Less than two years ago, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center had no trouble finding space for the Brenner Children's Hospital neurology staff.
That's because the team devoted to caring for children with epilepsy, movement disorders, severe headaches, sleep disorders and other challenging conditions consisted of just one doctor and one nurse practitioner.
The space issue developed as the pediatric neurology section grew to become the largest in western North Carolina, with five physicians, two nurse practitioners, a psychologist and a dietitian, plus support staff. The team had to be split between two separate locations in the medical center simply because there wasn't a single site that could adequately accommodate the expanded group and its needs.
All pediatric neurology personnel have moved into a newly renovated suite that includes 15 examination rooms, a physicians' workroom, a patient-education area, a waiting room, offices and other spaces. Like other Brenner facilities, the suite, located on the ninth floor of the medical center's Janeway Tower, features child-size equipment and child-friendly decor.
"Having everybody on our team in the same place will allow us to better coordinate our services, to the benefit of our patients," said Annette Grefe, M.D., assistant professor of neurology, chief of the pediatric neurology section and formerly Wake Forest Baptist's sole pediatric neurologist. "Also very important is that this new location is far more inviting and comfortable for our young patients and their families."
The new space, Grefe said, also will enhance the pediatric neurology group's training and research activities, ensuring that children will have access to the most advanced treatment available.
Approximately 60 percent of Wake Forest Baptist's young neurology patients suffer from epilepsy. In addition to the expertise of the pediatric neurology section's specialists, who are trained in both pediatrics and neurology, these children have access to the resources of the medical center's Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, one the top-rated epilepsy programs in the country and the only center in the region that meets the Level IV guidelines of the National Association of Epilepsy Centers, the highest level of accreditation possible.
Information about the pediatric neurology services available at Brenner Children's Hospital is available online at www.brennerchildrens.org/pediatric-neurology/.