St. Vincent Healthcare celebrates opening of new Regional Neuroscience Center

With two additional neurosurgeons on board, 25,000 square feet of space and about $150,000 in upgrades to an existing facility, St. Vincent Regional Neuroscience Center for Brain and Spine is making a statement.

It wants to lead the region in neurologic care.

The center is at 1041 N. 29th St. in the building formerly occupied by Northern Rockies Radiation Oncology Center. The new center opened June 1 and is drawing patients from throughout Montana, the Dakotas and Wyoming.

In the three months since opening, the center also has been a magnet for walk-in patients seeking answers and relief from pain, something they have not been able to find elsewhere, said Dr. Michael Copeland, senior neurologist.

Based on history and current activity, St. Vincent Healthcare expects upward of 15,000 visits annually to the center for issues related to neurology, neurosurgery and multiple sclerosis.

St. Vincent has long considered itself a leader in neurological care and plans to capitalize on that by offering an “improved, comprehensive level of patient care” at the center, said Dustin Strandell, director of the Neuroscience Service Line at St. Vincent Healthcare.

The Neuroscience Center is built on a new model and new concept that centers on bringing neurosurgeons, neurologists and clinics under one roof to offer patients the benefit of a team approach to their care. The center also has imaging services available for patients’ convenience.

“From a patient’s standpoint, it’s one-stop shopping,” Copeland said. “That’s what’s on patients’ minds.”

The center has four neurosurgeons, seven neurologists and a host of specialists. Having all of them in one place allows them to consult with each other on patient issues and treatments in a coordinated manner.

“We have all these brains in one place that previously weren’t together,” Copeland said. “Together, we can come up with better ideas and solve problems as a team.”

The Neuroscience Center provides services including:

— Stroke diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.

— Expertise in Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and other movement disorders.

— Acute and chronic pain management,.

— 24/7 neuro-hospitalist program for coverage of emergencies.

— The Headway Program for patients who have suffered a traumatic brain injury.

— New Hope, a comprehensive, accredited rehabilitation unit.

St. Vincent Healthcare hired two new neurosurgeons this year and is in the process of recruiting and hiring an endovascular surgeon, someone who treats blood vessel and lymphatic system conditions.

“We’re very proud of not having to ship our patients out of St. Vincent Healthcare or out of Billings,” Copeland said.

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