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Neuro Patients Find Extra Support

February 26, 2016

Kansas City, Kan. — Beyond their innovative treatments and research, neuroscience physicians at The University of Kansas Hospital also conduct support groups for brain tumor and aneurysm patients, families and caregivers.

The monthly sessions, held at KU Clinical Research Center in Fairway, are the only ones of their kind in the area, attracting people from throughout the metro, not just from our hospital. 

Neurosurgery Clinical Coordinator Nancy Sullivan, RN, who spearheads the programs, creates a unique schedule each year. "I frequently ask attendees what's concerning them so we can keep them informed and help enhance their physical and emotional well-being," she said.

She also plans sessions around new technology and treatments, many of which are available at the hospital.

The sessions, which are designed to encourage questions from patients, feature neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists, neuropsychologists and other neuroscientists from the hospital. Once a quarter the sessions focus on support and physical and emotional well-being.

"These groups allow us to extend our care outside the walls of the hospital and provide an opportunity for patients to have their needs met in a comfortable setting," said Sullivan.

The sessions also allow patients and families to meet others facing similar challenges. "Some people continue to come to learn new things," she explained. "But like a young woman who lost her husband two years ago, some continue to come for support."

Attendees have been especially interested in a presentation by neurosurgeon Koji Ebersole, MD, called "Devices for the Treatment of Aneurysms: Clips, Coils and Pipelines."

"Patients and their families saw videos of how each aneurysm clip and coil was made by hand and then deployed in the brain," said Sullivan. "They enjoyed handling the devices and understanding their aneurysm treatment."

The aneurysm group is in its fourth year; the brain tumor group is in its third. The groups are affiliated with the Brain Aneurysm Foundation and the American Brain Tumor Association.

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