Welcome from the Chairman
Dr. Michael Okun, Chair We would like to welcome you to the University of Florida Department of Neurology website. It is an honor for us to share with you our vision, our programs and our collaborations. We are proud to announce that we have recently cut the ribbon on a state of the art free-standing Neuromedicine hospital. This hospital will be unique, as it will be completely patient-centric, and it will also contain both the neurology and neurosurgery clinics, the neuro-ICU, and the neurological surgery operating suites. All of the services, as well as the clinical research, will be in a single convenient and patient-friendly location. Every aspect of the hospital was designed with the idea that patients and families come first. The hospital features many innovations including a state of the art neuro-ICU with a CT scanner on the floor as well intra-operative MRI.Patients will start to move in December 2017.
The growth of Neurology, Neurosurgery, Psychiatry and the Neuromedicine programs at UF over the last two decades has been spectacular. UF was one of the first three programs in the country to erect a free standing Brain Institute. The Institute opened in 1998 at the cost of 60 million dollars. The Department of Neurology features a Brain Rehabilitation Research Center (BRRC) that coordinates the efforts of scientists and therapists from different fields such as: bioengineering, communication sciences, computer programming, health psychology, kinesiology, medicine, neurology, neuroscience, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physiology, psychology, rehabilitation science, and speech therapy. A hallmark of UF Neurology has been its ability to form meaningful interdisciplinary collaborations. The Department is home to the Center for Neuropsychological Studies, a world renown program in behavioral neurology, and a collaborative NIH Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center grant. In 2011, the Department opened the Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration, a completely patient-centric interdisciplinary one-stop comprehensive clinical-research facility. Both the space and the architectural plan for this center are one of a kind, and everything about the center is patient-centric all the way down to the art on the walls, which is provided by UF patients. The vision in our facility has expanded as Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, TBI, and ALS patients all have access to patient-centric interdisciplinary one-stop comprehensive care and research.
Our Department members share a common philosophy that the patient is sun (not the doctor). We believe that we should operate as an interdisciplinary health care team, and that we should orbit around the patient and the patient’s needs. We believe that this philosophy has the potential to improve care, add value, and to expand research opportunities. The opening of the Neuromedicine hospital has attracted many talented scientists, educators, and clinicians to the Department. As we strategically expand we remain deeply invested in the process of constructing new interdisciplinary programs such as in traumatic brain injury, ALS, multiple sclerosis, and in many other areas.
The Department of Neurology is blessed to have many high profile research programs and it collaborates directly with the Department of Neuroscience on grants and translational research. This combined partnership places us among the top 10 NIH funded schools nationally. The collaborations in research do not however stop at Neuroscience, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry. Our Department collaborates with 6 colleges and over 10 other departments across a 5000 acre campus. We participate in dozens of PhD. projects and dissertations, and we take an active role in training the next generation of brain researchers. The new UF pre-eminence program has recently attracted a large group of leading scientists and clinicians from all over the U.S.A. We aim to assemble our talent, and to remain on the cutting edge of Neuromedicine research.
The opening of the Neuromedicine hospital has delivered an expansion to our already outstanding residency and fellowship programs, which have placed dozens of prominent neurologists into faculty positions all over the world. We have recently completely revised our educational curriculums, and we have made a strong commitment to use the latest technology to enhance the teaching experience. We will continue to enhance the quality of the UF neurology educational experience, and to place UF among the most sought after training environments in the country.
Finally, many of our patients travel from all over the globe to our Department of Neurology. These patients and families seek outstanding interdisciplinary care, research, and clinical trials and we will re-energize our efforts to meet and to exceed their neurological needs. We share and embrace their hope for a better tomorrow, and we plan to walk with them on a road that will hopefully lead to more meaningful lives. As the new Neuromedicine hospital opens its doors, we renew our commitment to provide the best possible care, to advance the science, and to bring the creative innovation that will have the potential to change lives.
Michael S. Okun, M.D.
Adelaide Lackner Professor and Chair of Neurology
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