Trauma Neurosurgeon, University of Kentucky

Position:
Trauma Neurosurgeon
Specialty:
Neurosurgery - Trauma
Location:
Lexington, Kentucky

The Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine (UK) is seeking a trauma neurosurgeon to serve in a leadership role in the UK Trauma Center. The ideal candidate will have expertise on both the clinical and research sides of trauma neurosurgery.

The UK Department of Neurosurgery includes:

Phillip Tibbs, MD

Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery

Craig van Horne, MD, PhD

Director, Deep Brain Stimulator Center

Thomas Pittman, MD

Director, Gamma Knife Surgery

Justin F. Fraser, MD

Surgical Director, UK Comprehensive Stroke Program

Greg R. Wheeler, MD

Chief, Neurosurgery, Lexington VAMC

 

Position Specifics
The Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine (UK) is seeking a trauma neurosurgeon to serve in a leadership role in the UK Trauma Center. In particular, the neurosurgeon will direct the clinical cases of head and spinal cord injured patients and will also actively participate in the design and performance of clinical and laboratory protocols in neurotrauma research in cooperative with the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC) elaborated below. Additionally, the incoming neurosurgeon will actively participate in the multi-disciplinary oversight of the neurocritical care program, including participation in leadership decisions associated with the appropriate balance of expertise and integration as required to continuously improve outcomes.

Opportunity Overview
The opportunity is ideal for a neurosurgeon trained and experienced in neurotrauma including substantive experience with respect to the evolution of neurotrauma protocol in a large-scale, multi-disciplinary Level 1 trauma center. Of equal importance to the clinical program development is the impact that the incoming neurosurgeon will make toward the advancement of UK’s extensive wealth of basic science research into the realm of translational research and clinical trials. Candidates with active ongoing interest in the Transformation Research and Clinical Knowledge in Traumatic Brain Injury (TRACK-TBI) network are encouraged to consider the depth of support with and resources available at UK.

The certified level 1 UK Trauma Center is the exclusive provider of tertiary trauma care for all of Central and Southeastern Kentucky which encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles and 1.5 million people. Approximately 3,000 patients are treated annually by the UK Trauma Center, of which almost 90% are blunt force trauma. The UK Trauma Center is one of a select few in the US to achieve a consistent mortality rate of less than 1 per 1,000 admissions (currently .8). The noteworthy success of the UK Trauma Center is due in large measure to an effective multidisciplinary approach. A separate 24 bed neurocritical care unit was recently constructed with growth in mind. The Neurocritical Care Unit is dedicated to single morbidity neurotrauma, post-surgery, and medically complex cases such as acute stroke. With a present average 16 patient census, the UK Neurocritical Care Unit is staffed by board certified intensivists and nurse practitioners who are supplemented by Surgery and Neurosurgery Residents and critical care fellows who take first call.

Oversight of the Neurocritical Care Unit is provided by a multi-disciplinary team of physicians including Neurosurgery, Neurology and Anesthesiology. While the number of spine trauma cases admitted to the UK Trauma Center is significant, the majority of neurotrauma cases include traumatic brain injury. Many years ago, the UK Trauma Center commissioned the development of a trauma registry which now includes a very large number of cases amenable to retrospective analyses.

Evidence Based Medicine and the Integrated Clinical Enterprise

Neurosurgeons who are enlightened and supportive of the integrated clinical enterprise and the critical role of evidence based medicine and data driven decisions will be pleased to know that all UK departments and subordinate clinical divisions are protocol driven. The performance of each department, division and individual is measured based on the degree of active support and commitment to outcomes based metrics.

Investments in the Hybrid OR
The UK Neurosurgery faculty consists of 9 full time faculty with primary appointments and 15 faculty with secondary appointments. The 6 attending neurosurgery faculty performed almost 2,500 neurosurgery operative procedures in 2014, representing a 30+ percent increase since 2011. Neurosurgery dedicated OR suites demonstrate our preference for image guided systems, as evidenced by the prevalent use of the Viper 2 System, three-dimensional intraoperative fluoroscopy, Brainlab mobile intraoperative CT, and a 1,200 square foot Artis Zeego Hybrid OR. A 2nd Artis Zeego Hybrid OR is planned for the near future.

Neurosurgery Residency
The ACGME Accredited 7 year UK Neurosurgery Residency Program is currently approved to enroll 2 residents each year. The typical graduating resident will have been exposed to over 500 spinal cases including ACDF, PLIF, LMD and fusion; over 115 tumor cases, about 100 trauma cases and over 100 pediatric cases of which no more than 50% are shunt cases.


There are research opportunities available for up to one year for neurosurgery residents. Those offering guidance and technical support for residents involved in research include neurosurgery research personnel in the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC), Morris K. Udall Parkinson’s Disease Center of Excellence, Neuroanatomy/Neurobiology Departments, and the Neurosurgery research faculty.


Kentucky Neuroscience Institute (KNI)
The KNI effectively integrates adult and pediatric neurological expertise and technologies into a seamless multidisciplinary clinical offering. In addition to improving the effectiveness of clinical programs, the KNI also combines the expertise of researchers and physicians in order to discover new and advanced ways to bring findings from the researcher’s lab bench to the patient’s bedside through clinical trials and research grants. The KNI includes advanced technologies such as Gamma Knife Radiosurgery and the only Level 4 NAEC Certified Comprehensive Epilepsy Center in the region.

There are research opportunities available for up to one year for neurosurgery residents. Those offering guidance and technical support for residents involved in research include neurosurgery research personnel in the SCoBIRC, the Morris K. Udall Parkinson’s Disease Center of Excellence, Neuroanatomy/Neurobiology Departments, and the Neurosurgery research faculty.

Available Research Resources
Coupled with the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science’s recent Clinical and Translational Science Award from the NIH, UK is part of a select national biomedical research consortium and on the way to becoming a top 20 research institution. These and other accomplishments mean more opportunities for onboarding faculty to participate in valuable research endeavors.

The Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC)

Spinal cord and brain injury research is a foundational element of the UK Neurosurgery Program. The Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC) at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine was established in 1999 to promote both individual and collaborative studies on injuries to the spinal cord and brain that result in paralysis or other loss of neurologic function.

In order to most effectively address the key Neurosurgery objective to emphasize the progress from basic science to translational research, the Department of Neurosurgery has been enabled with additional resources to advance innovative neuro-protective strategies into neuro-plasticity and regeneration. Neurosurgeons with interests in this area are particularly encouraged to engage in further dialogue about this opportunity.

 

State Provided Funding for Research
Recently, the General Assembly of Kentucky and Governor Steve Beshear demonstrated their unwavering commitment to address health disparities by endorsing the funding for a $265 million, multi-disciplinary research building to be located on the UK campus. The building will put together researchers across disciplines, working in teams, to address some of the state’s most intractable issues, including cancer, heart and pulmonary disease, stroke and other preventable illnesses. It is expected that the building will house at least 60 newly hired physician/scientists and scientists.

Neurological Emergency Treatment Trials Network (NETT)
The University of Kentucky is 1 of 22 regional hubs of the NIH created Neurological Emergency Treatment Trials Network (NETT), which was commissioned to conduct large simple trials to reduce the burden of very acute injuries and illnesses affecting the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous system. With oversight provided by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the NETT is unique from other clinical trials in that it is long-term, not ending when one study is complete, but moving on to the next and having several studies running at a time. The result is a high number of enrolled patients in any given trial thus creating much more efficiently and quickly.

Neurological Patient Demand in Kentucky
The UK adult and pediatric neuroscience programs are vital to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, who remain medically underserved with respect to neurological care. According to the Kentucky Institute of Medicine’s Comprehensive Statewide Physician Workforce Study—2007, Kentucky had 150 neurologists, resulting in an average of 3.57 neurologists per 100,000 population compared to the national average of 4.4 per 100,000.

University of Kentucky College of Medicine Overview
The University of Kentucky (UK) College of Medicine was founded in 1960 and has grown to approximately 1,900 clinical science and basic science faculty in 7 basic science departments, 18 clinical departments and 21 centers of clinical excellence. UK is one of the few universities in the nation to have all six health science colleges (Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Public Health and Health Sciences) all on the same university campus making it well positioned for inter-professional health care education and collaborative research.

Research
The productivity of the College’s faculty has led to impressive gains in research funding. Grants and contracts in the College of Medicine reached $134.8 million in fiscal year 2010, including in excess of $88 million in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. Coupled with the UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science’s recent Clinical and Translational Science Award from the NIH, we are a part of a select national biomedical research consortium and on our way to becoming a top 20 research institution. Noteworthy facts about our research infrastructure and statistics include:

  • Grants and contracts in the College of Medicine reached $98.9 million in fiscal year 2013, (July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013) including in excess of $50 million in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding.
  • In federal fiscal year 2012, (October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012) UK received 58 percent of the NIH research funding granted to Kentucky medical schools.
  • The College of Medicine accounts for more than 49.79 percent of UK’s grants and contracts.
  • Currently, the college has more than 245,000 net square feet of research space.
  • In 2011 the NIH awarded UK’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science $20 million to move research discoveries to health care solutions more quickly. Awarded through the NIH’s institutional Clinical and Translational Science Awards, this designation makes UK’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science a part of a select national biomedical research consortium.


UK HealthCare
The University of Kentucky’s health care system (branded UK HealthCare in 1957) represents the hospitals, clinics, outreach locations, and patient care services and activities of the university’s six health profession colleges (Medicine, Nursing, Health Sciences, Public Health, Dentistry and Pharmacy). The UK HealthCare system contains 24 separate clinics (including the KNI) that are actually part of the University of Kentucky Hospital, more commonly known as UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital.

UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital
In May 2011, UK completed the $532 million construction of the 1.2 million-square-foot pavilion at UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital. Two patient floors with a total of 128 beds (48 intensive care and 80 acute care beds in all private rooms) were the first to open: floor 6 for neuroscience services; floor 7 for trauma and acute care surgery patients. Our new Pavilion incorporates the best that medicine has to offer with art, music and landscaping reflective of the spirit of Kentucky. The facility is expected to be completed in phases over the next six to 10 years, eventually replacing the original UK Chandler Hospital. The new pavilion also includes the new UK Chandler Emergency Department, home to the only Level 1 Trauma Center serving Central and Eastern Kentucky.

Kentucky Children’s Hospital
The Kentucky Children’s Hospital (KCH) is the only facility in Central and Eastern Kentucky dedicated to the expert medical and surgical care of infants, children, and adolescents. KCH admits approximately 5,000 patients per year and is integrated in a child friendly manner within the Albert B. Chandler Hospital. Features of the Kentucky Children’s Hospital includes: Over 70 attending pediatric physicians of all subspecialties Over 300 nurses and clinical extenders Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (66 beds including levels 2, 3, and 4) Acute Care (43 beds of which 12 can support video EEG monitoring) Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (12 beds) Progressive Care Unit (12 beds) 23-hour Observation (23 beds) Newborn Nursery (26 beds) Pediatric Emergency Center and Trauma Care (24 hour, Level 1) Consult Rooms in PICU, NICU and Acute Care

Location Specifics
The University of Kentucky College of Medicine is located in Lexington, Kentucky, the second-largest city in Kentucky. Based in the heart of the Kentucky bluegrass region, Lexington’s fertile soil, excellent pastureland, and numerous horse and stock farms all lend to its apt “Horse Capital of the World” nickname. A closer look at Lexington, though, reveals a city with much to boast of beyond the horseracing that has made the city famous.

Economy
According to the 2014 US Census Estimate, the city of Lexington had a population of 310,797. While horseracing is a billion-dollar industry in the Bluegrass County, Lexington has also emerged as one of a handful of leading American cities in economic growth due to a concerted effort to diversify the area’s economy toward more manufacturing and high-technology ventures. More than 100 major companies have headquarters or facilities located in Lexington. Toyota’s multimillion-dollar assembly plant just north of Lexington employs close to 7,500 workers. Xerox, Lexmark International, Lockheed-Martin and IBM, all Fortune 500 companies, have strong presences in the area.

Entertainment
Lexington, KY, also offers a bevy of entertainment options and extra-curricular activities. Lexington’s list of thriving arts organizations includes a professional orchestra, two ballet companies, professional theatre, several museums, several choral organizations and a highly respected opera program at the University of Kentucky. Fans of athletics need look no further than the Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team. The fabled basketball program has won 8 NCAA championships and is the winningest program in college basketball history. Outdoor enthusiasts can revel in the fact that Lexington houses six public golf courses, four dog parks, the Raven Run Nature Sanctuary and the Arboretum, which is a 100-acre preserve adjacent to the University of Kentucky. Let’s not forget about the horseracing, though. Lexington is home to two horseracing tracks: Keeneland, which hosts live races in April and October and is largely unchanged from its 1936 opening, and The Red Mile Harness Track, which is the second oldest track in the nation.

Family-Friendly

Lexington also makes a great residence for those looking to start or raise a family. Ranked 10th in a list of America’s most educated cities and 13th in terms of literacy rate in the last 10 years, education is no small matter in Lexington. The University of Kentucky sets the bar for the city’s schooling system, with the Fayette County Public School System striving to replicate the university’s success. Lexington was also ranked 6th in America’s Best Value Cities within the last five years, proving that families in the area have access to a strong education while not having to break the bank.

How to apply

In an overall effort to identify the most qualified potential candidates, UK HealthCare has retained the services of Academic Med Physician Recruiters. If you have interest or questions regarding this position please contact Austin Taylor, the Search Consultant overseeing the recruitment for this opportunity (214.396.5024). You may also submit your CV to Mr. Taylor via email (Austin.Taylor@academic-med.com); he is fully equipped to answer any questions that you may have.