News

Annual neuroscience update for primary care providers promises to be information-rich

Primary Care Updates in Neuroscience Graphic
February 28, 2019

Physicians, physician assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, and other interested healthcare professionals in primary care are invited to attend the Annual Updates in Neurosciences for Primary Care, March 30, 2019, at the Radisson Blu Mall of America in Bloomington, MN. The day-long session is designed to give primary care providers information about the basics as well as the latest advances in neurology, neurosurgery and physical medicine and rehabilitation. Topics range from headache to myofascial pain to new-onset seizures.

New Operations Director overseeing major change in several clinics, including Neurosurgery

Kelly Schechter, RN
February 20, 2019

A seasoned veteran of University of Minnesota Physician’s Cardiology Division, Kelly Schechter, RN, recently took over leadership of the Neuroscience Clinics, which includes Neurosurgery, Neurology and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, as well as the Endocrine Clinic – in addition to the Cardiology Clinic that she’s led for three years and the Pulmonary Clinic she recently took over. That might seem a bit overwhelming, but Schechter is up to the challenge.

Convergence of technology, immunotherapy and courage help U of M patient rise above life-threatening brain tumor

Adam and Angelica Donahue
February 16, 2019

In May 2018, 29-year-old Burnsville, MN, resident, Adam Donahue, began experiencing unusual symptoms. “I had numbness that ran all the way up my right side to the top of my head,” he said. An MRI confirmed the source of the numbness — glioblastoma, the same kind of aggressive brain tumor that took the lives of Senators John McCain and Ted Kennedy. “When you’re in your twenties, it’s not what you think you’ll go through,” said Adam’s wife, Angelica, tearfully. “It’s definitely been a tough time.”

Customized OR hats designed to help improve patient safety

Youssef Hamade, MD
February 7, 2019

Second-year Neurosurgery Department resident Youssef Hamade, MD, MS, made a recommendation recently that could result in improved communication – and enhanced patient safety – in neurosurgical operating rooms at University of Minnesota Medical Center. And it’s as simple as wearing a specially designed hat (he is wearing it in the photo at right).

U of M specialists take novel approach to treating patient’s aneurysms, thanks to help from a medical device company

Susan and Chuck Kempf
February 6, 2019

Imagine being told that you have three unruptured aneurysms. And one is being described as “giant.” You’d be shocked. Ham Lake, MN, resident Susan Kempf (pictured at left with her husband, Chuck) certainly was. But a creative approach taken by U of M neuro-interventional radiologist Bharathi Jagadeesan, MD, and neurosurgeon Andrew Grande, MD, prevented any of the aneurysms from rupturing.

2018 Angie Balkcum Award recipient known as an “invaluable resource” to the team

Karen Ellis and Angie Balkcum
January 30, 2019

Six-year Neurosurgery Clinic veteran, Karen Ellis, RN, BA, Nurse Care Coordinator, is the recipient of the Neurosurgery Department’s annual Angie Balkcum Award. The award was announced during the January 10, 2019, Employee Appreciation Event held at the McNamara Alumni Center on the U of M campus. “I was pleasantly surprised and felt really flattered that my colleagues would nominate me for the award,” she said. “It makes me feel like I’m making a difference in the lives of my patients and that the work I do is valued.”

NeuroSafe 2019 Call for Abstracts: Opportunity to Share How You’re Improving the Practice of Neurosurgery

NeuroSafe 2019 Logo
January 14, 2019

The University of Minnesota Department of Neurosurgery is hosting NeuroSafe 2019, the fourth annual symposium about improving the quality and safety of the practice of neurosurgery. It will be held August 8–9, in the McNamara Alumni Center on the U of M campus in Minneapolis and attracts neurosurgeons, residents, nursing staff, and quality professionals from throughout North America.

Innovative laser ablation procedure enables German patient to beat deadly glioblastoma

Steffen Rhode
January 7, 2019

In 2016, Braunschweig, Germany, resident Steffen Rhode went to an eye doctor because he was having trouble with the vision in his left eye. When the prescribed glasses didn’t help, he went to another ophthalmologist who told Steffen he thought the problem was his brain, not his eye, and referred him to a neurologist. That was when Steffen had his first MRI. The image showed something in his brain, but the doctor wasn’t sure what it was.

U of M surgical team removes tumor, reconstructs spine, and helps relieve debilitating pain for young patient

Cassidy Clifton during her hospital stay
January 4, 2019

In the spring of 2018, Cassidy Clifton, a dynamic, personable 18-year-old resident of New Rockford, ND, began experiencing severe pain in her lower back. “I was in the most pain I’d ever had in my entire life,” she said. “I lost feeling in my thigh, hips, and other places. I was in constant pain … it never, ever stopped.” Her local doctor took an MRI and discovered that Cassidy had a large aneurysmal bone cyst in the lower area of her spine.

Unique national course held at the U of M teaches neurosurgery residents the demanding skills of microsurgery

Microsurgery course instructors Mario Zuccarello and Ondrej Choutka
January 3, 2019

Imagine performing a surgical exercise under a microscope using sutures as thin as a human hair. That was just one of the skills taught during the first-ever microsurgery course held recently in the U of M’s Neuroanatomy Lab.

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Fall 2018 Inside Neurosurgery Newsletter