The Neurosciences: A Miami Symposium Helps Advance Brain and Spine Care

Baptist Health Miami Neuroscience Institute

With rapid advances in the care of patients with neurological conditions from strokes and epilepsy to movement disorders and spinal cord injuries, staying current with evidence-based practices is vital. So is helping to develop new, innovative treatments. Together, they’re the driving force behind the Baptist Health Miami Neuroscience Symposium which, in its 11th year, recently attracted healthcare professionals from around the country.

The three-day symposium featured Institute physicians, many of whom also hold leadership positions at Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. They were joined by faculty from NYU Langone Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and other programs.

“Experts in neurosurgery, neurology, physical medicine and rehabilitation come together with other physicians, physician assistants, nurses and technicians to learn and discuss the newest treatments under development, clinical trials and more,” said neurosurgeon Michael McDermott, M.D., chief medical executive and Irma & Kalman Bass Endowed Chair in Clinical Neuroscience at Miami Neuroscience Institute. “We bring everyone together to review the latest medical information so that they’re updated and providing the best evidence-based care.”

(Watch as experts from Baptist Health Miami Neuroscience Institute explain the vital role of the Miami Neuroscience Symposium, which is in its 11th year and recently attracted healthcare professionals from around the country. Video by Dylan Kyle.)

Among the many conditions treated at the Institute are strokes and brain aneurysms, brain tumors, concussions, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, nerve disorders, herniated discs, spinal stenosis and spinal fractures. While not every problem requires surgery, when it is the best option physicians always look for the least invasive approach.

The steady expansion of the Institute, marked by the annual growth of the symposium over the past 11 years, underscores its increasing prominence in the field, said Ronald Tolchin, D.O., physical medicine and rehabilitation medical director of the Spine Center at Miami Neuroscience Institute. “Recently the Institute was ranked number 39 in the country for treating complex neurology and neurosurgery cases by U.S. News & World Report,” he said. “This reflects the work we have done that has made us different from other programs. We are integrated and team-based, not operating in silos.”

Additionally, the program is ranked in the top 10 percent in the nation for stroke care, receiving the “High Performing” designation from U.S. News & World Report.

That Baptist Health is home to an exceptional hub for neuroscience care is important, particularly when considering the area’s large and diverse population and the numbers of people affected by disorders of the brain, spine and peripheral nervous system. Some 1.2 million spinal surgeries are performed annually in the U.S., and about 800,000 people in the U.S. will experience a stroke this year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

“Miami Neuroscience Institute has neurosurgeons and neurologists, physical and pain medicine specialists and physiatrists, neuroradiologists and interventional neuroradiologists and rehabilitation experts,” said Diego Torres-Russotto, M.D., chair of Neurology and chief of Movement Disorders at Miami Neuroscience Institute. “Working together to provide the best possible care, to us the integration is seamless. And it makes a big difference, I believe, in the level of care that the patients get. The number one reason we went into medicine was to make a difference for our patients.”

The Institute continues to look for research opportunities and the symposium also covered a variety of clinical trials that are advancing the field of neuroscience and making a difference in patient outcomes. “The research that comes out of what we’re doing here, with over 40 research projects right now, is just phenomenal,” Dr. Tolchin said. For more information on neuroscience research, click here.

The Miami Neuroscience Symposium, 12th annual, will take place next November.

Healthcare that Cares

With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

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