2012: A Year for Superlatives and Appreciation

Collage of photos

Photos by Cindy Starr, UC Academic Health Center Communications Services, Mark Bowen, Joe Simon, Tom Uhlman, Tine Hofmann, Tonya Hines, and Fresh View Studio.

The physicians, researchers, managers and associates of the University of Cincinnati Gardner Neuroscience Institute, one of four institutes of the UC College of Medicine and UC Health, extend a heartfelt message of appreciation to all of our friends who have helped make 2012 such a memorable year. With your support, we have continued to accelerate our efforts to provide the best available treatments and family-centered care while aggressively pursuing new therapies and potential cures for neurological disease.

Dr. Opeolu Adeoye and the telestroke robot.

Our clinical, research and educational programs touched the lives of thousands of patients, caregivers and future physicians. In addition, millions of dollars have been donated and awarded in support of our research and patient education programs.

Here are just a few highlights from 2012:

A “telestroke” initiative came to fruition, enabling UC Stroke Team physicians at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center (UCMC) to “examine” stroke patients long-distance with the help of robots. The program includes UC Health West Chester Hospital and five partner hospitals (Dearborn County Hospital, Clinton Memorial Hospital, Fort Hamilton Hospital, Adams County Hospital, and Southwest Regional Medical Center in Brown County). More than 70 patients in remote locations have been served by Stroke Team specialists since the program began six months ago.

More than 75 stroke survivors and their caregivers attended “Celebrating 200 Patients in the START Stroke Recovery Program” at UC Health Drake Center. START, which stands for Stroke Team Assessment & Recovery Treatment, helps survivors continue to recover months or even years after their stroke.

People pose for photo

Dr. Ronald Warnick

and Ginger Warner

The UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute opened what is believed to be the first neurosurgical acuity-adjustable patient unit in the nation. The 10 new patient rooms eliminate the need for patients to be transferred to different care settings as their recovery progresses following surgery. Instead, the room and nursing staff conform to the needs of the patient. Simultaneously, we renovated the corridors of our neuro floor as well as the family waiting area, which includes the Ginger and David Warner Patient Education Alcove.

In collaboration with the UC Cancer Institute, we opened a new Neurological Complications of Cancer Clinic for patients with all types of cancer who are suffering neurological side-effects.

We offered free hearing and voice screenings as well as screenings for oral, head & neck cancer risk. And we continued to offer educational outreach to the community by hosting the Midwest Regional Brain Tumor Conference, the Sunflower Revolution Parkinson’s Disease Symposium & Expo, and the Play It Safe Symposium & Expo.

We hosted the biennial Princeton Stroke Conference, the premier and oldest academic stroke and cerebrovascular disease conference in the world; we hosted NBC war correspondent Charles Sabine, who made the life-altering decision to face up to his family history of Huntington’s disease and undergo genetic testing; and we hosted Dennis Choi, MD, PhD, Executive Vice President of the Simons Foundation, who called for “increased bandwidth” in the number of ideas that can be converted into active research and a more proactive role in disease philanthropy.

UC neuroscientists and their affiliates were named one of eight U.S. academic partners of the nonprofit One Mind for Research, which is mounting a global quest to cure brain disease and eradicate the stigma associated with mental illness and brain injury. The partnership could lead to expanded research and study of combat-related brain injuries and other neurological conditions.

Dr. Linda Théodor

UC Health Team Haiti deepened its commitment to Bernard Mevs Hospital/Project Medishare, Haiti’s only hospital dedicated to intensive care and trauma, with an intensive two-week mission. Later in 2012, Dr. Linda Théodor, one of two full-time physicians at the Port-au-Prince hospital, came to the UC Medical Center to further her understanding of a modern neuroscience intensive care unit.

Brain in fMRI

Aphasia study participant’s

fMRI scan

Our clinician researchers published dozens of findings in peer-reviewed journals and continued their search for new treatments for challenging diseases. They warned that stroke in the young is rising. They began a first-in-human Phase I trial for recurrent glioma, a malignant brain tumor, while helping map the glioma’s genome through a national effort called The Cancer Genome Atlas. They helped the Michael J. Fox Foundation identify biomarkers of Parkinson’s disease progression. They strived to learn how to slow down or prevent the onset of mental illness. And with funding from the Charles L. Shor Foundation, they used smartphones to determine whether stress and seizures can be positively linked.

Our Nuclear Medicine facility was approved by Eli Lilly and Company, Inc., to begin using the Amyvid™ radiomarker in positron emission tomography (PET) scans, opening up new opportunities for us to develop diagnostic and treatment studies in memory and stroke. Brendan Kelley, MD, the Sandy and Bob Heimann Chair in Research and Education of Alzheimer’s, continued evaluating the Revastigmine patch in patients with severe dementia from Alzheimer’s.

The UC Brain Tumor Center earmarked $150,000 in proceeds from the Precision Radiotherapy Center in West Chester, Ohio, for three $50,000 pilot grants to support metastatic brain tumor research. UCNI also revived the UCNI Pilot Grant Fund, which will provide four $25,000 awards each year.

In one of our many satisfying stories of hope, experts at the UC Epilepsy Center stopped Ryan’s chronic seizures with epilepsy surgery, enabling him to get a good, seizure-free night’s sleep for the first time in four years.

Jollene Shirley, CNP, Nurse Practitioner for the Waddell Center

We welcomed a cadre of talented new professionals to our team: researchers Atsuo Sasaki, PhD, who will study brain cancer and seek new treatments for primary and metastatic brain tumors; Richard Curry, MD, a neurologist and neuro-oncology specialist; and Hani Kushlaf, MD, a neurologist and specialist in neuromuscular disorders. We also welcomed nurse practitioners to the Memory Disorders Center and the Waddell Center for Multiple Sclerosis.

Lisa Davis, PT, DPT, left, assists Carolina Hatton in a demonstration of the new Ekso™ bionic exoskeleton.

The Ekso™ bionic exoskeleton, a wearable robotic device that enables patients with paralysis to walk, was unveiled at Drake Center. Drake is one of 20 institutes around the world and the only rehabilitation center in the region to offer the therapeutic device to patients.

A new, state-of-the-art EC145 helicopter joined the UC Health Air Care and Mobile Care fleet and began supporting advanced transport medicine to the Tristate.

Cerebrovascular specialist Mario Zuccarello, MD, the Frank H. Mayfield Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at UC, was honored on national Doctors’ Day with the Clinical MVP Award.

From Left, James and Joan Gardner with Dr. Fredy J. Revilla

Gardner Center Director Fredy J. Revilla, MD, was awarded the James J. and Joan A. Gardner Family Center for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Chair. The chair, established by the Gardner family with a generous donation, is an endowment whose proceeds will fuel creativity and new directions in research.

An unprecedented four members of the UCNI team were named to the Cincinnati Business Courier’s Forty under 40 Class of 2012: Jordan Bonomo, MD, a specialist in emergency medicine and neurocritical care; Jessica Guarnaschelli, MD, a radiation oncologist and member of the UC Brain Tumor Center; Pooja Katri, MD, a neurologist and member of the UC Stroke Team; and Anya Sanchez, MD, MBA, Administrative Director for UCNI.

A generous donation from the Harold C. Schott Foundation continued to support a Nurse Navigator, Jenny Ross, RN, who helps stroke and brain tumor patients navigate their treatment path before their admission to the UC Medical Center, during their hospitalization, and in some cases after they go home.

Walking in memory of Bob Jackisch, from left: (back row) Mike Jackisch and Bryan Jackisch; (front row) Jenny Minnick, Sandy Jackisch, Kathy Jackisch, Rachel Morton and Cindy Morton.

The 2012 Walk Ahead for a Brain Tumor Cure, co-chaired by Brian Wiles and his brother, Joe Wiles, and generously supported by the Jackisch Family (above) as presenting sponsor, attracted more than 2,000 participants from 17 states and raised more than $200,000. We also climbed mountains in honor of patients with movement disorders, golfed with Jerry Wuest & Pete Hershberger, bowled with the Shemenski Foundation, biked with Davis Phinney, modeled new ties with Brian Grant at the Cincinnati ShakeUp for Parkinson’s, sipped wine with Linda and Rich Seal at our annual Winetasting Event, and partied with Cheering for Charity — all in support of our specialized centers and programs.

Joseph Broderick, MD, Anya Sanchez, MD, MBA, and John M. Tew, Jr., MD

From left, Joseph Broderick, MD, Anya Sanchez, MD, MBA, and John M. Tew, Jr., MD

In closing, we thank you again for your continuing interest and support, and we extend our very best wishes to you and your family for a healthy and prosperous 2013.


John M. Tew, MD, Clinical Director
Joseph Broderick, MD, Research Director
Anya Sanchez, MD, MBA, Administrative Director

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