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

Vol. 24, Iss. 2, 2012

barrow A place of hope

Patients come from far and wide for Barrow’s expertise

Dementia with dignity Huger Mercy Living Center offers patients a real home

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Opening thoughts Barrow Neurological Institute’s golden anniversary year is coming to a close, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for helping us celebrate this important milestone. It has been a great year, filled with many opportunities to look back at our achievements over the past 50 years. We’ve also spent time this year looking toward the future, and we believe the future of Barrow Neurological Institute is brighter than ever. With a strong clinical and research staff, dedicated support staff and generous benefactors like you, our potential for advancing the science of brain and spine medicine is truly unlimited. This issue of Barrow is filled with examples of our past accomplishments and our future directions. You’ll read some amazing patient stories and learn about the many unique ways in which friends of Barrow are supporting our mission. Our scientists are making great strides, and we are proud to tell you about new services made possible by our benefactors, such as the Ashlyn Dyer Aquatic Center and the Lou and Evelyn Grubb Children’s Center for Neuropsychological Rehabilitation. Barrow Neurological Institute is one of the gems of our community, and we extend our deepest gratitude to you for helping make it so.


Robert F. Spetzler, MD Director, Barrow Neurological Institute

Kathy X. Kramer President and CEO, Barrow Neurological Foundation

P.S. It’s not too late to make a gift in honor of Barrow’s 50th anniversary. You can give online at or or by calling our office at 602-406-3041, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. A postage-paid giving envelope is included in this magazine for your convenience.

On our cover: Melissa Bischoff flew from the Chicago area to Phoenix for the expertise available at Barrow Neurological Institute. Her story begins on page 5. (Photo by Jori Root/Birch Blue Photography.)


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

Vol. 24, Issue 2, 2012



A place of hope: Patients come from far and wide for Barrow’s special expertise


Bret Michaels: Rock star gives back to hospital that “helped to save my life”


Dementia with dignity: Huger Mercy Living Center gives patients a real home


Healing waters: Ashlyn Dyer Aquatic Center opens


One size does not fit all: Donors use special talents to say thanks


Dignity Health Arizona

16 Patients go online to review doctor visits


EyeWriter: Student’s award-winning device helps ALS patients communicate


His biggest hurdle: Athlete recovers from stroke one step at a time


Barrow Beyond: Young philanthropists launch new giving group


Research update


Benefactor briefs




Annuities: Why it’s hard to stop after just one


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 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 address and phone number in all correspondence. Visit us online at




Editor: Catherine Menor Art director/designer: Justin Detwiler Contributing writers: Lindsey Burke, Melissa Morrison, Sarah Padilla, Andrew Wachtel Printer: Panoramic Press

Photography: Brad Armstrong; Jeff Noble; Jori Root/Birch Blue Photography Robert F. Spetzler, MD, Director Barrow Neurological Institute® Kathy X. Kramer, President and CEO Barrow Neurological Foundation

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by Andrew Wachtel

A place of hope Patients come from far and wide for Barrow’s special expertise

■ For a patient, it is one of the most feared scenarios in medicine. Your doctors know what is wrong with you, and they tell you it is serious, even life threatening. They also tell you that there is nothing they can do to help. As part of the celebration of Barrow’s 50th Anniversary, Barrow has been chronicling the stories of dozens of patients who have been profoundly touched by the doctors and clinical staff of the institute. Many of the patients interviewed as part of the 50 Years, 50 Faces project found themselves confronting the situation described above.


Barrow Magazine A Place of Hope

Cristin Van Driel and Melissa Bischoff are two of those patients.

Cristin Van Driel Cristin Van Driel, formerly a competitive cyclist, was on a training ride in 2000 when she was hit by a car traveling between 45 and 55 mph. She was thrown nearly 50 feet, landing on her back and fracturing multiple vertebrae. Her doctors initially thought she would be paralyzed, but she began to regain feeling in her legs the day after the accident. However, her road to recovery would prove anything but smooth.

Van Driel went on to endure one and a half years of major physical therapy. For a decade after the accident, she suffered from constant, debilitating pain and profound neurological deficits. Her condition deteriorated until she had very limited use of her left leg. “I lived on pain killers and had physical therapy three to four days per week during that time,” Van Driel said. “Some of the best neurosurgeons in Milwaukee and Chicago said I was lucky to be walking, but that any surgery to repair the damage to my spine would be so intricate that complications would almost surely follow.”

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Enter Randall Porter, MD, and Barrow Neurological Institute. Van Driel, who lived in Phoenix from 2004 through 2006, had been in contact with Scott Kreiner, MD, of Ahwatukee Sport and Spine, and he recommended she travel from Wisconsin to the Valley to seek a consultation with Dr. Porter. “I trusted him right away,” Van Driel says of her first encounter with Dr. Porter. “He said that he would do everything he could to get me back to living the life I love to live. He was the first neurosurgeon to give me any sense of hope.” Van Driel’s hopes were set on the road to realization with her first surgery at Barrow in January 2010. Dr. Porter used screws, rods and plates to stabilize and rebuild her spine. She has since had two additional surgeries to release nerve roots and alleviate pressure on the surrounding structures. Her results have been spectacular. Van Driel has resumed her competitive running career and recently qualified for the Boston Marathon. She hopes to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Team and compete in the 2016 Olympic Games. Van Driel has also started a charity called Running for a Reason to raise money for neuroscience research and treatment at Barrow. “For me, it is a way that I can give back to Barrow, because they have pretty much given me back the life that I want to live.”

Melissa Bischoff Like Cristin Van Driel, Melissa Bischoff endured a long illness before finding her way to Barrow. However, Bischoff ’s illness had an added element of mystery that made coping with it all the more difficult. Bischoff was experiencing neck pain and stiffness that gradually worsened over the course of one and a half years. “I was having trouble sleeping, my neck was in pain, sometimes I would get a lightheaded feeling, and sometimes I would see stars,” said Bischoff. “Eventually the pain was so significant that I couldn’t even grab a gallon of milk without doubling over in pain.” The increasing severity of her symptoms led her to get an MRI. When her doctor told her to see a neurosurgeon, she knew her condition was serious.

Bischoff was diagnosed with an ependymoma tumor that ran down the center of her spinal cord from the level of her second cervical vertebra to her first thoracic vertebra. The size and location of the tumor had her local physicians baffled. “They couldn’t believe that I was walking, even breathing,” Bischoff said. They also couldn’t operate. Bischoff, who hails from the Chicago area, was told that because the tumor was growing from the middle of her spinal cord, surgery was too risky and could leave her paralyzed, or worse. However, Bischoff was given hope in the form of Barrow Neurological Institute and neurosurgeon Robert F. Spetzler, MD. “My neurosurgeon in Illinois, Dr. Douglas Johnson, told me that if he

A Place of Hope Barrow Magazine


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could put me on a plane right then and there, he would send me to Dr. Spetzler in Phoenix.” she said. After talking to Dr. Spetzler by phone and getting opinions from several other surgeons in her area, Bischoff made the decision to travel to Phoenix to be treated at Barrow. “From the get-go, Dr. Spetzler gave me the best prognosis, offered me the most hope and had the most experience,” said Bischoff. “That set me at ease.” Just the same, she was overwhelmed with relief when she was able to move her fingers and toes after the operation. “I started bawling and cried for two hours,” she said.

Aftert two weeks of inpatient rehabilitation at Barrow, Bischoff was ready to fly home and continue therapy. She has since regained all of her motor skills and full range of motion in her neck. “Dr. Spetzler and his team hold a special place in my heart,” says Bischoff. “Their healing hands saved my life when few others would take my case. Barrow gave me the courage to take on a fatal diagnosis and a complex surgery. They gave me confidence to push through a tough rehabilitation. I am blessed and grateful for my ‘new normal.’ I wasn't expecting that.” ■

50 Years, 50 Faces As part of Barrow’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2012, we talked to 50 patients and doctors whose lives have been touched by Barrow. To hear Melissa, Cristin and dozens of others tell their Barrow story, visit


Barrow Magazine A Place of Hope

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Bret Michaels Rock star gives back to hospital ‘that helped to save my life’ ■ In early October, Bret Michaels—rock star, reality star, spokesperson, businessman, philanthropist and former patient at Barrow Neurological Institute—officially opened the Bret Michael’s Hospitality and Music Room on the fifth floor of the Barrow Neuroscience Tower. The room, which had been under construction for nearly a year, is located near patient rooms and features relaxation areas for patients and families. It is decorated with a music theme and features many of Bret’s personal music memorabilia as well as never-before-seen inspirational photographs from his life and work. “I’m thrilled to be able to give something back to the hospital that helped to save my life, and to Barrow patients and their families,” said Michaels. “As someone who has spent his fair share of time in hospitals over the past few years, I know

how necessary it is for both patients and their loved ones to have a fun, welcoming place to recharge, and I designed this music and hospitality room to be that place.” In 2010, Michaels was rushed to Barrow with a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a type of stroke that causes bleeding in the fluid-filled spaces around the base of the brain. Barrow Neurological Foundation offers a special thanks to the following generous benefactors who contributed to the Bret Michaels Hospitality and Music Room: Airpark Signs, AWE Corporate Interiors, Bizarre Wood Products, Bluemedia, Cannon & Wendt Electric Company, D&L Communications, DD & F Shad Bruce, Andrea Mosley, Kathleen Norton, Oest Metalworks, Pete King Construction, Sandra Seward, Knoell & Quidort Architects, Shaw Industries, Inc., Spectra Contracting, the Studio, and Joseph Zavislak. ■ Bret Michaels opened the Bret Michaels Hospitality and Music Room on Oct. 9 with the help of his neurosurgeon, Joseph Zabramski, MD, and St. Joseph’s President and CEO Patty White.

Bret Michaels Barrow Magazine


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by Sarah McGrain Padilla

Dementia with dignity Huger Mercy Living Center offers patients a real home ■ Tucked away on an inconspicuous street in a quiet north central Phoenix neighborhood lies an equally inconspicuous building—at least from the outside. But once you walk through the gates onto the tranquil campus of Huger Mercy Living Center, you know you’re someplace special. Operated by St. Joseph’s Hospital, Huger is an assistedliving facility for people with dementia. The grassy fiveacre campus near the I-17 freeway was established nearly 20 years ago due in part to the generosity of the late Dr. Raymond Huger, a St. Joseph’s psychiatrist whose wife had Alzheimer’s disease. He envisioned a facility where residents could remain active, while being treated with dignity and respect.

The details of care Today, that vision is a reality for the 48 residents who call Huger home; many will live their final days here. Every detail at Huger is carefully crafted to accommodate the special needs of those with dementia, a progressive loss of brain function that can be caused by a multitude of diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. There are four identical cottages on campus, each housing 12 residents grouped together based on their activity and functional level. The residents receive 24-hour care from a staff of 30 certified nurse assistants and a full-time licensed practical nurse. Medical Director Robert Garcia, MD, and Geriatric Nurse Practitioner Marianne McCarthy, PhD, GNP, oversee the medical care. The campus also features a full-time chef. Huger adheres to a social, activity-based model, in which residents are encouraged to interact through a variety of activities. On any given day, you’ll find residents involved in anything from music and art to pet therapy. There are theme weeks and monthly outings, as well as holiday dinners and community celebrations, like the annual Fall Festival with students from nearby Orangewood Elementary School. This socialization not only helps with cognition, it also wards off the isolation that is common with dementia as one becomes less familiar with his or her surroundings. The activities are also beneficial to family members, who are encouraged to spend time on campus. “Everything we do is family-oriented,” says Lisa O’Toole, Huger manager. “The more involved the family is, the bet-


Barrow Magazine Huger Mercy Living Center

ter their chances of catching a glimpse of who their loved one once was. Sometimes, there’s just a glimmer, and you never know when that glimmer is going to come again.”

One big family Leslie Siegel and her brother spent the summer of 2009 searching for the perfect home for their mother. They looked at more than 70 facilities—Huger was their last stop. Her mother had always been a giver, Siegel says, and she could tell right away that Huger embodied that spirit of giving. “The feeling you get when you walk on campus is a climate of acceptance, love and caring for everyone—from the family members to the mailman,” says Siegel. Sandy Brophy’s mother and mother-in-law both lived at Huger; for a brief period, the women were residents at the same time. And while Brophy was always impressed by the care the women received, she was even more impressed with how that care extended to the family. “The care, not only for the residents but for the entire family, is unbelievable,” says Brophy. “There is great respect not

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Help Huger serve people with dementia The Huger Mercy Living Center provides a warm and caring home for people with dementia. Learn how you can support the center’s mission by calling Barrow Neurological Foundation at 602-406-3041. Our office is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. 5 p.m. You can contribute to Huger Mercy Living Center online at Be sure to select “other” in the designation field and then type in Huger Mercy Living Center in the box that appears.

Photos: Opposite page, Maima Davis, certified nurse assistant, gives resident Miyuki Pullenza a hug.This page, clockwise from top, Leslie Seigel and her mother decorate a pumpkin during the Fall Festival at Huger; residents, staff and Orangewood Elementary School students decorate pumpkins; Lisa O’Toole, manager of Huger.

only for the residents and families, but also for the caregivers and staff. Huger is a true community in every sense of the word.” This isn’t a coincidence, says O’Toole. Earlier this year, Huger’s staff training program was recognized as a Best Practice by the Arizona Alzheimer’s Task Force, and employee turnover rates are well below the industry average. Recent family satisfaction scores were in the 96th percentile.

A growing need Back in the day, Siegel’s mother was a singer. Today, the family delights in watching her come to life at Huger events such as Jazz in the Park. Other families have watched in awe as their loved ones developed new skills, like painting. “The activity-based model allows our residents to explore things they haven’t tried

before, which is important because you never know what is going to appear as the disease progresses,” says O’Toole. The only challenge is a lack of dedicated space for hosting such activities. While Huger has a beautiful chapel for select events, there is not a central area where residents can gather for classes and other events. St. Joseph’s is exploring the addition of an activity center on the Huger campus. Regardless, Huger’s staff will continue to carry out the wishes of their founder, making a difficult journey more dignified for all involved. “The journey is interesting, and it has many twists and turns,” says Siegel. “But you cherish the moments because you never know when you’ll have one again.” ■

Huger Mercy LIving Center Barrow Magazine


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by Lindsey Burke

Healing Waters New pool offers aquatic therapy for patients, meaning for Ashlyn Dyer’s family and friends ■ Mac Pieper, 33, knows what it’s like to endure pain. An Army combat engineer who served three tours in Iraq, Pieper has experienced brain injury and several battlefield wounds. But it was an accident after Pieper left the Army that truly changed his life. On June 27, Pieper was riding his scooter when a driver t-boned him, backed up and drove off with the scooter still attached to the Camaro’s front end. Pieper was thrown off but did not lose consciousness. “Honestly, I think it was his military training that kept him from passing out,” says Krista Simpson, 33, Pieper’s girlfriend. Pieper was airlifted to Barrow Neurological Institute where he was treated for brain injuries; multiple facial fractures including a shattered frontal lobe, occipital bone and orbit; a broken tibia and fibula; and a spinal-cord injury that required vertebrae C5 and C6 to be fused together. His extensive surgeries required outpatient therapy, including weekly sessions in the justopened Ashlyn Dyer Aquatic Center at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

A state-of-the-art pool The state-of-the-art pool was made possible by the support of Barrow Neurological Foundation benefactors who gave generously to the project. Marsha and Bruce Dyer led the fundraising effort and provided the lead gift in Patient Mac Pieper with therapist Michelle Evers, SPT.


Barrow Magazine Ashlyn Dyer Aquatic Center

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memory of their daughter, Ashlyn, who passed away from a traumatic brain injury in 2006. The pool was dedicated on Oct. 25, the day after what would have been Ashlyn’s 34th birthday. “After Ashlyn passed away, we wanted to give back to the Phoenix community that had given us so much support,” says Marsha Dyer. “The first time we went to the site, we sat in the car and just stared at it and thought, ‘This is really happening. Something really good is coming out of something bad.’ Knowing that this pool will help thousands of patients heal just means the world to us.”

Benefits of aquatic therapy The aquatic therapy program rounds out Barrow’s comprehensive rehabilitation program and provides patients with a valuable addition to traditional land-based therapies. The center is a licensed hospital-based outpatient clinic that has the ability to serve patients from a wide variety of areas ranging from neurological rehabilitation to obstetrics, says the center’s director, L.A. Campbell, PT, DPT, MBA. “Aquatic therapy is great for all kinds of patients. For example, orthopedic patients with restricted weight-bearing activity can get into the water up to their chest, and their body weight is just 25 percent of its original weight,” she says. “In the water, patients can return to normalized activity to build strength and work on resistance training.” For neurorehab patients, aquatic therapy offers even more benefits, Campbell says. “The water offers a different sensory environment, and the setting can contribute to motor planning and improve the vestibular system. The pool also can make patients feel safe and remove the monotony of standard therapy.”

The big splash! The completion of the new Ashlyn Dyer Aquatic Center was celebrated on Oct. 25. More than 100 benefactors and hospital staff gathered to see the facility firsthand and christen it with beach balls. Barrow Neurological Foundation would like to extend a special thanks to major donors Marsha and Bruce Dyer, the Emerald Foundation and the Marley Foundation. A video about the pool dedication and a list of donors are available at under “Events & Campaigns.”

Back on his feet For Pieper, who still uses crutches to get around, aquatic therapy means he can work on rebuilding muscles in his leg, stabilizing his spine and improving his brain function. “I just can’t express how amazing Barrow doctors and therapists are,” Pieper says. “Without them, I wouldn’t be alive.” ■

Third photo from the top: Marsha and Bruce Dyer.

Ashlyn Dyer Aquatic Center Barrow Magazine


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Through the eyes of a poet Rhonda Brown describes her journey at Barrow


Barrow Magazine Rhonda Brown

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Rhonda Brown and her neurosurgeon Peter Nakaji, MD

■ In November 2006, Rhonda Brown suffered a single major seizure that was the tipoff she had a meningioma. The tumor was in a bad location, wrapped around her brain stem, and challenging to treat. Barrow neurosurgeon Peter Nakaji, MD, performed two surgeries in early 2007 to remove as much of the tumor as possible, and then Brown underwent CyberKnife treatment to eradicate any remaining tumor. The year before her health crisis began, the retired Mesa woman had begun writing poetry. “I think about something, and it’s likely to emerge as a poem,” she says. “That’s how I process things.” Soon she was using her poetry to deal with the medical tests and procedures she underwent as part of her treatment. “As I was going through MRIs, I was thinking what words would describe this noise,” Brown says. When Brown gave Dr. Nakaji a poem at one appointment, he responded, “I’ll expect a poem at every visit.” Despite a few lingering issues, including a right eye that is partly paralyzed and a brain that processes a little more slowly, Brown is grateful for a recovery that’s better than she could have imagined early on. Thanks to surgery and radiosurgery; physical, speech, and occupational therapy; and the support of her family and friends, she has much to write about. ■

Meningioma Silent invader— Secret weaver— Casting sticky threads about the heart of who I am, Seeking to thieve me from me, To rob me of my self. But you could not. I walk more slowly, See a twisted face in the mirror— But I am still here In this distorted packaging I still have thought and words. You lose. - 2008

After Illness Health takes me by surprise I forget my cane Drink and swallow without thought Savor moments when body and mind Seem more alive Health takes me by surprise Senses return Light shines a bit more clearly I notice the feel of breeze on skin The dancing of leaf shadow on pavement Health takes me by surprise I breathe the scent of jasmine Taste chocolate more keenly My heart is light with well-being Health takes me by surprise - 2009

MRI Head gently confined I slide into the metal cocoon and wait for the mélange of sound that announces the waves I cannot see mapping the interior of my brain Taps Knocks Blasts of horn Jackhammer bursts Changing pitches Eight more taps Eight blasts Then silence Clanks More knocks telling the story of what’s residing in my skull I am in awe that this machine can plumb this awesome handiwork of gray matter - 2011

Transitions Sometimes I miss the face I used to have— The one without a crooked smile, With eyes that saw the world singly Without a shadowy double Hanging in each view Sometimes I miss the life I used to have— The one not bounded by bus schedule and route, With car keys jingling in my own pocket For easy choice Of where to go and when But the heart I used to have Is richer now, tried and stretched, Takes less for granted, Gives thanks for smaller things— Releasing what used to be Into the strong goodness of today. - 2012

Rhonda Brown Barrow Magazine


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by Christina Vanoverbeke

One size does not fit all Grateful patients, family members think creatively when thanking Barrow for excellent care ■ While most grateful patients and families simply write a check when they want to give back to Barrow Neurological Institute, some deploy their own special talents in making a gift to the institute. Here are two examples of creative giving to Barrow Neurological Foundation.

Lexy Greenwell In the spring of 2012, Lexy Greenwell was feeling like a normal 19-year-old student at Grinnell College. A talented musician, Greenwell saw a bright future in front of her. She was in the process of auditioning for a music-themed show on ABC and was about to record vocals for a major record label when one day, seemingly out of the blue, she started experiencing double vision. She went to a local emergency department where doctors first believed she might be suffering from a cancerous tumor. But upon further examination, doctors found that Greenwell had a hemorrhage in her brainstem caused by a cavernous malformation, an abnormal cluster of blood vessels embedded in normal brain tissue. Despite this disturbing diagnosis, she attempted to continue with life as usual. However, after another hemorrhage, time was of the essence, so she and her family decided to visit Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix for treatment. They had learned about the work of Robert Spetzler, MD, from another patient and through the Angioma Alliance, a support group for patients like Greenwell. After her examination, Lexy was scheduled for surgery almost immediately due to the severity of her situation—and

it was just in time because a week before her procedure, she experienced yet another hemorrhage. “I was in a wheelchair and couldn't walk without falling over due to dizziness and balance issues. The right side of my face was paralyzed, the left side of my body became weak, I had numbness throughout my body, and both eyes wouldn't move much at all. I was virtually immobile,” she recalled. “I was scared I wouldn't survive much longer.” The surgery was a success, and Greenwell felt the results immediately. Following the procedure, she spent time in the Deborah and Bruce Downey Neuro Rehabilitation Center at Barrow, receiving care from physical, occupational and speech therapists, before going home to Denver to continue her care as an outpatient. “If it weren’t for the amazing people at Barrow, I would not be here,” Greenwell said. “It is such a place of healing, and there is an unparalleled community of support for each and every patient. “They have given me my life back, Words cannot express my gratitude, appreciation and admiration for everyone at Barrow and the miracles they work every day.” Music plays a significant role in Lexy’s recovery. Playing guitar targets her motor deficits, playing drums improves her coordination, and singing, rapping and beatboxing strengthen her facial muscles, which were paralyzed after her second hemorrhage. While she continues to recover, she wants to share her healing music with the world, and she does that through her YouTube channel, LexyBeatMusic. You can check it out at

You can help Lexy Greenwell raise money for Barrow by purchasing her song “The Fighter” on iTunes.


Barrow Magazine Barrow donors turn to creative fundraising

41701_SJHMC_1-857853298.e$S_41701_SJHMC 11/30/12 9:54 AM Page 15 She recorded and produced a cover song and video of the Gym Class Heroes’ song, "The Fighter," with her brother and vocalist Greg Kimble, which you now can purchase on iTunes. Greenwell is donating the proceeds of those sales to Barrow to help care for patients like her. “This song is my thanks to all of the amazing people at Barrow for their incredible care,” she said.

Chelsea Mueller This past June, Chelsea Mueller faced a kind of “first” that wasn’t one she was looking forward to. It was the first Father’s Day she would be spending without her dad, who had died the previous year of a pituitary carcinoma. “I wasn’t sure what to do with myself,” she recalls. “My husband had to work, and I thought to myself that my dad wouldn’t want me moping about. I thought I should do something good and productive with the day.” That’s when Books Fighting Cancer was born. Mueller lives in Dallas where she is a writer, working by day for a high-end gift retailer and by night as an author and blog writer, both in the genre of young adult urban fantasy. She has friends in the business and is always receiving books to review and other swag., the blog she helps run, has over 15,000 subscribers, and many of them are active on other social media. Her idea was to get her friends to donate unique items for an online auction to be held on her blog over Father’s Day weekend. The proceeds would be donated to Barrow Neurological Foundation to help support brain cancer research, particularly the most aggressive and uncommon types, like the one that took her father’s life. The response was immediate—and big. Authors donated a variety of items ranging from book collections and signatures to more unique prizes. One prize involved the author writing the winner into her next story as

a character. At the end of the day, Mueller had dozens of auction items, and over the next week she had a wonderful response in bids from readers, authors, friends and family. Some people made outright donations for no prize, and several offered matching bids as an additional means of support. “This was definitely the biggest fundraising effort I have ever made,” she says. “It was the first time I’ve pulled things together to leverage my connections. It was not a small undertaking, but it was enjoyable. And, selfishly, it kept me busy and made me feel useful.” Her father, John Ide, was treated at Barrow. He had three tumors removed from his brain, underwent radiation and chemotherapy, but the cancer eventually spread to his lymphatic system. Mueller says that even though her father’s disease was aggressively unstoppable, the Barrow team never ceased trying different approaches and checking in to make sure he was comfortable. “I was so impressed with Barrow and with how hard everyone worked to find things they could do to help with his care,” she says. She thought her auction idea was also appropriate because her father became an avid reader after his first round of brain surgeries. Mueller raised more than $4,000 for Barrow through her auction and says while she’s not sure that she’ll do something exactly like it again, she is interested in looking for ways to continue her support. She says helping with a cause that is close to your heart makes sense to everyone involved from the person with the idea to each donor who contributes. “It wouldn’t have been as successful if it wasn’t personal,” she says, “People understand that this had a purpose. So even if they didn’t know my dad, there’s still a connection for everyone.” ■

Learn about the Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center at

Chelsea and her father, John Ide.

Barrow donors turn to creative fundraising Barrow Magazine


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by Linda Hunt

Dignity Health Arizona Improving the health of our community ■ Last year, I transitioned from my position as president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center into a new role—CEO of Dignity Health Arizona. Dignity Health is a large network of non-profit healthcare providers located mainly in Arizona, California and Nevada. There are three Dignity Health hospitals in Arizona: Chandler Regional Medical Center, Mercy Gilbert Medical Center and St. Linda Hunt Joseph’s Hospital, which includes Barrow Neurological Institute. Our hospitals are supported by three non-profit foundations: Barrow Neurological Foundation, St. Joseph’s Foundation and Dignity Health Foundation East Valley, which raises funds for the two East Valley hospitals. Diane Abraham Diane Abraham recently tranhas been sitioned from her role as president named vice and CEO of Dignity Health Founpresident of philanthropy for dation East Valley into a new service area role. As vice president of Dignity Health philanthropy for Dignity Health Arizona. Arizona, Diane will lead strategic development and collaboration for our foundations. Our goal is to leverage our resources, increase our effectiveness and position our foundations for the future. In today’s difficult healthcare environment, philanthropy is increasingly vital to hospitals such as ours. Your support enables us to continue investing in the buildings, technology, medical education, research, clinical services and outreach that have made our hospitals leaders in Arizona. Without benefactor funds, many programs and services at our hospitals would simply not be possible. On behalf of all of us at Dignity Health Arizona, thank you for your contributions to healthcare in our community. We look forward to partnering with you in the future! ■


Barrow Magazine Dignity Health Arizona

Dignity Health Arizona Medical Centers Barrow Neurological Institute, Chandler Regional Medical Center Mercy Gilbert Medical Center, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center Foundations Barrow Neurological Foundation, 602-406-3041 Dignity Health Foundation East Valley, 480-728-3921 St. Joseph’s Foundation, 602-406-3041

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by Edward McKintosh, MD

Newsome Fellow What I learned during my three weeks at Barrow Neurological Institute ■ I arrived at Barrow Neurological Institute slightly intimidated by the immense reputation of its surgeons, whose names I have read since starting in neurosurgery; it is impossible to discuss a vascular or spinal neurosurgery case without mentioning a grading system or operation invented by a Barrow surgeon. My first few days confirmed my preconception that the standard of surgical technique shown by the senior residents and attending surgeons was of an extremely high standard and performed in an environment in which it seemed that every conceivable piece of hardware was immediately available. Very quickly, however, I noticed that the atmosphere was far from intimidating and that these internationally renowned and extremely busy surgeons would willingly give their time to teach and answer questions and that I was welcomed wherever I went. For me, this fellowship occurred at a particularly appropriate time, as I will be taking up a job as a consultant neurosurgeon when I return home and hope to use the lessons I learn, not just for my own practice, but also in training and developing the registrars who will pass through our department over the coming years. One of my goals during this fellowship was to understand how a successful neurosurgical unit is created, and I made a point of scheduling visits with administrators and spending time with people throughout the clinical organization. I found that a willingness to give me time extended to everyone I met and was partnered with an openness and sharing of information that was ingrained in everyone.

Edward McKintosh, MD, was awarded the Marjorie Newsome Fellowship for his performance on the exam for fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in Surgical Neurology in 2009. The traveling fellowship is funded through a bequest made in the will of Marjorie Newsome, whose epilepsy was treated at Barrow Neurological Institute. Traveling neurosurgical fellows from the United Kingdom are funded through Barrow Foundation UK. Visit to learn more.

Despite a clinical workload that includes patient referrals from around the world, Barrow’s director, Robert Spetzler, MD, still teaches residents and observers each day (alternating with Nicholas Theodore, MD), and continues publishing landmark papers, supervising residents’ research publications and presentations, and playing a leading roll in fundraising for Barrow. He is joined in this by the other attending neurosurgeons, who have created an environment where high standards of knowledge and skill are expected and achieved by an almost ruthless pursuit of training and improvement, in an open and friendly environment. These standards and the physical environment that supports them are not chance occurrences, but have been achieved by large amounts of hard work, over many years. There are many operative tips and pieces of clinical knowledge that I have

gained during this fellowship but by far the most important thing that I will take back to the UK is the sense of how

“I found that a willingness to give me time extended to everyone I met and was partnered with an openness and sharing of information...” Edward McKintosh, MD a neurosurgical unit should feel to those training in it and the fact that this approach to all activities within a unit can only come from the top and can be developed by example. The hard work needed to achieve that in my own department is now up to me. ■

Marjorie Newsome Fellowship Barrow Magazine


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by Melissa Frederick Morrison Patients go online to review doctor appointments ■ Four years ago, neurosurgeon Randall Porter, MD, decid- experienced the latter procedure during a lumbar surgery she ed to start videotaping his appointments with patients. underwent 13 years ago in the Midwest and did not want to He found that some patients—rattled by the news that they endure it again. (Ultimately, Holloway underwent the tradineeded major surgery or suffering memory problems due to tional fusion, but with allograft—cadaver—bone.) medication or old age—were not absorbing all the informaDr. Porter has several small cameras set up on tripods in tion they needed. his office. If he uses real or computerized models as part of “When they’re hit with a serious diagnosis like a brain his discussion, he makes sure to film them, as well. tumor and you have an hour-long conversation about treat“I think you’re more thorough when you know you’re on ment, later they’ll say, ‘I don’t remember anything,’” Dr. camera,” he says. Porter says. Patients who opt for the videotaped visit pay a nominal Other patients, fortified by intensive Internet research, came fee (about $20). The office uploads the video to a secure armed with extensive lists of questions and received a cor- website, then emails the patient their user name and password. responding avalanche of answers. Still others went home to (A sample video can be viewed on the site.) family members who wanted to know exactly what the doc“They can watch it online as many times as they want,” tor told them. Dr. Porter says. “They can share their By taping and uploading the office account information with anyone they “It has improved visit to a secure website, Dr. Porter gave want. They can watch it from all over the patients and those they share informa- patients’ understanding world. They can also share it with other tion with the ability to watch the doctors.” of their diagnosis, it’s encounter as many times as they wantThe idea of recording patient visits ed. The result was TheMedicalMemois so obvious that it is surprising no one improved patient recall, thought of it earlier. In fact, the U.S., a process Dr. Porter is patenting. Patent Office initially rejected The Medand it’s relieved “It has improved patients’ underical Memory application for that very reastanding of their diagnosis, it’s improved son, Dr. Porter says. Doctors’ fear of their anxiety.” patient recall, and it’s relieved their anxinformation being used against them Randall Porter, MD iety,” Dr. Porter says. and strict federal medical privacy laws Studies have shown that patients known as HIPAA, were other obstacles. only retain about half of the information given to them at med“We solved this by making The Medical Memory a sepical appointments. Of that, only half is recalled correctly. arate entity that is working on behalf of the patient,” says Peter More than 1,000 patients have opted to use the service since N. Steinmetz, MD, PhD, president of The Medical Memory Dr. Porter’s office uploaded the first video in January 2011. (TMM). “The patient acknowledges in an agreement that the The website keeps track of how often patients view their vis- video is being transferred to TMM by the doctor at their its. One accessed his information 39 times. request and is not part of medical treatment or a prescripBut most patients are like Carolyn Holloway, who referred tion of any kind.” to her tape several times, once with a friend. Holloway, 71, Dr. Porter partnered with Dr. Steinmetz, who is director had two vertebrae in her neck fused in February 2012 to relieve of Barrow’s neuroengineering program, to finesse the techneck and shoulder pain brought on by degenerative disk nical and logistical demands of the website. disease. Because the tape is not part of the patient’s official med“I thought it was really great, his idea to video the visit so ical record, Dr. Porter notes, it should make it more attracyou could review it again and hear the things he had to say, tive to other physicians. He and Dr. Steinmetz plan to expand because you have so many things going on in your mind,” says the service to other Barrow offices and then make it availHolloway, who lives in Awhatukee. “You just can’t remem- able to physicians nationwide. ber everything they tell you.” “We’ve all had patients you explain everything to, and postFor example, upon subsequent viewings, Holloway paid op, they’re like, ‘Now can you explain to me what you did?’” closer attention to the possibility of replacing the degener- Dr. Porter says. “With The Medical Memory, they feel like ating disc in her neck with an artificial one, rather than with they understand what’s going on.” ■ a graft fashioned from bone from her hip. She had already


Barrow Magazine

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Randall Porter, MD, meets with patient Donna D. Weston and her husband, Kent, of Mesa. Donna signed up for The Medical Memory, a system that gives patients online access to tapes of their appointments with Dr. Porter, a Barrow neurosurgeon. Barrow Magazine


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by Sarah McGrain Padilla

EyeWriter Student’s award-winning device helps ALS patients ■ A chance encounter between a Barrow physician and a high school robotics coach led to a Valley student creating an award-winning device to help individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) communicate. In May, Ben Mattinson, then a senior at Phoenix Country Day School, received the FIRST Future Innovator Award for the EyeWriterB 2.1, an eyetracking system that allows patients with ALS to use eye movements to control a computer. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an international organization that promotes participation in science and technology.

High tech, low cost The project was inspired by Alan Pitt, MD, a Barrow neuroradiologist whose mother became a quadriplegic after a horse-riding accident. While researching adaptive equipment, Dr. Pitt came across the original EyeWriter, a device designed to help a famous graffiti artist with ALS draw again. “I saw a video for the EyeWriter and wanted to take it to the next level,” says Dr. Pitt. “I knew that there were high school robotics competitions, so I wondered if they could compete to build and modify inexpensive, technology-rich devices to help the disabled.” By chance, Dr. Pitt connected with Rob Mattinson, Ben’s father and a coach for the FIRST Robotics Team at Phoenix Country Day School. Ben was intrigued by the idea. “I’ve always had a thing for applying technology to helping people and I thought that this was a good way to do that while also learning more about computer science,” Ben said. Building on the existing device, Ben built a prototype of EyeWriterB 2.1 and met with Suraj Muley, MD, director of


Barrow Magazine EyeWriter

Barrow’s neuromuscular program, for feedback and to learn more about ALS. ALS is a neuromuscular disease that leads to loss of function in the arms and legs, and often to a loss of speech, leaving patients with little means of communication. However, most people with ALS retain the ability to move their eyes. “Ben's device would allow patients with ALS to communicate with their families and caregivers through eye movements when they have no other means to do so. It would certainly improve quality of life in patients with advanced ALS,” says Dr. Muley. The EyeWriterB 2.1 allows users to control most aspects of the computer with their eyes. It uses a camera and LED lights to calculate where on the screen the user is looking. The user can “type” on a virtual on-screen keyboard by holding their eye over a particular key to select it. The device includes word prediction software, similar to that used on smart phones, to speed up typing. Barrow physicians believe it has potential to help patients with other diseases and disorders. Dr. Pitt hopes that Ben will be an example for other student-led patient-care innovations.

A work in progress While Ben is currently a busy freshman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he continues to improve the device based on feedback from Barrow physicians and patients. “It’s still a work in progress,” he says. Ultimately, his goal is to create a lower-cost product that is accessible to more people, especially in developing countries. “There are commercially available devices that do this, but they are expensive, costing thousands of dollars,” says Ben. “My goal is to develop a comparable product at a tenth of the cost.” ■

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by Melissa Frederick Morrison

His Biggest Hurdle Athlete recovers from a stroke one step at a time ■ Gordon Bugg knows what kind of drive is required to push his body beyond its limits. He competed in the 1988 and 1992 Olympic trials for track and field. He set ASU’s yet-unbroken record for the 400-meter hurdles in 1988: 49.30 seconds (less than 2 seconds more than the gold medalist clocked at the 2012 London Olympics). It’s mental conditioning that has held him in good stead since he suffered a stroke last year that left half his body paralyzed. A week after his right side went numb while he was logging onto his work computer, he was released from St. Joseph’s Hospital to its rehabilitation center. “In track, it’s one hurdle at a time,” says Bugg, 46. “In rehab, it’s the same way—you have to walk before you can run.” Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and the number-one cause of disability in the United States. Recovery can be arduous and emotionally challenging because hard work and grinding repetition are required for even small gains. Similar to an athletic regimen, stroke patients undergo hours of daily training, often for seemingly miniscule gains. “We try to focus on small changes, such as the ability to move a finger or do a task for one repetition and then two repetitions,” says Christina Kwasnica, MD, medical director of the Deborah and Bruce Downey Neuro Rehabilitation Center. “We often use the analogy of a marathon rather than a sprint.” Most gains are made in the first year after a stroke, but, Dr. Kwasnica says, improvements can come years later.

When he was stricken, the mental athlete in Bugg kicked in immediately. Just as Bugg would visualize his races before he ran them, he visualized his recovery. First it was seeing himself walking. Then it was walking without a walker. Then it was walking without any assistance whatsoever. “When they released me, I was able to walk without a cane,” he says. Bugg, a Phoenix father of two, continues to receive therapy to recover function in his right arm. Drills can be mentally exhausting, such as constraint therapy—”where they restrain the strong arm and force the use of the weak arm,” Dr. Kwasnica says. “It is a very frustrating therapy that can reap significant benefits.” Overcoming frustration is part of athletic training, Bugg says. “I can’t tell you day to day or week to week, but I can tell you month to month,” he says of his progress. “You have to keep on working every day to get minimum gains, but they are gains. Just like you train every day to get a little better to perform better in your meet.” He still doesn’t have full use of his arm, but he is able to pick a piece of paper off the floor. “My main goal right now is I want to be able to throw a baseball with my son,” Bugg says. ■

His Biggest Hurdle Barrow Magazine


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Barrow Beyond Young philanthropists celebrate launch of new giving group â–  Founding members of Barrow Beyond enjoyed an evening reception with Robert Spetzler, MD, Nader Sanai, MD, and other Barrow physicians and researchers on Oct. 29 in the Sonntag Academic Pavilion. Drs. Spetzler and Sanai told the group about the Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center, and Sandy and Richard Perkins shared the story of their son Sam, who died of a brain tumor in 2011. Barrow Beyond is a newly formed organization for young philanthropists interested in supporting Barrow Neurological Institute. Since the group was launched earlier this year, members have raised more than $40,000 for the Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center, which is a legacy project of Dr. Spetzler and which is directed by Dr. Sanai. Barrow Beyond members make a minimum $1,000 gift to Barrow Neurological Foundation each year. In the future, members will be able to direct their annual contribution toward several Barrow projects. Members will have opportunities to view surgeries, participate in educational salons and attend private dinners with physicians. For information about Barrow Beyond, contact Kathleen Norton by calling 602-406-1039 or by emailing â– 

Top photo: Shannon Mishkin, Robert F. Spetzler, MD, and Nader Sanai, MD; bottom photo: Aviva Gorny, Yaniv Masjedi, Nader Sanai, MD, and Paul Pollack .


Barrow Magazine Barrow Beyond

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Above: Kris Wolfswinkel, Georgeann Munich, Micheline Etkin and Sophia Yang, MD. Below: Sandy Perkins and Rachael Sirianni, PhD. Above: Sandy and Richard Perkins; Right: Eric Termansen and Carol Clemmensen.

Below: Shown with Kathleen Norton (at the podium) are the five women who organized Barrow Beyond—Brooke Zilveti, Lisa Geyser, Debbie Shafron, Sharon MillerPollack and Shannon Mishkin.

Barrow Beyond Barrow Magazine


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by Catherine Menor

Research Update Barrow-ASU Pre-Clinical Imaging Center proves to be an important resource for Arizona The Barrow-ASU Center for Preclinical Imaging opened at St. Joseph’s Hospital in 2009 with little fanfare. Today, Valley scientists are singing its praises—and winning grants and awards because of the facility, which features a powerful 7 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) unit and PhD-trained staff who are experts in research imaging. “Our center is designed to be a core center for the Valley, a resource that researchers throughout metropolitan Phoenix can use,” says Greg Turner, PhD, program manager of the center. Scientists from Barrow Neurological Institute, the Translational Genomics Research Institute, Arizona State University (ASU), Midwestern University and other organizations use the center for research into a variety of diseases, including Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, cancer and spinal cord injury. Dr. Turner hopes that list will grow. One of those scientists is Kevin Bennett, PhD, assistant professor in the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering at ASU. The National Institutes of Health recently awarded Dr. Bennett $400,000 to conduct research into more effective ways of detecting the onset of kidney disease through the use of MRI technology. Key to that award, says Dr. Bennett, was the Center for Preclinical Imaging. Dr. Bennett says that the center factored heavily into his decision to join ASU in the first place and that its technology and staff have helped him win multiple grants for research in areas ranging from diabetes to cancer. Another fan of the center is Ryan McLemore, PhD, an orthopedic scientist at ASU. In October, Dr. McLemore and four of his colleagues at ASU received the Jeannette Wilkins Award


Barrow Magazine Research Update

for their research into antibiotic-loaded bone cement used in treating infections after joint replacement surgery. The team of researchers used the 7T MRI to study how antibiotics disburse after implantation and how the technique could be improved. “We could not have done this research without the Center for Preclinical Imaging,” says Dr. McLemore. The center is a partnership between ASU and Barrow, and part of Barrow’s Keller Center for Imaging Innovation. The center’s 7T Bruker BioSpec® preclinical MRI is the only preclinical MRI technology in the Phoenix area. The 7T MRI has a much higher strength than the typical 3T MRI used in patient scanning. “With the higher field magnets, you get higher signal and less noise—sharper images in less time than MRIs with lower fields. The 7T allows us to look at structures that are just one-hundredths of an inch in size,” says Dr. Turner. Researchers use the super scanner to study the mechanisms behind diseases and to investigate treatments before they go into patient clinical trials (hence the name “Pre-Clinical”). The 7T MRI speeds up research and produces more reliable findings. The center’s staff helps researchers design their studies and analyze their data. The Barrow-ASU Center for Preclinical Imaging is good for Arizona, says Dr. Turner. “Combining the resources of different biomedical research institutions makes everyone stronger. Applications to NIH are stronger when you have access to a resource like the 7T,” he says. Dr. McLemore, for one, is in complete agreement. “The center has really opened up a lot of opportunities here that didn’t exist before,” he says.

Above: Greg Turner, PhD, with the 7T MRI in the Barrow-ASU Center for Pre-Clinical Imaging.

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Barrow and Philips partner on faster MRI

Tumor researchers make breakthrough

The Keller Center of Imaging Innovation at Barrow is partnering with Philips Healthcare on an initiative to make magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) two to four times faster than it is today. Jim Pipe, PhD, the director of the center and an MRI researcher who perfected PROPELLER, is leading the project. MRI units used in healthcare today employ the Cartesian method of data collection. The Barrow-Philips project

In what could be a breakthrough in the treatment of deadly brain tumors, a team of researchers from Barrow Neurological Institute and Arizona State University has discovered that the immune system reacts differently to different types of brain tissue, shedding light on why cancerous brain tumors are so difficult to treat. The large, two-part study, led by Barrow research fellow Sergiy Kushchayev, MD, under the guidance of Mark Preul, MD, was published in the Sept. 14 issue of Cancer Management and Research. The study explores the effects of immunotherapy on malignant gliomas, cancerous brain tumors that typically have a poor prognosis. The researchers discovered that immune cells of the brain and blood exhibit massive rearrangements when interacting with a malignant glioma under treatment. Essentially, the study demonstrates that the complex immune system reacts differently in different brain tissues and different regions of the brain, including tumors. “This means that effective treatment in one area of the brain may not be effective in another area,” says Dr. Preul. “In fact, it could even cause other regions of the tumor to become worse.” Other members of the research team included Adrienne Scheck, PhD, FuDong Shi, PhD, and Jenny Eschbacher, PhD, of Barrow; and Ken Hoober, PhD, and Laura Eggink, PhD, of ASU. The three-year study was primarily funded by the Arizona Biomedical Research Commission.

Jim Pipe, PhD

is looking at an alternative method of data collection called spiral MRI. According to Dr. Pipe, spiral MRI has the potential to be faster and more efficient if problems with image clarity can be solved. “If we can overcome these issues, we can come closer to realizing MRI’s full potential,” says Dr. Pipe. “We could have a full exam in 10-15 minutes, which would have a huge impact on heathcare costs without affecting quality at all.”

Research Update Barrow Magazine


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Benefactor Briefs Center named for Grubbs is dedicated The Lou and Evelyn Grubb Children’s Center for Neuropsychological Rehabilitation was dedicated at a luncheon on June 1 in the Sonntag Academic Pavilion. A gift from Evelyn Grubb and her late husband, Lou, allowed the Center to expand its facility, increasing the number of rooms from seven to 15. Thanks to the Grubbs’ gift, the center will be able to expand its services to children with brain injuries and disorders. The Lou and Evelyn Grubb Children’s Center for Neuropsychological Rehabilitation offers a wide range of services to children who have suffered a brain injury or disorder. Treatments available at the center include initial and ongoing neuropsychological assessment, cognitive rehabilitation, academic tutoring, psychotherapy, behavior modification and friendship training. George Prigatano, PhD, is the director of the center. Dr. Prigatano participated in Lou Grubb’s rehabilitation after he suffered a ruptured aneurysm in 1986.

Top photo: George Prigatano, PhD, Tracy Christ, Wil Christ, John Grubb, Evelyn Grubb, Dan Grubb, Kathy Grubb, Colton Grubb and Kelsey Grubb; bottom photo: Robert Spetzler, MD, and Mrs. Grubb.

Barrow Grand Ball to be held Jan. 19 Plans are underway for the 2013 Barrow Grand Ball, presented by the Women’s Board of Barrow Neurological Foundation. The ball will be held Jan. 19 at the Arizona Biltmore. Cochairmen are Robyn DeBell and Cindy Watts. The black-tie dinner and dance is one of Arizona’s premier charity events. The Women’s Board has raised more than $42 million for research at Barrow Neurological Institute through the Ball, including $1.9 million in 2012.


Barrow Magazine Benefactor Briefs

Arizona Cardinals gives $45,000 to Barrow The Arizona Cardinals has given $45,000 to Barrow Neurological Foundation, including $15,000 for the BRAINS Clinic, $15,000 for Lou Grubb Friends Fore Golf and $15,000 for unrestricted use. The BRAINS funds will go toward the development of the Barrow Concussion Network, a virtual professional network of concussion experts providing standardized concussion management and education to all Arizona high school athletes. Within the Barrow Concussion Network, professionals will be able to access Barrow Brainbook for concussion education, the Brainbook Registry for concussion research, and ImPACT baseline testing. “We are collaborating with AT Still's athletic training program, as the athletic trainers around the state will play a key role in the sideline assessment of the student athletes,” says Javier Cárdenas, MD, director of the BRAINS Clinic.

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Lou Grubb tourney set for April 25-26 The 40th annual Lou Grubb Friends Fore Golf dinner and tournament will be held Thursday and Friday, April 25 and 26. Proceeds from the event benefit Barrow Neurological Institute and St. Joseph’s Hospital. The two-day event begins with a cocktail party, auction and dinner on Thursday evening at Scottsdale Plaza Resort. An 18-hole tournament will be played the next day at McCormick Ranch Golf Club. Players will enjoy hosted beverages all day, warm-up activities, and a dinner and awards ceremony right after the tournament. The Lou Grubb Friends Fore Golf event was Lou’s way of thanking Barrow and St. Joseph’s for the care he received in 1986 after suffering a ruptured aneurysm during a golf game. Lou passed away earlier this year. Visit for more information. To learn about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Melissa Doyle at 602-406-1035 or

Lou and Evelyn Grubb

Benefactors receive AFP awards Evelyn and Lou Grubb and the Celebrity Fight Night Foundation were recognized for their contributions to St. Joseph’s Foundation and Barrow Neurological Foundation at the annual Philanthropy Leadership Awards, sponsored by the Greater Arizona Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals on Nov. 8. The Grubbs and CFN received 2012 Spirit of Philanthropy Awards. When Lou Grubb passed away earlier this year, he left a long legacy of giving. He and his wife, Evelyn, had raised more than $5 million for Barrow Neurological Institute and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in gratitude for Lou’s care after a brain aneurysm in 1986. The annual Lou Grubb Friends Fore Golf tournament will keep alive their spirit of giving. Since 1997, Celebrity Fight Night (CFN) has raised more than $80 million dollars for charity, with the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow its primary beneficiary. CFN proceeds have enabled researchers and clinicians to provide thousands of patients with the help and hope needed to fight this insidious disease.

Fiesta Bowl awards $25,000 to Barrow for Junior Brainbook

Beer for Brains puts on RAREaffair RAREaffair 2012 brought together great beer, food and entertainment for a great cause—brain tumor research. Sponsored by the Beer for Brains Foundation, RAREaffair was held Nov. 10 at the Arizona Science Center. The event featured rare craft beers, fine wine and the signature dishes of more than a dozen local chefs. Proceeds benefit the Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center. The Beer for Brains Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising money for brain tumor research. The foundation was established by Louis Dolgoff, whose wife, Laurie, received care for a brain tumor at Barrow Neurological Institute. “She was not only my love but my best friend,” says Dolgoff. “I promised her I would raise money every year for

Muhammad Ali and Sean Curry, Celebrity Fight Night Foundation

Louis Dolgoff, the founder of the Beer for Brains Foundation.

brain cancer research. If I can do that, then I’ll feel like I’ve accomplished something.”

Fiesta Bowls Charities, the charitable arm of the Fiesta Bowl, has awarded $25,000 to Barrow Neurological Institute to develop Junior Brainbook, an online concussion-prevention program aimed at children aged 5-14. The e-learning tool is modeled after Brainbook, which was introduced to schools throughout Arizona in 2011. Brainbook educates high school student athletes about signs, symptoms and prevention of concussion. In the last 17 months, Fiesta Bowl Charities has awarded more than $2.2 million in grants to organizations across the state.

Benefactor Briefs Barrow Magazine


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Magic and the Brain ■ More than 340 people filled Phoenix Theatre for “Magic and the Brain,” a fundraiser held Sept. 17 in honor of Barrow’s 50th anniversary. The event celebrated the wonder of the human brain. The unusual program featured Las Vegas headliner Mac King and the world’s Elder Statesman of Magic, the Amazing Randi. Barrow vision scientists Stephen Macknik, PhD, and Susana Martinez-Conde, PhD, were on hand to explain how magicians trick us and what that reveals about the brain.


Barrow Magazine Magic and the Brain

Barrow neurosurgeon Peter Nakaji, MD, gave opening remarks, and Valley journalist Tara Hitchcock served as emcee. Hitchcock told her own Barrow story about her stepson, Dylan Francis, who received care at Barrow. Drs. Macknik and Martinez-Conde are Harvard-trained visual neuroscience researchers who have spent much of their careers exploring the link between what we see and what we comprehend. “We are excited about how our research could lead to medical advances that help patients with cognitive decline,” says Dr. Martinez-Conde. ■

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News Two join foundations

Scientist leads meeting

Two fundraising professionals have joined the Foundation staff: Keith C. Kerber, development officer, first tried his hand at fundraising when he delivered Mother’s Day singing telegrams as part of a fundraiser for UCLA, where he was a student. Later, during theological studies at Princeton Theological Seminary, he convinced Biblical scholars to donate dinners and fly fishing trips to a charity auction. During his six years as a Presbyterian minister, Kerber raised funds by flipping pancakes for Fat Tuesday suppers. The father of three turned his aptitude for fundraising into a career when he joined Thunderbird School of Global Management as manager of annual giving. Kerber serves on the local board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. He can be reached at 602-406-1030 and at Alan Knobloch, director of major gifts and planned giving, has worked for more than 25 years with nonprofits, including Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation, Valley of the Sun United Way, San Diego Junior Golf Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Knobloch was a partner with The Balsar Group, an organizational development and fundraising consulting firm. He earned Certified Fund Raising Executive status from the Association of Fundraising Professionals and a diploma from the National Planned Giving Institute at the College of William and Mary. Knobloch is past president of the Greater Arizona Planned Giving Roundtable in Phoenix and currently serves on its board. The Arizona State University graduate is active in the Central Arizona Estate Planning Council. Contact him by calling 602-406-1025 or by emailing

James G. Pipe, PhD, was the program director for the 2012 Annual Meeting and Exhibition of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. ISMRM is a worldwide multidisciplinary Jim and Teri Pipe society dedicated to the development and application of all aspects of magnetic resonance to medicine and related fields. More than 5,000 clinicians and scientists from over 50 countries attended the meeting, which was held in Melbourne, Australia.

Tumor operation done first at Barrow Neurosurgeon Kris Smith, MD, and radiation oncologist David Brachman, MD, performed the world’s first Cesium-131 brachytherapy seed sutured mesh implant in June. The operation involved a female patient suffering from a recurrent meningioma, a type of brain tumor. The sutured mesh was placed over the resected tumor at the time of surgery to provide immediate radiation therapy to the entire tumor bed and margins with an aim of preventing tumor reccurrence. IsoRay Inc. is the developer of Cesium-131.

Raffle returns in 2013 The St. Joseph’s Health & Wealth Raffle will celebrate its 10th anniversary next year with bigger and better prizes. Sinceit started in 2003, St. Joseph’s Health & Wealth Raffle has become one of the largest fundraisers in Arizona. To date, more than $52 million has been raised, helping keep the hospital at the leading edge of medicine.

Vision researchers win Tobi Eye Track Award Barrow’s Susana Martinez-Conde, PhD, and Stephen Macknik, PhD, and Case Western University’s John Leigh, PhD, received the 2011 Tobi Eye Track Award for their research into fixational eye movements in patients with progressive suranuclear palsy. Their study was published last year in the Journal of Neuroscience. Dr. Martinez-Conde delivered the keynote address for the annual EyeTrackBehavior conference held in Belgium this fall.

Researcher promoted Robert Bowser, PhD, has been named director of Neurology Research and director of the Neurodegenerative Disorders Center at Barrow Neurological Institute. The promotion recognizes Dr. Bowser’s leadership capabilities and international stature. Dr. Bowser graduated from Carnegie Mellon University, obtained a PhD in Cell Biology at Yale University and did postdoctoral training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He was on the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh before joining Barrow in 2011. At Barrow he has served as Director of the Barrow Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Research Center, funded in part by Mary Lou and Ira Fulton. Dr. Bowser is co-founder of Knopp Neurosciences, Inc. and founder of Iron Horse Diagnostics, Inc., developers of ALS drug therapies or diagnostic indicators. He has played important roles in the Northeast Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Consortium and other organizations devoted to research into neurodegenerative disorders. In his new role, he will oversee laboratory research programs currently centered in the Division of Neurology. News Barrow Magazine


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One, two, three annuities Why it’s hard to stop after just one

by Alan Knobloch Director, Major Gifts and Planned Giving Barrow Neurological Foundation, St. Joseph’s Foundation

■ Why do some people with a Barrow Neurological Foundation charitable gift annuity obtain another one . . . and another? There are at least three reasons: 1. Satisfaction. Most donors ease into their first gift annuity with Barrow Neurological Foundation with a degree of concern. After all, this is a new arrangement for them and they wonder how well it will work. Will the payment amount be as promised? Will the checks arrive on time? It doesn't take long for any uneasiness to vanish. Donors discover they are having a positive experience. They learn they can count on Barrow Neurological Foundation to follow through. And this satisfaction draws them back for another annuity.

“Donors discover they are having a positive experience. They learn they can count on Barrow...”

2. Connection. Having a life-income agreement with Barrow Neurological Foundation involves an interdependence not experienced with normal annual giving. For one thing, the person is not only giving financial support, but receiving it. This enhanced sense of partnership encourages the feeling that “we are in this together.” Additional annuities deepen this connection even further. 3. Better rates. Gift annuity rates are determined by the annuitant's age. The older you are, the better rates you receive. For example, our current rates for a single-life gift annuity involving a 70-year-old person is 5.1 percent. The rate increases to 5.8 percent for a 75-year-old. At age 80, it is 6.8 percent, and at 85, it is 7.8 percent. A 90-year-old (and older) will receive 9.0 percent. So for many annuitants, it makes sense to obtain additional annuities as they grow older. Gift annuities offer other advantages in addition to those mentioned above. To obtain further information, please call me at (602) 406-1025 or email I will be glad to provide an illustration to show how a gift annuity can benefit you. ■


Barrow Magazine Planned Giving

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Dignity Health Barrow Neurological Foundation 350 W. Thomas Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85013-4496

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Outsmarting Brain Tumors Discover how the Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center is working to find a cure.

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Stopping the Cycle Learn how St. Joseph’s is helping to keep women and babies safe and healthy.

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Barrow magazine Volume 24, Issue 2, 2012