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Brain & Spine Center

Dr. Anand Dr. Bagnall Dr. Bansall
Dr. Stoffman Dr. Vigna Dr. Waghmarae

The Brain & Spine Center of Niagara is a multidiscplinary team of private physicians affiliated with Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center to improve accessibility to high quality services related to brain, spine and other neurological and orthopedic injuries and disorders.

The Spine Center Niagara opened in May 2005 as an innovative collaboration between nine private practice physicians who share clinical space and consultative resources. The approach was designed to save patients time and travel, treat them more efficiently and produce better outcomes.

Expanded and renamed in 2007, the Brain & Spine Center of Niagara includes:

  • Nyathappa Anand, M.D., a neurologist who serves as Memorial's director of stroke care
  • David Bagnall, M.D., a physiatrist specializing in non-surgical spine management
  • Prathibha Bansal, M.D., a pain management specialist
  • Michael Stoffman, M.D., Memorial's chief of neurosurgery and a former chief neurosurgery resident at Yale University
  • Franco Vigna, M.D., an orthopedic spine surgeon and Memorial's director of spine surgery
  • Romanth Waghmarae, M.D., a pain management specialist

Neurosurgical oncology and the diagnosis and treatment of brain tumors are among the services to offered through the center. The center's goal for both brain and spine patients is to return patients to the fullest function achievable using the most advanced and least invasive methods.

In addition, the New York State Department of Health has named Niagara Falls Memorial's ER1 Emergency Department as a participant, in partnership with the comprehensive Stroke Care Center at Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital (Buffalo), in the state's innovative REACH Telemedicine stroke care program.

The Brain & Spine Center is the only hospital-based center of its kind in Western New York.

Patients referred to the Center will only need to undergo initial processing one time as part of an innovative triage procedure designed to ensure appropriate medical care at each step of the treatment and rehabilitation process. Based on a patient's symptoms and medical history, the process will enable the Center to schedule an initial appointment with the right type of doctor, whether that be a non-surgical spine management and rehabilitation specialist, neurologist, neurosurgeon, occupational health specialist, interventional radiologist, neurological surgeon or orthopedic spine surgeon.

If initial treatment indicates the need for a referral to another specialist, the patient can usually be seen by the new doctor in the same office -- where his or her records are already current and complete and where physicians can collaborate to chart the best course of treatment.

Patients for whom orthopedic surgery turns out to be the best option will have access to the most current technology and methods. Dr. Vigna, for example, participated in clinical trials involving artificial disc replacement and is one of the few physicians in the United States qualified as a training surgeon and clinical instructor in that emerging field.

Physical therapy services for Spine Center patients are available at Memorial's recently expanded, state-of-the-art Summit Physical Therapy facility.


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