UH Neurological Institute Celebrates Shared Wins and Individual Achievements

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A Year In Review

Innovations in Neurology & Neurosurgery | Winter 2021

The new year is a perfect time to reflect on our accomplishments, and University Hospitals Neurological Institute had many in 2020.

Throughout a challenging year, our clinicians showed tremendous determination and ingenuity as they continued serving neurology and neurosurgical patients, while also moving us forward in the areas of clinical research, technology and patient care. The end of 2020, in particular, brought numerous wins for our team and for the individual contributors who push us toward clinical excellence daily. We celebrate these successes and more as we look to what’s next.

NEW RECRUITS

In July, Cleveland native Amanda Opaskar, MD, joined our program as a vascular neurologist at University Hospitals St. John Medical Center in Westlake, Ohio, serving as Director of the Primary Stroke Center. In addition to delivering high-quality stroke and neurological care to Cleveland’s Westside, she is a clinical assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

Dr. Opaskar completed her Fellowship in Vascular Neurology at UH Cleveland Medical Center. Her stroke expertise will be enhanced by the recruitment of neurologists Manish Kapadia, MD, and Naveen George, MD, who will join UH in February and August 2021, respectively.

Dr. Kapadia graduated from the Wayne State University School of Medicine and completed his residency and fellowship training at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University[LM1]. Dr. George graduated from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his residency in neurology at the School Medicine. He is also a headache fellow at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

Dustin Donnelly, MD, a neurosurgery provider specializing in complex spinal disorders, will also join us in August 2021 after completing his residency program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a fellowship in complex spinal surgery at Duke University.

These recent recruits are helping UH strengthen the availability and quality of neurology and neurosurgery providers for patients on Cleveland’s Westside.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

In 2020, Cleveland Magazine’s annual “Top Doctors” recognized 13 physicians and surgeons from the UH Neurological Institute, a testament to their high-quality and compassionate care. Six faculty also joined the 2020 class of University Hospitals Distinguished Physicians, a designation given to special clinicians for providing extraordinary care, mentorship and leadership in their fields. With both honors, our doctors were nominated by their peers, a further testament to their clinical skills and knowledge.

Cleveland Magazine – Top Doctors

Neurology 

  • Michael Devereaux, MD
  • Anthony Furlan, MD
  • Bashar Katirji, MD
  • Barbara Shapiro, MD, PhD
  • Cathy Sila, MD

Neurological Surgery

  • Jonathan Miller, MD
  • Warren Selman, MD
  • Andrew Sloan, MD
  • Gabriel Smith, MD

Pediatric Neurology

  • Nancy Bass, MD
  • Deborah Rukin Gold, MD
  • Max Wiznitzer, MD

Pediatric Neurological Surgery

  • Krystal Tomei, MD, MPH

UH Distinguished Physician Class

Neurology

  • Alan Lerner, MD
  • David Preston, MD
  • Barbara Shapiro, MD, PhD
  • Max Wiznitzer, MD

Neurosurgery

  • Jonathan Miller, MD
  • Andrew Sloan, MD

Additionally, we congratulate UH Neurological Institute faculty member Aasef Shaikh, MD, PhD, for his continued commitment to leading-edge care, evidenced by his recent 2020 American Academy of Neurology award. Dr. Shaikh received the Jon Stolk Award in Movement Disorders for Young Investigators for his significant contributions in the field of movement disorders, specifically his research on gait and balance disorders in Parkinson’s disease and dystonia.

ADVANCES IN CARE

As a program, UH Neurological Institute is proud to offer two new cutting-edge treatments for our patients.

In November, medical device company Medtronic selected UH to house its new cranial robotic guidance platform for neurosurgery, the Stealth Autoguide™. UH is one of only two providers east of the Mississippi to use this precise, minimally-invasive surgical technology. The Stealth Autoguide will give UH neurosurgeons an innovative new tool for complex brain procedures to help improve patient outcomes.

We are also thrilled to offer the latest in clot-busting stroke care to patients at University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center, our Joint Commission-certified Primary Stroke Center. In December, UH introduced mechanical thrombectomy (or endovascular therapy) treatment for patients with large vessel occlusions, a group that has shown improved outcomes in randomized clinical trials. This promising stroke therapy, which involves threading a special device through the blood vessels to grab and remove a clot, is rapidly becoming the gold standard in ischemic stroke treatment.

EVENTS

In October, UH Neurological Institute hosted our 11th Annual Virtual Parkinson’s Boot Camp and 2020 Stroke Conference and 15th Annual Neuroscience Nursing Symposium. Although both events were held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they were very well-received, with more than 200 participants enrolling in our stroke conference.

UH Parkinson’s Boot Camp

This year, we expanded our Parkinson’s boot camp from a single-day session to a virtual event series. Multiple sessions featured internationally renowned speakers on topics related to Parkinson’s disease, from tips for doing a virtual visit to the latest research and clinical trials. Our faculty also went in-depth discussing the UH deep brain stimulation (DBS) program for Parkinson’s disease and our new research in gait and balance changes in patients.

Participation from UH Neurological Institute and the School of Medicine included Jennifer Sweet, MD; Camilla Kilbane, MD; Steven Gunzler, MD; and Dr. Shaikh. A special thanks to University Hospitals Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center, our presenting sponsor, the William O. and Gertrude Lewis Frohring Foundation, our guest speakers and all those who participated.

Stroke Conference and Neuroscience Nursing Symposium

Building on UH Neurological Institute’s award-winning stroke treatment is our annual educational offering for physicians, nurses and other allied health professionals. The conference presents current guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and care of patients with cerebrovascular disorders, based on the latest advances in neurology, neurosurgery, neuro-interventional, neuro-critical care and neuroscience nursing. This year’s topics included carotid disease, headaches, urinary problems associated with neurologic diseases, fibromuscular disease, palliative care, cognitive and behavioral effects of stroke, and mechanical thrombectomy.

Like our Parkinson’s boot camp, the event would not be possible without significant involvement from UH Neurological Institute and School of Medicine faculty. Thank you to our planning committee and to all those who contributed their time.

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

NICHOLAS C. BAMBAKIDIS, MD, FAHA, FAANS
Director and Vice President, UH Neurological Institute
Professor of Neurological Surgery, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

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