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Media Contact: Janet Christenbury 06 July 2005    
  (404) 727-8599   Print  | Email ]

Emory Physicians Specializing in Spine Integrate All Practices/Services
In order to provide more coordinated care to patients, three Emory neurosurgeons, a rehabilitation medicine specialist and a pain psychologist, all specializing in disorders of the spine, are relocating their practices to the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center (EOSC) in Executive Park South off Interstate 85. All spine patients will be seen at the new location, offering integrated and combined spine services, beginning July 5, 2005.

Previously based at Emory Crawford Long's Medical Office Tower in Midtown, Praveen Mummaneni, MD, assistant professor of neurosurgery; Jeff Pan, MD, assistant professor of neurosurgery; Gerald (Rusty) Rodts, MD, professor of neurosurgery; and Jose Garcia, MD, assistant professor of rehabilitation medicine with a secondary appointment in the Department of Orthopaedics, will move their practices to the all-in-one Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center, located at 59 Executive Park South (directions below). James Weisberg, PhD, assistant professor of rehabilitation medicine, will move his practice from Emory's Center for Rehabilitation Medicine to the EOSC. As a pain psychologist, Dr. Weisberg uses cognitive-behavioral therapy to help patients cope with chronic spine pain. This therapy can decrease pain levels and improve daily functioning in patients.

The EOSC is known for its one-stop shopping philosophy and convenience to patients. The center includes spacious exam rooms, diagnostic imaging (X-ray, MRI, CT, ultrasound and other imaging tools), outpatient surgery facilities, a physical therapy suite and physicians' offices. A second MRI scanner has been added to accommodate new patients. Combining all services into one facility means patients can schedule multiple appointments in one day and minimize their trips to the center. The five-story facility opened last year.

Spine care often involves specialists from multiple departments, such as orthopaedics, neurosurgery, rehabilitation medicine and physical therapy.

"In a traditional academic center, these various entities are separate, difficult to coordinate and often compete for patients," says Scott Boden, MD, professor of orthopaedic surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, and director of The Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center. "We expect this fully integrated model to begin a national trend for more integrated care for patients with spine problems and break down traditional departmental barriers. This results in better and more efficient care for patients."

Integrating key spine specialists into a single practice makes it much more convenient and much less confusing to the patient. "Patients needn't worry about which type of physician they need to see for their spine problem," Dr. Boden explains. "With all these providers under one roof, the matching of patients to providers is done seamlessly based on the patient's individual problem."

Approximately 7,000 square feet have been renovated to accommodate the additional five physicians. All physicians who specialize in spine care will see patients in the same clinical area in an effort to better promote interaction among the physicians and improve care for patients.

"Emory University is one of the few academic medical centers in the U.S. where spine specialists in a variety of disciplines are all aligned and working together in one location for the good of the patient," says Daniel Barrow, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Neurosurgery, Emory University School of Medicine. "All of these specialties are complementary to each other and will improve collaboration in patient care, research and teaching."

Upon completion of the integration, The Emory Spine Center will have 16 full-time faculty/physicians dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of all spine problems.

The three neurosurgeons will still continue to operate at Emory Crawford Long Hospital on an inpatient basis. However, most of their outpatient surgeries will now be performed at the EOSC.

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