AKRON, OH: Cleveland Clinic Akron General recently hired two new experts in traumatic injuries to the brain and spine who dramatically enhance the hospital’s ability to care for patients with neurological issues.
Neurosurgeon Enyinna Nwachuku, M.D., is the newly appointed director of neurotrauma at Akron General and will lead the expansion of the program. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and its neurosurgery residency program. He is dual-trained as a neurosurgeon and a neurointensivist, giving him a unique skill set to treat patients with complex issues. In addition to expanding the treatment options for patients with severe head injuries, he is also involved in the development of a new outpatient clinic for survivors of traumatic brain injuries. Dr. Nwachuku leads a research team focused on studying biomarkers and age as predictors of outcomes in head trauma.
In addition, neurosurgeon Gregory Hawryluk, M.D., Ph.D., a recognized brain and spine trauma expert, was recently recruited from the University of Manitoba. A native of Canada, Dr. Hawryluk is the Medical Director of the Brain Trauma Foundation and in that role has been at the forefront of writing treatment guidelines for head and spine injuries that trauma centers follow around the world. These guidelines that have been shown to improve head injury outcomes by a dramatic 50%.
Dr. Hawryluk is an adjunct associate professor of surgery at Uniformed Services University, a health science university of the U.S. federal government. He is frequently invited to speak and teach around the world. The guidelines he has worked on include recommendations on how to treat severely injured adult and pediatric brain trauma patients, best practices for paramedics en route to a medical center, and treating concussion and brain trauma encountered in combat environments.
“We are pleased to bring the expertise of Drs. Nwachuku and Hawryluk to northeast Ohio to enhance the care of traumatic brain and spine injuries,” said Brian Harte, M.D., President of Akron General. “We believe the new Neurotrauma team at Akron General will deliver superior care for patients.”
Another key member of this team is Sarah Woodrow, M.D., a neurosurgeon who joined Akron General in 2020 and serves as chair of Clinical Neurosciences. She completed her residency in neurosurgery at the University of Toronto followed by a fellowship in complex spine surgery at the University of Miami. This training has allowed her to develop minimally invasive spine surgery at Akron General, which, in certain circumstances, allows for shorter, safer surgeries in trauma patients with spinal injuries.
“In addition to the already excellent level of trauma and neuro ICU care delivered at Akron General, the addition of neurosurgeons Drs. Nwachuku and Hawryluk is a critical component of the plan to build a Neurotrauma Center of Excellence here,” said Dr. Woodrow. “In so doing, patients in the region will have access to neurotrauma care that ranks at the top in the country.”
All three doctors are seeing patients at Akron General and Cleveland Clinic Mercy Hospital in Canton.