U of M Neurosurgery Department team worked together to transform a patient’s life

Anne and Ralph Watschke
October 18, 2018

Persistence. Humility. Teamwork. These three qualities helped Plymouth, MN, resident Ralph Watschke survive what was thought to be an inoperable brain tumor.

Celebrating National Physician Assistant Week: Spotlight on Dianne Bonner

National Physician Assistant Week
October 8, 2018

National Physician Assistant (PA) Week is celebrated annually from October 6 — 12 and recognizes the PA profession and its contributions to the nation’s health. Before it was a weeklong event, National PA Day was first celebrated on October 6, 1987, in honor of the 20th anniversary of the first graduating class of PAs from the Duke University PA program. October 6 is also the birthday of the profession’s founder, Eugene A. Stead, Jr., MD.

Pediatric Craniofacial Clinic to provide services in new location

Baby face
September 30, 2018

On October 2, 2018, the multidisciplinary Craniofacial Clinic will move from Moos Tower on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota campus to the Explorer Clinic at 2450 Riverside Ave on the West Bank. This move does not change the services offered to patients; it is a location change to help align pediatric clinics.

The clinic is also shifting from afternoon appointments to the morning. If patients have an appointment after October 2, their parents will be contacted by phone for scheduling.

Rejuvenating a 60-year relationship with Seoul National University Department of Neurosurgery

Sun Ha Paek and Michael C Park
September 30, 2018

Faculty member, Michael C. Park, MD, PhD, recently visited Seoul, South Korea, to continue his work rekindling the U of M’s relationship with the Neurosurgery Department of Seoul National University Hospital. He was accompanied by neurophysiologist Joshua Aman, PhD, of U of M Department of Neurology and Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson’s Disease Research. This was Park’s second visit to the university. He met with Professor and former Chairman Dr. Sun Ha Paek, who shares Park’s specialty as a functional neurosurgeon. Like Park, Paek’s patient focus is on deep brain stimulation (DBS). “He has an extensive patient database and clinical data he’s collected,” Park said. “He needs help with analysis…that’s where we come in.”

First Minnesota brain tumor patient enrolled in pivotal study to evaluate MRI-guided laser technology

NeuroBlate System
September 24, 2018

Using a novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided laser technology, neurosurgeons at the University of Minnesota have successfully treated a tumor located deep inside a patient’s brain. This patient was enrolled in the LAANTERN (Laser Ablation of Abnormal Neurological Tissue using Robotic NeuroBlate System) study, a multi-center effort designed to evaluate how this precision laser treatment affects the patient’s quality of life. 

New physician assistant working with neuro-oncology and neurosurgery patients

New Hires Graphic
September 15, 2018

The Neuro-oncology and Neurosurgery Departments at the U of M recently welcomed Physician Assistant (PA) Katrina Miller, MS, to their team. In her new role, Miller is supporting neuro-oncology patients, working with Clark Chen, MD, PhD, and Matthew Hunt, MD, of the Neurosurgery Department; and Elizabeth Neil, MD, of Neurology. She is also working with oncology and hematology patients.

Complex spine patient struggled to have people believe her – until she came to the U of M

Alanna Anderson Foss
September 10, 2018

Have you ever been in constant pain and it’s getting to the point at which you can’t do the things you typically do? And no one believes that you have a problem? That’s how 64-year-old Rosseau, MN, resident, Allana Anderson Foss felt about her neck pain. Until she found both belief — and relief — from U of M neurosurgeon, Kristen Jones, MD.

Clinical trial giving patients hope in their fight against a devastating brain cancer

Research Graphic
August 30, 2018

Nancy Knop of Minneapolis, MN, and Max Levy of La Mesa, CA, are courageous healthcare pioneers, although they might not see themselves in that light. Having been diagnosed with a deadly, aggressive brain cancer, they’re doing everything they can to fight back and in doing so, to potentially help other patients. Both Nancy and Max have glioblastoma, the same kind of brain cancer that recently took Senator John McCain’s life. Both have had multiple surgeries to remove cancerous brain tumors. Both have participated in other clinical trials to test new treatments. When their tumors recurred despite all their efforts, both decided to enroll in a clinical trial conducted by Tocagen that is testing an innovative therapy for this devastating condition.

Newest faculty member brings a rich background in epilepsy surgery and deep brain stimulation, is working at the university and the VA

Robert (Bob) McGovern, MD
August 29, 2018

On July 31, 2018, the U of M Neurosurgery Department welcomed a new faculty member, Robert (Bob) McGovern, MD, whose specialty is functional and stereotactical neurosurgery. He is splitting his time between the university and the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, thanks to a collaboration among MnDRIVE*, University of Minnesota Physicians, and the VA. “It’s a unique position that serves two different patient populations,” McGovern explained. He is at the U two days a week and at the VA the other three.

U of M surgical team reshapes baby’s skull to allow normal brain growth, help him grow into an active toddler

Brockton and Taylor Vogtlin
August 15, 2018

At 15 months old, Brockton Vogtlin is an active, normal little boy. “He's mobile and so close to walking…he's being a typical, risk-taking boy and I swear he hits his head constantly, but it doesn't phase him at all,” laughed his mother, Taylor Vogtlin. She is thankful that it doesn’t phase him. Brockton was born when he was just 27 weeks old, 13 weeks shy of a normal-term pregnancy. “He spent 89 days in the neonatal intensive care unit [NICU],” said Taylor. It was while he was in the NICU that he was initially diagnosed with plagiocephaly – a condition characterized by an asymmetrical distortion or flattening of one side of the skull. He was then referred to nurse practitioner Leah Kann in the U’s Plagiocephaly Program.


Inside Neurosurgery

Cover of Spring 2018 Inside Neurosurgery