & World Report once again ranks University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center among the top 50 hospitals in Neurology and Neurosurgery (No. 35).

This recognition, along with our many accomplishments in 2020, demonstrates UH Neurological Institute’s ongoing commitment to quality, academic research, healthcare leadership, and, as always, our patients.

QUALITY STROKE CARE

In August, University Hospitals was pleased to receive four awards from the American Heart Association (AHA)/American Stroke Association (ASA) for leadership and dedication in providing quality stroke care:

AHA Target Awards
  • Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award – for meeting specific quality achievement measures in the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients (24 consecutive months)
  • Stroke Silver Award – for meeting specific quality achievement measures in the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients (12 consecutive months)
  • Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite – for meeting quality measures developed to reduce the time between patient’s arrival to the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)
  • Target: Stroke Advanced Therapy Honor Roll – for rapid diagnosis and treatment of severe stroke patients requiring thrombectomy procedure

The AHA/ASA Get With The Guidelines 2020 Awards recognize U.S. hospitals based on demonstrated compliance and performance with various quality achievement measures. Several UH hospitals, including UH Cleveland Medical Center, were honored with these awards, and seven were recognized on the Stroke Honor Roll. UH Cleveland Medical Center was the only Ohio hospital to receive all four awards, reinforcing our commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment based on the latest scientific evidence.

UH Neurological Institute’s focus on education in the area of stroke is further evidenced by our highly successful and longstanding stroke conference. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our 2020 Stroke Conference and 15th Annual Neuroscience Nursing Symposium were held virtually this year.

AWARD-WINNING LEADERSHIP

Here are some of the ways our physician-leaders are innovating — and inspiring others — to improve understanding and treatment of neurologic disorders.

UH Neurological Institute’s Warren R. Selman, MD, was recently named President-Elect of the Society of Neurological Surgeons (SNS) with a term beginning June 2021. That this honor was bestowed on him by his peers reflects Dr. Selman’s high standing in the field and within the SNS — the oldest professional neurological society worldwide. In September, I was also named President-Elect of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) for a term beginning October 2021. With more than 9,700 members, the CNS is the largest neurosurgical association in the world and provides global leadership in innovation and education.

Dr. Selman, who has served as Chairman of the UH Department of Neurologic Surgery for 15 years, is a nationally recognized expert in the field of cerebrovascular surgery, education and neurosurgical simulation. In recognition of his leadership at University Hospitals, UH Neurological Institute has established the new Warren R. Selman Chair in Neurosurgery, which I am honored to receive. This philanthropic gift is made possible by our many generous benefactors and will allow us to further our research portfolio and educational offerings on behalf of our patients.

Other notable accomplishments of our physician-leaders include:

Neurosurgeon Tiffany Hodges, MD, was presented with a UH Minority Faculty Leadership Grant to pursue her proposal, “Outcomes and Patterns of Care for Patients with Primary Malignant and Malignant Brain Tumors.” The $75,000 grant provides for research and statistical support as well as mentoring by Andrew Sloan, MD, Director of the Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center at UH Seidman Cancer Center and the UH Neurological Institute.

Nancy Bass, MD, Program Director, Pediatric Neurology at UH Cleveland Medical Center became an associate editor for Pediatric Neurology, a peer-reviewed journal that publishes timely clinical and research articles on the developing nervous system. Dr. Bass was also named President-Elect for Professors of Child Neurology, the national organization of child neurology department chairs, division chiefs and training program directors.

Bashar Katirji, MD, Director of the Neuromuscular Center and EMG Laboratory at UH Cleveland Medical Center wrote a book on Stiff-Person Syndrome (SPS), entitled "Stiff-Person Syndrome and Related Disorders" (collaborating with former Department of Neurology resident Pichet Termsarasab, MD, and former resident and neuromuscular fellow Thananan Thammongkolchai, MD. SPS is a very rare neurological disorder characterized by progressive muscle stiffness.

Neurosurgeon Robin Buerki, MD, was accepted into the highly competitive Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) Clinical Trials Course for 2020 based on his proposed clinical trial for recurrent glioblastoma.

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, UH continues to recruit actively and collaboratively for future growth. Alejandro Rivas, MD, joined UH on June 1, 2020, as the new Division Chief of Otology/Neurotology, and is  a world-class expert in skull base disorders with a focus on acoustic neuromas. His leadership will be essential to growing our multidisciplinary skull base program.

To refer a patient to UH Neurological Institute or contact one of our experts, call 216-553-1778.

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