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The UNC Hospitals Comprehensive Stroke Center has once again received the Get With The Guidelines® – Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association in recognition of UNC Health Care’s commitment to quality stroke care.

The Leapfrog Group awarded a top “A” grade to the UNC Medical Center on its Spring 2019 report card, reflecting the center’s commitment to protecting patients and delivering excellent care.

UNC Health Care officially broke ground on the Surgical Tower on May 20. The facility is scheduled to open in 2022 and will provide enhanced surgical spaces, pre- and post-operation rooms and waiting spaces for patients’ families.

Members of the UNC Department of Neurosurgery gathered together on June 22 to celebrate the end of the school year and welcome our new residents, Drs. Samuel Reed and Aaron Gelinne. There were no residency graduates this year due to our transition into a seven-year program. More photos >

New residents 2019 Residents summer 2019


Deanna Sasaki-Adams, MDNeurosurgeon Deanna Sasaki-Adams, MD, was one of this year’s recipients of the UNC Health Care and UNC Faculty Physicians Award for Carolina Care Excellence. When surveyed, more than 95% of Dr. Sasaki-Adams’ patients said they would definitely recommend her to family and friends. Learn more >

The following team members received awards from Neurosurgery residents at the summer gathering on June 22:

  • Dr. Kenneth Price, Teacher of the Year
  • Shelly Shealy, OR Person of the Year
  • Drs. Josh Loewenstein and Wes Northam, Elizabeth Bullitt Neurosurgery Resident Achievement Award.


Dr. Carolyn Quinsey in MalawiCarolyn Quinsey, MD, and other researchers published, “Complications and three-month outcomes of children with hydrocephalus treated with ventriculoperitoneal shunts in Malawi” in the Journal of Neurosurgery Publishing Group: Pediatrics, May 2019

Matt Ewend, MD, along with other researchers published, “Impacts of Surgery on Symptom Burden and Quality of Life in Pituitary Tumor Patients in the Subacute Post-operative Period” in Frontiers in Oncology, April 2019.

Presentations and Conferences

Scott Elton, MDScott Elton, MD, presented a talk titled, “2019 State of the Art in Pediatric Neurosurgery” at the UNC Medicine Impact Series event on May 20.

Carolyn Quinsey, MD, presented, “Past, Present and Future of Neurotrauma Care” at the May Day Trauma Conference held at the Friday Center.

Melody Watral, CPNP-PC, attended the ONCC Board of Directors meeting in Pittsburgh from July 25 – 27, 2019.  She currently serves on the finance committee after serving as the secretary/treasurer for the past two years

Carolyn Quinsey, MD, attended the 110th Society of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting in Seattle from May 18 – 21.


Dr. Deanna Sasaki-Adams in UgandaDeanna Sasaki-Adams, MD, and Carolyn Quinsey, MD, traveled to Kampala, Uganda in May to operate with Ugandan and American residents as part of a project organized by Duke Global Health.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioners Kristi Hildebrand and Melody Watral shared materials about helmet safety with more than 100 children at the Safe Kids event at the Orange County Sportsplex in May.


Residents Randaline Barnett, MD, and Martin Piazza, MD, led an 8-week skills lab series for aspiring surgeons that included tying knots, drilling on eggs, suturing raw chicken, isolating a blood vessel from surrounding tissue, and performing a neuro exam. Randi and Martin learned many new skills of their own and made some strong connections at the Cleveland Clinic Spine Review in July.

Randi - Neuro exam lab Martin - Sutures Lab

Our new interns, Drs. Samuel Reed and Aaron Gelinne, traveled to Atlanta in July to learn basic craniotomy techniques at the SNS neurosurgery boot camp.

Resident Joshua Loewenstein, MD, traveled to Capitol Hill in May to attend a session of Congress and later meet with NC Congressman David Price to discuss policy issues related to drug pricing, certificate of need, telemedicine reimbursement and policy.


Head for the Cure 2019Lace up those sneakers and get ready for the Head For The Cure 5K Run/Walk in Southern Village, Chapel Hill on Saturday, September 7 to raise awareness and funds for brain cancer research. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the UNC Brain Tumor Program. Register now and join the UNC Neurosurgery is Joggin’ for the Noggin’ team or create your own!

Little girl with spina bifidaKristi Hildebrand, MSN, CPNP-AC, is leading the planning efforts for a  UNC Spina Bifida Family Conference & Reunion on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at the St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Chapel Hill. This event will provide education, support and networking opportunities to UNC pediatric spina bifida patients and their families. The conference is a collaborative effort between the UNC Departments of Neurosurgery, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Urology, Orthopedics, and Physical and Occupational Therapy.


Dr. Hadar - epilepsy videoPatients of Eldad Hadar, MD, and neurologist Hae Won Shin, MD, shared their experience with the RNS system by Neuropace in this video that is being broadcast regionally.

UNC Medicine’s May newsletter featured Deanna Sasaki-Adams, MD, who discusses her commitment for her patients and her drive for new research and treatment of brain aneurysms.

Lindsey Tyler, MD, at Nash UNC Health Care was featured in a heart-warming story published in the Rocky Mount Telegram that highlights the compassionate care she provides to her patients.

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