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Neuroscience Institute to Launch

September 1, 2015

Coordination to improve quality, lower costs

 Patients with complex brain and spine disorders may benefit from a new, multispecialty clinic at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield.

The Neuroscience Institute (NSI) will consolidate SIU’s departments of neurology, neurosurgery and psychiatry into a single-site outpatient clinical care center staffed by more than 50 neuroscience providers. The institute will care for patients with a range of disorders including stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, brain tumors, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, spine disease, schizophrenia, anxiety and depression.

“This institute — the only state-approved, academically based, single-site neuroscience center in Illinois — will deliver improved outcomes, lower health care costs and improved access for patients,” said James Gilchrist, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Neurology and the institute’s executive director.

The institute will be located on the SIU School of Medicine’s Springfield main campus. SIU is teaming up with Memorial Medical Center’s neuroscience-related outpatient services and facilities to develop the institute.

“Enhancing the patient experience is a major focus,” Gilchrist said. “We want to provide patients with simple and easy access to all neuroscience services, from scheduling and check-in to seeing doctors and related staff, and include imaging, rehabilitation and testing, all at a single location.”

Psychiatry and psychology services will be included in the neuroscience center.

“Our patients in psychiatry will undoubtedly benefit from this collaboration,” said Dr. Stephen Soltys, professor and chair of SIU’s Department of Psychiatry. “Many of our patients suffer from both psychiatric and neurologic conditions. Closer coordination with neurology will enhance the ability of both departments to serve our patients.”

By coordinating all services at a single site, patients will benefit from shared patient scheduling, improved access to specialists and care coordination.

“Multidisciplinary patient care will improve patient outcomes and decrease hospital readmission rates through coordinated, high-quality care,” said Jeffrey Cozzens, MD, professor and chair of SIU’s Division of Neurosurgery.

Research efforts will focus on basic science, clinical trials and the application of new medical products and technologies. The school has numerous active research projects in Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, brain tumors, epilepsy, movement disorders, myasthenia gravis and Guillain-Barre syndrome. Memorial Medical Center will continue its support for SIU School of Medicine neuroscience faculty as well as for the medical training of students and residents.

The Illinois State Board of Higher Education approved the institute in May. The departments of neurology, psychiatry and neurosurgery have begun efforts to coordinate services with the goal of being in an integrated neuroscience building by spring 2018.

SIU School of Medicine’s mission is to assist the people of central and southern Illinois in meeting their health needs through education, patient care, research and service to the community. The School has more than 280 full-time physicians as well as other medical professionals, offering both primary care and specialized treatment services. The medical school works in partnership with hospitals and clinics throughout Illinois. Clinical outreach efforts extend SIU’s involvement to 50 Illinois communities.  For information, call SIU’s Call Center, 217-545-8000 or 1-800-342-5748 or visit