There is a great editorial in JNIS about stoke care at Comprehensive Stroke Centers and ongoing debate about how we as a medical community should address the inefficiencies in stroke care. Worth reading for anybody interested in stroke and stroke intervention. Click below to go to the article.
Why is it important that TMH is a Comprehensive Stroke Center?
Comprehensive Stroke Centers (CSCs) are the most advanced hospitals for providing stroke care. Not only have they demonstrated excellence at caring for ischemic stroke and administering TPA, Comprehensive Stroke Centers have gone the extra mile to specialize in stroke diagnosis and treatment, including treatment for all forms of stroke. The only facility in Northwest Florida, South Georgia, and Southeast Alabama with Comprehensive Stroke Center services is Tallahassee Memorial Hospital (TMH).
Primary Stroke Centers (PSCs) can be thought of as the minimum requirement for stroke care. PSCs are able to diagnose and treat ischemic stroke. Most PSCs in the region rely on teleneurology, or neurologists available by computer or telephone, to help diagnose and treat patients. Comprehensive Stroke Centers, on the other hand, have in house neurology and neurosurgery services. TMH has 4 employed hospital stroke neurologists as well as 4 board-certified neurosurgeons at Tallahassee Neurological Clinic.
Comprehensive Stroke Centers not only provide excellent care for ischemic stroke, but they also provide advanced stroke care services. This includes care for ruptured cerebral aneurysms, AVMs, and other forms of hemorrhagic stroke. CSCs perform cutting edge procedures, such as thrombectomy for ischemic stroke due to large vessel occlusion as well as brain aneurysm treatment. They generally qualify as high volume treatment centers for aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, which means they generally have better outcomes than other centers that treat brain aneurysms.
Endovascular Neurosurgery (also known as Neuroendovascular Surgery or Neurointerventional Surgery) is a cornerstone in the Comprehensive Stroke Center model of care. At TMH we have two board-certified neurosurgeons, Drs. Lawson and Oliver, who are also certified in Neuroendovascular Surgery by the Society of Neurological Surgeons (CAST Certification). TMH is the only facility in the region with such highly trained and experienced neurosurgeons. The CAST Neuroendovascular Certification is generally accepted as the highest level of certification for Neuroendovascular Surgery, and the Society of Neurointerventional Surgery endorses this CAST certification. No other physicians in the area have this certification, including those in Pensacola, FL, and Dothan, AL.
Drs. Lawson and Oliver are partners at Tallahassee Neurological Clinic, a multispecialty group practice of neurosurgeons, neurologists, and pain management physicians. Dr. Lawson has been in practice in Tallahassee since 2012, and he was the first neurosurgeon in the region to perform brain aneurysm coiling or thrombectomy for the treatment of acute stroke. He helped establish the TMH Neuroendovascular Lab and the TMH Comprehensive Stroke Center. Dr. Oliver joined Dr. Lawson in 2013. As of now they share call for Neuroendovascular services for the region. In 2017, we expect another endovascular neurosurgeon to begin in Tallahassee.
The neurosurgeons at TNC have a robust neurosurgical research component that includes research in stroke and brain aneurysm treatment. Neuroendovascular Surgery is a rapidly evolving field, and devices that were made just 10 years ago are now obsolete. Drs. Lawson and Oliver are active in Neuroendovascular research and have several open trials for novel devices and treatments. We feel that offering access to cutting edge medical research is a key component to a successful Comprehensive Stroke Center.
For more information about the TMH Comprehensive Stroke Center, click here.
Tallahassee Memorial Hospital received the American Stroke Association Get with the Guidelines Gold Plus recognition for excellence and consistency in compliance with stroke center quality measures. Great job team!
June 7, 2016 – TMH announces their new designation as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Agency for Healthcare Administration, making TMH the only Comprehensive Stroke Center in the region. TMH has received the American Stroke Association “Get with the Guidelines” Gold Plus recognition for stroke care, and we are proud to be the only hospital within hundreds of miles with the Comprehensive Stroke Center designation.
Please see the full press release here: https://www.tmh.org/news/press-releases/2016/06/tallahassee-memorial-healthcare-designated-as-a-comprehensive-stroke-center
Dr. Lawson and his partner, Dr. Oliver, are the only board-certified neurosurgeons in the region with advanced certification in endovascular neurosurgery (CAST certification). They treat nearly 100 brain aneurysms per year, perform cutting edge thrombectomy procedures for the treatment of acute stroke, and countless other cerebrovascular procedures.
Together, TMH and Tallahassee Neurological Clinic are setting the standard for stroke and cerebrovascular care in Florida’s panhandle, south Alabama, and south Georgia.
Dr. Lawson presented a lecture on treatment of Acute Stroke and the MR CLEAN trial results at the TMH Cardiovascular Symposium. The second annual conference of its kind included over 100 medical attendees.
Dr. Lawson & Dr. Oliver have successfully treated over 100 cerebral aneurysms at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. In just two years, TMH has become a major regional referral center for brain aneurysms and other cerebrovascular disorders.
Dr. Lawson presented a lecture on treatment of Acute Stroke at the TMH Cardiovascular Symposium. This conference, the first of its kind in Tallahassee, included over 70 medical attendees.
In September of 2012 Tallahassee Memorial Hospital opened a state-of-the-art facility for performing complex neuro-endovascular procedures. One year later, 167 cases have been performed, dramatically improving the quality and availability of cerebrovascular care in the region.
Since the opening of this facility, we have successfully treated the following conditions:
Ruptured Brain Aneurysms
Unruptured Brain Aneurysms
Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension
Dr. Lawson and the newly opened cerebrovascular lab are detailed in the 2013 TMH Annual Report.
The Tallahassee Democrat reports on the new, state-of-the-art neurovascular suite that has opened at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. This new facility represents a dramatic advance in the level of care that can be provided regionally, including cutting edge treatment for brain aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, and acute stroke intervention. It is the first facility of its kind in the region built for the purpose of treating vascular disorders of the brain and spinal cord. Please visit the Tallahassee Democrat to read more.