Completing the Puzzle: Institute Stands at the Edge of Science
Demystifying neurological conditions can be like meticulously putting together an intricate puzzle. All the pieces are in place at the CHI Health Neurological Institute.
Its nationally-recognized Centers of Excellence include the nation’s fourth certified Thrombectomy Capable Stroke Center, a Level 4 Epilepsy Center, and leading programs for Parkinson’s disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis and complex headaches.
“We have many types of neuro subspecialists a patient would need. They are some of the best trained in the country,” said Director Sanjay Singh, MBBS, FAAN.
For patients, neurological diagnosis and treatment can be life-changing.
“We built the Neurological Institute from the ground up with this in mind,” said Dr. Singh.
Before construction began, a life-size model of the Institute was made out of cardboard, so the team could walk through and make suggestions. “It was a very unique and exciting way to build,” Dr. Singh said.
The 13,000-square foot Institute keeps patients at the center of care. “It’s the specialists who move around the patient,” Dr. Singh said. “For example, in our Stroke Center, we have a built-in CT scanner in the Cath Lab, so the patient never has to leave the room.”
One wall in every clinic room can be written on so care providers can sketch out diagrams as they discuss results.
“Our team works together to create the most complete clinical picture so that treatment plans can be made,” said Dr. Singh.
The Institute is headquartered on the Immanuel campus at CHI Health, but it’s designed to reach out to rural Nebraska and western Iowa – which is critical given the nationwide shortage of neurologists.
Teleneurology and Tele-EEG programs allow fellowship-trained neurologists to read EEGs remotely. “The reports are made instantly available to those regions,” Dr. Singh said.
Being part of a large academic health system helps the Institute bring the latest treatments to patients – such as incision-less surgery for essential tremors (see [140-Degree Heat Steadies Patients Shaking Hands]). This technique requires hours of MRI time – impossible to accommodate in metro hospitals – but feasible at CHI Health St. Mary’s in Nebraska City. “Only in a system like ours is that possible,” Dr. Singh said.
With a four-part mission – clinical, research, education, service – the Institute is united around moving care forward. “For this field, most of the major discoveries are happening now,” Dr. Singh said. “We’re standing at the edge of science.”
Singh’s Mission Highlights
Opening the region’s only dedicated Multiple Sclerosis Infusion Center.
“Our goal is to ensure the most optimal functioning and the best quality of life for our patients.”
Artificial intelligence system for detecting large strokes in our hospitals. The AI system we are installing will monitor CT scanners around the clock and will alert us when it detects a large stroke.
“We are particularly committed to expeditiously bringing basic research from the labs to the patient’s bedside in the most efficient and safe manner.”
Residencies, rotations, conferences, grand rounds and yearly Neurology Update, plus lectures for the lay public.
“We train the physicians of tomorrow, with a conscience. It’s also important to share information with the public at large.”
Observership program trains international physicians and free Epilepsy Camp provides care at international locations.
“At our last camp in India, we saw more than 600 patients in two days.”