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Cooper University Health Care is Revolutionizing Neurological Care in the Region With New Specialized Unit to Treat Strokes and Cerebrovascular Disorders

New facility located in the Emergency Department will offer rapid treatments  


Cooper University Health Care’s Neurological Institute is transforming neurological care in the region with the opening of a new, dedicated Acute Stroke and Neuro Interventional Suite within its Emergency Department – the first of its kind in the nation. Cooper is the first comprehensive stroke center in the United States equipped with the latest generation Siemens Healthineers biplane angiography suite integrated with a CT scanner, providing fully integrated surgical image guidance for minimally invasive treatment of strokes.

The new Suite is designed to treat emergent and non-emergent forms of cerebrovascular disease including acute stroke of any type, cerebral aneurysms, carotid artery disease, and other vascular conditions affecting the brain and spinal cord. This “one stop shop” approach represents an innovative model of care addressing the critically time-sensitive nature of neurovascular emergencies.

Regardless of the type of stroke or neurological condition, patients will be evaluated and treated right where they enter the hospital without the need for time-consuming transfers from the Emergency Department to a CT scanner and from CT scanner to a procedural suite. Patients will be able to receive intravenous clot-busting medical treatment, thrombectomy, or other interventional procedures within the unit avoiding all the additional steps typically associated with conventional evaluation and treatment of neurological disorders, saving brain tissue and leading to better clinical outcomes.

“The new Acute Stroke and Neuro Interventional Suite will continue to build on Cooper’s ability to provide the highest level of services to our patients and the region and save lives. Particularly for stroke, every second counts and having a specialized care unit inside the Emergency Department will help save precious time. It is yet another, but certainly not the last, major first for Cooper and South Jersey,” said George E. Norcross III, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Cooper Health System, Cooper University Hospital, and MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper.

“Cooper continues to invest in neurosciences by bringing top specialists and innovative technologies to our patients,” said Kevin O’Dowd, JD, co-CEO of Cooper University Health Care. “This new facility takes neurological care to a new level that will ultimately save lives when every minute counts.”

The state-of-the-art Acute Stroke and Neuro Interventional Suite will be staffed around-the-clock by Cooper’s highly specialized neuroendovascular team. Biplane imaging allows doctors to follow the path of blood flow through a patient’s vessels through multiple views and to create a “roadmap” for reaching and treating the precise location of disease, whether vessel blockage, aneurysm, or vascular malformation.

“This unique setup will set new standards in systems of care for acute stroke. I am delighted to see this unique project come to fruition,” said Ajith J. Thomas, MD, a vascular neurosurgeon and chief and chair of Neurosurgery at Cooper.

“Patients presenting to the Emergency Department with acute stroke symptoms will be taken directly to the new unit for an urgent CT scan to determine if the stroke is ischemic (caused by blockage of a blood vessel in the brain) or hemorrhagic (caused by rupture of a blood vessel in the brain). If a procedure is indicated, our team will institute immediate treatment right there,” said Hamza A. Shaikh, MD, co-director of Neurointerventional Surgery. “The fact that this highly specialized unit is located adjacent to the Emergency Department and is staffed around the clock will undoubtedly save lives.”

In addition to emergency procedures, the suite will also be available for elective procedures for patients suffering non-emergent neurological conditions.

“Time is of the essence for many neurological issues, particularly strokes, and this new model of care — locating this suite in the Emergency Department — will save valuable time in treating patients brought to Cooper in critical condition,” said Anthony J. Mazzarelli, MD, JD, MBE, co-CEO of Cooper and practicing emergency medicine physician.

The Cooper Neurological Institute is fully dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of neurological and neurosurgical issues. The institute offers diagnostic and treatment options for a wide range of conditions including stroke, epilepsy, headache, Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, dementia, brain tumors, traumatic brain injury, hydrocephaulus, and disorders of the spine, as well as neuromuscular conditions. The institute’s stroke program has been awarded The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Centers.

“I commend Cooper’s leadership for having the vision to support this new unit. Institutional commitment to advancement of stroke care along with the dedication of Cooper’s team of professionals from multiple backgrounds made this project a reality,” said Tudor Jovin, MD, medical director of the Cooper Neurological Institute at Cooper and professor of Neurology and Neurological Surgery at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. Dr. Jovin, an internationally renowned neurologist and researcher who joined Cooper in 2019, is an expert in the interventional and non-interventional treatment for the entire spectrum of stroke and cerebrovascular disorders.

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