Vol. 17, No. 3
The Institute for Neurosciences: At the Vanguard of Specialized Care
Nine Winthrop Specialists Named to New York Magazine's “Best Doctors List
Good Health - It's in Our Hands
Tuskegee Airman Regains the Gift of Sight
Stroke Care at Winthrop
Under the Big Top
Golfing for the Kids
Pat Lyons Foundation Shows Unwavering Support for Generation of Survivors Program
Winthrop Opens LI's Only Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center
Migliozzi Family Donates Rocking Chair to NICU
Jay's World Foundation Shows Ongoing Support
Winthrop's Home Health Agency Tops National List Again
Clinical Trials: Bringing the Future of Medicine to Long Island
2007 MineolaStreet Fair
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Robin Maragni, 44, of Valley Stream, believes
she owes her life to the staff at Winthrop-
University Hospital's Institute for Neurosciences.
"I met my girlfriend for coffee one evening
when suddenly, I felt a pop in my neck, followed
by a rush of pain up my back and an instant
headache," recalls Mrs. Maragni.
She spent the next
24 hours suffering from
a blinding, unrelenting
headache and vomiting.
After seeking emergency
medical treatment from a
local hospital, Mrs. Maragni
was quickly transferred to
Winthrop, where she met
with Jonathan Brisman, MD,
Winthrop's Director of Cerebrovascular and
Endovascular Neurosurgery and learned she had
a ruptured brain aneurysm.
An aneurysm is a blood-filled bulge in a
blood vessel caused by a weakening of the vessel
wall. When the bulge bursts, the area is flooded
with blood. “Although brain aneurysms are quite
common, a ruptured aneurysm requires prompt
medical attention as it can quickly become life
threatening, " said Dr. Brisman.
Dr. Jonathan Brisman is one the nation's few
neurosurgeons trained in advanced microneurosurgery
and endovascular techniques. He is skilled
in endovascular coiling for the treatment of brain aneurysms, a procedure that involves threading a
small catheter into the femoral artery of the leg and
navigating it through the vascular system into the
head. Tiny platinum coils are then threaded through
the catheter to the site of the aneurysm, halting the
blood flow. Used with qualified patients, this
advanced procedure results in reduced discomfort,
smaller incisions and
Today, just weeks
after the surgery, Mrs. Maragni is enjoying
her normal daily activities, which
include walking up to eight miles a day.
“I feel great, she said. “It's quite amazing.
I'm grateful to everyone at Winthrop."
Institute for Neurosciences
Endovascular coiling is just one of the advanced
treatments offered to patients in Winthrop's Institute
for Neurosciences. With a highly specialized, multidisciplinary
staff - including an expert Stroke Care
Team that is available 24/7 - advanced imaging and
state-of-the-art surgical interventions, Winthrop is
at the forefront of a field known for its complexity.
The Institute provides patients with cutting-edge,
round-the-clock diagnosis and treatment of a wide
range of problems related to the brain and central
nervous system, including brain aneurysms and
tumors, stroke and spine disorders.
Neuroscience Intensive Care
To enhance the breadth of services offered
within the Institute, Winthrop built the first and
only Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on
Long Island in 2002. In just five years, it has
become a regional leader in the delivery of
advanced, specialized care for neurology and neurosurgery patients. Very few hospitals
in the country boast separate
intensive care units dedicated to such
“The Neuroscience ICU at Winthrop
hosts the most experienced neurosciences
intensive care program on
Long Island," said Michael Brisman,
MD, Chief of Winthrop's Division of
Neurosurgery and Co-Director of the
Neurosciences Institute. “Our excellent
team of doctors, nurses and physician
assistants are experts in treating
and managing a wide range of neurological
“Winthrop's Neuroscience ICU is
well-known for its comprehensive
evaluation, superior care and
advanced monitoring techniques, "
explained Elzbieta Wirkowksi, MD,
Co-Director of the Neuroscience ICU
and Director of the Cerebrovascular
Program at Winthrop
She and Mohammad Ibrahim, MD,
oversee the day-to-day operations of
the 14-bed Unit. Working closely with
a team of neurologists, neurosurgeons,
specially-trained nurses and
physician assistants, they are dedicated
to preserving the quality of life
for individuals who have suffered
“We are experts in neurological
observation, " said Dr. Wirkowski.
“With the sophisticated Doppler system
that monitors blood flow through
the vessels of the brain, electroencephalogram
(EEG) and intracranial
pressure monitoring devices, we facilitate
quick and accurate decisions
about a patient's neurological state. "
Additionally, the Unit is home to
the latest diagnostic tools, easily
accessible for rapid analysis and
intervention. “Winthrop has been designated
a Stroke Center by the New
York State Department of Health, "
said Dr. Wirkowski. “Treating more
than 500 stroke patients annually,
our multidisciplinary team of specialists
is ready at a moment's notice. "
The foundation of the Institute of Neurosciences rests in the finest and
most sophisticated minimally invasive,
image-based technologies to
diagnose and treat diseases and
injuries of the head, neck and spine.
“A patient treated for a ruptured
brain aneurysm, stroke or any other
type of neurological disorder has access
to the best technology and outstanding
medical expertise at Winthrop," said
Orlando Ortiz, MD, an interventional
neuroradiologist and Chairman of
Winthrop's Department of Radiology.
In addition to housing such highly
sophisticated diagnostic tools as computed
tomography angiography (CTA),
positron emission tomography (PET)
scanning and magnetic resonance
angiography (MRA), Winthrop recently
obtained a new state-of-the-science,
64-slice computed tomography
“The 64-slice CT scanner is an
exciting addition to our already extensive
set of diagnostic tools," said Dr.
Ortiz. “It combines matchless image
quality with remarkable speed to
quickly produce exquisitely detailed
images of the body's organs."
In addition, the Institute recently
acquired its second biplane digital
angiography system. This non-invasive
technology provides 3-D images for
the evaluation of intracranial vessels,
which heightens the accuracy and
thoroughness of diagnosis and treatment
of a wide range of peripheral
and neurovascular disorders, including
stroke and brain aneurysms.
Winthrop's state-of-the-art 64-slice CT scanner
With so much advanced technology,
the Institute for Neurosciences
has attracted an outstanding team of
experienced, skilled and specially
“Our nurses have been educated
in both critical care and neuroscience
nursing, " said Karin Antaky, RN, the
Neuroscience ICU Nurse Manager.
“They are vital to this team. And, with
a nurse-to-patient ratio of 1:2, they
meet every patient need with the highest level of attention and care."
In addition, the talent and diligence
of the Neuroscience ICU's physician
assistants have been critical to the
superior quality of care that Winthrop's
“The quality of post-operative care
on the Unit is absolutely phenomenal
and unparalleled, " said Nancy Epstein,
MD, Winthrop's Chief of Neurosurgical
Spine & Education and Clinical
Professor of Neurological Surgery at
Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
“The physician assistants and nurses
on the Unit truly care about patients
and their outcomes. I wouldn't trust
my patients' care to anyone else."
Dr. Epstein is one of the few
neurosurgeons in the region with
expertise and experience in bloodless
surgery - a combination of techniques
designed to minimize blood loss and
the need for blood transfusions during
and after spine surgery.
Jeffrey Brown, MD, Neurosurgical
Director of CyberKnife® stereotactic
radiosurgery at Winthrop, is a renowned
pioneer in the development and use of
Motor Cortex Stimulation (MCS) to
relieve intense, unremitting facial and
neck pain; he is one of the nation's few
neurosurgeons skilled in the procedure.
Other treatment options available
to Winthrop patients with spinal disorders
include decompression with or
without fusion, kyphoplasty and spinal neurostimulation.
For more information on Winthrop's Institute for Neurosciences, call 1-866-WINTHROP.