Neurology Partnership Provides Advanced Care to Firelands Patients

By Christine Mack, Development Officer

When it comes to your health, collaboration often means better outcomes. When it comes to neurological diagnoses, collaboration can mean the difference between life and death. Firelands Regional Medical Center is proud to offer neurological services through Advanced Neurologic Associates. This partnership means that if you or a loved one are suffering from a stroke, seizures, dementia, multiple sclerosis, headaches, neuropathy and other neurological disorders, you can rest assured that your care will be excellent.

Advanced Neurologic Associates, Firelands Emergency Department and University of Toledo Medical Center all collaborate to offer telestroke services for those patients seen in the Emergency Department needing treatment for an acute stroke.

neurologyDr. Steven Benedict

“When a patient arrives at Firelands ER with stroke symptoms, he or she receives a neurological evaluation,” explains Stroke Program and Neurology Services Director, Steven Benedict, M.D. “Depending on the severity of the case, we often consult with physicians at UTMC who can help us to evaluate the patient for treatment protocols and whether or not the patient needs to be transferred to a tertiary facility for more advanced care, not currently offered at Firelands Regional Medical Center, such as interventional procedures including clot removal. Most often, patients can receive comprehensive care right here at Firelands because we are a certified stroke center. This collaboration with UTMC gives us access to the extra resources we need and ensures that patients truly get the best care possible.”

Dr. Benedict adds that other hospitals must transfer patients to tertiary facilities because they do not have the level of care and neurology expertise offered at Firelands. Beyond acute stroke care, Advanced Neurologic Associates evaluates patients on both an inpatient and outpatient basis for a variety of diagnoses from acute to chronic conditions. In addition, the neurology group participates in clinical research in multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s Disease. This participation has led to an exciting collaboration between Firelands Regional Medical Center and the physicians of Advanced Neurologic Associates to bring the latest cutting-edge MS treatments to Sandusky. Firelands Regional Medical Center’s Outpatient Infusion Center now offers infusion treatments with Lemtrada and Ocrevus, the newest medication approved by the FDA and only approved treatment for Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.

“Lemtrada is really a paradigm shift in the treatment of multiple sclerosis,” says Dr. Benedict. “This treatment necessitates a specific certification by an administration site, so it took a large collaborative effort to bring Lemtrada to Firelands. We are just one of four certified sites in the state of Ohio. We are proud to offer this revolutionary treatment to patients close to home.”

This new treatment is just one example of the ways collaboration in neurology is advancing the health of our community and making patients more vital every day. Dr. Benedict has plans for other programs in the future, always keeping patient care needs in the forefront.

These needs go beyond care within the hospital for acute conditions. In coordination with the care received during a hospital stay, Advanced Neurologic Associates helps patients to manage their heath in an outpatient setting when they return home, in conjunction with service lines provided within the Firelands system, like neuropsychological evaluation as well as physical and occupational therapy, among many others.

“Because Firelands has so many great resources and is so willing to work with us, we can provide wonderful care to patients without having to transfer them to other locations,” he says. “The administrative team has been very responsive to our needs, which in turn allows us to respond more efficiently and more effectively to the needs of our patients.”

The environment created by this collaboration of patient care and continued development of neurological services, has allowed Advanced Neurologic Associates to recruit two new Neurologists to their practice, both starting this year. Because of the work of Firelands Regional Medical Center and Advanced Neurologic Associates, our community can rest assured that the best neurological care will be available when you need it most.