A note from Neurosurgeon-in-Chief Mark Proctor, MD

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Contact the Department of Neurosurgery

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Neurosurgery at Boston Children’s Hospital: Who we are, what we do

Mark Proctor MD

Today, the Department of Neurosurgery at Boston Children’s Hospital is on the verge of major breakthroughs in clinical care, basic and translational research, and operational efficiencies that will make it stronger than it has ever been.

Excellent patient care is at the center of all we do. We believe that a well-managed, patient-centered business model coupled with our commitment to clinical care and research will define the growth and excellence of neurosurgery going forward.

We consider collaborative programmatic development a top priority going forward. This is heralded by renewed energy being invested into a joint Neuroscience program. Our goal is to share clinical space, research infrastructure, quality management, and strategic planning with our tremendous colleagues in the department of Neurology. We are currently developing a formal strategic neuroscience plan with the use of external consultants toward that end..

We have developed several major programs that are in various stages of evolution, and involve collaboration with many major departments throughout the hospital. These include:

  • The Cerebrovascular Surgery and Interventions Center, under the leadership of Dr. Edward Smith, has been a highly successful collaborative between Neurosurgery and Radiology, and is moving towards a partnership with the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Care Center in the Department of Neurology
  • The Cleft and Craniofacial Center, under my direction, continues to grow as a highly collaborative service involving Plastic Surgery, Oromaxillofacial Surgery, ORL, Ophthalmology, and others.
  • The Brain Injury Center, for which I’m the Executive Director, also continues to grow. Both the leadership and administrative infrastructure are based in Neurosurgery, while involving eight other departments.
  • The Complex Cervical Spine Program has just been developed and funded via philanthropy, as a major endeavor between Orthopedics and Neurosurgery.
  • The Spasticity Program, under Dr. Scellig Stone, is in a major growth phase. This involves specialists from Neurology, Orthopedics, Physiatry, and Anesthesia.
  • Our Neuro-oncology Program, under Dr. Liliana Goumnerova, remains a world leader, and is a highly collaborative program with Neurology and Oncology that is a model for others around the country.
  • The Spina Bifida and Spinal Cord Conditions Center is stronger and larger than it has ever been and is now seeing patients at multiple locations. This is also a highly collaborative program under the direction of Dr. Benjamin Warf.
  • The Functional Neurosurgery Program is expanding under the direction of Dr. Scellig Stone, along with specialists in Neurology.
  • Our Hydrocephalus Program, under Dr. Benjamin Warf, is the international leader in the use of specialized endoscopy (the ETV/CPC procedure) to treat hydrocephalus.
  • The Epilepsy Center is showing major growth in collaboration with Dr. Phillip Pearl of Neurology, Dr. Joseph Madsen of Neurosurgery, and more recently Dr. Scellig Stone, who is involved in stereotactic EEG placement. We have just acquired a specialized robot to facilitate the development of this program.
  • Our Neurosurgery research programs, under the direction of Dr. Larry Benowitz, are major leaders in the field of axonal regeneration.

In many ways it is a challenge to take the #1 program in the country and consistently stay at the top. Pediatric neurosurgery was actually born at our institution, with our first neurosurgeons, Harvey Cushing and Frank Ingraham, considered the founders of the field. I am honored to be in this position, and feel the weight of the responsibility on my shoulders every day. However, we feel that our vision for growth and excellence and our collaborative, patient-centered model of care, where specialists truly coalesce around patients’ needs, will perpetuate our long tradition of world-class pediatric neurosurgery.

Dr. Mark Proctor
Department of Neurosurgery
Boston Children’s Hospital

Boston Children’s is so much more than a hospital—it’s a community of researchers, clinicians, administrators, support staff, innovators, teachers, patients and families, all working together to make the impossible possible. ”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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