Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville Adds Dedicated Neuro Emergency Unit

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Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville has added a new emergency center dedicated to patients suffering from acute stroke or other neurological conditions.

Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville has added a new emergency center dedicated to patients suffering from acute stroke or other neurological conditions.

The new Center for Neurologic Emergency Medicine is one of a few in the country and the first in Florida designed for stroke and other neurological emergency needs such as brain aneurysms.

“Baptist Health is committed to providing state-of-the-art facilities to take care of patients who are impacted by stroke,” said Nicole Thomas, Baptist Health senior vice president of Specialty Services. “We are doing that from the front door all the way to discharge, starting with our new Neuro Emergency Center where the physicians and other team members are dedicated to prompt neurological assessment and treatment.”

Because neurological emergencies require fast access to specialized care, the center has dedicated staff, patient beds, computers and workstations co-located within a defined section of the current emergency center. It is designed to provide physicians and team members with expedited access to radiology images and laboratory testing so they can make rapid treatment decisions.

“It was a vision of our neurovascular neurosurgeons to create the only neurologically focused emergency center in the state,” Thomas said. “Patients of the center will benefit from our multi-disciplinary approach, including emergency medicine physicians, neuro-radiologists, and neurologists, and certified stroke registered nurses, all focused on providing high-quality neurologic care.”

Neurovascular surgeons Ricardo Hanel, MD, PhD, and Eric Sauvageau, MD, are directors of the Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville. “A dedicated Neuro Emergency Center represents our continued efforts to deliver the best stroke care in the region,” Dr. Hanel said. “Having a special team all in one place helps to deliver expedited care, which is so important when time is precious.”

“Patients with a change in vision, vertigo, numbness, headaches, mental status and seizures, among a multitude of other disturbances that may indicate a neurological emergency, will now have the focused attention of a team extremely familiar with neurologic conditions,” Dr. Sauvageau added.

Richard Stromberg, MD, chief of emergency medicine for Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville, added, “Having this dedicated unit allows us to very rapidly evaluate and create a treatment plan for these patients. This is just one more building block in providing the most advanced services for neurology and neurosurgery.”

“In any ER, there are a variety of emergency situations occurring all at once,” said Darin C. Roark, administrator of Emergency Services at Baptist Health. “A dedicated Neuro Emergency Center provides an enhanced focus for the care of the patient experiencing a neurological event.”

Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville also has a dedicated 12-bed Neurointensive Care Unit designed to improve quality of care for patients by providing highly specialized physician and nursing expertise for the most critically ill neurological patients. Renovation to expand the unit to 24 beds on the 10th floor of the Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver Tower is expected to be completed in July. Neeraj S. Naval, MD, who has been the director of the neurosciences critical care unit at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, will be the new medical director of Neuro Critical Care and Inpatient Neurology Services for Baptist.


About Baptist Health
Baptist Health is a faith-based, mission-driven system in Northeast Florida comprised of Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville; Baptist Medical Center Beaches; Baptist Medical Center Nassau; Baptist Medical Center South; Baptist Clay Medical Campus and Wolfson Children’s Hospital – the region’s only children’s hospital. All Baptist Health hospitals, along with Baptist Home Health Care, have achieved Magnet™ status for excellence in patient care. Baptist Health includes the area’s only dedicated heart hospital; cancer centers; orthopedic institute; women’s services; neurological institute, including comprehensive neurosurgical services, a comprehensive stroke center and two primary stroke centers; a Bariatric Center of Excellence; a full range of psychology and psychiatry services; outpatient facilities; urgent care services; and primary and specialty care physicians’ offices throughout Northeast Florida. For more details, visit For information on Wolfson Children’s Hospital, visit

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Deborah Circelli
Baptist Health
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