Vascular Neurologist, University of Alabama at Birmingham
- Stroke Neurologist
- Neurology - Neurocritical Care, Neurology - Research, Neurology - Stroke, Neurology - Vascular, Neurology - Neurohospitalist Medicine
- Birmingham, Alabama
The Department of Neurology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Medicine is seeking a board certified/eligible vascular neurologist to join the rapidly expanding UAB Comprehensive Stroke Center. The incoming vascular neurologist will provide acute stroke care at the only Joint Commission Certified Comprehensive Stroke Center within a 50,000 square mile catchment area known as the “Stroke Belt” for its unusually high prevalence of stroke and cerebrovascular disease.
The UAB Division of Cerebrovascular Disease Includes:
The UAB Comprehensive Stroke Center is based at the UAB Medical Center, which is the fourth largest academic medical center in the U.S. and the only Level 1 Trauma Center and tertiary referral center within the region. UAB President Dr. Ray Watts, former Dean of Medicine and Chairman of Neurology at UAB, has deemed Neurology to be a strategic pillar of growth for the institution as a whole. Under the leadership of Dr. David Standaert, Neurology Department Chair, the number of Neurology faculty members has nearly tripled from 22 in 2009 to a team of 63 in 2015. The new faculty are making their presence felt, with Neurology outpatient visits increasing 24% from fiscal year 2014 to nearly 34,000 in fiscal year 2015; inpatient admissions rose 12% from FY2014 to nearly 2,500 in FY2015. The Neurology Department has also experienced a 17% increase in NIH funding from 2014 to 2015, placing the department in the top 25 nationwide.
In 2015, the UAB Stroke Center completed a multi-million dollar renovation and expansion to the 20-bed stroke unit and adjacent 36-bed NeuroICU, achieved JCAHO Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification, and completed a national leadership search for the new Division Chief of Cerebrovascular Disease, Dr. Toby Gropen. The state-of-the-art 20 bed stroke unit is now 11th in UHC’s rankings for inpatient stroke discharges with an annual run rate of approximately 1,500 cases; UAB’s 100+ annual cases of tPA administration also rank near the top nationwide. Academically speaking, UAB’s participation in the NIH StrokeNet and its nationally-acclaimed Stroke Epidemiology Program present a wealth of research and collaboration opportunities for interested candidates. UAB is home to the REGARDS study, which is the largest NIH-funded stroke epidemiology project in the country with some 30,000+ participants. Additionally, teaching opportunities and clinical support are available through the Neurology Department’s ACGME accredited neurology residency (24 slots), vascular neurology fellowship (2 slots), and neurocritical care fellowship. The UAB Comprehensive Stroke Program is well-represented across all facets of academic medicine, having a robust clinical volume and diverse array of cases while also providing accessible teaching and collaborative research opportunities.
Division of Cerebrovascular Disease
The Division of Cerebrovascular Disease specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of stroke and stroke-related disorders with a 24x7 triage team, Neuro-Endovascular Interventional Service, pre-hospital notification from Birmingham Regional EMS paramedics (BREMSS), and the Level 1 UAB Emergency Medicine Department. The program assertively embraces endovascular therapies for stroke, supported by a dedicated neuro-angio suite located within the 14 catheterization labs of the UAB Heart and Vascular Center. The division integrates the latest in medical technology with a multi-faceted approach including the:
- Vascular and Neurocritical Care service – An inpatient service dedicated exclusively to cerebrovascular disease and disorders, staffed by a team of neurologists and nurse specialists.
- Outpatient Services – The outpatient stroke clinics are conducted at the renowned Kirklin Clinic.
- Diagnostic Services – A comprehensive approach to the evaluation of cerebrovascular disorders, including MRI/MRA, CT, SPECT, cerebral catheterization and angiography, and the Neurovascular Ultrasound Laboratory
Array of Stroke Disorders Treated
- Evaluation, diagnosis, and management of acute ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke
- Interpretation of neurovascular imaging including neurosonology
- Management of intracranial and cervical vascular disease
- Outpatient management of stroke, including rehabilitation
- Two Nurse Practitioners (NP) on the inpatient side
- Another ambulatory stroke NP will be hired soon
- One Nurse Manager dedicated to the Stroke Center
- Four Assistant Nurse Managers supporting the Nurse Coordinator
- One Research Nurse Coordinator dedicated to the Stroke Center
- Two Research Assistants as well
- Three Stroke Coordinators (accreditation coordinators)
- Two Trans-Doppler Techs used for both Inpatient & Outpatient Dopplers
- One Medical Assistant dedicated to the Stroke Center
- One Office Associate I dedicated to the Stroke Center
- One Pharmacist dedicated to the Stroke Center
The NICU at The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is a dedicated unit consisting of 36 beds. The clinical service is predicated on a co-primary model, in which patients are managed collaboratively by the NICU team and the admitting service, which might be general neurology, vascular neurology, or neurosurgery. Critical care services are provided by a multidisciplinary team consisting of an attending physician, advanced practice providers, fellows, various residents, clinical pharmacists, registered dieticians, and respiratory therapists as well as dedicated team of neuroscience nurses. The NICU faculty includes intensivists from a variety of backgrounds, including anesthesiology, neurology, and emergency medicine. All have specialized training in the intricacies of neurosurgical and neurologic diseases and employ the latest technologies to treat them. They work collaboratively with the Departments of Neurosurgery and Neurology to deliver the highest possible quality of care. Twenty-four-hour resident coverage is provided by residents from the Departments of Anesthesiology, Neurosurgery, and Neurology, along with advanced practice providers.
Dr. Angela Hays Shapshak is the Director of Neurocritical Care, and she represents the Neurology Department as Co-Director of the multi-disciplinary NeuroICU. Dr. Shapshak also serves as the Program Director of the UCNS Accredited Neurocritical Care Fellowship.
The vascular neurology (stroke) service works has a strong and collegial relationship with neurosurgery. The neurologists and neurovascular surgery team co-manage patients, and share a Tuesday afternoon neurovascular conference. UAB vascular neurosurgeons have published extensively, with recent work including the standard teaching handbook for cerebrovascular surgery, Handbook of Cerebrovascular Disease and Neurointerventional Technique.
The UAB Spain Rehabilitation Center (“Spain Rehab”) is a specialty hospital connected to the UAB Medical Center. It houses a 49 bed (all private) inpatient rehab facility as well as outpatient therapy and MD services. As one of the Southeast’s foremost providers of comprehensive rehabilitation care, Spain Rehab is a multidisciplinary treatment facility promoting a team approach between OT/PT/ST/RT, psychology, nursing, physicians and support staff.
The Stroke program benefits from an inpatient neurorehabilitation service provided at the Spain Rehabilitation Hospital. Spain Rehab has a dedicated on-site neurologist that specializes in Stroke Rehabilitation (Victor Mark, MD), and serves as a key liaison between the stroke service and the rehab process. The inpatient neurorehabilitation service utilizes advanced research, technology and expertise to address every aspect of a patient’s rehabilitation, including physical, social and psychological health. Spain Rehab is one of only 14 spinal cord injury model systems and one of 16 traumatic brain injury model systems in the nation.
Birmingham VA Stroke Center
The Birmingham VA Hospital (BVAH) is also located on the UAB Medical Campus. In November 2013, the BVAH stroke center received VHA Primary Stroke Center designation. The BVAH Stroke Center has 4 dedicated floor beds for stroke patients. It now is near the top of VA hospitals in the country for IV tPA treatments, and is in the early stages of becoming the pilot site for stroke telemedicine for the VA. UAB vascular neurologist Dr. Michael Lyerly serves as the Director of the BVAH Stroke Center.
Vascular Neurology Fellowship
UAB’s Department of Neurology offers a one year ACGME accredited Vascular Neurology fellowship program. Two Vascular Neurology Fellowship positions are available each year. A second year of fellowship, focusing on research training and experience may be made available based on candidate interest and availability of funding. Dr. Michael Lyerly is the Director of the Vascular Neurology fellowship.
The UAB stroke team is actively participating in a number of NIH trials and three industry-sponsored clinical trials. Stroke faculty members are actively engaged in a wide range of research activities including acute stroke management, neurosonology, stroke systems of care, neuroimaging and pharmacology. Recently, UAB was named a StrokeNet satellite affiliate of the UT Houston Stroke Center, which will greatly enhance the stroke team’s access to clinical trials and research collaborators across the country.
The incoming stroke neurologist will have ample opportunity to collaborate in existing research and clinical trials, and initiate new research projects. Some of the ongoing cerebrovascular related research projects within UAB include:
- REGARDS Study – Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke
- CREST2 – Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy vs. Stenting Trial
- MISTIE3 – Minimally Invasive Surgery Plus rt-PA for Intracerebral Hemorrhage Evacuation
- POINT – Platelet-Oriented Inhibition in New TIA and minor ischemic stroke
- PRISMS – A Study of the Efficacy and Safety of Activase (Alteplase) in Patients with Mild Stroke
- Dr. Gropen’s “Refinement of Prehospital Stroke System” project
- Ongoing Stroke Registry
The REGARDS study (Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke) is led by UAB Epidemiologist Dr. George Howard, and is the nation’s largest population-based study. Initiated in 2001, REGARDS encompasses 30,000+ individuals >45 years of age from across the nation. The study is aimed at exploring racial and geographic differences in stroke risk factors and stroke occurrence, and it has received nearly $50 million in funding to date.
Telemedicine, and specifically telestroke, represents an exciting growth opportunity for the UAB College of Medicine. Currently the Neurology department receives roughly 1,000 patient transfer and consult requests on a yearly basis, with the majority being stroke cases. UAB’s executive leadership has recognized that there is a strategic growth opportunity to address an unmet need in telemedicine throughout the 50,000 square mile catchment region, representing a population of roughly 5 million. A rollout of the telemedicine initiative will begin with telestroke in early 2016, and additional service lines will be added in short order.
The Neurology faculty spans all the major subspecialties of the field. Major clinical programs include stroke and cerebrovascular disease, epilepsy, memory disorders and neuropsychology, movement disorders, multiple sclerosis, neuromuscular disease, neuro-oncology, and headache and pain. As the Neurology faculty has dramatically expanded, so has the clinical volume of the program:
- Outpatient visits increased 24% from Fiscal Year 2014 to Fiscal Year 2015
- Inpatient admissions increased 12% from Fiscal Year 2014 to Fiscal Year 2015
State-of-the-art facilities and equipment are available for diagnostic studies and treatment. Intracranial electrode implantation, cortical stimulation studies, specialized EEG procedures, and a full range of conventional and special tests are available. The only magnetoencephalography (MEG) laboratory in the Southeast, the UAB-HSF MEG Laboratory, is part of the Epilepsy Center. MEG provides a more accurate way of locating the origin of seizures and is also used to locate brain areas responsible for speech, sensation, and vision. See below for elaboration on the clinical volume of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center:
- 2,500 routine EEG’s/year
- 10-bed Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU)
- Plans underway to expand to a 16-bed unit
- 50 surgical resections for epilepsy/year
- Long-Term EEG monitoring has increased from 200/month in 2013 to 550/month in 2015
The Neurology Department’s clinical care is provided in the context of a vibrant neuroscience research community which has expanded rapidly in the last five years. In recent years, the UAB administration has placed a high priority on the Neurosciences as a strategic pillar to the Medical School’s growth and infrastructure moving forward. Much of this growth can be traced to new leadership: Dr. Kevin Roth, recruited as Division Director for Neuropathology and now Chair of Pathology; Dr. Ray Watts, recruited as Chair of Neurology who later served as Dean of the School of Medicine and now is President of UAB; Dr. David Sweatt, Chair of Neurobiology; Dr. Jim Meador-Woodruff, Chair of Psychiatry, and Dr. David Standaert, recruited as Chair of Neurology by Dr. Watts in 2006. The result of this new leadership has been a substantial increase in both numbers of faculty and extramural support.
There is also an NIH R25 program for training of residents in neurology, neurosurgery and neuropathology in research methodology. Qualified candidates will have 80% protected across two full years of support, with the goal of an increase in the number of residents who subsequently obtain K08/K23 funding.
- Memory Disorders/Behavioral Neurology
- Movement Disorders
- Neuroimmunology/Multiple Sclerosis
- Neuromuscular Medicine
- Vascular Neurology
- Neurocritical Care
In October 2013, it was announced that UAB would begin the school’s largest-ever fundraising campaign titled “The Campaign for UAB: Give Something, Change Everything.” The campaign will run through 2018, with the plans to raise $1 billion. “We are working hard to strengthen our position as one of the nation’s most productive and dynamic universities,” said University President Ray Watts.
Culture & Arts
- Birmingham is the cultural and entertainment capital of Alabama with numerous art galleries in the area including the Birmingham Museum of Art, the largest art museum in the Southeast.
- Birmingham’s vibrant downtown area features the Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, McWane Science Center, Alabama Theatre and Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.
- Other Birmingham attractions include Vulcan Park & Museum, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Birmingham Zoo and Barber Motorsports Park.
- The Riverchase Galleria in Birmingham is one of the largest malls in the entire Southeast US
World Class Cuisine
- In December 2013, The Highlands Bar and Grill (which is located within a 5-minute walk of the Medical Campus) was recognized by Open Table on the list of the 100 Best Restaurants in the America. The Open Table recognition was based on 5 million restaurant reviews for more than 19,000 restaurants in all 50 states.
- Frank Stitt III, the owner and executive chef of Birmingham’s Highlands Bar and Grill, Bottega Restaurant, and Chez Fon Fon was named as the “Best Chef in Southeast” in 2001.
- Chris Hastings, an understudy of Frank Stitt III’s and the owner and executive chef of Birmingham’s award winning restaurant Hot & Hot Fish Club, was recognized as the “Best Chef in the South” by the James Beard Foundation in 2012.
Largest Business Centers in Southeastern US
- The Birmingham area serves as headquarters to one Fortune 500 company: Regions Financial, along with five other Fortune 1000 companies.
- Birmingham area also serves as the headquarters to a large number of Health care services providers HealthSouth, Surgical Care Affiliates and Diagnostic Health Corporation. Caremark Rx was also founded in the city.
- Birmingham is home to three of the state’s five law schools: Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham School of Law, and Miles Law School
- Birmingham is also the headquarters of the Southeastern Conference, one of the major U.S. collegiate athletic conferences.
- The Birmingham area has major colleges of medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, law, engineering, and nursing.
- Birmingham is home to two major banks: Regions Financial Corporation and BBVA Compass.
- SouthTrust, another large bank headquartered in Birmingham, was acquired by Wachovia in 2004. The city still has major operations as one of the regional headquarters of Wachovia, which itself is now part of Wells Fargo Bank