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Clinics & Programs

Abstract Brain HumanDeb Bhowmick, MD, performed the first two-level cervical disc arthroplasty (artificial disc) at UNC.

A new clinic for plagiocephaly opened at UNC Children’s Hospital in June. Kristi Hildebrand, MSN, CPNP-AC, has taken the lead to help treat infants whose skull may be flattened in one area due to repeated pressure.

The UNC Center for the Study of Retired Athletes has expanded its partnership with the NFL Players Association and is now seeing older players in a new initiative called the Milestone Wellness Assessment Program. Kevin Carneiro, DO, is the Associate Medical Director of the program.

Stroke award 2018Five UNC Health Care Hospitals (UNC Hospitals, UNC REX, Nash, Pardee and Wayne) received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. In addition, a sixth UNC hospital – UNC Lenoir – received the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award. These awards recognize the hospitals’ commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines founded on the latest scientific evidence. Read more >

The Clinical Neurophysiology Lab has completed the upgrade of EEG monitoring equipment for Pediatric services to Natus. The upgrade will give the Pediatric EMU the ability to monitor up to six inpatients at a time and provide a better functional recording and review platform. The Clinical Neurophysiology labs as well as the UNC Sleep Center are currently in planning for the replacement of their equipment for all adult services in the coming months.

The offices of our new patient coordinators, Shama Benton and Tina Atwater, were moved back to the Physicians Office Building from the UNC Hospitals Spine Center in July. The move allows for implementation of a digital record system that eliminates the need for printed file copies.

Awards / Recognition

Eldad Hadar, MD, was elected into the Society of Neurological Surgeons, the oldest neurosurgical organization in existence. Carolina Care 2018The Society’s initiatives are typically focused on neurosurgical residency education.

Deb Bhowmick, MD, and Erin Judson, ANP-BC, received the 2018 UNC Health Care and UNC Faculty Physicians Award for Carolina Care Excellence. Learn more >

Kevin Carneiro, DO, was asked to chair the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation’s Bold Initiative to determine the future of musculoskeletal physiatry.

Brain Slice AwardPGY2 residents Nathan Quig, MD, and Darshan Shastri, MD, received the Brain Slice Awards from the Neurosurgery Training Lab for the 2017/2018 academic year.


PGY 5 resident Josh Loewenstein, MD, passed the American Board of Neurological Surgery written exam for credit this year. This gives us a 100% pass rate for six years.

The UNC Neurosurgery residency program was re-accredited with no citations.

Eldad Hadar, MD, and Carolyn Quinsey, MD, served as part of the faculty team for the Society of Neurological Surgeons PGY1 Boot Camp at Emory University on July 21. PGY1 residents, Kelly Lucchesi, MD, and Andrew Abumoussa, MD, learned many new skills at the event.

PGY1 Boot Camp 2018 PGY1 Boot Camp 2018

Visiting Professor Charlie Teo, MD, from Australia taught our lab on August 6 and presented grand rounds later in the week. Dr. Teo is an expert on minimally invasive eyebrow craniotomies.

Scott Elton, MD, and pediatric plastic surgeon Jeyhan Wood, MD, were co-presenters at UNC Surgery’s grand rounds on May 9. The topic was “Abnormal Head Shapes: Evaluation and Management of Plagiocephaly and Craniosynostosis.”

Carolyn Quinsey, MD, spoke about traumatic brain injury at UNC Anesthesia’s grand rounds on May 23.

Research, Presentations & Conferences

Chief resident Michael Cools, MD, presented “Facial nerve palsy following mild mastoid trauma on trampoline” at the American College of Sports Medicine Summit in May. The manuscript, co-authored with Kevin Carneiro, DO, was recently published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.

After a year of hard work, the CAPTIVE trial (genetically modified oncolytic virus combined with checkpoint inhibition) has opened at Lineberger and UNC Neurosurgery will play an integral role. Read more >

Kevin Carneiro, DO, is finishing up a study on “Nutrition for Chronic Low Back Pain” (lumbar radiculopathy) funded by the North American Spine Society and the Mayday Fund.

In July, Drs. Eldad Hadar, Michael Catalino, Josh Loewenstein, and resident coordinator Julie Seger attended the 2018 Cleveland Spine Review, a six-day comprehensive course on spinal surgery that includes a combination of didactic lectures and hands-on cadaveric dissections. As a guest lecturer, Dr. Hadar gave a presentation on posterior cervical instrumentation. Michael and Josh participated in the course and Julie assisted the course organizers with logistics.

Catalino and Loewenstein - Cleveland Clinic 2018 Catalino and Loewenstein - Cleveland Clinic 2018

Carolyn Quinsey, MD:

  • Presented a research update on the health risks of radiation in children from medical imaging at HACONNECT, a hydrocephalus conference held in Los Angeles in June.
  • Co-moderated “Scientific Session IV: Pediatrics” at AANS 2018 on April 30.
  • Attended a two-day intensive, “CNS Leadership Program in Health Care,” in May. As part of the program, each participant identified a problem impacting neurosurgery locally or nationally to solve in one year.

Gene Hobbs, CHSE, co-authored an abstract with the UNC Anesthesia team that was published in Simulation in Healthcare: “Validity of Simulation-Based Assessment for Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Milestone Achievement.” June 2018

Matt Ewend, MD, delivered the commencement address for UNC’s MD PhD graduation ceremony on May 10.

Neuro-oncologist Simon Khagi, MD, spoke at the Moses H. Cone Department of Internal Medicine Grand Rounds on July 20.

Kristi Hildebrand, MSN, CPNP-AC, attended the American Association of Neurological Surgeons course, “From Cranial to Spine: An Overview of Neurosurgical Topics for the Advanced Practice Provider,” held in Los Angeles from August 8-11.

Media & Outreach

Along with two patients, Eldad Hadar, MD, and neurologist Hae Won Shin, MD, were featured in a WRAL news story about the Neuropace neuro-stimulator used for the treatment of epilepsy.

Deb Bhowmick, MD, contributed to two articles:

  • UNC Health Talk: “Spinal Surgery Won’t Keep Her Grounded” – Bhowmick and his team helped 70-year-old Beth Welch return to her passion, skydiving, after a serious accident.
  • UNC Health Talk: “Adults with Tethered Cord Syndrome Find Relief Through Surgery”

Dr. Quinsey Car VideoA pediatric surgery car video featuring Carolyn Quinsey, MD, made the Channel 11 ABC news. UNC Health Care posted the original video on social media where it was shared widely and was viewed over 37,000 times!

Matt Ewend, MD, was quoted in a UNC Health Care press release: “UNC Health Care first in NC to integrate with NC Controlled Substance Reporting System.”

The Pediatric Neurosurgery team has started writing regular features for social media on topics such as bike and car seat safety.


Chief Resident Dinner

The 2018 Chief Resident dinner was held on June 16 at the Carolina Inn to honor our departing resident, Dr. Edward Yap. During the event, Drs. Sivakumar Jaikumar and Deanna Sasaki-Adams received the teaching award, Alana LeBlanc received the OR award, Dr. Michael Cools received the Elizabeth Bullitt award, and Samuel Reed received the Quinsey Student Research award. After six years at UNC, Eddie left us in June to pursue a one-year, cerebrovascular fellowship program at the University of Wisconsin.

Eddie Yap Family

Head for the Cure

Khagi HFTC Video

Join us for our largest event yet, now located in Southern Village, Chapel Hill! We’ve already raised more than $31,600, exceeding our goal of $30,000. Proceeds will benefit the UNC Brain Tumor Program and the NIH Brain Tumor Trials Collaborative. Dr. Khagi will be shaving his head at the event and running with the Optune device – watch his video. If you prefer not to run or walk, we need volunteers! See you on Saturday, September 8!  Register or donate >

Ellie Helton Memorial 5K

Drs. Resident MDs Loewenstein, Barnett, Piazza at the Ellie Helton 5KUNC Neurosurgery is a sponsor of the 4th Annual Ellie Helton Memorial 5K Run and 1K Youth Fun Run at WakeMed Soccer Park, 201 Soccer Park Drive in Cary on October 13. All proceeds will go to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation. Your donations may directly benefit UNC in the future: BAF awarded Deanna Sasaki-Adams, MD, a $40,000 research grant last year. Register or donate >


When Stroke Strikes

The Carolina Nursing Center for Lifelong Learning and the UNC Comprehensive Stroke Center will present a new educational program, “When Stroke Strikes: An Update on the Care of Patients with Acute Stroke” on September 7. The program is designed for nurses and other healthcare providers who would like to learn more about caring for stroke patients. More information >

Stroke Conference 2018