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U of U Neurosciences Earns Top Center of Excellence Designation

SALT LAKE CITY – The University of Utah Clinical Neurosciences Center has been recognized among the nation’s top neuroscience programs, receiving the highest designation as a Neuroscience Center of Excellence (COE), according to the Neuroscience Center of Excellence Survey conducted by NeuStrategy, Inc., based in Chicago.

The annual survey, the only one of its kind in the neurosciences, analyzed 150 neuroscience programs across 42 states. The survey determined overall performance by measuring program progress in four key areas: Clinical and Research Programs; Staff; Facilities and Technology; and Business.
University Health Care ranked in the top one-third of programs that earned the highest designation—Stage 4.  The survey report commended the University for its commitment to technology and early adoption of treatment techniques, saying, “Stage 4 organizations push beyond clinical trials and integrate research with translational programs to move innovation from bench to bedside.”

The Clinical Neurosciences Center combines clinical excellence with a strong emphasis on research and education, according to Candice L. Gourley, center director.  “Center of Excellence designees represent the leading and most innovative programs in the country, and University Health Care is proud to be acknowledged for our multidisciplinary approach and commitment to the highest standards of neurological, neurosurgical, and neuro-imaging patient care," Gourley said.

The U’s program, which serves patients in University Hospital, Huntsman Cancer Hospital, and Primary Children’s Medical Center, treats injuries, diseases and disorders of the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles. The program is home to the region's largest—and only dedicated— Neuroscience Critical Care unit, a nationally recognized neuro nursing staff, ongoing research, advanced technologies, and a talented and renowned staff of physicians with subspecialties for both adult and pediatric patients.

The COE designation comes during a time of tremendous growth for the Clinical Neurosciences Center.

In the past year the center moved into a renovated facility, which features a collaborative outpatient clinic, four new neurosurgical operating rooms and recovery room, and a new MRI suite with the region’s only open-bore 3T computed tomography (CT) imaging capability—for greater clarity of images and patient comfort. The center also has opened the Brain Health Learning Center in Research Park to support patients with Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia, Multiple Sclerosis, and Parkinson’s Disease.

In coming months University Hospital will open a new Neurosciences Critical Care Unit, with expanded capacity, a larger Neurosciences Acute Care Unit, and a long-term Neuro Monitoring Unit.

NeuStrategy, Inc., based in Chicago, IL,  is one of the most respected neuroscience, oncology, and orthopedic strategic evaluation and consulting firms in the country, providing a broad spectrum of strategic, financial and operational support to health systems, physician practices and industry vendors.  NeuStrategy’s Center of Excellence Survey is the industry standard for defining and measuring hospital infrastructure necessary to support a centersof excellence. Organized to probe core competencies in four key categories (Programs, Staff, Facilities & Technology, Business Model), the survey generates analytical data used to develop national performance benchmarks. Participation in COE surveys helps hospitals and healthcare organizations identify strengths and critical program gaps in an objective manner.