Miami Children’s Hospital Affiliation to Benefit Russian Children with Epilepsy

Published on: 09/29/2010
Photo: Dmitry, age 9, the first of a group of Russian children with intractable epilepsy who will be coming to Miami Children’s Hospital for care in the months ahead, is shown with his caregivers. They include (from left): Dr. Prasanna Jayakar, Director of the MCH Brain Institute; Dr. Andrea Maggioni, Director of Global Health Services, Dr. Arcisse Comfort, a neurosurgeon from the Moscow Center for Pediatric Craniofacial Surgery and Neurology; and Dr. Michael Duchowny, Director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at MCH.

MIAMI -- The Miami Children’s Hospital (MCH) Global Health Services program has formed an affiliation with the Moscow Center for Pediatric Craniofacial Surgery and Neurology in Moscow, Russia. Through the initiative, experts at Miami Children’s Hospital – a U.S. leader in the care of children with complex brain disorders – are collaborating with their Moscow counterparts to advance surgical care for Russian children with medically resistant epilepsy.

The initiative is spearheaded at MCH by Dr. Andrea Maggioni, Director of Global Health Services; Dr. Prasanna Jayakar, Director of the MCH Brain Institute;  Dr. Michael Duchowny, Director of the MCH Comprehensive Epilepsy Program; and Dr. John Ragheb, Director of Neurosurgery.
Dr. Maggioni said, “The collaboration with our Russian counterparts has been most productive and has directly benefited children in Russia. We look forward to continued exchanges between our programs to advance education, science and patient care.”

Experts at the Miami Children’s Brain Institute have provided advance consultation related to a group of Russian children who eventually had successful surgeries at the Moscow Center for Pediatric Craniofacial Surgery and Neurology. In addition, patients with especially complex needs come to Miami Children’s Hospital for care.

The first of these patients – Dmitry, a 9-year-old boy with intractable epilepsy - came to MCH in September for assessment and treatment. Dmitry was implanted with a vagus nerve stimulator to help manage the seizures. The boy was accompanied to South Florida by his mother and Dr. Arcisse Comfort, a neurosurgeon affiliated with the Moscow Center for Pediatric Craniofacial Surgery and Neurology. Other Russian children are already scheduled to arrive at Miami Children’s in the months ahead for assessment and treatment of complex cases.

Dr. Comfort said that Dmitry and his family are very grateful for the high quality of care and for the opportunity for a brighter future, free of debilitating seizures. “The family was very impressed by the high technology available at Miami Children’s and the family-friendly environment fostered by the Global Health Services team,” he said. “We look forward to giving other children the opportunity to benefit from this expertise.”

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