As recently as several years ago, one of the chronic and growing problems in the healthcare industry was recruitment and training. While no hospital administrators are saying, “Eureka, our problems are over!” I continue to get news in my inbox about some of the remarkable people that our hospital groups and healthcare facilities are bringing into the area.
Dr. Hythan Rafai, who works at Franciscan Alliance, Community Healthcare as well as Methodist Hospital Healthcare systems, is a specialist in neurological and spinal surgery and one of the pioneers in Northwest Indiana who can offer sterotactic radiosurgery, vascular neurosurgery and microscopic spinal surgery using the Gamma Knife technology. New surgical techniques are making it possible to correct or mitigate conditions like tri-facial pain, ateriovenous malformations and even brain aneurysms.
At Community Healthcare System another neurosurgeon Dr. Wayel Kaakaji is also using a new technique to treat movement disorders by deep electrical stimulation to the brain. Previously, patients with this type of condition had to be sent away for treatment, often with great difficulty, especially among the elderly.
A neurointerventional radiologist Dr. Mayumi Oka is the only physician currently using two advanced technology devices --- Trevo and Penumbra --- to remove blood clots from the brain within the first six hours of a stroke . The devices were approved by the FDA only one year ago, but the results are already dramatic.
These are only a few examples in a quickly expanding universe of strategic and carefully targeted development. While Northwest Indiana has long been a fertile ground for efficiencies, dedicated facilities catching the wave of outpatient services, building and strengthening the accessibility and availability of new therapies and treatments, the expansion is now cutting across all life stages. Not only are there more speciality certifications and training creating jobs at every level of the industry, but the progress within very specific sub-specialties is almost incomprehensible.
I'm thrilled to have a great vantage point to observe these healthcare changes that seem to go live on a weekly basis, knowing the thoughtful planning that must have been going on for years behind these new, wonderful solutions for extending the quality of life and health in Northwest Indiana.
Associate Publisher and Editor