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Golisano Children’s Hospital Announces Pediatric Neurosurgery Program in collaboration with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital

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(Fort Myers, Fla. – Dec. 21, 2021) --- Keeping kids close to home, while providing innovative and life-saving care to the children in our region, is the mission of Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

On Tuesday, December 21, Golisano Children’s Hospital announced a new pediatric neurosurgery program, a collaboration with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, designed to further fulfill that mission and expand healthcare services in Southwest Florida.

The new program will allow children who have neurological conditions which require surgery to receive that high level of care at Golisano Children’s Hospital instead of traveling outside of the area to larger cities, like Miami or St. Petersburg.

“We are so proud to be able to offer this service to the children and families in our community,” said Alyssa Bostwick, chief nurse executive and vice president of operations at Golisano Children’s Hospital. “There is a huge need in our region for pediatric neurosurgery, and more importantly, it’s growing every year. Due to the population growth in Southwest Florida, and younger families moving to the area, we’re seeing more and more children who need our services. This neurosurgery program, in affiliation with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, has been two years in the making and we know it will have a major impact.”

The affiliation with Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital began in 2019 when the two organizations entered into an agreement to expand care for kids across Florida’s west coast by working together to deliver the highest quality care, leverage resources and create better value for families.

“When we began this collaboration with Golisano’s two years ago, our goal was to help expand care for children across the west coast of Florida,” said George Jallo, M.D., neurosurgeon, vice dean and physician-in-chief at Johns Hopkins All Children’s and medical director of the hospital’s Institute for Brain Protection Sciences. “As we looked to hone into our neurosurgery specialty, we’re proud of the work our team has done to train nursing staff and advanced practice providers and grow this program so that children in Southwest Florida have access to the right pediatric experts.”

Through the affiliation, the two children’s hospitals collaborate in several ways, including pediatric research studies and protocols, telehealth counseling and consultations, educational conferences, and the recruitment of a dedicated pediatric neurosurgeon to be based out of Golisano Children’s Hospital.

Through the extensive recruiting process, Dr. Theodore Spinks, a pediatric neurosurgeon with more than 15 years of experience, has been chosen to lead the neurosurgery program at Golisano Children’s Hospital.

He recently joined the team and has already performed several surgeries, allowing families to stay in Southwest Florida to receive this high level of care. 

Initially, Dr. Spinks and the team at Golisano Children’s Hospital will focus on the management and treatment of brain and spine tumors, spina bifida, Chiari malformation, tethered cord, minimally invasive brain and spine surgery, and complex spine surgery. Additional services will be added over time.

“Location should never be a barrier for families,” said Dr. Spinks, chief of the neurosurgery program at Golisano Children’s Hospital. “Before this program, kids who needed that higher level of neurological care likely would have had to go to St. Petersburg or Miami, but now, they’re able to receive that care here at Golisano Children’s Hospital. We are so proud to be able to offer this life-saving service to the kids in our community.”

Golisano Children’s Hospital is extremely grateful for all the different events, organizations and community members that helped support this project, which is 100% funded by philanthropy. Leadership donors currently include The Bruning Foundation, Dave and Cheryl Copham, Amanda Cross and the Theodore Cross Family Charitable Foundation, The Fernandez Family Foundation, Bill and Julie Vitner, Barbara’s Friends, the Boston Red Sox Celebrity Golf Classic, The Fred B. Snite Foundation, The Forest Country Club, Gateway Trinity Lutheran Church, the International Jaguar Festival, Jersey Mike’s Subs, the Porsche Parade and SanCap Cares. The cause also has received a $1 million challenge grant from The Wasie Foundation.

Learn more about Golisano Children’s Hospital at GolisanoChildrensSWFL.org.

Learn more about Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital at HopkinsAllChildrens.org.