100 Hospitals With Great Neurosurgery and Spine Programs

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Becker's Hospital Review has named the following hospitals to its list, "100 Hospitals With Great Neurosurgery and Spine Programs." These hospitals offer outstanding spine and neurosurgical care, and the Becker's Hospital Review editorial team selected them based on nominations, clinical accolades, quality care and other spine and neurosurgical proficiencies. These hospitals have been recognized for excellence in this specialty by reputable healthcare rating resources, including U.S. News & World Report, HealthGrades, Truven Health Analytics, Blue Cross Blue Shield Distinction Centers for Spine Surgery, Delta Group CareChex and the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Note: This list is not an endorsement of included hospitals or associated healthcare providers. The following content should be used for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute professional medical advice. Hospitals cannot pay to be included on this list and are presented in alphabetical order.

Abbott Northwestern Hospital (Minneapolis). Every year, more than 2,000 major neurological surgeries and more than 1,000 neuro-interventional procedures occur at Abbott Northwestern's Neuroscience Institute, making it a leader in neurosurgery and spine care in the Twin Cities and Midwest. U.S. News & World Report ranked Abbott Northwestern 27th in the nation for neurological and neurosurgery care for 2012-13, and its Neuroscience Institute continues to grow, with more than a dozen neurosurgeons on its staff.

Abington (Pa.) Memorial Hospital. With four full-time neurosurgeons and a growing neurosciences center, Abington Memorial Hospital is carving out its neurosurgery niche just north of Philadelphia. Ranked by CareChex as a top spinal surgery hospital in 2013 and labeled as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery, Abington was also the first in its area to offer minimally invasive AxiaLIF surgery, in which neurosurgeons conduct lumbar fusions by approaching the spine alongside the tailbone. In 2012, the hospital also conducted its fourth annual Pursuit of Neurovascular Excellence program to educate physicians on strokes and other neurological disorders.

Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital (Downers Grove, Ill.). A Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery, the 326-bed Advocate Good Samaritan is also a high-performing neurosurgery hospital, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2012-13 rankings. Advocate Good Samaritan's spinal and neurosurgery team is comprised of three board-certified neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons, and its Level 1 trauma center provides comprehensive, specialized care for patients with complex spinal injuries.

Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center (Milwaukee). Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center is one of the highest-performing neurosurgery hospitals in the Milwaukee area, as defined by U.S. News & World Report. Aurora St. Luke's, a cornerstone of Aurora Health Care, is a recipient of HealthGrades' 2012 and 2013 Neurosurgery Excellence and Neuroscience Excellence Awards. The hospital's spine experts specialize in several conditions, including herniated discs, lumbar stenosis and spinal tumors.

Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center (Sioux Falls, S.D.). Within the Dakotas, Avera McKennan Hospital is among the best in neurosurgery, spine procedures and neuro-interventional procedures. The hospital, which includes the Acute Spine Center and the Avera Neuroscience Institute, performs more than 600 major neurological surgeries annually. HealthGrades named Avera McKennan Hospital as the best hospital in South Dakota for neurosurgery and treatment of stroke in 2013, and CareChex has bestowed similar high rankings for the hospital's major neurological surgeries.

Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center (Phoenix). According to CareChex's quality rankings for major neurological surgeries, few hospitals compare to Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, which was rated third in the country in its most recent rankings. In addition, HealthGrades recognized the 668-bed hospital with Neurosurgery Excellence and Neuroscience Excellence Awards for two straight years. Banner Good Samaritan's Neuroscience Clinic opened in 2000 and is a certified center of excellence for ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease, and for peripheral neuropathy.

Barnes-Jewish Hospital (St. Louis). The Barnes-Jewish Hospital Neuroscience Center of Excellence contains one the largest neuro-intensive care units in the country and has consistently been ranked among the elite neurosurgery programs in the nation. For 2012-13, U.S. News & World Report placed Barnes-Jewish ninth in the country in neurosurgery and neurology, as it is at the vanguard for both past and future neurological and spine breakthroughs. Washington University neurosurgeon Neill Wright, MD, developed translaminar fixation, a cervical spine surgery, at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in 2003.

Baylor University Medical Center (Dallas). Baylor University Medical Center and its Neuroscience Center are ranked among the best in Texas. Baylor, a Truven Health Analytics 100 Top Hospital in 2012, is ranked in the top 75 of all hospitals in the country for major neurological surgeries, according to CareChex's 2013 quality ratings. Baylor also has a Skull Base Center, one of the few places in the state that offers comprehensive treatments for complex conditions of the skull. Michael Heggeness, MD, PhD, a professor of orthopedic surgery at the Baylor College of Medicine, is the immediate past president of the North American Spine Society.

Baystate Medical Center (Springfield, Mass.). Five neurosurgeons lead Baystate Medical Center's Division of Neurosurgery, which is affiliated with the Tufts University School of Medicine and treats several different adult and pediatric neurosurgical diagnoses. This year, CareChex rated Baystate among the top 80 hospitals in the nation for major neurological surgery quality, and Baystate — a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery — also received HealthGrades' 2013 Neurosciences and Neurosurgery Excellence Awards.

Beaumont Hospital (Royal Oak, Mich.). Beaumont Hospital's Neuroscience Center of Excellence, which covers a full array of some of the most advanced spine and neurosurgical procedures, is led by Fernando Diaz, MD, PhD, a renowned neurosurgeon who is considered to be a top physician in the Detroit area by both U.S. News & World Report and Detroit Magazine. Beaumont, ranked in the top 40 across the country for neurosurgery by U.S. News, offers a spine reconstruction program and also has a spine fracture clinic, which provides the latest minimally invasive spine surgeries for patients with traumatic spine fractures.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston). Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's Division of Neurosurgery and Spine Center continue to be nationally ranked by Truven Health Analytics and Blue Cross Blue Shield. BIDMC neurosurgeons are internationally renowned for their studies and practice of deep brain stimulation. In addition, researchers from the hospital published a study in 2011 that found spine surgeons can save more than $126 million in surgery costs each year by implementing a simple intraoperative waste awareness program.

Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital (Charleston, S.C.). Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital, a 204-bed hospital within Roper St. Francis Healthcare and the Carolinas HealthCare System, provides some of the most acclaimed neurosurgical and spinal treatment in the area. The 18-bed Neuro-Spine Center at BSSF, which includes six full-time neurosurgeons, has been recognized as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery. In 2013, CareChex rated BSSF in the top 15 hospitals in the country for quality in both spinal surgery and spinal fusion procedures.

Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston). Neurosurgery and spine procedures continue to be a forte for Brigham and Women's Hospital, once home to Harvey Cushing, MD, whom many consider to be the father of neurosurgery. The hospital, ranked 20th in the country by U.S. News & World Report for neurosurgery, has a multidisciplinary staff of 13 clinical faculty and more than 100 other department members. In 2009, Brigham and Women's neurosurgery department performed more than 2,600 procedures. The program operates with a research budget of roughly $10 million per year.

Brookwood Medical Center (Birmingham, Ala.). In CareChex's 2013 quality rankings, Brookwood Medical Center ranked among the top 40 hospitals in the country for spinal fusion and among the top 150 for spinal surgery. Blue Cross Blue Shield also named Brookwood a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery. Several of the area's leading neurosurgery physician practices, such as Birmingham Neurosurgery & Spine Group and Norwood Clinic, include physicians who are active staff members at Brookwood.

Cape Fear Valley Medical Center (Fayetteville, N.C.). Four full-time neurosurgeons staff the Cape Fear Valley Medical Center neurosurgery and neuroscience department. Cape Fear neurosurgeons offer some of the most expansive treatments in the Fayetteville area for brain tumors, aneurysms, spine trauma, complex spine disorders, neurosurgical pain management, movement disorders and epilepsy, among others. CareChex ranked Cape Fear as a top 50 hospital for major neurological surgeries this year.

Carle Foundation Hospital (Urbana, Ill.). Carle Foundation Hospital has built its neurosurgery and neurosciences program to become a leader within Illinois. For the past two years, the 345-bed hospital has received the Neurosurgery Excellence and Neurosciences Excellence Awards from HealthGrades, and CareChex also rated Carle within the top 70 hospitals in the country for major neurological surgery quality. Carle's board-certified neurosurgeons provide care within many areas, and they also collaborate with the Carle Spine Institute, which is a new 17,000-square-foot regional center of excellence managed by spine surgeons and physical medicine physicians.

Centra Lynchburg (Va.) General Hospital. The 358-bed Centra Lynchburg General Hospital is the flagship of Centra Health, and it was one of the first hospitals in Virginia to receive The Joint Commission's national certificate of distinction for primary stroke centers. Centra Lynchburg is one of the top 80 hospitals in the country for spinal surgery quality, according to CareChex's 2013 rankings, and hospital neurosurgeons perform roughly 450 neurosurgery procedures annually. U.S. News & World Report also rated Centra Lynchburg has a high-performing neurosurgical institute for 2012-13.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles). Keith L. Black, MD, continues to head the Cedars-Sinai Department of Neurosurgery, which offers a wide array of services, including treatment of spinal cord dysraphia, spinal deformities and oligodendroglioma tumors. Dr. Black has published more than 260 peer-reviewed articles and is a founding member of the North American Skull Base Society. Michael J. Alexander, MD, professor and vice-chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery, also is the current president of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery. For 2012-13, U.S. News & World Report ranked Cedars-Sinai 19th in the country for neurosurgery.

Cleveland Clinic. The multidisciplinary Cleveland Clinic Neurological Institute treats and researches some of the most complex neurological disorders and has advanced innovative neurosurgeries, such as epilepsy surgery, stereotactic spine radiosurgery and interstitial thermal therapy for brain tumors. U.S. News & World Report pegged Cleveland Clinic fifth in the country for neurosurgery in its 2012-13 rankings, and the hospital has consistently remained in the top 50 hospitals for neurosurgery over the past decade. Peter Rasmussen, MD, who is the director of Cleveland Clinic's Cerebrovascular Center, also is the vice president of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (Lebanon, N.H.). Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, the only academic medical center in New Hampshire, received HealthGrades' Neurosurgery Excellence and Neurosciences Excellence Awards each of the past two years, citing superior outcomes in stroke, neurosurgery, spinal cord and other conditions that affect the nervous system. Dartmouth-Hitchcock's spine center was also part of the five-year Spine Patient Outcomes Research Trial, or SPORT, funded by the National Institutes of Health. SPORT looked at the most common back conditions and compared surgical and non-operative treatments.

Delray Medical Center (Delray Beach, Fla.). The 493-bed Delray Medical Center has become one of the top neurosurgical and spine providers in Palm Beach County. This year, HealthGrades recognized Delray with several awards, including Neurosciences, Neurosurgery and Stroke Excellence Awards. The hospital is five-star rated in neurosciences and is among the top 10 percent of hospitals in Florida for neurosurgery and spine procedures. Altogether, Delray offers several different services in its Advanced Neuroscience Center, including spine surgery and neurotrauma.

Dublin (Ohio) Methodist Hospital. Dublin Methodist Hospital is a 92-bed community hospital with robust neurosurgery services that break the mold for an organization its size. Dublin Methodist pools its resources with parent organization OhioHealth, which will be opening a 224-room Neuroscience Institute in two years. Neurosurgeons, spine surgeons and brain tumor specialists highlight Dublin Methodist's program, which is a Blue Distinction Center for Spinal Surgery.

Duke University Hospital (Durham, N.C.). The Division of Neurosurgery at Duke University Hospital — a Blue Distinction Center for Spinal Surgery and a top 50 hospital in both adult and pediatric neurosurgery, according to U.S. News & World Report — has 13 active staff neurosurgeons. Duke has several special clinical neurosurgery programs and has performed some of the most extensive studies in the country on brain and spinal cancers. Duke's Brain Tumor Center is one of the largest such centers in the field, and in 2012, the center received a $2.5 million private fund to research glioblastoma, the most common type of malignant brain tumor.

Edward Hospital (Naperville, Ill.). Edward Hospital's Neurosciences Institute features several independent neurosurgeons, spine surgeons and orthopedic surgeons who treat a wide range of conditions. Edward, a Blue Distinction Center for Spinal Surgery, offers advanced spinal fusions using low-profile plating systems for anterior cervical surgery, and in some instances, Edward physicians offer same-day microdiskectomies. The Neurosciences Institute also partners with the Chicago-based Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, the multi-specialty physician group affiliated with Northwestern University's medical school.

Emory University Hospital (Atlanta). More than two dozen neurosurgeons make up Emory's Department of Neurosurgery, and each neurosurgeon also has an additional area of interest, expertise or training. The 591-bed Emory University Hospital is ranked 26th in the country for neurosurgery services, according to U.S. News & World Report, and CareChex also ranked Emory 31st in the nation for spinal surgery quality. Emory offers brain tumor trials through the Winship Cancer Institute, the first medical facility in Georgia to earn National Cancer Institute Cancer Center designation.

Evanston (Ill.) Hospital. Evanston Hospital and NorthShore University HealthSystem's Neurological Institute has more than 50 physicians on staff, and it recently made headlines when its researchers unveiled a new study about identifying chronic traumatic encephalopathy — a neurological degenerative disease associated with suffering multiple concussions and other head injuries — in living patients. U.S. News & World Report ranked Evanston Hospital as a high-performing hospital in its neurosurgery and neurology adult specialty category, and in 2012, HealthGrades awarded the hospital a Neurosciences Excellence Award.

Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital (Denver). The 376-bed Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital, part of Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System, has been rated as one of the top spine hospitals this year by numerous ranking agencies. CareChex rated the hospital highly for its spinal surgery quality, and HealthGrades gave Exempla Saint Joseph its Spine Surgery Excellence Award while also naming it one of the top specialty spine care hospitals in America. Exempla Denver Neurologic + Spine Associates works exclusively with the hospital, and the group's physicians provide care for spine conditions, tumors and cerebrovascular diseases.

Florida Hospital (Orlando). Florida Hospital, consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top hospital within the Orlando metropolitan area, treats more neuroscience patients than any other hospital in the country. The Florida Hospital Neuroscience Institute was created in 1998 and is home to several complex neurological surgeries and research on numerous movement disorders. Florida Hospital neurosurgeons perform more than 1,500 complex spine surgeries annually, and Orlando magazine also recognized several Florida Hospital neurosurgeons as some of the highest-rated in the area by their local peers.

Geisinger Medical Center (Danville, Pa.). Geisinger Medical Center — one of only 15 major teaching hospitals to make Truven Health Analytics' 100 Top Hospitals List in 2012 — has an award-winning neurosciences institute. GMC houses two of the three fellowship-trained neurosurgical oncologists in Pennsylvania, and its Brain & Spine Tumor Institute has made several advances in neuro-oncology, with a team led by Steven Toms, MD, and Michel LaCroix, MD.

Greater Baltimore Medical Center (Towson, Md.). Rated among the top 50 hospitals in the United States for spinal fusion and spinal surgery quality, Greater Baltimore Medical Center's Department of Neurosurgery has become a staple in Maryland. Fourteen neurosurgeons comprise the hospital's specialty neurosurgery group, Greater Baltimore Neurosurgical Associates. GBMC's primary areas of excellence include lumbar spine surgery, cervical spine surgery, craniotomies for tumors and aneurysms and minimally invasive surgeries around the pituitary and skull base.

Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center (La Crosse, Wis.). In CareChex's 2013 quality rankings, Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center was considered to be among the top 75 hospitals in the country for major neurological surgery and among the top 150 hospitals for spinal surgery. HealthGrades also gave the hospital a Neurosciences Excellence Award in 2012. Gundersen Lutheran neurosurgeons offer several modern spine surgeries, such as disc arthroplasty and stereotactic radiosurgery, and the hospital's neurosciences center also focuses on treating debilitating back pain and deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease.

Hackensack (N.J.) University Medical Center. Hackensack University Medical Center has become one of the nation's top hospitals over the past decade, especially within the field of neurosurgery. For two straight years, the academic medical center has received the Neurosciences Excellence and Neurosurgery Excellence Awards from HealthGrades, and U.S. News & World Report ranked HackensackUMC 39th in the nation for adult neurosurgery and 25th for pediatric neurosurgery. Arno Fried, MD, who started his own advanced neurosurgery practice within the hospital, serves as chairman of HackensackUMC's Department of Neurosurgery and director of Pediatric Neurosurgery.

Harper University Hospital (Detroit). One of the oldest tertiary hospitals in the country, Harper University Hospital — part of Vanguard Health Systems' Detroit Medical Center — offers the most neurosurgical options of any hospital in Michigan, according to its website. It is a teaching hospital for the Wayne State University School of Medicine and has six full-time neurosurgeons, as well as neurosurgical fellows and residents. In U.S. News & World Report's 2012-13 hospital rankings, Harper University Hospital placed 34th in the country.

Henry Ford Hospital (Detroit). Henry Ford Hospital, a 2012 recipient of HealthGrades' Neurosciences Excellence Award, is a national leader in spine and neurosurgical care. It was the first hospital in Michigan to provide minimally invasive spine surgery and the first hospital in the United States to provide radiosurgery for spine cancer. Henry Ford Hospital also has committed more than $178 million in neurosurgical research studies, and its neuroscience institute has tallied more than 550,000 patient visits over the past 16 years.

Hospital for Special Surgery (New York City). The Hospital for Special Surgery is best known for its orthopedic program, which U.S. News & World Report ranked first out of all hospitals in the country yet again in 2012-13. However, U.S. News also ranked HSS's neurosurgery and spine care as 10th best in the country, up from last year's position of 19th. CareChex rated HSS as the fourth-best hospital in the country for spinal fusion quality. HSS's Spine Care Institute has 16 neurosurgeons who treat an array of conditions and disorders, including several spine fractures and ankylosing spondylitis.

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia). Neurosurgeons at Penn Medicine perform more than 5,000 operations annually, a majority of which are performed at Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. U.S. News & World Report ranked the Magnet-designated hospital 21st in the country for neurosurgery, and HUP's 13 clinical neurosurgeons on staff have been a major force in its successes. Neurosurgery was originally established in the hospital in 1936 under the Department of Surgery, and today, Penn Neurosurgery receives more than $3 million in research funds — a majority of which is from the National Institutes of Health — to study brain, spine and nervous system diseases.

Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital (Indianapolis). IU Health Methodist Hospital, the flagship of IU Health, has a neurosurgery and neurology program for both adult and pediatric specialties that is ranked among the top 25 in the country by U.S. News & World Report for 2012-13. IU Health's Neuroscience Center is the crown jewel of the system, and a recent $27 million renovation at IU Health Methodist expanded six neurosurgical suites and added two more. The Magnet-designated hospital also has cutting-edge technologies — IU Health Methodist was the first hospital in Indiana to use an intraoperative MRI scanner and the NICO Myriad device, which is used to remove brain and spine tumors in hard-to-reach areas.

Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore). Johns Hopkins Hospital, considered one of the top hospitals in the country, is a leader in numerous specialties, including neurosurgery and spine. For 2012-13, U.S. News & World Report ranked Johns Hopkins first in the country for comprehensive neurosurgery treatment. Johns Hopkins was the first hospital to pioneer a neurological critical care unit, and its physicians perform some of the newest and most complex neurosurgical procedures. Ben Carson, MD — the director of Johns Hopkins' Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery and a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient — is internationally known as the first surgeon to separate conjoined twins, who were joined at the back of the head.

Kansas Spine Hospital (Wichita). The 38-bed Kansas Spine Hospital is a physician-owned hospital and has nine physician owners, all of whom are neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons or anesthesiologists. Physicians at Kansas Spine perform spinal surgeries, orthopedic surgeries and pain management procedures. In its 2013 rankings, CareChex ranked Kansas Spine third and fourth for spinal fusion and spinal surgery quality, respectively.

Keck Hospital of USC (Los Angeles). Keck Hospital of USC, the 411-bed teaching hospital of the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine, is nationally ranked in three specialties by U.S. News & World Report, one of them being neurosurgery. The hospital offers several unique, comprehensive neurosurgery centers of excellence, including the Brain & Spine Tumor Center, the Brain Aneurysm Center and the USC Neurosurgical Back and Spine Center, which features spine surgeons specializing in six procedures.

Lovelace Medical Center (Albuquerque, N.M.). Lovelace Medical Center, the flagship facility of Lovelace Health System, has 263 licensed beds and recorded almost 11,000 surgical cases in 2011, many of which were neurosurgery-related. This year, CareChex highlighted Lovelace as a top hospital for quality in both spinal fusions and spinal surgeries. In 2011, Lovelace received HealthGrades' Spine Surgery Excellence Award, which recognized the hospital for low spine surgery complication rates and proficiency in treating spinal stenosis and performing other back and neurosurgical procedures.

Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston). The 907-bed, Boston-based stalwart is the third-oldest general hospital in the United States, and Massachusetts General Hospital's Department of Neurosurgery utilizes almost 10 percent of the hospital's beds. MGH records roughly 2,300 neurosurgery admissions every year, with an average daily census of 42 inpatients. Like its sister facility, Brigham and Women's Hospital, both of which are part of Partners HealthCare, MGH has tallied many medical firsts in the field of neurosurgery and spine. William Mixter, MD, was MGH's first chief of neurosurgery in 1933, and he was a pioneer of minimally invasive neurosurgery. Also, the first discectomy for a herniated intervertebral disc and the first successful stabilization of atlantoaxial instability of the cervical spine were performed at MGH.

Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.). Ranked second in the country for neurosurgery in 2012-13 by U.S. News & World Report is Mayo Clinic. Mayo has more than 20 neurosurgeons who perform more than 3,500 neurosurgical procedures every year — including Gamma Knife-based surgeries, complex spinal reconstruction and spinal tumor surgeries. In addition to several awards for neurosurgical and spine excellence, Mayo Clinic conducts cutting-edge treatment and research for many brain, nerve and spinal clinical trials. In 2012, Mayo researchers found a new way to monitor real-time chemical changes in the brains of patients undergoing deep brain stimulation.

Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center (Houston). Part of Houston's renowned Memorial Hermann Health System, the Memorial City facility has 426 licensed beds and an award-winning neurosurgical department. The hospital has received Neuroscience Excellence and Neurosurgery Excellence Awards each of the past two years from HealthGrades, and CareChex named Memorial Hermann a top-10 hospital for major neurological surgery quality. The hospital offers an array of services, such as brain and spine cancer care from specialized neuro-oncologists. Memorial Hermann is also affiliated with Mischer Neurosurgical Associates, a physician practice that offers comprehensive spine treatment.

Mercy Regional Medical Center (Lorain, Ohio). The 328-bed Mercy Regional Medical Center, part of Cincinnati-based Catholic Health Partners, has been a regional leader in spine and neurological surgeries for the past several years. In 2012 and 2013, the hospital earned HealthGrades' Spine Surgery Excellence Award, and HealthGrades named Mercy Regional as one of the 100 best spine surgery hospitals in the United States. CareChex has also recognized Mercy Regional, which has a neurological and orthopedic center of excellence, for its spinal surgery quality.

The Methodist Hospital (Houston). Methodist Hospital, ranked as the top hospital in Texas and 17th in the country for neurosurgery by U.S. News & World Report for 2012-13, has a leading Neurological Institute that was founded in 2004, but its history stretches much further. Physicians at the 1,119-bed Methodist performed the country's first spinal instrumentation surgery and first removal of a spinal cord tumor in the early 1960s. In November 2012, Methodist Neurological Institute Director Stanley Appel, MD, and a team of researchers received a Moran Foundation Award for showing how T lymphocytes could slow down ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Mission Hospital (Asheville, N.C.). Mission Hospital is considered a national leader in spine procedures, as evidenced by its three Spine Surgery Excellence Awards from HealthGrades and high neurosurgery rankings from CareChex. Mission's Neurosciences Institute encompasses its Spine Center, which performs more than 2,500 spine procedures every year. In October 2012, the hospital's parent organization, Mission Health, announced a partnership with Carolina Spine and Neurosurgery Center, which expanded the system's neurosurgical prowess into western North Carolina.

Mount Sinai Hospital (New York City). U.S. News & World Report ranked New York's Mount Sinai Hospital 15th in the country for neurosurgery services in its most recent listing, and Mount Sinai continues to hold its place on the cutting edge in the field. In October 2012, Mount Sinai's Department of Neurosurgery became the first neurosurgery department in the United States to use a virtual reality simulator to help train, assess and prepare neurosurgery residents for surgery. The Department of Neurosurgery was established in 1914 and has built several renowned programs and centers, including the Mount Sinai Brain Tumor Program, the Mount Sinai Clinical Center for Cranial Base Surgery and the Center for Spinal Disorders.

Munson Medical Center (Traverse City, Mich.). Munson Medical Center is a nationally recognized hospital with 391 beds that has offered neurosurgery services since 1962. Munson's four neurosurgeons treat brain and skull base tumors, and perform numerous types of spinal surgeries, including those for spine fractures and degenerative disks, and kyphoplasty. Munson also has some of the highest satisfaction rates among neurosurgery patients, who have consistently rated the hospital's services in the high 90th percentile. This year, U.S. News & World Report rated Munson as a high-performing neurosurgery hospital, and CareChex ranked the hospital 56th in the country for spinal surgery quality.

Naples Community Hospital (Naples, Fla.). Naples Community Hospital, a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, was recognized as the best hospital in its region by U.S. News & World Report in its 2012-13 rankings, and it has received five-star ratings from HealthGrades for the past eight years. CareChex ranked its neurosurgery program 58th in the country and its spinal surgery program as 65th best in the nation.

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