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Endovascular Program Extends Across the Region

As part of its outreach across the region, Memorial Hermann Health System has made a $3.5 million investment in the expansion of neuroendovascular capabilities to hospitals outside the Texas Medical Center.

“Our expansion plan was predicated on recruitment – finding the right physicians and then making sure we have the right equipment in place,” says Amanda Spielman, senior vice president for neuroscience at Memorial Hermann Health System. “We chose Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center and Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center – Memorial City because it’s a large hospital with enormous capabilities in the rapidly growing west side of town, and The Woodlands because of its great distance from the Texas Medical Center. For people living in The Woodlands, coming downtown for health care can be a great inconvenience.”

The result is a multicenter, coordinated neuroendovascular program focused on getting the right patients to the right hospital, depending on their needs. Spiros Blackburn, M.D., who specializes in cerebrovascular, skull base and endovascular neurosurgery, was recruited to practice at MNA-Memorial City and MNA-Texas Medical Center. P. Roc Chen, M.D., who joined the Mischer Neuroscience Institute in 2007 and has expertise in the treatment of brain aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, carotid disease, acoustic neuroma and skull base tumors, has extended his endovascular practice to MNA-Memorial City.

Memorial Hermann’s investment also supported the recruitment of Gary Spiegel, M.D.C.M., at MNA-The Woodlands and MNA-Texas Medical Center. Fellowship trained in surgical neuroangiography and diagnostic neuroradiology, Dr. Spiegel specializes in the full scope of pediatric and adult endovascular neurosurgical therapies as well as neurointerventional procedures for spine, head and neck conditions, including endovascular treatments for brain aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations and stroke. Mark Dannenbaum, M.D., who specializes in cerebrovascular and neuroendovascular neurosurgery, skull base neurosurgery, and cerebrovascular open micro-neurosurgery, has extended his practice beyond the Texas Medical Center to The Woodlands to support the endovascular program in the North Market. Neurologist Vishnu Brahmandam, M.D., was recruited to provide inpatient care at the hospital. 

“People who live in West Houston or North Houston will no longer have to drive to the Texas Medical Center for certain neuroendovascular procedures,” Spielman says. “Those and other high-level services are now available at MNA practices in Memorial City and The Woodlands. To arrive at this point, we created a new model that focused on developing our neuroscience service line in the best way to serve the city, rather than making decisions based on requests for new services at specific hospitals.”