Governor, Ohio Board of Regents Include UCNI in Ohio Centers of Excellence

Doctors pose for photos.

UCNI Clinical Director John Tew, MD, left, and Research Director Joseph Broderick, MD. Photo by UC Academic Health Center Communications.

The neurosciences, driven by the 10-year-old University of Cincinnati Gardner Neuroscience Institute (UCNI), have been named an area of focus within a newly named state center of excellence at UC.

Gov. Ted Strickland and Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor Eric Fingerhut made the announcement Feb. 19 at a news conference at BioEnterprise in Cleveland, where they identified 14 academic centers of excellence whose focus is biomedical and healthcare enterprise.

In addition to the neurosciences, UC’s newly named state center of excellence, “Transforming Health Care in the 21st Century,” includes environmental health and cancer, pediatrics, and diabetes and obesity.

“The Centers at 14 universities throughout the state are committed to focusing their academic and research activities on biomedical and health care to create jobs in Ohio and further strengthen Ohio’s international reputation as a leader in bioscience research and development,” the Governor’s office said in a news release. “Ohio is already home to 775 bioscience-related companies, including the headquarters to two Fortune 500 companies–Cardinal Health and Procter & Gamble.”

“Aligning Ohio universities with Ohio’s growing biomedical and health care industries will generate economic growth and new, hard-to-outsource jobs,” Gov. Strickland said in the news release. “Biomedicine and Healthcare in Ohio create high-wage jobs, investments in facilities, research and development, and production. But much more than that, these industries bring forth medical breakthroughs that benefit citizens of Ohio and citizens of the world.”

Mr. Fingerhut stated that the centers of excellence help position Ohio’s universities as a magnet for talent and a catalyst for innovation by developing distinct missions and specialties within each institution.

“We are honored to be included in Ohio’s biomedical and healthcare centers of excellence,” said John M. Tew, MD, Clinical Director of UCNI. “Ohio is renowned for its healthcare excellence, and to be recognized as a neuroscience leader by the state’s leadership confirms our achievement as a benchmark institution in neurological care.”

Said Joseph Broderick, MD, Research Director of UCNI: “We thank Governor Strickland and the Ohio Board of Regents for this honor, which represents a milestone in UC’s neuroscience history. Knowing that we are viewed by the State of Ohio as central to neurological research and care will fuel our collaborative efforts to find cures and to further the well-being of the Ohio community and the surrounding regions that depend on us.”

Lee Ann Liska, FACHE, Executive Director and Senior Vice President of University Hospital, UCNI’s medical home, praised the clinicians, managers, associates and community supporters who helped UCNI earn its statewide distinction. “We assume a weighty responsibility as the region’s primary site of tertiary care for the sickest patients and most complex cases,” Ms. Liska said. “We are proud that through diligence, perseverance and a commitment to continuous improvement, we are meeting — and often exceeding — the community’s high expectations.”

University Hospital’s advanced technologies include intraoperative MRI, multimodal imaging fusion (MRI, fMRI, DTI and CTA), continuous, 24-hour EEG monitoring, mobile CT scanning, a Level 4 epilepsy monitoring unit, and Lycox monitoring of brain temperature and oxygenation.

The UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute, first envisioned by Dr. Tew, began with an intention to create a national benchmark in neurological care while leading the advance in humanity’s understanding of the brain. It was established in 1998 by neuroscience specialists at UC Health — University Hospital, the Mayfield Clinic, and the UC College of Medicine. Initial funding for the venture came from the Health Alliance.

Since its founding UCNI has achieved accreditations, certifications or national association memberships in 13 of 14 benchmark neuroscience specialties. The accreditations and memberships denote excellence in sub-specialty neurological care and research that are highly coveted by academic health centers throughout the United States.

The Institute has achieved the following distinctions – all of which are publicly available — from objective, nationally recognized organizations:

  1. Primary Stroke Center; designated by the Joint Commission
  2. Level I Trauma Center; verified by the American College of Surgeons
  3. Level 4 Epilepsy Center; designated by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers
  4. Neurocritical Care Fellowship Training; designated by the United Council of Neurologic Subspecialties
  5. Morris K. Udall Center for Parkinson’s Disease Research; designated by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
  6. Certified Member of the National MS Consortium
  7. Membership in the Acoustic Neuroma Association
  8. Membership in the Pituitary Tumor Network
  9. Membership in the Trigeminal Neuralgia Association
  10. Member Clinic of the Muscular Dystrophy Association
  11. Charter Member of the National Network of Depression Centers
  12. Membership in the Specialized Programs of Translational Research in Acute Stroke (SPOTRIAS)
  13. Membership in the Neurological Emergencies Treatment Trials (NETT)

The UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute’s Alzheimer’s Center, its 14th specialty area, is under development.

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