100 Hospitals With Great Neurosurgery and Spine Programs

Share on Facebook
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.




The Nebraska Medical Center (Omaha).
The Nebraska Medical Center has 627 acute-care beds and is the largest healthcare facility in the state. The academic medical center also includes an award-winning neurosurgery program that features six staffed neurosurgeons and specializations in neuro stimulation, trigeminal neuralgia and more. Nebraska Medical Center's Spine Center treats more than a dozen common conditions and also covers some of the most complex spinal disorders within the Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota and Missouri region.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (New York City). When former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was treated for a blood clot that formed after a fall-induced concussion, she was admitted to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and treated by its neuro physicians. U.S. News & World Report ranked NewYork-Presbyterian's neurosurgery program as one of the top five in the nation this year. NewYork-Presbyterian neurological surgeon Philip M. Meyers, MD, is the president-elect of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery.

North Shore University Hospital (Manhasset, N.Y.). The Cushing Neuroscience Institute of North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System hosts a 16-bed neurosurgical ICU. North Shore's neurosurgery department averages 30 endoscopic pituitary and skull base surgeries each year. The neurosurgery program was rated as one of the nation's top 50 by U.S. News & World Report in its 2012-13 rankings.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago). Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine's neurosurgery department was rated the highest in Illinois and number 11 nationwide by U.S. News & World Report. Its functional neurosurgery program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital treats movement disorders, epilepsy, degenerative conditions, neurological injuries and psychiatric disorders. Northwestern Memorial also includes highly regarded programs for spinal injury, deformity and neuro-oncology.

Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center (Winston-Salem, N.C.). Forsyth Medical Center's Stroke & Neurosciences Institute specializes in back and spine care, and this year, the 921-bed hospital received accolades for its neurosurgical procedures. CareChex ranked Forsyth, which is part of Novant Health, among the top 50 hospitals in the nation in both spinal surgery and spinal fusion quality. Donald V. Heck, MD, a physician at Forsyth, is the treasurer of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery.

Ochsner Medical Center (New Orleans). Ochsner Medical Center employs four full-time neurosurgeons who, along with affiliated neurosurgeons, perform upward of 1,000 surgeries annually. The department specializes in both adult and pediatric neurosurgery, as well as surgical programs for spinal trauma and deformity. Ochsner ranked 15th in the country for its neurosurgery quality, according to CareChex, and among the top 50 hospitals in the country for the specialty by U.S. News & World Report in its most recent rankings.

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (Columbus). The Comprehensive Spine Center at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, which is considered to be a high-performing neurosurgery hospital and the best within the Columbus, Ohio, region, treats spinal conditions spanning from the cervical to lumbar spine, and needs ranging from pain management to spinal surgery and rehabilitation. OSU Wexner's Cranial Base center excels in minimally invasive endoscopic-endonasal approach procedures.

Owensboro (Ky.) Medical Health System Hospital. Owensboro Medical Health System features a 30-bed neuroscience unit that features advanced diagnostic and minimally invasive technology, including intra-operative ultrasound, balloon kyphoplasty and image-guided neurosurgery. CareChex ranked Owensboro 40th for neurosurgery and within the top 200 hospitals for spinal surgery in the country. HealthGrades recognized Owensboro for its neurosurgery and stroke care excellence through its partnership with the University of Louisville Medical Center.

Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (Hershey, Pa.). Milton S. Hershey Medical Center's Spine Center is home to the orthopedic spine surgeon who performed neck surgery on Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning in 2011. Seven of the hospital's neurosurgeons were named "Best Doctors in America," and CareChex ranked both the hospital's spinal and neurological surgery programs within the top 200 nationwide in its most recent rankings.

Providence St. Vincent Medical Center (Portland, Ore.). Providence St. Vincent Medical Center's Brain and Spine Institute is home to one of only 20 intraoperative MRI suites worldwide, which allow MRI equipment to be moved to the patient multiple times during surgery without sending the patient into a traditional MRI machine. The institute offers telestroke services to 19 hospitals in Oregon and Washington and is engaged in clinical research to treat neurological and spinal conditions, including multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and ALS. CareChex ranked its spinal surgery program 30th in the country.

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center (Los Angeles). U.S. News & World Report has listed Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center among the top 10 neurosurgery programs in the nation for 20 consecutive years, with subspecialties including brain and pituitary tumors, traumatic brain injury, stroke and movement disorders. Its neuroscience and stroke unit hosts 26 beds and 11 additional acute, inpatient rehabilitation beds. Ronald Reagan UCLA's spinal surgery program was also rated 108th by CareChex.

Rush University Medical Center (Chicago). Named the 25th best neurosurgery program in the U.S. by CareChex and number 17 by U.S. News & World Report, Rush University Medical Center evaluates more people with memory and cognitive problems, such as Alzheimer's disease, annually than any other federally funded research institution. Its host of neurosurgical subspecialties includes neuro-ophthalmology, deep brain stimulation to treat symptoms such as Parkinson's tremors and minimally invasive treatments for carotid artery disease. Rush's Spine and Back Center is one of the nation's leaders in degenerative disease treatment and spinal cord trauma and infection surgery.   

Scottsdale (Ariz.) Healthcare Shea Medical Center. CareChex ranked Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center 51st in spinal surgery this year, and its sister facility, Osborn Medical Center, was rated among the top 60 for neurosurgery quality. The health system conducts neurologic research related to new surgical, drug and device treatments for skull, spine, brain and nervous system disorders. Several of the department's neurosurgeons were trained by Barrow Neurosurgical Associates, which is part of the award-winning Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.

Scripps Green Hospital (La Jolla, Calif.). Scripps Green Hospital's spinal surgery program features advanced techniques such as kyphoplasty, laminectomy and spinal fusion. CareChex recognizes Scripps Green Hospital's spinal program as one of the top 100 in the nation. The hospital also offers neurosurgical procedures including gamma knife treatments for brain tumors, hydrocephalus treatments, vagus nerve stimulators for epileptic patients and pallidotomies for Parkinson's-related tremors.

Shands at the University of Florida (Gainesville). The neurosurgery department of Shands at the University of Florida features four labs for stereotactic radiosurgery, surgical research and training, neural stem cell treatments and epilepsy neurophysiology. UF&Shands is considered a center of excellence in the treatment of Parkinson's and other neurologic movement disorders, and U.S. News & World Report ranked the hospital 37th in the nation for adult neurosurgery and 49th for pediatric neurosurgery.

St. Alexius Medical Center (Bismarck, N.D.). The Neurosurgery and Spine Center at St. Alexius features three neurosurgeons specializing in spine, cranial and peripheral nerve surgical treatments for issues like trauma, tumors and degenerative diseases. Both its neurosurgery and spinal surgery programs fell within the top 150 nationwide by CareChex, ranked 33rd and 142nd, respectively.

St. David's Medical Center (Austin, Texas). The NeuroTexas Institute at St. David's HealthCare offers award-winning minimally invasive procedures to treat conditions ranging from spinal stenosis to cerebral aneurysms. The professional home to seven neurosurgeons, HealthGrades awarded the institute five stars for neurosurgery and stroke treatment for the past two years, placing it in the top 5 percent of such programs nationwide and third-best in Texas for neurosurgery. CareChex also ranked St. David's in the top 200 spinal surgery programs.

St. Elizabeth Edgewood (Ky.). A member of St. Elizabeth Healthcare system, St. Elizabeth Edgewood offers neuro-oncology and spinal surgery centers. It specializes in metastatic cancers of the brain, spinal cord and nervous system, and treats complications arising from such cancers such as hydrocephalus, thromboembolism and paraneoplastic syndromes. Its spine center boasts three neurosurgeons and offers services along the spine care continuum, from radiology and pain management to orthopedic surgery.

St. Francis Hospital (Roslyn, N.Y.). Ranked 36th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, the neurosurgery department contained within St. Francis Hospital is at the forefront of neurosurgical practice and innovation. Led by Chief of Neurosurgery Richard Johnson, MD, the department performs minimally invasive spinal surgery to treat infection, injury and degenerative conditions of the spine and nervous system.

St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center (Phoenix). The Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center clocks in at 13th in the nation for neurosurgery programs, according to U.S. News & World Report. The institute says its residency program in neurosurgery is the largest and most sought-after in the world. Its wide pallet of neurosurgical and spine treatments spans the full spectrum of disorders and ailments from skull to spine to neuroimmunological maladies.

St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital (Houston). St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital hosts a 42-bed neurological acute-care unit and 20-bed neurological intensive care unit in its NeuroScience Center, ranked 35th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The hospital's Neurovascular Center combines specialists from multiple specialties to design and coordinate treatment for a range of neurovascular disorders.

St. Luke's Hospital (New Bedford, Mass.). St. Luke Hospital's Brain & Spine Center treats neurological and spinal conditions ranging from headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome, to peripheral neuropathy and vertebral compression fractures. St. Luke's falls under the umbrella of the Southcoast Hospital Group, whose neurosurgery program was ranked 86th in the country by CareChex.

St. Vincent Healthcare (Billings, Mont.). St. Vincent Healthcare, part of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System, offers comprehensive cerebral and cervical neurosurgery procedures. The hospital also offers full stroke services. CareChex ranked St. Vincent's neurosurgery program 53rd and also placed the hospital within the top 150 for spinal surgery.

St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital. St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital's Neuroscience Unit has dedicated neurosurgical operating rooms and intensive care units. The Spine Center, ranked number one in Indiana by HealthGrades for spinal surgery, performed the world's first artificial lumbar disc replacement and the country's first artificial cervical disc replacement. U.S. News and World Report ranked its neurosurgery program 44th in the nation in its most recent rankings.

St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center (Little Rock, Ark.). The Arkansas Neuroscience Institute at St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center is directed by neurosurgeon Ali Krisht, MD, who is the chief editor of medical journal Contemporary Neurosurgery. He is highly specialized in vascular microsurgical procedures and the acute treatment of strokes. St. Vincent holds the number eight spot for best spinal surgery program and the 24th spot for neurosurgery quality from CareChex.

Stanford Hospital and Clinics (Palo Alto, Calif.). The Stanford Brain Tumor Center touts the latest chemotherapy and immunotherapy protocols and a premier radiosurgery program. Stanford is the original site where John Adler, MD, developed the CyberKnife and where it was first used on a patient in 1994. To date, the center has treated 5,500 patients via CyberKnife. U.S. News & World Report recognized Stanford's neurosurgery program as 31st in the nation.

Tampa (Fla.) General Hospital. Tampa General Hospital's neurosurgery department is home to a Level 4 epilepsy center. Additionally, its spine surgeons perform minimally invasive treatments for vertebrae fractures and spinal disorders, such as percutaneous vertebroplasty. Tampa General's neurosurgical department ranks 47th in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report's most recent rankings.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, the flagship facility of Texas Health Resources, offers Joint Commission-accredited stroke care, Gamma Knife radiosurgery, specialized spine care and intraoperational MRI imaging. CareChex ranks Texas Health Presbyterian's neurosurgery program 18th in the country and placed the hospital within the top 200 for spinal surgery.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (Philadelphia). The Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center of the Delaware Valley, a collaboration between Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, is listed as one of 14 Model Spinal Cord Injury Centers by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, with a far-below-average mortality rate of 5 percent for acute spinal trauma patients. Independence Blue Cross recognized the hospital for spine surgery excellence. The Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience was also designated by U.S. News & World Report as a high-performing program and boasts some of the highest neurological patient volumes in the Philadelphia region.

UCSF Medical Center. The highest-volume brain tumor program in the country belongs to UCSF Medical Center. Its adult neurosurgery program is sixth in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report, and its pediatric neurosurgery program was ranked 36th. Approximately 1,000 clinical trials in neurological and neurosurgical research are currently under way at the hospital.

University Hospitals Case Medical Center (Cleveland). The Case Medical Center features 15 centers of excellence under its neurosciences umbrella. Surgeons of the Spinal Neurosurgery Center at UH Neurological Institute treat spinal conditions ranging from arthritis to spinal stenosis, and its Neurocritical Care Center treats patients in its Reinberger Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit with innovative treatments, such as induced hypothermia to help protect brain cells from dying.

University of California San Diego Medical Center. Across its affiliated hospitals, the University of California San Diego includes 31 neurosurgeons, some of them residents-in-training. The hospital's subspecialties include brain aneurysm, peripheral nerve, trigeminal neuralgia and pediatric neurosurgery. CareChex ranked UC San Diego's neurosurgery program 67th in the country this year, as well.

University of Chicago Medical Center. The Section of Neurosurgery at the University of Chicago is ranked 37th in the country, according to the 2012-13 rankings from U.S. News & World Report. University of Chicago is home to 11 neurosurgeons with subspecialties in neuro-oncology, craniofacial and congenital anomalies, and pediatric neurosurgery. Eight physicians are dedicated to University of Chicago's neurovascular surgery team alone.

University of Kansas Hospital (Lawrence). The University of Kansas Hospital's Center for Advanced Brain & Neurological Care is a Level 4 epilepsy center and home to the neurosurgery program U.S. News & World Report's ranked 22nd in the country this year. Neurosurgical subspecialties at University of Kansas Hospital include pediatric neurosurgery, neuro-oncology and a host of spinal surgery treatments performed at the hospital's Marc A. Asher, MD, Comprehensive Spine Center.

University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital (Lexington). The Kentucky Neuroscience Institute, part of the UK HealthCare network, brings together leading neurosurgeons to deliver neuro-oncological and stroke care to the region. UK Chandler Hospital's UK Gamma Knife Center is the only facility in the state to offer the surgical procedure. U.S. News & World Report also recognized UK as a regional leader for neurosurgery in its 2012-13 rankings.

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (Iowa City). Ranked 24th in the country for both adult and pediatric neurosurgery, University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics' Department of Neurosurgery was also designated best in the state by U.S. News & World Report this year. The UI Department of Neurosurgery treats spinal trauma, peripheral nerve conditions and degenerative conditions of the spine and nervous system.

University of Maryland Medical Center (Baltimore). The Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine offers specialized treatments, including thrombolytic therapy, experimental chemotherapy, intrathecal baclofen pump treatment for spasticity and various spine surgery procedures. Physicians within the hospital's neurosurgery program perform more than 1,600 adult and pediatric surgeries each year and provide expert neurotrauma care at its Shock Trauma Center. U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Maryland Medical Center 48th nationwide for neurosurgery excellence in 2012-13.

University of Michigan Medical Center (Ann Arbor). Neurosurgeons at the University of Michigan Medical Center are actively engaged in research dealing with gene therapies, brain conditioning to lessen brain injury and innovative neuro-oncology studies to better understand, treat and prevent cancer of the nervous system. As part of a program called Project Shunt, department members have traveled to Guatemala to perform neurosurgical treatments for neural tube defects each year since 1997. U.S. News & World Report ranked the adult neurosurgery program 30th in the country and 21st in pediatric neurosurgery this past year.

University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview (Minneapolis). The University of Minnesota Medical Center's Department of Neurosurgery provides neurological care at its hospitals throughout the Twin Cities region and through its clinical practice, UM Physicians Neurosurgery. A leading research institution, the academic medical center is currently studying possibilities in deep brain stimulation and radiosurgery. U.S. News & World Report ranked the program 25th best in the nation for neurosurgery in its 2012-13 rankings.

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's neurosciences department includes 10 clinical divisions, including cognitive disorders and women's neurology. UPMC is host to several neurological institutes, including the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, UPMC Stroke Institute and others devoted to Parkinson's, ALS and complex spine and neurosurgical conditions. U.S. News & World Report ranked the program seventh-best in the nation for 2012-13.

University of Rochester (N.Y.) Medical Center. The neurosurgery residency program at the University of Rochester Medical Center ranks among the top 10 when it comes to National Institutes of Health funding. A team of physicians make up the Integrated Spine Care comprehensive program offered at URMC, and they perform procedures such as cervical laminectomy and all kinds of thoracic spine surgeries, with an emphasis on minimally invasive surgery. The system clocks in at 46th for adult neurosurgery and 44th for pediatric neurosurgery, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2012-13 rankings.

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas). The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Neurosurgery Department includes 17 neurosurgical adult subspecialists in cerebrovascular, spine, skull base, functional and trauma procedures, with five more neurosurgeons at its Children's Medical Center of Dallas. Its cerebrovascular program treats the most complex cases in the five-state area, and its Epilepsy Center performs the most surgeries of any epilepsy center in Texas. U.S. News & World Report rated UT Southwestern's neurosurgical care 43rd overall in its most recent rankings.

University of Washington Medical Center (Seattle). The Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Washington Medical Center is a major contributor to clinical research in the field and one of the largest funding recipients from the National Institutes for Health. The institution is actively engaged in studying concussion treatments for veterans, computer-assisted brain function recovery after injury and treatments for tumors and aneurysms. U.S. News & World Report placed UW Medical Center's neurosurgery program 16th in the country.

University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics (Madison). There are 12 neurosurgeons at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, and the hospital's neurosurgery program ranks 40th in the nation, according in U.S. News & World Report. Daniel Resnick, MD, an associate professor of neurosurgery at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, was elected in October 2012 as president of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Utah Valley Regional Medical Center (Provo). Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, part of Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare, employs three neurosurgeons to deliver neurological and spinal surgical care, ranked 69th and 214th in the nation, respectively, by CareChex. The hospital features a neurological trauma and intensive care unit. U.S. News & World Report named the hospital the best in northern Utah for spine and neurosurgical procedures.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (Nashville, Tenn.). Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Department of Neurological Surgery offers seven subspecialties, such as vascular, peripheral nerve and pediatric neurosurgery, and its Spine Center features five neurosurgeons on faculty. The Vanderbilt Brain Institute joins multidisciplinary experts together to research neuroscience and innovative treatments. U.S. News & World Report ranked Vanderbilt's neurosurgery program 33rd for adults and 41st for pediatric neurosurgery in its most recent rankings.

Via Christi Hospital (Wichita, Kan.). The Neurocritical Care Unit at Via Christi Hospital's 20-bed neurosurgery department utilizes video EEG monitoring for epilepsy and includes four negative-pressure ventilation rooms. Neurosurgeon Bassem El-Babbout, MD, heads the pediatric neurosurgery program to treat disorders including cerebral palsy, epilepsy and Tourette syndrome. HealthGrades placed Via Christi among the top 5 percent of hospitals for neurosurgery and stroke care in 2012, and CareChex ranked it 13th for neurosurgery and 100th for spinal surgery.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (Winston-Salem, N.C.). Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has 11 neurosurgeons between its adult and pediatric neurology and spine subspecialties, which range from comprehensive epilepsy care, neuro-oncology and stroke care. Wake Forest Baptist's specialty centers include the ALS Center and Movement Disorders Center. U.S. News & World Report ranked its neurosurgical services as 42nd in the nation.

Wesley Medical Center (Wichita, Kan.). Neurosurgeons and spine specialists at Wesley Medical Center perform neurosurgical treatments for common conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, as well as surgical treatments for disorders of the spine. CareChex ranked Wesley's neurosurgery program among the top 100 in the nation.

Yale-New Haven (N.H.) Hospital. Yale-New Haven Hospital offers stereostatic radiosurgery treatments and Gamma Knife therapy in its surgical neuro-oncology and neurovascular programs. The hospital is currently engaged in research sponsored by the National Institutes for Health, including studies on the development of advanced MRI and imaging techniques for use in neurological surgery and treatment, as well as primate studies analyzing outcomes of injections into the striatum, which are slotted for a phase I clinical trial in the near future.

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2012. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.