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March 25, 2002

MBNA donates $7.5M for new stroke center

By Janet Christenbury


Emory physicians and researchers specializing in stroke will now be able to offer a consortium of services to patients with the creation of the Emory-MBNA Stroke Center, made possible through a $7.5 million gift from MBNA America Bank, headquartered in Wilmington, Del.

“Stroke, like many health complications, requires interdisciplinary management,” said Daniel Barrow, professor and chair of neurosurgery and director of the new center. “The primary goal of this center is to bring together physicians with expertise in neurovascular disorders from different departments to meet the needs of patients in just one stop. We want Emory to be the place where all stroke patients come, whatever their needs may be.”

Specialists in neurology, neurosurgery, neurocritical care and interventional neuroradiology will work together in the center, collaborating in patient care, education and research. From the exam room to the radiology room to the operating room, this multidisciplinary approach will help ensure quality, patient-focused medical care and treatment.

The center also will focus on prevention by educating patients and future doctors about the many risk factors for stroke. Cutting-edge stroke research will be another primary focus of the center.

“We are extremely grateful that MBNA has chosen to honor Emory with this very generous gift,” said Thomas Lawley, dean of the School of Medicine. “Our hope is that this center’s multidisciplinary approach will not only foster state-of-the-art medical care but also lead to advances in the diagnosis and and treatment of stroke and neurovascular disease.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stroke is the leading cause of adult disability and the third-leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer. And Georgia is in an area of the country referred to as the “stroke belt,” which records a higher incidence of death and disability due to stroke than any other region in the country.

The gift will fund start-up operations and development costs of the center (which will located in the Emory Clinic Building B), an endowed chair of neurosurgery, and the hiring of a second “neurointensivist,” or specialist in neurocritical care.

“Emory employs the only neurointensivist in the state of Georgia,” Barrow said. “By bringing on a second specialist in this field, we feel this addition, combined with the integrated services of the new center, will lead Emory to become one of the premier stroke centers in the Southeast and the country.”