Internationally renowned neurovascular surgeons lead new Baptist Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center
April 1, 2014 | Jacksonville, FL
Two internationally renowned neurovascular surgeons have joined the staff of Baptist Health and Lyerly Neurosurgery to lead the region’s only center providing adults and children access to stroke and other cerebrovascular care.
Medical leadership for the new Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville is being provided by Ricardo Hanel, MD, PhD, and Eric Sauvageau, MD.
Considered the most experienced cerebrovascular surgeons in the region, both have advanced endovascular fellowship training from the State University of New York at Buffalo and Neurovascular and Skull Base training at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Ariz.
The new Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center adds the final building block of Baptist’s comprehensive neurological services to provide advanced minimally invasive procedures that will make a profound difference in the lives of patients and their families.
Joining other physicians at Baptist Health and Lyerly, Drs. Hanel and Sauvageau will be part of a multi-site system of care providing improved access to patients, who in the past may have been transported outside the area during a life-threatening emergency for such conditions as strokes or brain aneurysms.
“Now we are the only center in the region that can provide pediatric and adult stroke care under the same roof,” Dr. Hanel said. “Regardless of the age of the patient, we have our community covered.”
The Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville is the regional epicenter for advanced diagnostics and treatments for all cerebrovascular conditions. The center serves all South Georgia communities, including Brunswick, Savannah and Valdosta, along with Florida residents on the East Coast from Melbourne up to Fernandina and west to Lake City and Tallahassee.
Hugh Greene, Baptist Health president and CEO, said adding the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center completes a vision for Baptist Health and Lyerly, which already has a strong spine and brain surgery program. “Our mission is to help people whose lives have been interrupted by injury and illness,” Greene said. “Part of our vision has been to have a comprehensive neurological presence.
The new center is a major service addition to fulfill our vision and an opportunity to take care of the most critical patients.”
Lyerly Neurosurgeon Javier Garcia-Bengochea, MD, said having Drs. Hanel and Sauvageau at Baptist/Lyerly “is a game-changing opportunity.”
“There is no reason why patients should have to leave our area to get top-notch care,” Garcia-Bengochea said.
Michael Mayo, hospital president of Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville, said Hanel and Sauvageau bring a high-level of energy and compassion and will “launch us into a whole new hemisphere.”
“The halo effect will be to grow this organization from beyond local to a regional and national level,” Mayo said.
With facilities unlike any other in the country, four floors of the Wayne and Delores B. Weaver Tower are being dedicated to the care of neurological patients. The floors will include:
Fully dedicated advanced Neurosurgical Operating Rooms suite with intraoperative MRI and CT capabilities.
State-of-the-art and cutting-edge technology such as a 3-D microscope.
Dedicated Neurointerventional Suites and staff with a biplane interventional imaging system, which allows for reduced radiation exposure and enhanced visibility for the physician.
48 private suites for medical and surgical neurological care.
Dedicated 12-bed Neurointensive Care Unit, soon to be expanded to 24, for critical care patients with neurological and neurosurgical issues.
Dedicated Neurohospitalists and outpatient support for timely post-hospitalization clinic follow-ups.
Telemedicine capabilities, which involves the use of secure medical information exchanges from one site to another by way of electronic communications to improve a patient’s health.
Single point of contact for all referrals of patients with stroke or other cerebrovascular conditions with 24/7 staff of dedicated Patient Transfer Coordinators who will streamline patient transfer by giving the referring physician the opportunity to connect directly with the neurosurgeon.
Easy access is enhanced with Baptist Health’s six emergency room departments at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville, Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Baptist Medical Center South, Baptist Medical Center Beaches, Baptist Medical Center Nassau and Baptist Clay Medical Campus. A referring physician will call Baptist’s Stroke & Cerebrovascular Transfer Center and be connected with the on-call endovascular neurosurgeon. An intervention team will be ready when the patient arrives at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville. Future alliances are also planned with other area hospitals to serve patients with neurovascular issues in the region.
“We are available 24/7 with neuro-critical care coverage to take care of the community,” Dr. Sauvageau said. “There is no single neurological, cerebrovascular or neuro-oncological disease that cannot be treated by Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville.”
Known for performing advanced minimally invasive procedures, Drs. Hanel and Sauvageau offer the latest approaches to treating all neurovascular conditions, including strokes, cerebral aneurysms, brain tumors and brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). As neurovascular surgeons, they provide traditional neurosurgical procedures such as clipping to repair a brain aneurysm to more advanced minimally invasive interventional radiology procedures such as coiling, where a small detachable wire is inserted into the aneurysm and navigated through an artery in the brain.
Hanel, who is originally from Brazil, was at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville since 2007 where he served as professor of neurosurgery and head of the cerebrovascular program. He is known for his skill in treating acute stroke and cerebrovascular conditions with ground-breaking endovascular therapy that can be performed from inside the blood vessel and also traditional microsurgical methods.
Dr. Sauvageau, originally from Quebec, Canada, was associate professor for neurological surgery and director of neurovascular surgery at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. He specializes in endovascular, cerebrovascular and skull base neurosurgery. He also has expertise in the treatment of microvascular compression syndrome, including trigeminal neuralgia and hemifacial spasm.
The procedures performed by Drs. Hanel and Sauvageau include the use of flow diverter technology, stenting and coiling as well as more traditional methods. Both doctors are also implementing a clinical neurosurgical research program and starting a cerebrovascular fellowship program.
Both doctors also specialize in pediatric neurovascular surgery, including Dr. Hanel, who has performed surgery at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. Together, for example, the two have clipped more than 1,000 brain aneurysms and conducted hundreds of flow diverter procedures, which is Dr. Hanel’s expertise.
“For me, coming to Baptist is about the potential to better serve the community,” Dr. Hanel added. “Baptist is about the community and being patient-centered. That is on the top of my list. This is all about the patient and improving access.”
Since the physicians have known each other for about 10 years and received the same advanced training, Dr. Sauvageau said they both offer “the same high-level care to the community” under a strong partnership.
The two are also excited to be joining the team of Lyerly, including neurosurgeons Javier Garcia-Bengochea, MD; Andrew Cannestra, MD, PhD; Bradley A. Wallace, MD, PhD; Paulo Monteiro, MD, Michael J. Petr, MD, PhD. They will also be working with Wolfson Children’s Hospital pediatric neurosurgeons Philipp Aldana, MD; Alexandra Beier, DO; Nathan Ranalli, MD and Hector James, MD.