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St. Alphonsus opens Idaho's first neuro ICU

St. Alphonsus Medical Center opens the first Neuro, Surgical, Trauma ICU in Idaho - allowing patients to be close to home, rather than transferred out-of-state.

BOISE, Idaho — Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center unveiled their Idaho's first Neuro, Surgical, Trauma Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on Tuesday.

The unit is designed to treat the most critical neurological injuries, such as strokes, tumors, seizures, brain infections and traumatic brain injuries requiring ICU care.

The department is staffed by a team of physicians and staff of neurocritical care intensivists, trauma critical care surgeons, neurosurgeons, pulmonologists, critical care intensivists and other specialists. 

St. Alphonsus' new unit consists of 35 ICU beds, an increase from the 44 ICU beds at the Boise hospital - bringing the new total of ICU beds in the region to 77.

Dr. Rashna Ginwalla, trauma surgeon and Co-Medical Director of St. Alphonsus neuro ICU, elaborated on the need for unit in Idaho.

"Traditionally...we send our patients elsewhere to get standard tertiary levels, state of the art care. And now we'll be able to do it here."

"Instead of traveling to Washington, or Seattle, and Portland, and Utah, we can do that right here at home, which will, hopefully impact our patients lives significantly," said Ginwalla.

"We're going to be the only neurocritical care certified ICU in the region in the state of Idaho, we also are going to be the only surgical ICU in the region, most ICUs here are combined medical and surgical. And we will be splitting into a purely surgical ICU."

Neurocritical care physician and Co-Medical Director of the new unit, Spencer Craven, MD, added "we will be able to further expand our ability to care for those critically ill patients who suffer from the most common to the most complex neurological disorders."

"Me and all of my colleagues have sacrificed, in many ways, the best years of our life in order to become ready to give care to people in a way that nobody else in the state can do," said Craven.

Representatives from Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, including doctors and health system leaders, provided interviews and tours of the facility Tuesday morning.

Saint Alphonsus health system is a Catholic, faith-based ministry and not-for-profit health system serving the state of Idaho, eastern Oregon and northern Nevada communities. 

The health system includes 4 hospitals, 609 licensed beds, 6,100 colleagues and over 500 medical staff. 

The Saint Alphonsus Health Alliance is comprised of 3,000 employed and independent providers. Nearly 1,200 physicians are members of the Saint Alphonsus medical staff.

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