Everyday Extraordinary Care Gains More National Recognition

Memorial Neuroscience Institute continued to make its mark in 2017 as a pre-eminent regional medical center for treatment of complex neurological conditions and injuries, thanks to the expertise of its multidisciplinary team. Here are just some of the successes we celebrated this year.

Epilepsy Program Brings Leading Technologies, Treatments to South Florida

Memorial Neuroscience Institute was recertified as a Level 4 Epilepsy Center – the highest level of recognition – from the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC), for providing more advanced treatment options for the treatment of epilepsy.

“This renewed designation and the wide range of services the Institute offers have allowed Memorial to make a significant difference in the lives of patients,” said Tarek Zakaria, MD, Medical Director, Adult Neurology Program and Epilepsy Program.

“We’re able to offer the breakthrough treatments and newest technologies that patients used to have to go to faraway places to obtain,” he said.

Leading technologies include the NeuroPace RNS® system, implanted in patients’ skulls to help reduce the frequency of seizures, and minimally invasive surgeries to effectively identify seizure onsets before they occur.

Memorial Receives Thrombectomy Certification

Memorial Neuroscience Institute at Memorial Hospital West received advanced stroke certification for Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Centers – a new designation from The Joint Commission, in collaboration with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Memorial Hospital West is the first hospital to receive this certification in Florida.

“Advances in thrombectomy have ushered in a whole new era for acute stroke treatment,” said Brijesh P. Mehta, MD, Medical Director, Stroke and Neurocritical Care. “Only select centers in our region perform this kind of clot-removal procedure around the clock, and this certification means that emergency medical personnel will be able make a tremendous impact by bringing stroke patients immediately to Memorial Hospital West for lifesaving treatment.”

Once Again, Elite Plus Designation

Memorial Regional Hospital and Memorial Hospital West again received Target: Stroke Honor Roll-Elite Plus designation from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Elite Plus is the highest possible honor that a stroke center can receive, according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines developed by the associations.

“This recognition is about our ability to meet the minimum door-to-treatment times for administering the clot-busting medication tPA for ischemic stroke,” Dr. Mehta explained. “Memorial Regional Hospital and Memorial Hospital West had a median door-to-needle time of 32 minutes – far below the national benchmark of less than 60 minutes. Additionally, our door-to-needle times were less than 45 minutes in more than 50 percent of treated acute stroke patients, and less than 60 minutes in 85 percent of treated patients.”

Clinton Burkett, MD

Brandon Davis, MD

New Physicians, Even More Expertise

Memorial Neuroscience Institute welcomed neurosurgeons Clinton Burkett, MD, and Brandon Davis, MD, in the summer and fall of 2017.

“Having the caliber of physicians of Drs. Burkett and Davis is of incredible value to our patients,” said Christopher DeMassi, MD, Chief of Neurosurgery, Memorial Neuroscience Institute. “The specialties they represent means that we have an even stronger multidisciplinary team that can bring a variety of important insights to treating and managing complex neurological diseases.”

“At Memorial Neuroscience Institute, we’re proud to have a full team of extraordinary physicians – neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, neurointensivists, neurointerventional surgeons, neuro-oncologists and neuroradiologists – with the expertise and ability to diagnose and treat the whole spectrum of neurological issues, right here in South Florida.”
Greg Zorman, MD, FACS

Chief, Memorial Neuroscience Institute

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Memorial Neuroscience Institute Helps Khurram Overcome Complex Stroke

It was Christmas morning when Khurram toppled to the floor, apparently for no reason.
He couldn't get back up. “My right side wouldn’t work,” he recalls. “Not my right leg, foot or my arm.”

The signs of a stroke were present.

“It was probably the worst day of my life,” said Saima, Khurram's wife. “I remember looking straight at him and trying to get his attention. He did not know who I was.”

Khurram was rushed to Memorial Hospital West ER and was immediately taken for a CT scan. Neurologist Sean Kenniff, MD, reviewed the scan and described it as “one of the more complex stroke cases I’ve ever seen.”

Khurram had tears in his carotid artery, causing clot formation, which blocked a major artery in his brain. He was having a stroke, and the only option was to perform an emergent surgery to reopen the brain vessel.

Neurointerventional surgeon Andrey Lima, MD, performed a delicate two-step procedure to repair Khurram's skull base vessel, and later, remove his blood clot.

“If I didn’t do anything, his chances of returning to normal were approximately 10 percent,” Dr. Lima said.

Khurram sped through inpatient rehabilitation at Memorial Rehabilitation Institute, returned home to his family and is making a strong recovery.

“I think of them as the dream team of doctors,” Khurram said. “I am so blessed to have them all together to help me.”


Anthony Finds Relief From Back Pain at Memorial Neuroscience Institute

Anthony felt a twinge in his back while his son helped him stretch. The next day, he was in severe pain.

“It hurt so much, I felt like I had to drag my leg to get around,” Anthony said. “I couldn’t work. I was really worried.”

After an MRI, Christopher DeMassi, MD, Chief of Neurosurgery and Medical Director of Memorial Neuroscience Institute Spine Center, discussed options with Anthony.

“He had a significant disc herniation, producing significant compression of a nerve that controls part of the function of his leg,” Dr. DeMassi said. “He was pretty debilitated by it.”

Dr. DeMassi performed a far lateral discectomy, a minimally invasive technique that helped avoid extensive trauma and fusion.

“He helped me understand why I needed the surgery,” Anthony said. “It wasn’t just, ‘You need surgery; we’ll schedule it.’”

Anthony went home the same day, and quickly returned to work and his normal lifestyle. “Just knowing that you’re able to support your family again is huge,” he said.