What’s New? Neuroscience at NorthBay

The arrival of neurological surgeon Jeffrey M. Dembner, M.D., means the NorthBay Center for Neuroscience is ready for business. The Yale University graduate has operated his own practice in Newport Beach for more than a decade and is ready to serve Solano County with a comprehensive approach to neuroscience.

Dr. Dembner says a neurosurgeon does much more than brain surgery. His practice also includes diseases and traumas to the spine.

“It’s my goal to establish strong relations with the primary care physicians and other specialists here at NorthBay Healthcare and in the greater community to provide comprehensive care in neuro-oncology, neurovascular, degenerative spine, and traumatic cranial and spinal injuries.

“Providing both elective and non-elective needs as well as incorporating pain management and rehabilitative care, I seek to provide for the gamut of patient needs in Solano County and beyond.” He notes that all these service lines are already well established and respected. His role, he says, is to complete the team. “It’s a major cornerstone of the complex, and advanced service that NorthBay is dedicated to bring to Solano County,” says Deborah Sugiyama, president of NorthBay Healthcare Group. “I’m proud to have someone of Dr. Dembner’s caliber leading the development of NorthBay’s new Center for Neuroscience.”

Dr. Dembner will also ensure neurological care for trauma patients, representing the last piece of the equation as NorthBay builds its proposal to be designated as Solano County’s Level II Trauma Center.

“We don’t want people to have to be flown by helicopter 50 miles away to receive care that they can now receive here, which will make it easier for their families to stay close to home while they help their loved one through hospitalization,” said Dr. Dembner. As medical director for the Center for Neuroscience, he will oversee an on-call team of local and area neurological surgeons, so uninterrupted trauma service is available.

Dr. Dembner also will participate in the stroke program, providing a new level of care to patients NorthBay currently has to transfer to other hospitals for surgical intervention, says Kathy Richerson, R.N., vice president and chief nursing officer.

She noted that both NorthBay Medical Center and NorthBay VacaValley Hospital will maintain their relationship with the Mercy Neurological Institute in Sacramento, and use the Intouch Health robot to communicate when appropriate. “We have transfer agreements with tertiary care facilities when needed, but the arrival of Dr. Dembner means that almost 90 percent of stroke cases can be handled here in Solano County,” she said.

NorthBay has been busy in recent months procuring all the specialty equipment Dr. Dembner will need for procedures, including imaging and navigation devices known as the “Stealth” and the “O-Arm”, which will help him perform procedures in the head and spine with decreased risk of complication. “It’s state-of-the-art equipment, which will ensure that patients at NorthBay will receive the safest, minimally invasive treatments possible,” he said.

Dr. Dembner said that most people think of a neurosurgeon as someone who exclusively performs brain surgery, but that’s just a part of it. His practice includes degenerative diseases of the spine, as well as tumors, infections and trauma to the spine. “I often recommend all the more conservative options before surgery. I do more than surgery, I do a lot of medical management of neurosurgical disease.”

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