Capital Health Names New Institute for Neurosciences Director

Capital Health, the region’s only state-designated comprehensive stroke center, announced today that the hospital has named a new Institute for Neurosciences director.

Michael Stiefel, a neurosurgeon specializing in cerebrovascular and endovascular neurosurgery, joined Capital Health as the director of the Capital Institute for Neurosciences and as director of the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center at Capital Health.

“Dr. Stiefel’s experience clearly demonstrates his commitment to excellence and his leadership will result in even greater advances for our patients,” said Al Maghazehe, president and CEO of Capital Health. “I have no doubt that our Capital Institute for Neurosciences will further elevate the level of care patients can expect to receive at an advanced neuroscience center like the one we opened eight years ago.”

As director of the Capital Institute for Neurosciences, Stiefel oversees all neurosurgical and neurological services offered at the institute as well as the hospital’s stroke program, neurosurgical intensive care unit, and neuroscience research activities.

“A big part of why I decided to join the institute is its commitment to highly specialized, advanced care for patients with brain and spine diseases,” Stiefel said. ““For patients in the region, that means access to the most advanced technology and physicians with extensive experience in caring for neurologic issues, whether they are time sensitive emergencies like stroke, or conditions that require ongoing specialized care like Parkinson’s Disease, brain tumors, headache, spine disorders or complex and difficult to treat pain.”

Stiefel received his medical degree and doctorate from the Medical College of Virginia, and completed his neurosurgery training at the University of Pennsylvania. While at the University of Pennsylvania, he completed training in diagnostic neuroradiology and was the Groff Cerebrovascular Research Fellow as well as an NIH research fellow. He then went on to complete a fellowship in endovascular neurosurgery at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Az.

Stiefel joined Capital Health from Westchester Medical Center in New York, where he was director of the Neurovascular Institute, director of cerebrovascular and endovascular neurosurgery and co-director of neuro-critical care. While at Westchester, he established one of the largest comprehensive neurovascular programs for the treatment of stroke, aneurysms, and brain hemorrhages in the New York/Connecticut region and Hudson Valley. Prior to that, he served as director of the cerebrovascular and endovascular neurosurgery program and associate director of neuro-critical care at the University of Pennsylvania.

Stiefel offers surgical treatments using microsurgical and endovascular techniques to treat cerebral aneurysms, acute stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage, arteriovenous malformations, arteriovenous fistulas, carotid stenosis, intracranial stenosis, and cavernous malformations. He is a nationally recognized researcher in the area of stroke and has been at the forefront of trialing new devices for the treatment of ischemic stroke and cerebral aneurysms.

Capital Health also announced initiatives the hospital says will improve patient care and provide education for physicians and other healthcare professionals caring for patients with life-threatening conditions like strokes and aneurysms.

The hospital has invested more than $500,000 to upgrade equipment and technology its neuro-endovascular suite. The upgrades will reduce radiation exposure for patients by more than 70 percent. The hospital has also the first in the country to purchase a neurovascular simulator that uses 3D printing technology to physically replicate blood vessels and blood flow through the heart, aorta, and brain. Thesimulator will be used to train physicians in neuro-endovascular treatments for complex stroke, aneurysm and other neurovascular disorders. Doctors will also be able to perform simulated procedures in a clinical environment that is identical to the one in which they will treat patients.