When it comes to illness or injury of the brain, spine or nervous system, the convenience of having a high-quality neurological and neurosurgical services close to home is essential.
This was one of the driving forces behind the alliance between Penn Medicine and Virtua. The two organizations partnered to provide better and easier access to care in both cancer and neurosurgery.
Patrick J. Connolly, MD and Stephen J. Dante, MD are the two highly skilled neurosurgeons currently seeing patients in South Jersey as part of the Penn Medicine Virtua partnership. Both Drs. Connolly and Dante are experts in diagnosing and treating the most complex neurological disorders.
Dr. Connolly recently answered a few questions about what patients in South Jersey can expect from the Penn Medicine Virtua Neurosciences program:
1. What conditions are you and Dr. Dante treating at Virtua?
We treat spine conditions such as degenerative disease, tumor and pain (with spinal cord stimulation). We do medical and surgical treatment of brain disorders such as hemorrhage, tumors and hydrocephalus. We also do radiosurgery at Virtua alongside radiation oncologists.
2. What is the most exciting thing about being a part of the Penn Medicine Virtua Neurosciences team?
Our teams have the smartest and hardest working people around, so it’s great to be part of a group with so much positive energy. This is by far the most mission-oriented team I’ve worked with. Everyone is committed to doing the right thing for our patients.
3. How does this Penn Medicine Virtua partnership benefit people in South Jersey?
As populous as Southern New Jersey is, there is a kind of neurosurgical desert in the Jersey suburbs. We’re pleased to be here to practice neurosurgery right near where millions of people call home. If you need to be in an innovative clinical trial or something extremely specialized that we do not do at Virtua, then we’re here to facilitate that too.
4. What’s your favorite part about working in South Jersey?
I’m pretty sure we’re the only Penn Neurosurgery office with a front yard. We’re in a very comfortable suburban location and Virtua is very easy to work in. The patients are wonderful and have a great experience.
5. What is your philosophy on patient care?
My objective is to provide thoughtful, timely neurosurgery to patients who need it. Treating the whole patient is essential because the nervous system is core to who we are as individuals. If neurosurgery is not necessary, we work hard to get people to the right place.
6. What are your clinical and research focuses?
I am interested in patient safety. When I did my movement disorder surgery fellowship at Penn, Gordon Baltuch and I wrote the first paper on checklisting in neurosurgery in 2009. I am also interested in ways that we can efficiently deliver both groundbreaking innovations and expertly done bread-and-butter neurosurgery across the region.
7. What do you enjoy outside of practicing medicine?
I enjoy spending time with my wife and two school age girls. I like to run, row and cook and have house projects to keep me busy.