Neurology/Neurosurgery

A stitch in time saves more than nine

One of the true challenges of neurosurgical care is that small details can have a big effect. In short, the central nervous system is one of the organ systems in the body least tolerant to irritation, injury, infection and other ill effects. While I was training in general and then pediatric neurosurgery, I was troubled that despite careful attention, very delicate and important drains in the fluid spaces of the brain sometimes fell out. This often … Read More

Caring for children with brain masses takes a team of hundreds: Chase’s story

Sometimes things happen a certain way for a reason. When the Chief of Neuroradiology at OHSU called me one evening a year and a half ago, he sounded worried. He was looking at the scan of a young child with a brain mass and pressure. The child and his parents were headed home, but Dr. Jim Anderson took the extra step to consult immediately with me about how urgent his condition might be. Jim was … Read More

OHSU Doernbecher physician-in-chief champions ‘care by pit crew!’

As chairman of pediatrics and physician-in-chief at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, I spend most of my days in meetings. They didn’t teach you how to run or attend meetings in medical school, but such is the life of an administrator – making the world a better place, one meeting at a time. (Full disclosure: I borrowed this phrase from one of our administrative interns.) On Wednesdays, I still get to be a doctor in exactly … Read More

Standing up for the OHSU Doernbecher team!

Caring for children is both a critical mission and a gift. Those of us privileged to work at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital are stewards of systems of care that are vital to the health of our children and the sustainability of our communities. Part of that vitality and sustainability are the training of the next generation of practitioners. Doernbecher partners with OHSU’s medical and nursing schools to train the doctors and nurses who will care … Read More

Interrupting storms in the brain

Seizures are electrical storms that sweep across the surface of the brain, or cortex. The repeated occurrence of seizures is called epilepsy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, epilepsy affects 2.2 million Americans, including hundreds of thousands of children. Epilepsy is a damaging and dangerous disease in children for many reasons: Children may be injured or lose oxygen during a seizure. Repeated seizures may eventually damage the brain. The medicines used to … Read More

Inspiring the next generation

Inspiring the next generation of physicians, researchers and other health personnel is a big part of OHSU’s mission. There are lots of ways to do this. Catlin Gabel is a local Portland school with a long and distinguished history of experiential learning. Every year Catlin puts on a unique event to interest students in science and health care. Six-grade students at Catlin participate in ‘surgery day’ and have an opportunity to handle and use real … Read More

The best and brightest come to Doernbecher

Doernbecher is not the country’s largest children’s hospital, but I think it is one of the best. The reason? Great people. That’s why I am so proud to be joined by one of the top young pediatric neurosurgeons in the country who began her practice at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital this week. Lissa Baird, M.D., graduated from Brigham Young and earned her medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She underwent residency … Read More

Patients giving back!

Every day I come to work I am amazed at the privilege of caring for babies and little children. It is the most rewarding aspect of my career that parents, faced with fear and anxiety for the health of their precious children, put their confidence in our team to give them the best care possible. Dawson Tucker is a great example. Born with hydrocephalus, or water on the brain, this beautiful boy needed the surgical … Read More

Hydrocephalus shunts ‘ terrific advances’ when safely, properly used

Keep toy magnets, tablet computers, electronic devices with magnetic fields away from a programmable shunt   In 1955 a child with severe spina bifida and hydrocephalus, or water on the brain, was born to John W. Holter, a toolmaker in Stamford, Conn., and his wife. Charles Casey Holter, like other children at the time, did not survive this severe congenital disorder. His condition, however, prompted his father to invent the first hydrocephalus shunt valve, allowing … Read More

Campagna Chair of Pediatric Neurosurgery at OHSU Doernbecher

Mario and Edie Campagna are a precious commodity in our state. Committed Oregonians, they have worked hard their entire lives to build a wonderful state and then continued watching out for Oregon through wise and active philanthropy. Mario Campagna was educated at what was then the University of Oregon Medical School here on Marquam Hill. Successful in school, he was called to the Mayo Clinic to train in neurological surgery, a new and cutting-edge specialty … Read More

Doernbecher Children's Hospital

Doernbecher Children’s Hospital

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