Southcoast Health takes critical step to establish St. Luke’s Hospital as a comprehensive center of Brain & Spine services

By Southcoast Health | Nov 30, 2017
Southcoast Health staff cut the ribbon for the newly dedicated area for brain and spine patients at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford on Thursday, Nov. 30. Pictured (from left) are Dr. Ray Kruger, Physician-in-Chief of Surgery; Maria Couto, Southcoast Brain & Spine Center Office Manager; Tonya Johnson, Associate Chief Nursing Officer at St. Luke’s Hospital; Melissa Kochan, Nurse Manager for Knowles at St. Luke’s Hospital; Dr. Matthew Philips, Medical Director of the Brain & Spine Center; Renee Clark, Chief Operating Officer for Southcoast Health; and Tim Eixenberger, Chief Nursing Officer for Southcoast Health.

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — Southcoast Health announced today that it has created a dedicated space on the fifth floor of St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford to specifically treat patients who have undergone or are in need of surgical intervention for a neurological or spinal disorder. Southcoast Health is taking this critical step in order to establish St. Luke’s as a comprehensive center of Brain & Spine services.

As a comprehensive center, St. Luke’s will be capable of treating nearly all types of neurological and spinal disorders; expediting care, increasing the scope of immediately available procedures, and greatly reducing the need to transfer patients to other healthcare systems outside of the South Coast region.

“In order to treat neurological and spinal patients with greater efficiency, St. Luke’s is cohorting neuro and spine patients into a dedicated space on the Knowles medical/surgical unit,” said Renee Clark, Chief Operating Officer for Southcoast Health. “This unit has traditionally housed inpatient rooms for all types of surgical patients and will continue to do so in addition to this new Brain & Spine section.”

This newly dedicated area will increase the efficiency of coverage for providers and nursing staff — allowing a specialized team to care for Brain & Spine patients around the clock. This dedicated team will include Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) who will provide constant care to patients, and are able to accept new patients regardless of the time of day.

“We’ve always done amazing things in the area of brain and spine at Southcoast Health,” said Dr. Matthew Philips, a New Bedford native, who is the Medical Director of the Brain & Spine Center at Southcoast Health. “This new unit reconfirms that we are and will continue to be as a place that patients in this area can trust to provide superb care. In my mind, we are already a center of excellence in our outcomes and scope of expertise, and this brings us one step closer to officially being recognized in that way.”

The Brain & Spine team at Southcoast Health includes experienced specialists in neurosurgery, neurology, neuropsychology, pain management, physical medicine and rehabilitation, physical therapy and chiropractic services. They work together in partnership to provide a personalized, comprehensive approach to address the many aspects of complicated neurological conditions. These surgical and non-surgical services and treatments including stroke care, neuropsychology, brain and spine surgery, stereotactic radiosurgery, epilepsy surgery, pain management, spinal physical therapy and neurological rehabilitation.

The Southcoast Brain & Spine program has recently received a number of national recognitions including the prestigious CareChex Top 100 Hospital for Major Neuro-Surgery distinction. The Brain & Spine Center was also recognized by Healthgrades with the Stroke Care Excellence Award (2016), ranked Among the Top 10% in the Nation for Treatment of Stroke (2016), and as a Five Star Recipient for Treatment of Stroke (2012-2016). In addition, Becker’s Hospital Review named St. Luke’s as a Top 100 Hospital with Great Neurosurgery and Spine Program in 2017, and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association with the Get With the Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award in 2015.

For more information about the Southcoast Health Brain & Spine Center, visit Southcoast.org/brainandspine or call 855-778-0088.

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