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Suite Success – Neuro Debut Wows Guests

With speeches, high-tech demonstrations, and a VIP tour, NorthBay Healthcare introduced the epicenter of our new Center for Neuroscience June 18 with the official opening of the $6 million surgery suite, equipped especially with head and spine trauma in mind.

On center stage was neurosurgeon Jeffrey Dembner, M.D., who will guide NorthBay’s neuroscience program as well ne1
as oversee a team of on-call local and area neurosurgeons so uninterrupted trauma services for head and spine injuries will be available.

Dr. Dembner gave a personal
tour of the new surgery suite to a special audience on Tuesday, explained its new equipment and even offered a demonstration of the Stealth Neuronavigation System using a model of a “clear head” – in which the brain was visible.

“This is like a GPS for the body,” he told the audience as he passed the probe’s tip into the plastic brain.

Prior to the surgery, a patient’s MRI or CT scan would be loaded into a computer and displayed on the monitors around the surgical table. During surgery a “real time” image, created by the probe, is projected, allowing the surgeon to see exactly where his instrument is during the surgery. The probe helps the neurosurgeon target a tumor, bleed or biopsy site, while minimizing the opening in the scalp, skull and brain, he explained.

“The room you are standing in, the tools around you, and the expert individuals involved were all expeditiously made possible by NorthBay’s foresight and commitment to provide the safest, most cutting edge, and most comprehensive neurosurgery services to the communities of Solano County and beyond,” he told local lawmakers, NorthBay board members and hospital staff.

“From Day 1, it has been an honor and privilege to lead and work with the NorthBay team. Never before have I seen such a thorough exchange of learning or an execution of new ideas and practices occur so quickly and so efficiently, and be so well received.”

NorthBay Hospital Group President Deborah Sugiyama explained that the addition of neuroscience is a major cornerstone of the advanced services that NorthBay is dedicated to bring to Solano County.

“When we dedicated the cardiovascular operating room in 2009, we said it was the heart of the operation. I guess that makes the room we are dedicating today the brains of the operation,” she quipped. The new room was officially licensed for operation by the California Department of Public Health on Tuesday, according to Kathy Richerson, vice president and chief nursing officer.

Deborah also used the occasion to update local media on progress of other projects at NorthBay Medical Center, including the $320,000 in renovations in the Emergency Department and the addition of a second cardiac catheterization lab, another $6 million project, which should be completed later this summer.

She explained to the audience that the Center for Neuroscience goes beyond trauma.

“It is comprehensive care in neuro-oncology, neurovascular and degenerative spine injuries as well as traumatic cranial and spinal injury cases. And all of these services will be available to all in Solano County.”

She also pointed out that the addition of Dr. Dembner complements our neurology team and is instrumental in allowing our stroke program to serve the majority of patients who come to NorthBay, instead of having to send them out for care.

Susan Gornall, director of perioperative and wound services, helped coordinate the festivities
and even ordered a special cake featuring a colorful depiction of a brain for the staff celebration that followed the media event. “I am so proud of this great accomplishment for NorthBay Healthcare, and for Perioperative Services. We have the equipment, the leadership and an enthusiastic staff that’s ready to go,” said Susan.

After the media event, Dr. Dembner had a chance to meet NorthBay Healthcare System Director Mary Mancini, M.D., who was NorthBay’s first neurosurgeon in 1986 and the pair inspected the new equipment. “Wow, it’s a quantum leap from what we had,” Dr. Mancini reflected. “It’s very impressive; it’s a huge addition to medical care in this community.”

Both newspapers in Vacaville and Fairfield carried front-page articles about the dedication