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Growing the Bayhealth Braintrust in Neurosciences

Monday, July 1, 2019 | Neurosciences
It’s been eight years since Bayhealth introduced its neurosurgery program, the first of its kind in central and southern Delaware. The Neurosciences service line is comprised of the Department of Neurosurgery and the Department of Neurology, including Primary Stroke Centers at both Bayhealth Hospitals, Kent and Sussex Campuses. With significant growth over the past year, the service line is poised to meet the complex needs of area patients and is expanding its offerings.

“A larger team has allowed us to advance each of our Neurosciences specialties and improve access,” explained Senior Director of the Bayhealth Neurosciences Service Line Tom Cairo, MBA. Neurosurgery Medical Director Dawn Tartaglione, DO, FACOS, joined Bayhealth in November and “brings extensive knowledge and experience to strategize as we take the department to the next level,” said Cairo.

Bayhealth Neurosurgery has grown from one to three neurosurgeons supported by five advanced practice providers. The neurosurgeons perform surgeries at Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus to treat cranial and spine conditions, brain or spine trauma and hemorrhagic stroke, among other conditions. They are increasing the use of endoscopy, a sophisticated minimally invasive technique to access parts of the brain, often through the nose or mouth, to remove tumors without an incision. For this and other procedures, the Bayhealth team uses advanced image-guided navigation, which provides real-time images of what’s shown in a patient’s MRI, optimizing precision and patient safety.

Bayhealth’s Department of Neurology now has several neurologists and advanced practice providers on staff providing specialized care on an inpatient and outpatient basis, and a certified Stroke Program that has won national awards through the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. Medical Director for Stroke and Neurology Sumeet Multani, MD, says the ability of their team to diagnose and manage a myriad of neurological conditions, including but not limited to migraines, dizziness, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and several recent cases of rare cerebrovascular diseases, speaks to the strength of the program. “Our outpatient stroke clinics are keeping our community healthier by providing follow-up care and education to help patients with their conditions and prevent reoccurrence of stroke and other medical issues,” said Dr. Multani.

Continuity of care is an important aspect that has been facilitated by an expanded team. The doctor that a Bayhealth patient would see in the hospital for neurological or neurosurgical care would be the same one they’d see for appointments after discharge. This is an important benefit, particularly to those who have been through serious neurological trauma or complex operations, as it develops trust and builds a strong patient-doctor relationship. There are times when care between neurology and neurosurgery overlaps. Bayhealth’s multidisciplinary approach, where the two specialties work collaboratively and in coordination with the emergency department and other departments, provides the best outcomes for patients, explained Dr. Multani.

Increasing their outpatient presence, Bayhealth Neurosciences is able to serve more patients in our community. Appointments are available in Dover daily and at the clinic in Lewes at least twice a month. Cairo says they’ll gradually ramp up scheduling in Lewes, based on patient needs, and have recently hired another physician assistant to meet demands.

Dr. Tartaglione believes the future is bright for Bayhealth Neurosciences. “With the expansion, we’re exponentially improving our patient relationships and building new ones, drawing in from all directions,” she said. “Among the patients I’ve seen, I can already tell they feel well taken care of at Bayhealth. Now we can continue to grow our resources and offerings and deliver that quality of care to a broader audience.”

Visit Bayhealth's Neurosciences page to learn more about our services.