UC Neuroscience Institute reaches 10-year benchmark with national recognition in 11 neuroscience specialties

Friday, October 16, 2009
Cindy Starr
(513) 558-3505

CINCINNATI—The University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute (UCNI) celebrated its 10th anniversary today by announcing its arrival at a national benchmark with accreditations, certifications, or national association memberships in 11 of 12 important neuroscience specialties.

The accreditations and memberships denote excellence in sub-specialty neurological care and research and are highly coveted by academic health centers throughout the United States.

The UC Neuroscience Institute, first envisioned by John M. Tew, M.D., began with an intention to create a national benchmark in neurological care while leading the advance in humanity’s understanding of the brain. It was established in 1998 by neuroscience specialists at UC Health -- University Hospital, the Mayfield Clinic, and the UC College of Medicine. Initial funding for the venture came from the Health Alliance.

During the 10-year span, the Institute has achieved the following distinctions – all of which are publicly available -- from objective, nationally recognized organizations:

  1. Primary Stroke Center; designated by the Joint Commission
  2. Level I Trauma Center; verified by the American College of Surgeons
  3. Level 4 Epilepsy Center; designated by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers
  4. Neurocritical Care Fellowship Training; designated by the United Council of Neurologic Subspecialties
  5. Morris K. Udall Center for Parkinson’s Disease Research; designated by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
  6. Certified Member of the National MS Consortium
  7. Membership in the Acoustic Neuroma Association
  8. Membership in the Pituitary Tumor Network
  9. Membership in the Trigeminal Neuralgia Association
  10. Member Clinic of the Muscular Dystrophy Association
  11. Charter Member of the National Network of Depression Centers

The UC Neuroscience Institute's Alzheimer's Center, its twelfth specialty area, is under development.

By comparison, the Cleveland Clinic and Ohio State University have achieved similar distinctions in 4 of these 12 neuroscience specialties; the Mayo Clinic and University of Pittsburgh have achieved 8; Johns Hopkins University has achieved 10; Massachusetts General has achieved 9; and the Barrow Neurological Institute has achieved 5.

The UC Neuroscience Institute is thanking supporters who have played an important role in the Institute’s accomplishments this evening at the new CARE/Crawley Building on the UC Academic Health Center campus.

“In developing the Neuroscience Institute we wanted to create a sense of trust and confidence in our community that would allow people to know that they did not have to go to another place for neurological care,” says Dr. Tew, the Institute’s Clinical Director and a neurosurgeon with the Mayfield Clinic. “We wanted people to know that, whether you have a problem that is simple or complex, you can come to us from all walks of life and know with confidence that we’ll provide you with best care available anywhere in the world.”

The Institute grew with the recruitment of pre-eminent physicians, researchers, and nursing specialists. Today it includes more than 100 faculty members in multiple neuroscience specialties, including neurosurgery, neurology, otolaryngology – head and neck surgery, radiology, emergency medicine, ophthalmology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and psychiatry. The Institute treats thousands of patients each year, many of whom travel to Cincinnati from around the United States and the world. In fiscal year 2008, the Institute recorded 3,893 inpatient and 35,307 outpatient visits.

“University Hospital is proud to be the medical home for the UC Neuroscience Institute,” says Lee Ann Liska, University Hospital’s Executive Director and Senior Vice President. “We are the region’s primary site of tertiary care for the sickest patients and most complex cases. Our advanced technologies include intraoperative MRI, continuous, 24-hour EEG monitoring, mobile CT scanning, a Level 4 epilepsy monitoring unit, and Lycox monitoring of brain temperature and oxygenation.”

“Patients come to the UCNI because of our terrific team of highly specialized physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers,” says Joseph P. Broderick, M.D., Research Director at the Institute and Chair of the Department of Neurology. “We have a great passion to provide the best clinical care for those patients. And we share that passion with our referring physicians. But the reason they refer to us is because we have highly specialized physicians. Not just a neurologist, but a neurologist highly trained in epilepsy; not just a neurosurgeon, but a neurosurgeon who does the most difficult spine cases in the world. They also refer to us because we collaborate. We have five weekly subspecialty conferences where the most challenging cases are discussed. And they refer to us because we’re not satisfied with the standard care. Our frustration that we can do better is what fuels our research efforts.”

The Institute comprises seven centers of excellence, which are focused on brain tumors, cerebrovascular disease, epilepsy, disorders of the senses (swallowing, voice, hearing, pain, taste and smell), multiple sclerosis, neurotrauma, and Parkinson’s disease. A center for Alzheimer’s disease is in development.

“The future of the College of Medicine will be based more and more on developing centers of excellence in which we can provide ‘added value’ care, research and education for patients in our region and beyond,” says David Stern, M.D., Dean of the College of Medicine. “The UC Neuroscience Institute has been at the forefront in developing highly differentiated programs that meet our patients’ needs and push the field of neuroscience forward. Whether it is our world-renowned stroke program, or the programs in Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, or the more recently launched brain tumor program, each of these initiatives has great potential to contribute to reducing morbidity and mortality for patients with neurological disorders in our region.”

Other major accomplishments celebrated by the UC Neuroscience Institute include:

  • An international role in the development of tPA for the treatment of stroke and a continuing international role in the research and treatment of stroke.
  • Recruitment of leading physicians, researchers, and staff from around the United States.
  • Major gifts that support two of the institute’s seven centers of excellence: the James J. and Joan A. Gardner Family Center for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders and the Virgilee and Oliver Waddell Center for Multiple Sclerosis.
  • The creation of public symposia that educate patients and caregivers who confront Parkinson’s disease, brain tumors, and epilepsy.
  • Community leadership, including a Board of Advisors led by William Burleigh, retired Chairman of the E. W. Scripps Company, and community-supported fundraising events, including the Sunflower Revolution and Celebrating Research Innovations for an Epilepsy Cure, that have raised millions of dollars for individual programs.


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The UC Neuroscience Institute, a regional center of excellence, is dedicated to patient care, research, education, and the development of new treatments for stroke, brain and spinal tumors, epilepsy, traumatic brain and spinal injury, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, disorders of the senses (swallowing, voice, hearing, pain, taste and smell), and psychiatric conditions (bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression).