Barrow Neurological Institute announces Phoenix Children’s Hospital as new pediatric affiliate

St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center and Phoenix Children’s Hospital jointly announced today their pediatric neuroscience programs are combining under the newly formed Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

The affiliation melds the internationally recognized research and patient care expertise of Barrow at St. Joseph’s– consistently ranked in the top ten nationally for Neurology and Neuroscience by U.S. News and World Report – with Phoenix Children’s Neuroscience Institute, which recently earned a place on the U.S. News and World Report Best Children’s Hospitals list for Neurology and Neurosurgery. The combined program, now called Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, is the second largest pediatric neuroscience program in the country, based on patient volume.

“When Dr. Adelson and I first considered the opportunity of establishing Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, we did so with the primary thought that such an alliance would fully utilize the array of available pediatric resources at Barrow in one facility in order to deliver the absolute best possible pediatric neurological care to the children in our state and the southwest region,” said Robert Spetzler, MD, director, Barrow Neurological Institute.

Leading the pediatric institute is neurosurgeon P. David Adelson, MD, who built the Children’s Neurosciences program and will now serve as Director of the Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital as well as Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery for Barrow Neurological Institute.

“Our core mission has been to provide the best care for children with neurological disorders. This affiliation is particularly exciting because it immediately elevates the level of pediatric care locally as well as regionally. It also means stronger training programs for residents and fellows – the neuroscience experts of tomorrow – and expanded research programs to uncover new therapies and cures for children across the world,” explained Adelson.

A growing number of children are being diagnosed with neurological conditions such as developmental delays, autism, epilepsy, brain tumor, and traumatic brain injuries. It takes collaborative, multidisciplinary specialties to treat the interrelated needs of these children. The institute offers specialists in developmental pediatrics, neurology, neurosurgery, neuro-trauma, neuro-rehabilitation, psychology, psychiatry, neuro-NICU and neuro-oncology.

Specialized medical equipment, pediatric patient rooms, strong neuroscience research and education programs and pediatric neuroscience specialists -- in addition to the hospital's family-centered focus – make Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital uniquely qualified to treat pediatric patients with neurological diseases and disorders.

“In the past couple of years, the Children’s Neurosciences program has grown markedly because of the hospital’s commitment and investment in the Institute and our large emphasis on clinical care, quality, research and teaching,” notes Adelson. ”Extramural research funding for pediatric neurosciences at Phoenix Children’s Hospital has increased over 15-fold in the past three years and will grow that much more with this alliance.”

All of the divisions within Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital participate in training pediatric residents, including those from University of Arizona, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Mayo Clinics' adult Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry departments. With the strategic alliance, Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital will now take on the training of pediatric neurology residents. In addition, the Divisions of Pediatric Neurosurgery and Neuroradiology at Phoenix Children's Hospital recently gained approval for their fellowship programs.  

Barrow Neurological Institute is respected worldwide for its pioneering treatments, procedures and research into complex brain and spinal cord related diseases and conditions. To target difficult neurological conditions, Barrow has created several specialized programs and centers. Barrow's faculty and staff are among some of the most gifted clinicians and specialists in the world. They not only assist patients with traditional neurological problems, they also develop innovative combinations of procedures to tackle some of the most difficult diseases and conditions of the brain and spine. Well established expertise in neurovascular and spinal disorders, Barrow has recently expanded its leading roles in the areas of Alzheimer's disease, brain tumors and neuromodulation. Barrow is also one of the few centers in the U.S. that offers the CyberKnife and Gamma Knife radiosurgery, and one of the first neuroscience centers in the Southwest to offer these noninvasive alternatives to traditional neurosurgery.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital completed a strategic alliance with St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center on June 1, 2011. The alliance united the two organizations’ pediatric programs into one exceptional pediatric health care delivery system. In total, 28 pediatric specialists and approximately 300 additional pediatric staff moved from St. Joseph’s to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The alliance enhances patient care, facilitates the development of comprehensive programs and regional Centers of Excellence and strengthens a pediatric hospital already known for its quality care in a wide variety of medical specialties.

“Going forward, through this partnership, the Barrow Neurological Institute along with Phoenix Children’s Hospital will be able to focus and build new programs in the subspecialty of Children’s Neuroscience.  We look forward to a vibrant and productive relationship in the years to come,” Spetzler said.

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