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Seeking Solutions for Brain Tumors

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, September 14, 2011

The Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center concept includes neurosurgical intervention, neuro-oncology consultation, and radiation-based therapy. Barrow developed its program with the backdrop of a brain tumor cancer center “vacuum” in the Southwest and brain tumor research shifting from the national to the local level. The hospital includes 64 licensed and staffed neuro-intensive care beds, 80 licensed and staffed neuro acute-care beds, and 11 neuro operating rooms.

Key areas of development include “homegrown therapeutic solutions,” a complete clinical trials program, and providing experimental therapy options for every patient, according to Pomeroy.

“It is really built on a foundation of research,” Pomeroy says.

A “successful clinical program requires clinical focus, market differentiation, educated resources, and visionary leadership,” he says, as well as a “well-conceived plan.”

Pomeroy says the brain tumor research program has yielded benefits in terms of clinical research as well as patient outcomes.

Pomeroy says the program has resulted in at least a 50% increase in clinical research projects, including a doubling of peer-review populations, as well as additional professional education seminars and patient and caregiver conferences.

Michele M. Grigaitis, DNP, FNP-BC, CNRN, a nurse practitioner in the division of adult neuroscience at Barrow, says the hospital has used advanced practice nursing that has resulted in improved efficiencies, such as contributing to reduced length of stay for patients. The nursing staff works cohesively with the hospital’s 20 neurosurgeons for standardization of care.

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