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A magazine for the friends of Barrow Neurological Institute of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center

Record gift

Marian Rochelle’s $10-million gift launches new Barrow Center for Neuromodulation

Strings attached $3 million just part of Ray Thurston’s gift to Brain Tumor Research Center

Volume 23, Issue 1, 2011


Opening thoughts ow! While this may not be an expression you normally hear from me, it perfectly expresses my feelings about two amazingly generous gifts that Barrow Neurological Foundation recently received. One—a $10-million outright gift from Marian H. Rochelle—enables us to move the Barrow Center for Neuromodulation from the drawing board to implementation. While we need additional philanthropic support to fully implement this project, Marian’s contribution has given us a giant leap forward. The second gift could total $3-million if the Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center reaches agreed-upon goals—and that’s what makes Ray Thurston’s gift particularly interesting. Ray, a logistics genius, gave the BBTRC team not only his financial support but also his skills in process improvement, greatly enhancing the research project he is supporting. Read about both of these wonderful gifts in this issue of Barrow. The Barrow Center for Neuromodulation is one of my legacy projects because I believe that neuromodulation is the next frontier for neuroscience. Just as Barrow has forged new paths in the area of cerebrovascular surgery, we will forge new paths in the exciting realm of neuromodulation. The potential for helping countless individuals with neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders is limitless. I hope you will join the individuals listed on page 17 in contributing to this enormously important project. Within this issue of our magazine are articles about many other benefactors and fundraising events of note—among them, the Barrow Grand Ball, Celebrity Fight Night, Lou Grubb Friends Fore Golf, Kate and John Altman, and Stevie and Karl Eller. Please take a few minutes to read about the many generous people who support Barrow and the many ways you can contribute to what we do. Thank you for all that you do for Barrow Neurological Institute.

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Sincerely,

Robert F. Spetzler, MD Director, Barrow Neurological Institute

P.S. You can learn more about the Barrow Center for Neuromodulation at SupportBCN.org. Online giving is available.

On our cover: Marian H. Rochelle made a $10-million gift to Barrow Neurological Foundation, the largest in the foundation’s history. Read about her amazing gift starting on page 4.


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4: A historic gift Marian H. Rochelle’s $10-million transformational gift launches new Barrow Center for Neuromodulation. 7: Pacing the brain Barrow Center for Neuromodulation offers new hope for neurological and psychiatric problems. 12: Neuromodulation Researchers at new center explore promising treatments for neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. 15: DBS concierge New program expands access to Barrow’s world-class deep brain stimulation. 18: Strings attached Ray Thurston’s $3-million gift to the Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center includes business guidance that is already paying big dividends. 20: Why we give Contribution thanks Barrow for amazing care after boating accident.

Contents

22: Trifecta of giving Barrow Grand Ball, Celebrity Fight Night and Lou Grubb Friends Fore Golf raise big dollars for Barrow. 25: Eller TelePresence Upgraded teleconference system positions Barrow for future of medicine. 26: Barrow Connection New service helps people with disabilities remain active after discharge from hospital. 28: Welcome! Program makes international patients feel right at home. 30: St. Joseph’s Amazing 34: Benefactor Briefs 36: Health & Wealth Raffle

Editor: Catherine Menor Catherine.Menor@chw.edu

Contributing writers: Lindsey Burke, Sally Clasen, Melissa Morrison, Sarah Padilla

Robert F. Spetzler, MD, Director Barrow Neurological Institute®

Art director/designer: Justin Detwiler

Photography: Brad Armstrong; Gary Armstrong; D Squared Productions, Murphy/Scully Photography; Jeff Noble, Loren Worthington

Linda Hunt, president and CEO St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center

Printer: Panoramic Press

• How to Reach Us • Barrow is published twice a year. We welcome your comments, suggestions and requests to be added to or deleted from our mailing list. Call 602-406-1041, email cmenor@chw.edu or mail to Barrow, Office of Philanthropy, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, 350 W. Thomas Rd., Phoenix, AZ, 85013. Please include your name, address, email and phone number in all correspondence. Visit us online at www.SupportBarrow.org.


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a historic gift Marian H. Rochelle’s $10-million transformational gift launches new Barrow Center for Neuromodulation

arrow Neurological Institute recently received a $10.1-million donation, the largest single gift in the organization’s history and likely the biggest ever given to any Arizona hospital. The one-time cash donation from philanthropist Marian H. Rochelle will be used to establish the new Barrow Center for Neuromodulation, which will explore an emerging medical frontier for psychiatric and motor disorders. The new center will be located inside Barrow and will include neurosurgeons, neurologists, psychiatrists, and clinical and basic researchers. “This donation will help ensure that Barrow Neurological Institute continues as a global leader in the neurosciences by enabling us to explore the brain’s pathways and their abnormal connections in patients

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with movement and psychiatric disorders,” says Barrow Director Robert Spetzler, MD. “There exists the tantalizing prospect that these abnormal pathways can be made to function in a more normal manner, potentially making a dramatic difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients worldwide. Thanks to Marian’s gift, Barrow will be one of a few medical institutions worldwide doing serious research into this new frontier—neuromodulation.” One type of neuromodulation—deep brain stimulation (DBS)—has been available as a treatment for movement disorders since 1995. More than 80,000 people have been implanted with a DBS device. Barrow conducts about 75 deep brain stimulation surgeries a year on patients with movement disorders.


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Deep brain stimulation involves the implantation of an electrode in a target area deep within the brain that is associated with a particular disorder. A pacemaker connected to the electrode then sends electrical signals to the brain, alleviating symptoms. While DBS will be the focus of early efforts of the new Barrow center, other neuromodulation therapies, including transcranial magnetic stimulation and low frequency ultrasonic therapy, also will be explored. One of the first areas of research for the new center will be the use of DBS for patients with treatmentresistant depression. Barrow has already launched a research trial that will increase our understanding of DBS as a treatment for depression. Other disorders that may benefit from neuromodulation include obsessive compulsive disorder, epilepsy, Tourette’s syndrome, bipolar disorder, addictions, autism and Alzheimer’s. Francisco Ponce, MD, is director of the center. A Barrow-trained neurosurgeon, Dr. Ponce received sub-specialty training in functional neurosurgery at the University of Toronto. After graduating from Harvard, he pursued graduate work in materials science at the University of Oxford and earned a medical degree from the University of Chicago in 2004. “This is one of the most exciting and promising areas of modern medicine,” says Dr. Ponce. “Through neuromodulation, we can improve and restore function in patients in a manner that is reversible, adjustable and safe. This center will combine the strengths of multiple disciplines, enabling our team to develop and implement new treatments for patients for whom current therapies fall short.” Rochelle and her family were honored at a luncheon in March during which the Barrow research building was named the Marian H. Rochelle Neuroscience Research Center. Much of the research at the Barrow Center for Neuromodulation will be conducted in this building on the St. Joseph’s campus. ■

“Thanks to Marian’s gift, Barrow will be one of a few medical institutions worldwide doing serious research into this new frontier—neuromodulation.” Robert Spetzler, MD

Photos from top: dedicating the new Marian H. Rochelle Neuroscience Research Center; Robert Spetzler, MD, and Marion Rochelle at the luncheon; Rochelle with Barrow researchers; Rochelle and her family—daughter April Brimmer Kunz, husband Bill Wardwell and granddaughter Kathrane Wilkenson.

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by Marian H. Rochelle

join me Time is of the essence for patients with difficult-to-treat neurological disorders

began giving to Barrow Neurological Institute to thank the physicians for the wonderful care they gave my late husband during the final years of his life. The treatment he received for Alzheimer’s disease extended his life by several years, giving us the most precious gift of all—time together. Since then, I have grown to appreciate all that Barrow does for patients in Arizona and around the world. This is truly a gem among neuroscience centers, and I am proud to support it. When the time came to make a more significant contribution to Barrow, I asked Kathy Kramer of Barrow Neurological Foundation for ideas. She set up a meeting with Dr. Robert Spetzler to discuss his legacy project, the Barrow Center for Neuromodulation.

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The Barrow research building on St. Joseph’s campus was renamed the Marian H. Rochelle Neuroscience Research Center in honor of Rochelle’s gift to Barrow. The building will house research for the new Barrow Center for Neuromodulation.

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I’ll never forget hearing Dr. Spetzler describe his plans for the center. As he explained the potential of neuromodulation to transform patients’ lives, I grew increasingly excited about the prospect of helping this brilliant man with such a worthy project. By the end of the conversation, I knew I had to be part of it. Each of us can play a role in making the new Barrow Center for Neuromodulation a beacon of hope for people with devastating neurological disorders. The doctors, nurses and scientists will give of their education, experience and skill, while we benefactors will give of the resources with which we are so richly blessed. I hope you will join me in supporting this amazing endeavor. Time is of the essence. ■


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pacing the brain Barrow Center for Neuromodulation offers new hope for neurological and psychiatric disorders by Francisco Ponce, MD euromodulation is one of the fastest growing areas of medicine. The term reflects a therapeutic approach toward neurological disorders that seeks to improve and restore normal function in patients by correcting abnormal activity in the nervous system. One of the most prominent neuromodulation therapies is deep brain stimulation (DBS). Over the past two decades, DBS has revolutionized the management of Parkinson’s disease. In the future, the field of neuromodulation is expected to enable similar breakthroughs in psychiatric disorders such as depression and in neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

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A pacemaker for the brain The introduction of the drug levodopa in 1968 represented a revolution in the management of Parkinson’s disease. The effects of levodopa allowed previously disabled patients to once again lead normal lives. With time, the limitations and side effects of drug treatment became all too apparent—the effects of the drugs would wear off with increasing frequency throughout the day, and patients developed intolerable side effects. The limitations of medical therapy ushered in a renewed interest in surgical techniques for Parkinson’s in the 1980s, and in the early 1990s, neurosurgeons harnessed the technology of cardiac pacemakers to treat movement disorders. By placing small electrodes into an area of the brain involved with motor function and stimulating that area with an implanted pacemaker, surgeons were able to stop tremor, melt away rigidity and improve movement in patients with Parkinson’s. In much the same way that a cardiac pacemaker uses electrical stimulation to correct abnormal rhythms in the heart, DBS uses electrical stimulation to correct abnormal rhythms in the brain. Since its introduction, DBS has been used to treat more than 80,000 patients worldwide. The FDA approved its use in the United States in 1997, and several large clinical studies have confirmed the benefit and safety of DBS for patients with Parkinson’s disease.

The illustration above shows a deep brain stimulation system. The pacemaker is implanted below the collar bone, and the electrodes are placed within the brain. Electrical stimulation results in improvement of symptoms.

When drug therapy fails: hope for refractory depression Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and in response, the pharmaceutical industry has invested heavily in the development of new medicines. However, recent studies reveal that up to 20 percent of patients with depression do not respond to standard treatments, including medicine, psychotherapy and electroconvulsive therapy. There are about one million people in the U.S. with treatmentresistant depression. As in Parkinson’s disease, the limitations of medical therapy in treating depression has kindled an interest in exploring surgical options. DBS is particularly appealing in this context because, in addition to its proven safety profile, DBS does not destroy brain tissue, and its effects are both fully reversible and

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Francisco Ponce, MD, director of the Barrow Center for Neuromodulation

Depres s ion Facts • More than 120 million people worldwide have depression. • Depression is a leading cause of disability. • About 6.7% of U.S. adults have depression. • Women are 70% more likely than men to experience depression. • About 20% of people with depression do not respond to standard therapy.

Neuromodulation restores or improves function in patients by correcting abnormal electrical activity in the brain.

Indications for deep brain stimulation: approved and investigational FDA-approved

Essential tremor (1997), Parkinson’s disease (2002)

FDA-approved under HDE*

Dystonia (2003), OCD (2009)

Investigational

Depression, epilepsy, bipolar disorder, Tourette’s, pain, cluster headache, stroke, traumatic brain injury, addictive disorders, alcoholism, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, tinnitus, orthostatic hypotension, hypertension

*Humanitarian Device Exemption

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Andrew Shetter, MD, and Francisco Ponce, MD, perform deep brain stimulation. adjustable. Clinical trials are underway evaluating the use of DBS for treatment-resistant depression. While there are fewer than 50 published cases in the medical literature about the use of DBS for depression, the initial results are encouraging: three out of five patients experienced an improvement in their symptoms, and up to two out of five patients went into complete remission.

A unique opportunity for Barrow DBS has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor. Under the FDA Humanitarian Device Exemption, DBS is also approved for the treatment of dystonia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Clinical trials are investigating the use of DBS for patients with depression, Tourette’s syndrome and epilepsy, and smaller studies have shown that DBS may be effective in treating other disorders (see table at left). The potential of DBS seems endless. The launch of the Barrow Center for Neuromodulation uniquely positions Barrow to make an impact on this growing field. The center will have three components: world-class clinical services, top-rate clinical research and cutting-edge translational research.

World-class clinical services A solid clinical foundation for the neuromodulation center is already in place. Barrow is the highest volume neurosurgery center in the world, and our DBS program currently performs about 75 cases each year. The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center (MAPC), a National Parkinson’s Foundation Center of Excellence, runs one of the largest movement disorder practices in the country, and, thanks to ongoing support from Celebrity Fight Night Foundation, the MAPC has an extensive patient outreach program. As part of our plan to expand Barrow’s DBS service, we will launch the Barrow DBS Concierge Program in July. This streamlined, expedited and multidisciplinary service will meet the DBS needs of community neurologists throughout Arizona and beyond. The goal of the program is to provide more patients with movement disorders access to world-class DBS care. Read more about the DBS Concierge Program in the article starting on page 15.

Top-rate clinical research The goal of DBS is to improve quality of life. With this in mind, the success of DBS largely depends on the patient’s own perception of how he or she is doing as a result of surgery. As we seek to maximize the bene-

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fits patients receive from surgery, tracking outcomes becomes essential. This will not only assist us in assuring the quality of our clinical programs but will help answer lingering questions such as when in the disease course surgery is best performed. In addition, a clinical trials arm of the program will seek to provide each patient an opportunity to be enrolled in either an observational or therapeutic study. Since neurobehavioral disorders will be a key area of interest for the Barrow Center for Neuromodulation, one of our top priorities is to recruit a neuropsychiatrist to help plan and direct these clinical trials.

Cutting-edge translational research When DBS was first introduced, we did not know how or why it worked. In the process of advancing our understanding of the mechanism of DBS, we have also furthered our understanding not only of Parkinson’s disease but also of the brain itself. The field of neuromodulation is still in its early stages, and research efforts are ultimately the key to progress.

Specific areas of investigation for our new center will include: (1) using functional neuroimaging to map areas of the brain implicated in psychiatric disease, (2) developing “intelligent” pacemakers that are capable of refining stimulation output based on feedback from the brain, (3) exploring the use of non-invasive strategies for neuromodulation, such as ultrasound or transcranial magnetic stimulation, for therapeutic purposes, and (4) stimulating peripheral nerves to modulate central pain circuits. The infrastructure for these projects is already in place. As we expand our research platform, additional areas of study will include investigating the effects of neurostimulation on brain plasticity, as an avenue to explore potential therapies for degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. The advances being made in neuromodulation will offer hope to hundreds of thousands of patients worldwide and, with the establishment of this center, Barrow Neurological Institute becomes one of only a handful of institutions worldwide committed to driving this field forward. ■

Legacy Project Robert F. Spetzler, MD, director of Barrow Neurological Institute, has chosen two new centers of excellence at Barrow as his legacy projects: the Barrow Center for Neuromodulation and the Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center. Dr. Spetzler is dedicating himself to these two centers because of their enormous potential to dramatically improve outcomes for thousands of patients each year at Barrow and around the world.

“I believe that neuromodulation has tremendous potential. If you can restore function in those who now have no hope for a normal life, you can make an incredible impact on society.” Robert F. Spetzler, MD Director of Barrow Neurological Institute

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key people Barrow Center for Neuromodulation NEUROPSYCHOLOGY

NEUROSURGERY

Francisco Ponce, MD Director

Mark Preul, MD

Andrew Shetter, MD

Kris Smith, MD

Robert Spetzler, MD

Leslie Baxter, PhD

Abraham Lieberman, MD

Guillermo MoguelCobos, MD

Sandipan Pati, MD

Anthony Santiago, MD

David Treiman, MD

A.D. “Bud” Craig, PhD

Alan Gibson, PhD

Stephen Macknik, PhD

Susana MartinezConde, PhD

Peter Steinmetz, MD, PhD

NEUROLOGY

Rohit Dhall, MD

NEUROPHYSIOLOGY

Konstantin Baev, MD, PhD NEURORADIOLOGY

John Karis, MD, PhD

NEUROBIOLOGY

Yongchang Chang, MD, PhD

NEUROIMAGING

Ronald J. Lukas, PhD

Jie Wu, MD

Josef Debbins, MD

Jim Pipe, PhD

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neuromodulation

by Lindsey Burke

Researchers at new center explore promising treatments for neurological, neuropsychiatric disorders hile the Barrow Center for Neuromodulation has just begun gearing up—thanks to Marian Rochelle’s transformational gift—scientists at Barrow are already conducting research that will contribute to the work of the new center. Here are a few examples:

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Leslie Baxter, PhD It’s not uncommon to find Leslie Baxter, PhD, in the operating room, working alongside Barrow neurosurgeons. Her expertise in identifying an individual’s critical brain regions through functional MRI enables the neurosurgical team to avoid areas that control important functions such as speech and movement. Dr. Baxter is the only person in Arizona who uses fMRI to map patients’ brains, and neurosurgeons from throughout the state rely on her skills. A clinical neuropsychologist, Dr. Baxter creates a map of brain activity by taking functional MRI (fMRI) images as the patient engages in certain activities. The final map shows the regions of the brain involved in such activities as reading, moving a finger or looking at pictures. Because of Dr. Baxter’s brain-mapping expertise, Robert Spetzler, MD, asked her to begin mapping the areas of the brain associated with depression as part of the Barrow Center for Neuromodulation. “Compared to mapping vision or speech, mapping emotional states is much more difficult,” says Dr. Baxter, “because feeling sad is such a complex behavior.” To determine the areas of the brain associated with depression, Dr. Baxter developed a task that generates sadness in participants. Dr. Baxter’s flexible but standardized task asks people—both those who are profoundly depressed and those who aren’t—to look at images and listen to music that are first in a neutral state. These spa-like sounds and pleasant environmental photos are then replaced with sad-sounding Celtic dirges and images of people grieving. When a feeling of sadness is reached, the participant presses a

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button. “This ability for each person to achieve a state of temporary sadness is the key I’m looking for in order to find activation in each individual’s brain,” Dr. Baxter said. The areas of the brain activated when people experience feelings of sadness can be seen on the fMRI. Dr. Baxter’s research focuses on examining what areas of the brain—such as the subgenual cingulate— correspond to depression. The fMRI images of depressed versus non-depressed people will help to locate the specific area of the brain associated with profound depression. “When we can identify this part of the brain in individuals with serious depression, it will be complementary information for the operating room, and it will help determine who will really benefit from deep brain stimulation,”she said. “We are not diagnosing depression, but rather noting that depressed people may have activity in certain areas of the brain that non-depressed people do not. “One of Barrow’s great strengths is our ability to combine a state-of-the-art neurosurgical center with high-tech brain imaging to help create some of the best outcomes for our patients.”

Sandipan Pati, MD Sandipan Pati, MD, is a neurology resident whose research interest led him to Jamie Tyler, PhD, a wellknown name in the field of ultrasonic neuromodula-

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tion based at Arizona State University. Together, the two are looking at multiple uses for neuromodulation using low-frequency focused ultrasound. “Non-surgical neuromodulation through the use of ultrasound gives us a viable treatment option and offers a window of opportunity for patients who can’t withstand surgery,” Dr. Pati said. The frequency of the ultrasound waves used by Drs. Pati and Tyler are significantly lower than those used to produce pictures of babies in utero. “We’re looking at using focused ultrasound in a number of ways,” Dr. Pati explained. “As a diagnostic tool in pre-surgical brain mapping, focused ultrasound waves can be aimed at areas of the brain suspected of housing language, for example. That way, neurosurgeons know which areas of the brain are language-critical and must be avoided during surgery.” Low-frequency ultrasound also may be used as an alternative therapeutic modality in neuro-critical patients who are otherwise unable to withstand surgery. “For example, when a patient with status epilepticus (multiple seizures within a short time period) has failed all conventional therapies and is too sick to undergo surgical intervention, we may be able to treat by modulating the brain using ultrasound at the bedside in as little as 10-15 minutes.” In the future, ultrasound also may play an important role in neural rehabilitation and may enhance cognitive function non-invasively. “In a patient with

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dementia, for example, who is experiencing difficulty swallowing, if we can target the area of the brain that controls their ability to swallow and use low-frequency ultrasound to stimulate swallowing movement, we might be able to improve the patient’s quality of life by enabling them to eat and swallow. “Neuromodulation via ultraDavid Treiman, MD sound doesn’t compete with deep brain stimulation,” Dr. Pati said, “but rather provides a non-surgical complement and allows Barrow the opportunity to have a comprehensive neuromodulation center.”

David M. Treiman, MD

Sandipan Pati, MD

Simply put, David Treiman, MD, is interested in finding ways to help people with epilepsy. One area of Dr. Treiman’s research examines ways of predicting and averting seizures prior to their onset by using closed loop feedback. On an electroencephalography (EEG) reading, normal brain activity is depicted as a series of chaotic wavy lines. “But as a patient nears the point of a seizure, the brain activity becomes less chaotic, and the waves become increasingly more entrained and in alignment with one another. Using this information, we make some calculations that can predict when a seizure will occur,” Dr. Treiman said. In laboratory studies conducted by other researchers, electrical impulses delivered intermittently to the anterior nuclei of the thalamus (the area responsible for seizure activity) reduced overall seizure frequency.

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But one of Dr. Treiman’s students, Levi Good, took that one step further. By using a prediction algorithm to determine when a seizure is likely to occur and delivering electrical stimulation at just the right time— as opposed to random, periodic stimulation—the reduction in seizure activity is greater. This “closed loop” uses brain-specific feedback to determine when stimulation is most appropriate. Dr. Treiman and his colleagues are also developing an algorithm for predicting which patients will develop post-traumatic epilepsy after traumatic brain injury. “When someone experiences a traumatic brain injury, five- to 50-percent of the time they will develop post-traumatic epilepsy,” he said. “But even in the worst-case scenario, their propensity to develop epilepsy is only 50 percent, so if we can find a way to determine who is likely to develop epilepsy, then we can decide who should receive antiepileptogenic agents.”

“The idea I had was to use a different protocol to stimulate the vagus nerve to have a greater effect on emotions,” he said. “Because it is tied to positive feeling and emotion, if we can trigger that more effectively, it can help inhibit pain. “In pediatric epilepsy patients, we activate the pathway artificially using continuous stimuli at 30 to 50 pulses per second for up to 30 seconds. A more effective trigger for the positivity pathway is to deliver a microburst of energy, 300 pulses per second for just a tenth of a second, every second or so. That activates synaptic facilitation in the emotion pathway and will produce positive energy more effectively.” Implications are great for patients with central pain—a neurological disorder caused by central nervous system dysfunction—for whom pain medications don’t work. ■

A.D. “Bud” Craig, PhD The vagus nerve, a large nerve in the neck, is easy to access and is the main parasympathetic nerve, controlling digestion and heart rate. Bud Craig, PhD, is looking at neuromodulation of the vagus nerve and its effect on pain. “There are many reasons to think we can induce relaxation, happy feelings or positive energy in people through vagus nerve stimulation,” Dr. Craig said. Currently, stimulation of the vagus nerve is used in treatment-resistant depression and epilepsy.

A.D. Bud Craig, PhD

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dbs concierge

by Sally Clasen

Expanding movement disorder patients’ access to Barrow’s world-class deep brain stimulation

Deep brain stimulation helps alleviate the hand and vocal cord tremors that Charlotte Sabatine has as a result of dystonia. Here, Parkinson’s specialist Guillermo Moguel-Cobos, MD, adjusts the pacemaker that sends electrical signals to the electrode implanted in Sabatine’s brain.

ost people don’t think of medical visits as a luxury vacation experience. Yet patients with movement disorders, who already receive five-star treatment at Barrow Neurological Institute, will get an upgrade in care at the new DBS Concierge Program, which is part of the Barrow Center for Neuromodulation (BCN). The goal of the DBS Concierge Program is to provide deep brain stimulation in an accelerated setting. Normally, the DBS evaluation, treatment and programming process requires a series of medical appointments spread out over months. The DBS Concierge Program greatly compresses this process while maintaining Barrow’s high standards of care.

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During DBS, surgeons “rewire” the brain through a neurotransmitter that delivers low-voltage electricity and blocks the abnormal firing of neurons, or nerve signals, that cause the common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, such as tremors, stiffness, slowness and gait problems. In most cases, DBS is done in two stages—the first step involves inserting an electrode into the target area of the brain. One week later, a small neurotransmitter is implanted under the skin in the chest area and then connected to the electrode. Surgeons at Barrow already perform about 75 successful DBS procedures a year on patients with movement disorders. But the expanded services of the BCN, which combines the multidisciplinary fields of neurology, neurosurgery and neuropsychology, will include a “concierge” approach to treatment unlike any other facility in the country, according to neurosurgeon Francisco Ponce, MD, director of the BCN. “We’re taking Parkinson’s service to the next level.”

Fast-tracking DBS The condensed format includes a pre-surgery assessment, implantation of the device for approved patients and expedited programming of the neurotransmitter. “Patients remain under the care of their referring neurologists, but we can meet the specific needs of DBS patients who don’t have access to specialty care,” Dr. Ponce says. About 80,000 people worldwide have undergone DBS, and the establishment of a dedicated program that offers a comprehensive and efficient approach to DBS management means a greater percentage of patients will become candidates for the procedure, he adds. Anthony Santiago, MD, a neurologist and movement disorders specialist at the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow, agrees the scope of the DBS Concierge Program is endless. “We can provide outstanding clinical care in a way that others can’t. We already have a well-connected effort in terms of reach and partnerships, but through this new program, we can streamline the process,” he says. Sherri Woodbridge of Medford, Oregon, is one of the first patients to benefit from the DBS Concierge Program’s condensed-care timeline. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2004 by Dr. Santiago in Spokane, Washington, she has experienced a range of worsening symptoms since she was 32, including balance problems, tremors, stiffness in her upper back and neck, Sherri Woodbridge and speech issues. “I was weary of day-to-day activities, like walking alone and falling. I also was tripping a lot, and

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“We’re taking Parkinson’s service to the next level.” Francisco Ponce, MD the tremors were making it difficult to use a keyboard. Plus, the stiffness in my neck led to headaches,” says Woodbridge, who recently wrote a book about Parkinson’s titled Shaken on the Inside and blogs about her experiences at ParkinsonJourney.com. Woodbridge went through initial DBS testing with Dr. Santiago in Washington and then followed up with him at the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center last November. She told him she was ready for the surgery. In January, Dr. Ponce and neurosurgeon Kris Smith, MD, inserted both the electrode and neurotransmitter wires into Woodbridge during a seven-hour procedure at Barrow. “In less than two weeks, Woodbridge was evaluated, had surgery and her electronic device programmed. Normally, such a series of events for DBS evaluation and treatment would involve a six-to-ninemonth commitment,” Dr. Santiago explains. For Woodbridge, the fast-track schedule has been well worth the travel across state lines. “In a short period, the team made an amazing effort to condense my appointments,” she says. “The staff and hospital environment were wonderful. I’d recommend both the procedure and the facility.”

The benefits of DBS Perhaps more importantly, she’s feeling like her old self again. “I’ve never felt more in-tune with my body. I’m functioning better than ever. I’ve been able to decrease my medications, and my tremors are almost reduced to nothing 95 percent of the time. My balance is getting better and better, and my stiffness is decreasing little by little too. And I haven’t tripped or fallen since having DBS, which is a big deal,” Woodbridge says. In addition to expanding the use of DBS to treat those with movement disorders, the BCN team will investigate other technologies to treat patients with a number of neurological and behavioral conditions such as depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, epilepsy, Tourette’s syndrome, addictions, autism and chronic pain. ■


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thank you! We extend our deepest gratitude to the following early supporters of the Barrow Center for Neuromodulation Transformational Gift ($10.1 million) Mrs. Marian H. Rochelle Circle of Excellence ($1,000,000 and above) Mr. Robert Greening Circle of Stewardship ($500,000-$999,999) Mr. and Mrs. Lee Hanley Circle of Collaboration ($100,000-$249,000) Mr. and Mrs. Geoffrey Edmunds Circle of Dignity ($50,000-$99,999) Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Colangelo The Dorrance Family Foundation Mrs. Patricia Goldman Mr. and Mrs. Gary Hewson Mary Ellen and Robert McKee Spectrum Video & Film, Ltd. Dr. and Mrs. Robert F. Spetzler Mrs. Wallace Thorne

Heritage Circle ($10,000-$49,999) Mr. and Mrs. David Glew I. Jerome Hirsch Dr. and Mrs. Bruce D. Merrill The Women’s Board of Barrow Neurological Foundation Mrs. Julie Wrigley

BCN Steering Committee Susan Aberbach Donald Budinger Kathy X. Kramer Bruce Merrill, PhD Janis Merrill, Esq F. Francis Najafi Daryl Weil Julie Wrigley

Circle of Giving (up to $9,999) Lehman F. Beardsley Roger J. Bolan, PC J.M.R. Brophy Mrs. Thomas M. Churchill Barbara Clelland Mary Jane Crist Jeramy C. Dove Jim Eastham Mr. Philip Edmundson Mr. Robert Garson Gary J. Goodman Marilyn Harris Janice M. Hawken Anne G. Henry Mr. and Mrs. Richard C. Houseworth Mr. Samuel F. Kitchell Kathy X. Kramer Dr. and Mrs. Alexander C. Mamourian George Sheer J.R. Watts

A total of $21 million is needed for the Barrow Center for Neuromodulation, and about $13 million has been given so far. Please join these friends of Barrow in supporting the center. Contact Kathy Kramer at 602-406-1042 or Kathy.Kramer@chw.edu. Or make your gift online at SupportBCN.org.

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strings attached Ray Thurston’s $3-million gift to the BBTRC includes business guidance that is already paying big dividends by Catherine Menor hen Valley entrepreneur Ray Thurston decided to make a $3-million gift to the new Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center, writing a check was only part of the equation. Just as important to the fledgling center was the business expertise that Thurston brought to the table. As part of his gift, Thurston—founder of SonicAir, a logistics company he sold to UPS in 1995—sat down with Nader Sanai, MD, director of the BBTRC, to take a close look at the research project his donation is supporting. Thurston’s goal was to help Dr. Sanai enhance efficiency, cut costs and focus the project’s short- and long-term objectives. Out of these meetings came a Gantt chart that details each step in the research project over the next three years and serves as a road map for Dr. Sanai and as an evaluation tool for Thurston.

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“This is certainly the most detailed and thoughtful planning process I have ever been a part of. It increases our chances of success exponentially,” says Dr. Sanai. “Ray pored over our timeline and said, ‘Let’s run all these processes in parallel. Cost is not an issue.’ As a result, we have compressed an ambitious project from five to three years and reduced its expense, too.” In addition to improving the research process, Thurston built financial incentives into his gift agreement. “My donation requires that Dr. Sanai achieve certain goals on a quarterly basis, and if he achieves those goals, I write a check,” Thurston says. “I think that today’s benefactor is more interested in outcomes. Those organizations that can provide outcomes are going to attract more investments.”


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Hear Ray Thurston talk about his gift to the BBTRC Visit SupportBBTRC.org to hear Ray Thurston and Nader Sanai, MD, discuss the new center. For more information on how you can contribute to this project, contact Kathleen Norton at 602-406-1039 or Kathleen.Norton@chw.edu. Nader Sanai, MD, provides Ray Thurston an update on research at the Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center.

“He’s been a critical partner, really a genius innovator in terms of getting things done in the laboratory, and it has completely changed the way we approach and conduct our science.” Nader Sanai, MD

Kathy Kramer, vice president, Leadership Gifts at Barrow Neurological Foundation, concurs that today’s benefactors are demanding more accountability. “They want to be involved in the projects they support, and they want to know that their money is being well spent,” Kramer says. According to the gift agreement, the BBTRC can keep and redirect any money saved through the efficiency measures that Thurston recommended, giving the center additional dollars for research. “It’s refreshing,” says Dr. Sanai. “It motivates you to constantly reassess yourself and those on your team.” The project Thurston is funding will use spectroscopy to develop a metabolic profile of cells in brain tumor tissue. That profile will then be used to identi-

fy cancerous brain cells in patients so that the cells can be destroyed with focused radiosurgery. Thurston said he enjoys meeting with Sanai and his research team. “It’s a great joy to work with these really bright people doing something that’s going to help medicine in the future.” As for Dr. Sanai, he views Thurston as much more than a benefactor. “He’s been a critical partner, really a genius innovator in terms of getting things done in the laboratory, and it has completely changed the way we approach and conduct our science.” ■

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why we give Contribution thanks Barrow for amazing care after boating accident

by Lindsey Burke

n 2003, Mike DeGraffenreid and his wife, Denise, ber them saying, ‘You’re going to one of the best neuwere enjoying a day on the Colorado River with rosurgical facilities in the world. You’re going to Barfriends. The sun was shining, it was hot, and Mike row,’” he recalled. Denise drove to Phoenix the next was anxious to cool off. morning. When she Mike dove straight off arrived at the hospital, the side of the boat, head Mike was in traction. first. “I thought the water Under the leadership of was much deeper than it neurosurgeon Peter Nakawas,” he said. But the ji, MD, the team at Barrow water wasn’t even three was working to stretch the feet deep. His head spine so the vertebrae crashed into the bottom. would realign. “I hit the bottom pret“I was in and out of ty hard. But I used to play consciousness. They football, so I was used to would come in every hour getting knocked around,” or so to take X-rays and he said. “I thought I could see if it was working, and just shake it off.” then they’d put more Mike didn’t want to weight on occasionally,” spoil the day for his wife Mike said. After about 12 and friends, so he decided hours they took him into just to relax on a raft inside surgery. the boat. “But as time “It was a blessing from passed, I started feeling the very beginning that ‘’Without Barrow, we weak and nauseous. It the second doctor hapbecame difficult to raise pened to be there and hapwouldn’t have our son or my head,” he said. pened to see problem. Denise noticed that he And that I was sent to Bardidn’t look right. His eyes row right away and that I our granddaughter, Ava.” were glazed. Finally, they was so lucky to have Dr. convinced Mike that he Nakaji take care of me. Kate Altman needed to go to the hosWhen I was in the hospipital in Lake Havasu City. tal, my nurse would say, Initially, hospital staff ‘Move your toes. You’re a didn’t think much of his injuries. They took X-rays of miracle!’” his neck. The first physician didn’t see anything wrong. Mike was at Barrow for just a few days. “I only But a second doctor noticed cracks in C5 and C6 of his missed two weeks of work,” he said. “I defied the cervical spine. Injuries of this type often leave patients odds really. I’m very grateful to the staff there—I can’t quadriplegic. explain how thankful I am.” Throughout the entire ordeal, Mike’s mother, Kate Altman, was in Australia. “We came home to 17 mesThe flight to Barrow sages on our answering machine,” she said. Kate and At around 11 p.m. Mike was loaded into a helicopter husband John left immediately for Barrow. for a flight to Barrow Neurological Institute. “I remem-

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It was their first experience with Barrow, but not their last. In 2005, John had a botched back surgery in Ohio and had been to multiple medical centers and told he was inoperable. “But when I came to Barrow, I was told that with exercise and cortisone injections, they could make me much better,” he said.

Supporting Barrow “All of our medical care is now at St. Joe’s, and we consider them our main doctors,” Kate said. “Without Barrow, we wouldn’t have our son or our granddaughter, Ava.” To thank Barrow for their son’s care, the Altmans began supporting the Barrow Resource for Acquired Injury to the Nervous System Program in 2010. The program provides comprehensive care to those who have suffered a traumatic brain or spinal-cord injury. “Everyone at Barrow treated us like we were a friend. We never once felt that they were pushing us aside. In every case they listened, we were acknowledged – they really cared,” Kate said. “Call it coincidence, call it anything you want. To me, it’s divine intervention. If you can be receptive to those signals in your life, it can be remarkable. ‘Thank you, God, and thank you, Barrow!’ is the best way I can say it.” ■

Giving from the heart If you would like to thank Barrow Neurological Institute for the amazing care you or a loved one received, please contact Barrow Neurological Foundation at 602-406-3041. There are many ways to contribute to Barrow’s mission, and we would be glad to help you find a way that works for you. Or visit our website, SupportBarrow.org.

Denise, Ava and Mike DeGraffenreid

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trifecta of giving Barrow Grand Ball, Celebrity Fight Night, Lou Grubb Friends Fore Golf raise big dollars for Barrow he Barrow Grand Ball, Celebrity Fight Night and Lou Grubb Friends Fore Golf are three outstanding events that raise major dollars for Barrow Neurological Institute. Each year, it seems that these fundraisers could not possibly get any better—but then they do. This year was no exception. Below is a recap of each event, along with some great photos. To everyone who planned, attended or supported these top-notch events, we extend our deepest thanks!

T Clockwise from above: Pat Goldman and Judy Shannon; Shan Francis and Nancy Hanley; Angela Melczer, Shan Francis and Nancy Hanley; Patti Gentry, Barbara Greiner Glass and Robyn DeBell; Jill Marrs and John Dawson.

Barrow Grand Ball Once again, the Barrow Grand Ball was the belle of the Arizona charity black-tie events. This lovely evening of dancing and dining was held January 15 at the Arizona Biltmore and raised $1.65 million for Barrow. Chairmen of the 46th annual event were Shan Francis and Angela Melczer. Of special note are these exceptional contributions: Chief of Staff John W . Dawson - underwriting of the 2011 Barrow Grand Ball Women’s Board - Michael Melczer Memorial Fund, the Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center Robert Greening - Legacy Gift to Barrow Women’s Board Jamie Chafin Barrow - Legacy Gift to Barrow Women’s Board Mr. and Mrs. David Glew - Neurosurgery Research Mr. and Mrs. Lee T. Hanley, Hanley Family Charitable Trust - Barrow Center for Neuromodulation Barrow Dean Dr. and Mrs. Curtis A. Dickman - Sonntag Academic Pavilion Mr. and Mrs. Philip Francis - Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Hobbs, Sr. - Karen and Robert Hobbs and the Hobbs Family Grant for Multiple Sclerosis Research Dr. and Mrs. Robert Spetzler - Neurosurgery Research

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White Coat Fellow The Warren and Mary Jane Crist Foundation Neuroscience Nursing Expert Exchange Program Mr. and Mrs. Bennett Dorrance - The Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center Mr. and Mrs. Geoffrey Edmunds - Barrow Center for Neuromodulation Mr. and Mrs. Karl Eller - TelePresence Conference Room Mrs. Patricia Goldman - Barrow Center for Neuromodulation; Sonntag Academic Pavilion Mr. and Mrs. Gary J. Hewson - Barrow Center for Neuromodulation Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Lavinia - Pediatric Neurogenetic Disease Research Mr. and Mrs. Robert H. McKee - Barrow Center for Neuromodulation; Genomics Dr. and Mrs. Nicholas Theodore - The Sonntag Academic Pavillion Mrs. Wallace Thorne - Neurosurgery Research US Airways - Community Outreach and Injury Prevention: “Helmet Your Head” Brain Injury Prevention Program Valley Anesthesiology Consultants, Ltd. - Pediatric Neurogenetic Disease Research Julie Ann Wrigley Foundation and The Burns Family Foundation - Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center Multi-Year Commitment Dr. and Mrs. Volker K.H. Sonntag - Neurosurgery and Spinal Research

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From top to bottom: American Idol contestants; Reba McEntire, Kelly Clarkson and Halle Berry; Bret Michaels; Muhammad Ali; Kevin Costner and his band.

Celebrity Fight Night XVII On March 19, stars and athletes from around the country converged on the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix for Muhammad Ali’s Celebrity Fight Night XVII. Among them were Reba McEntire, Billy Crystal, Matchbox Twenty, Bret Michaels, Lee Greenwood, Jackie Evancho, Kelly Clarkson, Kevin Costner, Sinbad and the American Idol top 11 finalists. This year’s Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night Awards went to Academy Award winner Halle Berry - Entertainer Award; LPGA Champion Cristie Kerr - Sports Achievement Award; Go Daddy CEO and Founder Bob Parsons - Entrepreneur Award; former NBA and NFL owner Red McCombs - Humanitarian Award. The black-tie event featured cocktails, a silent auction, an elegant dinner and an exciting live auction featuring one-of-a-kind luxury items.

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In all, the event raised $6.6 million for charity, including the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow. Celebrity Fight Night has raised more than $70 million in 17 years. Celebrity Fight Night Foundation is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1994 by Jimmy Walker. For information, visit CelebrityFightNight.org.

Lou Grubb Friends Fore Golf

Photos from top: Tom Reahard, Roger Maxwell and Curt Hudek; Ken Foster and Anthony Bolden; Bill Walker, Matt Shock, Hamilton Espinosa and Oscar Salazar; Daffodil Sanchez; Ernie Solares and Bob Olivas.

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The 2011 Lou Grubb Friends Fore Golf (LGFFG) netted more than $225,000 for Barrow and St. Joseph’s, making it the most successful in the event’s 38-year history. Thursday’s dinner attracted 480 people, and Friday’s tournament drew a full field of 260 golfers. The dinner event on April 28 at Scottsdale Plaza Resort featured a cocktail party, raffle, silent auction of more than 130 items and a live auction. New this year was the Cardinals Grab Bag Raffle. Sixty grab bags priced at $100 each sold in just 20 minutes. Top prizes in this raffle were a 42” flat screen TV with audiovisual package, a one-year family membership at Starfire Golf Club and a case of limited-edition Hewitt Vineyards cabernet sauvignon. The Party Putt Raffle also offered a shot at some great prizes, including a 65” 3D TV, $1,500 in US Airways vouchers and a McCormick Ranch Golf Club mini tournament for 16. The high point of the evening was the live auction of a one-of-a-kind golf collector’s starter kit contributed by Roger Maxwell. It sold for $25,000, a record for LGFFG. Friday’s golf tournament at McCormick Ranch Golf Club began with lunch and a golf clinic run by golfers Daffodil Sanchez and Tina Tombs. After the 18-hole tournament, golfers enjoyed dinner and an awards ceremony. Each winner received a framed classic golf club from Lou Grubb’s personal collection. Major sponsors were the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Arizona Cardinals, CBIZ, DPR Construction, Greenberg Traurig, and Symmetry Software. Other sponsors were Angelica, Kathy and Dan Grubb, Evelyn and Lou Grubb, the Health & Wealth Raffle, Linda and Bill Hunt, LifeLock, Kathy and Roger Maxwell, Panoramic Press, Republic National Distribution, and Xerox. Planning committee members were Greg Anderson, Scottie Button, Brent Cannon, Hamilton Espinosa, Booker T. Evans, Lou Grubb, Bill Hunt, Stuart Kirk, Roger Maxwell, Mike Medici, Loui Olivas, Anne Robbs, Lee Rosenthal, Tom Reahard, Dennis Sage, Dennis Scully and Joanne Springrose. ■


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eller telepresence Upgraded teleconference system positions Barrow for future of medicine

he video conferencing system at Barrow Neurological Institute, which was made possible five years ago by benefactors Stevie and Karl Eller, recently received a major upgrade and a new name—Eller TelePresence @ The BARROW. The name honors the significant role that the Ellers have played in developing and funding the system. Karl came up with the idea of TelePresence after seeing residents in a Barrow surgery suite straining for a view of the procedure. The resulting $1.1-million video conferencing system gave medical students and residents an unsurpassed view of surgery and enhanced Barrow’s efforts to provide consultations to physicians in remote areas of the U.S. “Not only was the philanthropic generosity of Karl and Stevie Eller what made this project possible, it was that first spark of an idea, a dream, from Karl himself that really got us started,” said Stephen Papadopoulos, director of the Outpatient Spine Care Center and Image Guided Surgery. “And his enduring commitment constantly encourages us to continue.” The upgraded TelePresence system, which was unveiled during a luncheon honoring the Ellers, features high-definition screens for an even more life-like experience. ■

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barrow connection

by Sarah Padilla

New service helps people with disabilities remain active after discharge from hospital here’s a lot more that goes into learning to live with a disability than maneuvering a wheelchair or learning to use adaptive equipment. In fact, for many, inpatient rehabilitation is only the tip of the iceberg. The true rehabilitative process— readjusting to life at home, work and school and dealing with emotions—is an ongoing journey. Barrow Neurological Institute hopes to make this transition easier for the thousands of Arizonans who become disabled each year as the result of a brain or spinal cord injury through Barrow Connection, a new program that helps connect individuals and their families with resources throughout the state. Established in late 2010, the program is believed to be one of a few of its kind in the country.

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Promoting health and wellness Program Coordinator Jo Crawford says that the hospital rehabilitation experience typically isn’t long enough for the newly injured to fully grasp what the future has in store. “Many patients are just barely coming to terms with their injury when they leave the hospital. Our goal is to follow up with these individuals and their families, and to promote ongoing health and wellness.” Patients of all ages who have undergone rehab for physical or neurological issues are welcome to become part of Barrow Connection, which is a free program. Currently, close to 150 individuals participate. Some components of the program are put on by Barrow, such as Day on the Lake, an adaptive water sports day in which more than 120 participants and as many volunteers spend a day kayaking, water skiing, jet skiing, fishing and more at a nearby lake. The event celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. Another unique program, Driving to Excel, held at the Bondurant School of High Performance Racing, pairs disabled drivers with professional drivers to learn skills such as accident avoidance and skid control. But Crawford points out that the goal of Barrow Connection is not to reinvent the wheel and create new programs. Many needed services already exist; it’s just a matter of helping people find them. One of the program’s priorities is to develop a comprehensive community resource guide that lists everything from adapted workout gyms to art classes.

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“Everyone has the right to live an active and productive life,” says Crawford. “It is our responsibility to give them the resources to do just that.” Because Barrow Connection hopes to help bridge the gap between the hospital and the community, members are also encouraged to meet with one of the program’s four “connectors,” disabled volunteers who can relate to what the newly injured are going through and serve as a peer mentor.

A new world of possibilities Madilynn Stanton—a 19-year-old Valley woman who was born with spina bifida, experiences daily seizures and has spent the majority of her life in a wheelchair—credits her first experience at Day on the Lake nearly 10 years ago with opening her eyes to a new world of possibilities. Today, the high school student not only continues to take advantage of other programs offered through Barrow Connection, but she and her mother are also preparing to become program “connectors” themselves. In fact, in a way, Madilynn was the driving force behind the program. Several years ago, she spoke at a Day on the Lake luncheon, and her speech—“What I Can Do”—got people thinking. “Madilynn talked about how Day on the Lake was more than just a onetime event for her and for our family,” says Patia Stanton, her mother. “It opened our eyes to the possibilities that we had ignored because there Madilynn Stanton wasn’t a venue to find out about them.” Today, Barrow Connection is that venue. And both Crawford and Patia agree that empowering Arizona’s large network of disabled individuals to live to their fullest potential could have huge implications. It’s a program she’s proud to be a part of, says Crawford. “It’s great to work with an organization that recognizes what people need to be successful in their life after they leave rehab, but it’s even better to work for an organization that actually implements the tools for those we serve to be successful once they leave our walls.” ■


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“Everyone has the right to live an active and productive life.” Jo Crawford

The Barrow Connection provides resources and tools to help disabled individuals and their support networks live healthy, active, productive lives. These include: • Resource guide • Educational conferences

Barrow Connection sponsors events designed to introduce people with disabilities to recreational options. Two of these events are Driving to Excel and Day on the Lake. The 2011 Day on the Lake is scheduled for June 2-4 at Bartlett Lake Marina. For more information, call Jo Crawford, 602-406-6280.

• Research projects • Quarterly newsletter • Training on how to work with the disabled • Family education • Participation in the development of the Virginia G. Piper Sports & Fitness Center for Persons with Disabilities. We

need your help

Contributions are needed to help fund Barrow Connection. Contact Barrow Neurological Foundation at 602-4063041 or email Julie.Alvarado@chw.edu.

Driving to Excel photographs courtesy of Loren Worthington

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Program makes international patients feel right at home by Lindsey Burke hospitalization can be scary enough. A hospitalization in a foreign country can add an entirely different level of anxiety. That’s why Perla Flores, International Patient Program manager, makes sure international patients have everything they need to feel comfortable during their stay at St. Joseph’s and Barrow. “We receive a lot of questions through our website or ResourceLink from patients who need a higher level of care or have been told by doctors in their home country that there is nothing more that can be done for them,” Flores said. That’s what happened with Rosario Valenzuela Ramos, 59, of Sinaloa, Mexico, after she was diagnosed with a grade IV glioblastoma, the most malignant type of brain cancer. “My mom’s tumor was operated on by a neurosurgeon in Mexico,” said Eduardo Angulo, Ramos’s son. “But when we began looking for follow-up care, we wanted a neuro-oncologist, not just a neurologist with experience in oncology. This tumor needed all our effort, and we just weren’t able to find the type of care we were comfortable with in Mexico.”

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So the family’s search expanded internationally. “I came across the website of a patient who also had been treated for a glioblastoma. On the site, they recommended comprehensive treatment. They listed a few centers in the U.S. that offered the type of care a patient should expect to receive. Barrow was one,” said Angulo. “I started researching Barrow and some of the others one by one and sent an inquiry through the international patient website to Perla, and she answered us right away.” “The International Patient Program team acts as a patient’s personal guide to St. Joseph's world-class medicine,” Flores said. “We take a look at a patient’s medical needs and their cultural, language and religious expectations and create an experience that makes St. Joseph’s feel as close to home as possible.” International patients are most often seeking prompt treatment for serious medical conditions such as brain tumors or ateriovenous malformations. “The sooner we can make contact and give them all the information they’re looking for, the sooner they can put their mind at ease,” Flores said.


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Above, Perla Flores assists Rosario Valenzuela Ramos of Sinaloa, Mexico and her family. Right, Rosario’s family includes her husband Cesar Angulo, her children, Tatiana Angulo and Eduardo Angulo, and her grandson, Jose Pablo.

“It was just over a week between the time we contacted Barrow and the time we had the first appointment scheduled,” Angulo said. Neuro-oncologist William Shapiro, MD, and radiation oncologist David Brachman, MD, took Ramos’s case. “Perla helped us get insurance approval, transfer medical records and images, and made the transition really smooth. When we came to Arizona and met with Dr. Shapiro and Dr. Brachman, we knew immediately that we were in the right place,” Angulo said. Ramos received outpatient radiation and chemotherapy. Her last day of treatment was April 13. “We’ll be back so she can receive follow-up care with Drs. Shapiro and Brachman every other month,” Angulo added. “And she’ll continue to be monitored for general health in Mexico. But we’re just so thankful for the care my mother received here. It went beyond our expectations.” “From the very first moment, Barrow felt different,” Ramos said. “Everyone was so kind and professional and treated me with such respect. I knew we made the right decision coming here.” ■

“Perla helped us get insurance approval, transfer medical records and images, and made the transition really smooth.” Eduardo Angulo, Mexico

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st. joseph’s amazing Patient stories from the files of Barrow Neurological Institute Courtney Rogers Courtney Rogers was a 16-year-old high school sophomore in Mesa when her occasional migraines turned into daily four-hour ordeals. A CT scan, MRI and biopsy confirmed a tumor the size of a tarantula clinging to her ribs near the spinal cord. The traditional surgery to remove the tumor would have involved cutting open Courtney’s chest and spreading apart her rib cage, resulting in a lengthy and painful hospitalization and up to six weeks of recovery time, not to mention a 12- to 18-inch scar. But thanks to a surgical technique pioneered by Barrow Neurological Institute spinal surgeon Curtis Dickman, MD, Courtney missed a mere two weeks of school and was left with only three inch-long scars. Ganglioneuromas, tumors of the peripheral nervous system, occur mostly in young people and have no specific cause or risk factors. They’re usually benign, but if left untreated can eventually compress the spinal cord, leading to paralysis. In Courtney’s case, the tumor could have also eventually grown into her chest cavity, crowding her lung. “I was scared to death,” says Courtney’s mom, Julie. “You never want to hear your kid’s sick. You wonder, ‘Is she going to live a normal life? Drive a car? Go to prom?’ It’s amazing to think what we could’ve faced versus what the outcome was.” The advancement of endoscopic surgical techniques—making small incisions using special tools— paved the way for Courtney’s procedure. Endoscopy, for example, is now the common way diseased gallbladders are removed. Dr. Dickman saw the potential for applying the same techniques to spinal surgeries nearly two decades ago. “The clinical benefits were dramatic compared to open surgeries—fewer complications, less pain, less muscle and tissue disruption, and a faster return to activity,” he says. The problem was, the tools didn’t yet exist for the anatomy Dr. Dickman specialized in. So he created them. Working with engineers at a medical instrument company, he helped design approximately 100 tools

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specifically calibrated in lengths and angles for thoracoscopic spine surgeries. By the time of Courtney’s surgery in January, Dr. Dickman had performed 30 similar tumor removal surgeries and more than 700 procedures using thoracoscopy for a variety of other problems, such as herniated discs, fractures, and excess hand and armpit sweating (which involves severing certain nerves). Dr. Dickman credits Barrow’s research facilities for development of the procedure. “The laboratory allowed this ground-breaking work,” he says. It’s also the reason Barrow has become one of the busiest international centers for this type of surgery. “The problem is most neuro or spinal surgeons only get referrals of one or two patients a year, so it’s not worth the investment, because you have to keep your skills up,” he says. “The beauty is that because I developed the technique, I’m referred people from around the world.” Patients have come from as far as Europe for the surgery; Courtney only had to travel from the East


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“I was scared to death. You wonder, ‘Is she going to live a normal life? Drive a car? Go to the prom?’” Julie Rogers

Valley. She had never had surgery before and, not surprisingly, was scared. Dr. Dickman carefully explained the procedure to her, her mother and her father, Brooks, during their first visit. “I felt after the first meeting, whatever comes our way, he’s equipped,” Julie says. “I was still nervous, but had a better understanding.” Courtney says the surgeon immediately put her at ease when she noticed his footwear. She told her mom, “I like him already. He’s wearing Pink Floyd socks.” Indeed, Pink Floyd is a favorite of the surgeon, who plays guitar and saxophone and shares singing duties in a rock band during his free time. (The band, Cloud Nine, plays charity events.) For Courtney’s procedure, Dr. Dickman made three inch-long incisions between her ribs. He deflated her right lung and proceeded to detach the tumor, which he describes as the size of a deck of cards, from her spine and ribs, removing it in one piece. The surgery took less than an hour. Courtney did not require a chest tube or any recovery time in the ICU and spent no time on a ventilator post-op. She was released from the hospital three days later. Dr. Dickman recorded the procedure with digital video, so Courtney was able to watch it later. “It seriously looked like a spider without eyes,” she says of the tumor. “It was really cool.” Two weeks later, Courtney returned to high school at Arizona Agribusiness & Equine Center, where

biology is her favorite subject and where the yearbook recently voted her Best Hair. She also attends Mesa Community College and plans to study mortuary science. “I’ve wanted to be a mortician since fourth grade,” she says. “The human body is so cool.” For her prom on April 30, she found a strapless salmon-pink gown. “My prom dress showed my scars, but I got over it,” she says. “They’re battle wounds.”

Sandra Deming In 2007, 21-year-old Sandra Deming started feeling pain in her neck. Multiple visits to primary care physicians and a specialist yielded no answers but instead led to an unnecessary regimen of muscle relaxers and physical therapy. When nothing seemed to relieve the pain, a neurologist ordered an MRI. The results were shocking: a massive spinal cord tumor and two brain tumors that, without surgery, would have caused significant damage and impairment. Deming was diagnosed with Von-Hippel-Lindau syndrome, a rare condition that causes tumors to grow in the spine and brain. The spinal cord tumor was so large that any further growth could have caused her to stop breathing on her own, paralysis of her arms and legs, and loss of bowel and bladder control. Her spinal cord tumor was so large that her neurosurgeon in New Mexico did not feel comfortable operating. She was referred to Robert Spetzler, MD, director of Barrow. “Sandra’s type of tumor was the largest in the spinal cord that I have ever seen in a functioning person,” says Dr. Spetzler. “Few hospitals in the world would attempt to remove the tumor because of the size and location of the mass.” Dr. Spetzler completely removed Deming’s spinal cord tumor on December 14, 2010, and six days later, she underwent a second surgery to have her brain

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tumors removed. All tumors were benign. Deming has returned to New Mexico and is making an amazing recovery. She graduated this spring from NMSU with a 3.9 GPA. “Being in college, you think doing poorly on a test is the worst thing that can happen to you,” says Deming. “Some things that seemed so overwhelming suddenly were not after I was diagnosed. I was having to make life-saving decisions.” Deming will continue to be monitored at Barrow, and her prognosis is excellent. She looks forward to having the opportunity to attend graduate school. “I am amazed at my recovery and I feel blessed that Dr. Spetzler and Barrow were able to perform such a delicate surgery to completely remove my tumors.”

Micah Andrews Not only is 3-year-old Micah Andrews walking and talking, he’s on the road to an excellent recovery following a car accident in August that internally decapitated him. Rushed to St. Joseph’s Trauma Center, Micah was unresponsive upon his arrival and not expected to survive. “Immediately after the accident, I remember holding his little head still, waiting for the ambulance to come,” said Heather Andrews, Micah’s mom. “He was unconscious and his breathing was labored, but I knew you were never supposed to move a child’s head, so that was my priority.” Micah was diagnosed with occipitoatlantal dislocation, in which the upper cervical spine becomes detached from the skull, a highly unstable and critical injury that often leads to death. Neurosurgeons saved Micah’s life by using a surgical technique perfected at Barrow to reattach his spine to his head. Barrow neurosurgeons have more experience treating this type of injury than anywhere else in the world. “Micah’s injury is almost universally fatal. When someone suffers this type of injury, the head and spine are so very unstable that even gentle movement can lead to death,” says Nicholas Theodore, MD, Micah’s neurosurgeon at Barrow. “At Barrow, we have one of the world’s largest group of survivors with this injury, and I am pleased that Micah is doing so well.”

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Heather and Micah Andrews Barrow neurosurgeons used a titanium rod and wires along to a piece of Micah’s own rib to reattach his head with his spine. He spent more than two months at St. Joseph’s and is currently receiving outpatient rehabilitation at the hospital. “Micah has come so far, thanks to God and the medical team at Barrow,” said Heather. “We are so grateful to Dr. Theodore and Barrow for having Micah here alive and well.”

Jose Villela Vizcaya Jose Villela Vizcaya, MD, Mexico City, wanted the best medical treatment available, so the 24-year-old doctor came to Barrow in October to rehabilitate from an accident that crushed and nearly killed him. Dr. Villela Vizcaya was critically injured and paralyzed on Jan. 19, 2010, when a garbage truck fell about 45 feet from an overpass and onto his car while he was driving home from his shift as an intern at Mexico City’s ABC Hospital. He spent nine months in that hospital before coming to the Bruce and Deborah Downey Neuro Rehabilitation Center at Barrow.


S T.

“I first heard of Barrow and the great care it provides the day after my accident and immediately planned to come here for rehab,” said Dr. Villela Vizcaya. “If in Mexico they could offer me 99 percent, I wanted to go for 100 percent.” Although Dr. Villela Vizcaya is medically classified a quadriplegic, he has made amazing strides. He has gained function in his arms, hands and fingers, completed his medical school exams from his hospital bed and made the top grade of his medical school class. He says he will unquestionably return to his career as a doctor. “Jose has never shied away from a challenge,” said Christina Kwasnica, MD, medical director of the neuro rehabilitation center. “He has exceeded what would be expected with his level of injury, but that is probably because of the fact he never refuses to try anything. He tackles every task with a positive attitude.” “I had two options—to live or to die,” said Dr. Villela Vizcaya. “I had to decide, and because I chose to live, I will accept it and love it.” He has dealt with many things that most physicians will never personally experience and believes that his injury was a gift to help others and will make him a better doctor. “One day I was giving medical orders, and the next day I was receiving them. Being a patient has given me a 360-degree view of medicine. I am no longer a doctor who learned from books. I’ve learned it from my hospital bed, and that will help me better relate to my patients and understand their needs.” Of all the things Dr. Villela Vizcaya is thankful for, he is most grateful for his life and his faith. “While in the hospital I did a lot of negotiating with God and asked him to do everything humanly possible to help me get better. In the end, my injury is not so bad—I can still live and enjoy my life while inspiring others.” ■

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A M A Z I N G

“Being a patient has given me a 360-degree view of medicine. I am no longer a doctor who learned from books. I’ve learned it from my hospital bed, and that will help me better relate to my patients and understand their needs.” Jose Villela Vizcaya, MD

Jose Villela Vizcaya, MD, and his father

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B R I E F S

benefactor briefs Fore-A-Friend Golf Tournament

POP’s Ride

The eighth annual Fore-A-Friend Doug Griffin Memorial Golf Tournament was held April 30 at Lone Tree Golf Course in Chandler. The tournament honors Doug Griffin and benefits Barrow Neurological Institute. Griffin was just 30 years old when he passed away after battling an inoperable malignant brain tumor for more than a year. He left behind Kristen, his high school sweetheart and wife of eight years, and his 1year-old son, James. A few months before his death, Griffin’s friends from Dobson High School in Mesa held a golf tournament to raise money for his medical bills. The tournament now raises funds for Barrow, where Griffin received care. If you would like to become involved in the ForeA-Friend Doug Griffin Memorial Golf Tournament, contact the event’s organizers at foreafriend@cox.net.

In May, Shannon Stutzman, Shane Stutzman and Kyle Worley completed a 3,100-mile cross-country bicycle ride in honor of their father/father-in-law, known affectionately as Pops. Pops, a Valley resident, has Parkinson’s disease, and POP’s Ride (short for Peddle Over Parkinson’s) was created to increase awareness of Parkinson’s and raise funds to combat the disease. Proceeds from POP’s Ride will go to the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute and other non-profits. “Shane and I never expected our ride to become this large,” Shannon said. “We thought it would be simple—ride our bikes across the country and bring some friends along for support. The support we have received from our family, friends and co-workers has been amazing.” About 20 friends and relatives helped. To learn more, visit popsride.com.

Record Year for PNA’s Walk the Fight The Fifth Annual Walk the Fight 5K Walk and Run was held Feb. 13 at Tempe Town Lake Park. Sponsored by the Parkinson’s Network of Arizona, the fundraiser for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow included a 5K run, a 5K walk and a health fair. PNA is planning a golf tournament on Dec. 9 at Gainey Ranch. For information, call 602-406-4921 or email info@parkinsonaz.org.

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B E N E F A C T O R

B R I E F S

Grateful family donates replica of Our Lady of Guadalupe to hospital Christmas 2010 was a busy time for Maria Claudina Gasque Toraya, 25, of Merida Yucatan, Mexico. Maria had recently combined her marketing degree and her baking talent to start a business specializing in homemade cookies and cupcakes. On Dec. 22, Maria was completing several holiday orders when she suddenly complained of a severe headache and then vomited. Maria’s mother, Lupita, drove her to the hospital where physicians discovered that an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) had ruptured in her brain. The AVM was so large and dangerous that Maria was flown to Barrow for care. On Dec. 23, Robert Spetzler, MD, led a neurosurgical team in removing the Maria Claudina Gasque Toraya is abnormality. surrounded by her sister Daniela, Nineteen days mother Lupita and father Alonso. later, Maria was discharged from Barrow with only a few reminders of her health scare—a scar and short-term memory problems. To thank Barrow and St. Joseph’s for the care Maria received, her mother, Lupita, presented the hospital with a life-sized laser replica of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. “When I brought my daughter here, I asked that she be healed,” said Lupita. “I donated this picture so that people who believe in her and have problems could pray to her. It was hard to let go of her, but I think she will help a lot of people here.”

Mike Sroda Memorial Golf Outing The fourth annual Mike Sroda Memorial Golf Outing was held Jan. 8 at Mountain Shadows Golf Course. Sroda died on a golf course on March 16, 2007. His wife, Mary Ellen, organizes the golf tournament each year to honor him, raise funds for brain tumor research and give his friends an opportunity to enjoy Sroda’s favorite past time. Proceeds are donated to Barrow Neurological Institute and Mission of Mercy. For more information, call 480-905-8999.

SSBTR Walk student co-chairs were Zack Usie, Lauren Raymond, Daniel Weltman, Kieri Rozenwaser, Valerie Hanna, Roxanne Goldberg, Dana Kline and Claire Schlenker.

SSBTR gives $54,000 to Barrow Students Supporting Brain Tumor Research (SSBTR) held its 10th annual walk on February 26 at Saguaro High School in Scottsdale. Proceeds from the walk benefit brain tumor research at local and national organizations, including Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Translational Genomics Research Institute, Steele Children's Research Center and the National Brain Tumor Society. Barrow received $54,000 this year. SSBTR is the largest student-organized nonprofit in Arizona and this year raised over $230,000 for brain tumor research. About 3,000 people representing 100 Arizona schools participated in the 2011 walk. In the past 10 years, SSBTR has raised more than $1.5 million for brain tumor research.

Beer for Brains event set The Beer for Brains Foundation’s next microbrewery event benefiting the Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center is scheduled for Nov. 5 at Scottsdale’s Talking Stick Resort. Visit TheBeerForBrainsFoundation.org to learn more. Louis Dolgoff of the Beer for Brains Foundation presented Barrow Neurological Foundation a check for $20,100 in January.

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H E A LT H

&

W E A LT H

R A F F L E

health & wealth raffle People from across Arizona win big in spring 2011 fundraiser esidents from across Arizona received calls in April from Kathy Rice, executive director of the Health & Wealth Raffle, letting them know they had won big prizes in the Spring 2011 Health & Wealth Raffle. When Rice reached grand prize winner, Scottsdale resident Ernie Urquhart, he was in San Francisco on a business trip. Upon learning the news that he had won a luxury T.W. Lewis home package plus a 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe, or the car plus $600,000 in cash, he said that he was “literally laughing out loud in total disbelief on the streets of San Francisco.” As thrilled as he was about winning such an amazing prize, that was not what motivated him to enter. “I honestly had no expectation of winning, and certainly not at this level,” Urquhart said. “For me, purchasing a raffle ticket was consistent with my overall strategy of philanthropic giving to organizations like St. Joseph’s Hospital that make a significant service contribution in the community where I live.” Urquhart’s reason for buying a raffle ticket is one Rice hears often. “The day of the final draw is one of my favorite days of the year, because I get to personally call more than 25 people and tell them that they have won huge prizes,” she said. “Almost every single winner tells me that they enter the raffle because of the fact that it supports St. Joseph’s and Barrow, but, of course, they also say, ‘Man, is it fun to win!’” The Health & Wealth Raffle provides Arizonans with the chance to support St. Joseph’s Hospital and Barrow Neurological Institute while getting the chance to win an amazing prize. Other big winners include: • Grand Prize #2 winner, David Gent of Tucson, who won a 2011 Porsche Panamera plus $65,000 or a cash option of $150,000. When Gent saw a 602 area code on his home caller ID, he thought it might be a sales call, until he remembered the raffle drawing. “Something nagged me to answer, and sure enough, it was Kathy!” he said. “It was definitely the biggest win I’ve ever had in my life. This is very, very exciting.”

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• Joni Curtis of Casa Grande, winner of a 2011 Turbo Hyundai Sonata plus $8,000 cash. “My daughter is severely disabled and is a patient at the hospital, so I always find a way to pull together money to enter the raffle, since I am so passionate about the cause.”

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• Edward Brunelle of Mesa, winner of a 2011 BMW 128cic Convertible plus $12,000 cash. “I have entered the raffle since it started and have won five times! Though I enter the raffle to raise money for the hospital, the prospect of winning such great prizes is great too.” • Roman Johnson of Sun City, winner of a 2011 Mercedes-Benz c300 Sport Sedan plus $12,000 cash. This was his first time buying a raffle ticket and he was thrilled to win. “I’m not going to tell anyone I won— I’m just going to show up in my new car!” • James Entenman of Mesa, winner of a 2011 Chevrolet Corvette plus $16,000 cash. • Veronica Lindo of Scottsdale, winner of a 2011 Audi Q5 SUV plus $14,000 cash. In all, more than 4,600 prizes were awarded in the Spring 2011 Health & Wealth Raffle. For a complete list of prize winners, visit HealthWealthRaffle.org. Proceeds from the raffle support projects throughout Barrow and St. Joseph’s.

Thank you, Ernie! Ernie Urquhart, grand prize winner in the Spring 2011 Health & Wealth Raffle, gave $25,000 of his winnings to St. Joseph’s Foundation. This is the biggest gift any raffle winner has made back to the hospital.


THANK YOU, ARIZONA

FOR SUPPORTING ST. JOSEPH’S HOSPITAL & BARROW NEUROLOGICAL INSTITUTE.

ARIZONA’S ORIGINAL RAFFLE WILL BE BACK AGAIN IN

AUGUST 2011! Every prize in the brochure was awarded. For a complete winners list, visit HealthWealthRaffle.org.

YOUR SUPPORT IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

H EALTHWEALTHR AFFLE.ORG


F I N A L

T H O U G H T S

why net revenue matters Healthcare is a driving economic and social engine by Robert Hopkins Vice President

he primary sources of revenue for hospitals are in serious decline. The federal government is so deeply in debt there is no way to measure it, at least in a way anyone can understand. There hasn’t been any good news about Arizona’s financial situation since 2006. The charitable tax deduction is in jeopardy. The new normal rate of unemployment seems to be around 9 percent. Gas is closing in on four bucks a gallon, and many wonder if a gallon is still really four quarts. We need to find a new way to operate, to tell our story, to make our case for support. Or do we? In the fundraising business, there has always been a disconnect between supply and demand. At St. Joseph’s, we have been providing honest-to-goodness high-level social impact for 116 years, but the consumers of that impact have almost always been those the least able to pay for it. But here’s the startling news: there are direct economic consequences from what this hospital—and all hospitals—do every day. We are helping to solve a myriad of social problems throughout this state and this entire region. The many thousands of people, companies and foundations who support us are not “just” helping us cover the tens of millions of dollars we provide every year without a dime of reimbursement. They— you—are investing in one of Arizona’s major economic engines. We are impacting thousands of families, not solely by restoring their health, but by giving second and

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third chances to people who may have thought they were down for the count. Instead they are going back to work. We are so proud to be able to help recreate the future for people who come here in need, forging these outcomes into a new economic currency. St. Joseph’s Hospital and Barrow Neurological Institute do need your financial support. We are a nonprofit institution, but that does not mean we can operate at a deficit. Far too much is at stake for that. ■

“We are impacting thousands of families, not solely by restoring their health, but by giving second and third chances to people who may have thought they were down for the count.”


Happy Endings Help us write more happy endings like Courtney’s

hen Julie learned that her 16-year-old daughter, Courtney, had a huge tumor on her spine—a tumor that could lead to paralysis—she was scared to death. “You wonder, ‘Is she going to live a normal life? Drive a car? Go to the prom?’”

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Fortunately for the family, Courtney was referred to Barrow Neurological Institute, one of the world’s premier neuroscience centers. In January, the teen underwent a minimally invasive spine surgery developed at Barrow. Patients have come from as far away as Europe for this ground-breaking surgery, but Courtney only had to travel from Mesa. e surgery required just three inch-long incisions and took less than one hour. Two weeks later, Courtney returned to school. For her prom in late April, Courtney chose a strapless salmon-pink gown. “My prom dress showed my scars, but I got over it,” she says. “ey’re battle wounds.” You can help St. Joseph’s and Barrow give amazing care like this by making a tax-deductible gift to one of our foundations. To learn more, visit SupportStJosephs.org, SupportBarrow.org, or SupportCongenitalHeart.org. Or call 602-406-3041.


CHW Arizona Barrow Neurological Foundation 350 W. Thomas Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85013-4496 www.SupportBarrow.org

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Barrow Neurological Foundation respects your privacy. If you would prefer not to receive future issues of Barrow Magazine, please let us know by calling 602-406-3041 or emailing us at chwazfoundation@chw.edu. Please provide your name and address exactly as it appears on the address panel of this magazine.

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Barrow magazine Volume 23, Issue 1, 2011  

Volume 23, Issue 1, 2011

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