Neurosurgeon Feud Threatens U-of-L Trauma Center

by scrosby on March 19, 2009

University of Louisville Hospital’s Trauma Center could lose its Level One designation this
spring.  Medical School Dean Edward Halperin says its eight neurosurgeons have effectively resigned and joined Norton Healthcare.  Norton announced the creation of a new Neuroscience Institute last month.  

Halperin says the neurosurgeons signed agreements with Norton that canceled their contracts with the school.

“A member of the full-time faculty has, as their primary employer, the university, not someone else,” says Halperin.  “Someone who chooses to pick another primary employer has resigned as a member of the faculty to work for someone else.”

University Hospital Head of Surgery Dr. Kelly McMasters says the loss has imperiled the school’s Level One status as a trauma center – which requires neurosurgeons.

“If we do not have neurosurgical coverage, patients will die of their head injuries, and patients will be paralyzed who cannot have their spinal cord injuries treated properly.  It’s that simple,” says McMasters.

Halperin says U of L is looking for replacements for the neurosurgeons.  In the meantime, they’ve been asked to continue their medical duties at University Hospital, so it can maintain its Trauma Center status.  The physicians have said they’ll stay on only through May 12th.

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