Neurosurgery practice partners with Sheridan Community Hospital

By Ryan Jeltema • Last Updated 10:21 am on Friday, January 06, 2012

SHERIDAN— Sheridan Community Hospital is expecting big results from a new neurosurgery practice that partnered with the facility

Surgeons and nurses at Sheridan Community Hospital prepare the operating room for a minimally invasive spine surgery. (Daily News/Cory Smith)

over the summer.
The hospital and nonprofit Michigan Rural Healthcare Preservation announced this week that four doctors from Saginaw Valley Neurosurgery will be offering cutting edge, minimally invasive spinal surgery and back pain treatments in Sheridan.
Sheridan hospital CEO Kevin Cawley said the new practice will increase patient volume at the facility by 20 to 25 percent.
“In an organization like Sheridan Community Hospital that has experienced wage freezes and downsizing for the past three years, well, this is just huge for this community, our staff and, of course, the patients we can and do serve,” he said.
Dr. Tim Spencer, Dr. Gerald Schell, Dr. Naman Salibi and Dr. E. Malcolm Field will collaborate with the Sheridan neurosurgery practice. Cawley said adding the physicians to the hospital’s roster is a boon.
“An opportunity to bring world class surgeons to a rural community doesn’t come along very often,” he said.  “We couldn’t be more pleased with having these highly respected neurosurgeon specialists here and all the new developments they bring.”
Ethan Lipkind, chairman of Michigan Rural Healthcare Preservation, said the neurosurgery procedures that have been performed in Sheridan since August are relatively new and rare. They have been adapted for the facilities and staff at small rural hospitals.
“This is the only hospital in West and Central Michigan — that entire corner of the state — where these types of techniques with minimally invasive strategies are being used,” he said.
Eighty percent of people will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives, according to a press release from Michigan Rural Healthcare Preservation. The new neurosurgery program at Sheridan hospital allows for many common back and spine issues to be resolved quickly, effectively and safely close to home.
The practice also provides pain management and additional ancillary services, including epidurals common during childbirth.
Spencer said the minimally invasive procedures involve the newest advances in endoscopic, microscopic and laser-assisted technology available.
The new approach preserves normal body structures, ensures minimal blood loss and leads to minimal time under anesthesia. Those help reduce and improve recovery time.
“Sheridan Community Hospital is a superb facility with exceptionally gifted and caring staff,” Spencer said. “We are incredibly pleased to provide such new and innovative, minimally disruptive, minimally invasive, services to the local community.”
Lipkind said everyone involved is happy with how the practice is growing after about six months in Sheridan.
“We are pleased with the results we’ve seen today with patients and the long-term vitality of this hospital,” he said.
Cawley said many of the back pain patients the four neurosurgeon can treat would have been transferred to other health care facilities in the past.
“It truly speaks volumes about the evolution of technology that such advanced services can now be safely performed in small hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers,” he said.
The hospital so far has reconfigured some existing space to accommodate the neurosurgery program. Hospital Community and Employee Relations Director Sharon Bowers said more renovations and possibly an expansion may be necessary if the practice continues growing.
“The neurosurgeons are fitting in perfectly with some slight adjustments in spacing,” she said. “New construction is not under way yet and it’s somewhat premature for us to move forward with renovation and or construction plans. We hope with continued growth of this new service line we will need to prepare for changes to accommodate.”

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