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Saint Luke's Opens New Neuroscience Facility

Designed to serve as one of the preeminent neuroscience centers in the country, the Saint Luke's Neuroscience Institute tower officially opens today at Saint Luke's Hospital. The new facility, specializing in streamlined care for neurological disorders, offers the Kansas City community and the entire region a dedicated neuroscience hospital, created to lead the way in research, medical advancements, patient outcomes, comfort, and quality of care.

The Saint Luke's Neuroscience Institute (SLNI), formally known as Saint Luke's Brain and Stroke Institute, came to fruition as the result of a $32 million commitment from the hospital to fund the project. In addition a $20 million fundraising campaign began in January 2012 to support the building project as well as to further clinical program development and research. The design and formulation of the new facility was based upon the concept of integrated care delivery and allows the neuroscience program to consolidate its diagnostic, surgical, interventional, intensive care and other services into one 88,000 square foot tower.

ACI/Boland, Inc. served as project architect and J.E. Dunn Construction Co. as general contractor of the $32 million project. The renovation took a year to complete and was created with input from physicians, nurses and staff to construct a space that offers the best environment for providing care and provides families and patients with relaxing, comforting surroundings.

The new facility will not only offer state-of-the-art equipment and expanded facilities but the streamlined design will also provide direct benefit to Saint Luke's neurological patients.

"By treating and caring for our patients with neurological conditions in one dedicated space we have the opportunity to not only provide the best, most comprehensive care in the most timely manner, but those patients will also have the benefit of the clinical expertise and collaboration of all the specialists in the building," said Marilyn Rymer , M.D., Saint Luke's Neuroscience Institute medical director. "When you are able to bring together leaders and experts in this highly specialized field and allow them to easily collaborate and confer with one another on particular cases or treatment options, the end result is the very best, highest level of care for the patient."

The vision for SLNI is to continue to spearhead advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological and spinal disease, including stroke, epilepsy, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, brain tumors, aneurysms, headaches, multiple sclerosis and sleep disorders.

Specific capital improvements include:

  • Four dedicated state-of-the-art neurological operating rooms & 13 bed recovery unit. Operating rooms are equipped with the latest equipment for treatment of complex cases, including an O-Arm for minimally invasive spine procedures and a portable CereTom-CT scanner for deep brain stimulation treatment.
  • Three neurointerventional suites with sophisticated biplane imaging systems
  • Expanded epilepsy monitoring unit
  • 18-bed Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit
  • Sixty-eight private patient rooms

Saint Luke's Neuroscience Institute highlights:

  • Stroke patients presenting at Saint Luke's Hospital are nearly 10 times more likely to receive a critical stroke intervention than the national average.
  • Stroke patients who've received care from Saint Luke's neuro-rehabilitation and physical medicine team have an 80 percent chance of returning home to resume normal, productive lives. This is 14 percentage points higher than the national average.
  • Saint Luke's Neuroscience Institute was the first facility to operate an adult Level 4 Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, the highest designation established by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. The designation reflects the hospital's depth of services, including advanced, continuous EEG monitoring and surgical treatment of epilepsy.
  • Saint Luke's Brain Tumor Center has the region's only fellowship trained neuro-oncologist on staff. It is also the only facility testing a novel vaccine for aggressive brain tumors.
  • Saint Luke's is one of the only regional providers with an updated 3-Tesla MRI to produce the highest-quality imaging of brain tumors. Its Novalis shaped beam system can use these images to sculpt radiation around the precise contours of a tumor, delivering maximum cancer-killing X-rays while minimizing damage to healthy tissue.
  • Saint Luke's Brain Fitness Center is one of the first in the country to combine the latest in neuro-targeted brain fitness technology with wellness guidelines, stress reduction, physical fitness, and diet. The "brain gym" helps those with cognitive dysfunction, from slight mental declines to severe limitations stemming from stroke, head trauma, brain tumor, or disease.
  • Saint Luke's Midwest Ear Institute, which is affiliated with the Neuroscience Institute, is a pioneer in cochlear implant surgery and a nationally-recognized center of excellence. It participates in nearly all FDA clinical trials of cochlear implant devices, offering patients the latest advances in treatment.
  • SLNI researchers are conducting the latest and most important clinical trials in Epilepsy, Alzheimer's Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. Stroke researchers are collaborating with Stanford and UCLA to discover the optimal imaging in acute stroke and the best way to communicate risk and benefit of acute stroke treatment.

For twenty years Saint Luke's has been at the forefront in the areas of stroke care and patient outcomes. SLNI has utilized revolutionary advances in treatment and created a groundbreaking model of stroke care by forming a comprehensive network of more than 80 hospitals in Kansas and Missouri and delivering patient outcomes that far exceed the national standards. Its pioneering work with the clot busting drug Tissue Plasminogen Activator or t-PA and mechanical clot-removal devices has garnered attention from the national media, policymakers, and physicians across the world. Today, Saint Luke's clinicians are testing the newest generation of clot removal devices, which can remove stroke-causing clots up to 80-90 percent of the time when patients present quickly for treatment.

The successful construction project was matched by very successful recruitment in neurosurgery in 2012. SLNI offers the full spectrum of elective and emergency neurosurgical procedures around the clock. The skilled group of five neurosurgeons includes specialists in skull base tumors and open neurovascular procedures, deep brain stimulation for patients with tremor and Parkinson's disease, surgical treatment for facial pain, epilepsy surgery, and minimally invasive spine procedures.

The research ultimately resulted in Saint Luke's being named the first Stroke Solution Site by GE's Healthymagination initiative to improve world health which was published in the medical journal Stroke, December 2012. Saint Luke's data was rigorously reviewed by Oxford Analytica demonstrating how SLNI's coordinated use of people, process and technology yields dramatically better outcomes for stroke patients.

The fundraising campaign for SLNI is led by honorary chairs Marshall Dean and Graham Hunt and chairs John MacDonald and Marilyn Rymer , M.D. More than $2.5 million in leadership gifts has been committed by the Deramus Family Foundation, the Hall Family Foundation, and the William T. Kemper Foundation, Commerce Bank, trustee. In addition, proceeds from the Saint Luke's Hospital Auxiliary's Holly Ball fundraiser in December will support SLNI's neurosurgical center.

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