News Release: School of Medicine

Nov. 30,  2010

Stroke Care at Grady Expands with Six New Emory School of Medicine Physician Faculty

News Article ImageGrady Memorial Hospital

Emory University School of Medicine is expanding its critical stroke care team with the addition of new physician faculty joining Emory colleagues at the Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center at Grady Memorial Hospital.

Located at Atlanta’s only Level I Trauma Hospital, the Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center stands out as a leader in stroke care in the Southeast due to innovative and cutting edge technology and the dedicated multi-specialty approach of its 24-7 team in diagnosing and treating stroke patients.

“We are thrilled to welcome our new faculty members to our award-winning multi-specialty stroke team,” says Michael R. Frankel, MD, professor of neurology, Emory University School of Medicine, chief of neurology and director of the Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center for the Grady Health System. "Combining the talents of these doctors with our team, technology and state-of-the-art design of the Center enables Grady to advance its already strong care for stroke patients.”

Two of the new physicians, Rishi Gupta, MD, and Raul Noguiera, MD. visiting associate professors of neurology at Emory School of Medicine, are neurologists and stroke experts with expertise in neuroendovascular procedures as well as neurocritical care. They will provide minimally invasive treatment of complex neuro-vascular disorders at the Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center.

“Emory and Grady have played a critical role in changing the paradigm for stroke care by treating patients with clot busting tPA,” says Frankel. “We are continuing our efforts to evolve the field of stroke care by offering more options to ensure people have a good outcome.”

According to Frankel, Drs. Gupta and Nogueira are blazing new trails in the field of interventional neurology and are on the verge of research breakthroughs that will continue to advance stroke care for patients by intervening and stopping the damage as quickly as possible to improve recovery and minimize disability.

“They are pushing the envelope in terms of research and discovery,” says Frankel. “They are pioneers in how we approach this disease in a minimally invasive and emerging way to open up arteries with catheters and stents and save as much brain as possible in the first few hours of a stroke.”

Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke. It occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is blocked or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. In either case, parts of the brain become damaged or die within minutes. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the Southeast.

Gupta comes to Emory from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he served as assistant professor of neurology, neurosurgery and radiology and worked in the Vanderbilt Stroke Center. Prior to Vanderbilt, Gupta worked at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, where he was on staff at the Cerebrovascular Center, working in endovascular surgical neuroradiology and serving as director of the Vascular Neurology Fellowship Program.

Nogueira spent the past 11 years at Massachusetts General Hospital working and training with the Harvard Medical School. While at Harvard, he completed his residency in neurology, fellowships in neurocritical care and stroke, and in endovascular neurosurgery and interventional neuroradiology. He also had an appointment as an assistant professor of neurology for Harvard Medical School.

The other new faculty appointments are assistant professors of neurology at Emory School of Medicine with expertise in stroke prevention, rehabilitation and epilepsy. They round out the multi-specialty critical care stroke team at the Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center at Grady.

Aaron Anderson, MD, completed a vascular neurology fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and will focus his research attention on stroke prevention.

Samir Belagaje, MD, completed both a neurology residency and a vascular neurology and neuro-recovery fellowship at the University of Cincinnati before joining the Emory stroke team. Dr. Belagaje will focus on stroke rehabilitation at the Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center.

Evan Gedzelman, MD, finished a neurology residency at the University of Florida-Gainesville, and an epilepsy fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Leslie Rudzinski, MD, completed a clinical neurophysiology and epilepsy fellowship at Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Both will provide expertise in EEG services at Grady Memorial Hospital.

In stroke treatment, every second counts. Grady's multi-specialty approach in caring for persons who have suffered a stroke means treatment begins as soon as they arrive in the emergency room.

"Achieving excellence in stroke care and advancing the treatment of patients with acute stroke at Grady requires a highly coordinated and interdisciplinary effort involving many individuals from almost every department in the hospital," says Frankel.

In 2005, Grady became the first "safety-net" public hospital in the United States to be certified as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission.

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The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

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