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LSUHSC AND WJMC partner in epilepsy care

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LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans and West Jefferson Medical Center have teamed up to provide comprehensive epilepsy care for patients in the metropolitan New Orleans area. Media are invited to learn about the new facilities and see the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit in action on Monday, July 21, 2008 at 10:30 a.m., at West Jefferson Medical Center, 1101 Medical Center Blvd, Marrero, LA.

“With the addition of a ‘clinical home’ for epilepsy monitoring, surgery, and outpatient care for LSUHSC physicians and their adult patients at West Jefferson Medical Center, LSU Health Sciences Center is now able to fully re-establish its Epilepsy Center of Excellence and Level 4 Epilepsy Center,” states Peter Olejniczak, MD, LSUHSC Epilepsy Center of Excellence Director . A designation by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers, Level 4 centers provide the more complex forms of intensive neurodiagnostics monitoring, as well as more extensive medical, neuropsychological and psychosocial treatment. Fourth-level centers also offer a complete evaluation for epilepsy, surgery, including intracranial electrodes, and provide a range of surgical procedures for epilepsy.

“Partnering with LSU Health Sciences Center affords patients in our region the full-service benefit of LSU and the community care available at WJMC,” Nancy R. Cassagne, Chief Executive Officer at West Jefferson Medical Center, stated.

“West Jefferson Medical Center invested in the clinical technology and dedicated space in our NASU (Neurovascular and Acute Stroke Unit) for this initiative in affiliation with LSU,” Alfred Abaunza, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, adds. “We are pleased to work in partnership with our physicians in the neuroscience specialties to serve patients needing this monitoring service.”

New equipment will complete the unit to provide the full range of diagnostic, monitoring, Nancy R. Cassagne Chief Executive Officer Board of Directors: Louis H. Thomas Chairman Juan J. Labadie, M.D. Vice-Chairman Julie Van Dervort Secretary-Treasurer Barry Bordelon James Cramond Frank C. Di Vincenti, M.D. Timothy Kerner Gary Lala B. H. Miller, Jr. Charlotte Roussel and treatment services including EEG, neuroimaging, detailed analysis of neuroimaging studies, functional MRI and functional brain mapping, neuropsychological testing, psychiatric services, WADA testing, medications, epilepsy surgery, vagus nerve stimulation, radiosurgery, ketogenic diet and research.

“LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans and West Jefferson Medical Center continue to rebuild the health infrastructure of metropolitan New Orleans,” notes Larry H. Hollier, MD, Chancellor of LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans. “The return to full capacity in providing comprehensive epilepsy care here marks a milestone in our recovery,”

THE LSUHSC Epilepsy Center of Excellence has initiated 16 NIH or industry-sponsored clinical device or medication trials from 2004-08, as well as 10 center-sponsored studies in the areas of medical devices, cognitive neuroimaging, outcome analysis, seizure prediction, diagnostic analysis and epilepsy evaluation. It also supports the LSUHSC Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship program which is the only ACGME accredited neurophysiology fellowship in the state of Louisiana.

“The LSUHSC Epilepsy Center has been the only tertiary care center for epilepsy in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast since it was established in 1990; serving the approximately 54,000 to 90,000 medically intractable and hard to treat individuals with epilepsy in this region,” said Steve Nelson, MD, Dean of the School of Medicine at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans. ”We are pleased to partner with West Jefferson Medical Center to once again make that care available right here at home.”