Awards & Recognitions – September 2023

CNS Founder’s Laurel Award

Volker K. H. Sonntag, MD

Volker K.H. Sonntag, MD, an emeritus professor of neurosurgery at Barrow, received the 2023 Founder’s Laurel Award from the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS). This award recognizes individuals who have made exceptional contributions to neurosurgery education. He was honored at the CNS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

HCD 10 Award

Virginia Prendergast, PhD, NP-C, FAAN, director of advanced practice nursing at Barrow, received a 2023 HCD 10 award from Healthcare Design. The annual HCD 10 list celebrates professionals who serve the health care design industry in various ways, from clinicians and researchers to architects and interior designers. Healthcare Design recognized Virginia for her efforts to conceptualize and open Active and Quiet Resilience Rooms for nurses at Barrow to address emotional stress and burnout in the field. In a paper published in the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, Virginia and her co-authors reported an almost 50 percent reduction in moderate burnout and a decrease in emotional distress in study participants.

NIH R01 Grant

Tomoki Hashimoto, MD

Tomoki Hashimoto, MD, received a $3 million, five-year R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the role of aging and cellular senescence in the rupture of brain aneurysms. Dr. Hashimoto is the director of translational neurovascular research at Barrow, and his laboratory is part of the Barrow Aneurysm and AVM Research Center.

St. Joseph’s Board Excellence Award

Photo courtesy of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center

Margaret “Peggy” Islas received the St. Joseph’s Board Excellence Award for her dedicated service as MRI technologist lead. Peggy is a 36-year employee of the hospital and part of the Barrow radiology team. She helps to safely coordinate and facilitate direct patient care for more than 12,000 MRI cases annually.

SNS, NREF Resident Awards

Charuta Furey, MD, a PGY-6 neurosurgery resident at Barrow, received two competitive awards for neurosurgery residents. She was selected for the Society of Neurological Surgeons’ inaugural Neurosurgeon-Scientist Training Program (NSTP), which provides formal mentoring and funding for neurosurgery residents aspiring to become neurosurgeon-scientists. She was one of only four residents chosen nationwide for the two-year track, following a rigorous peer-review selection porocess.

Dr. Furey also received a Neurosurgery Research & Education Foundation (NREF) Research Fellowship Grant, awarded on behalf of the AANS/CNS Section on Tumors. The grant will provide funding for her project: Characterizing glioma evolution through longitudinal cerebrospinal fluid biopsy in a Phase 0/2 clinical trial of niraparib for newly diagnosed glioblastoma. Nader Sanai, MD, director of the Ivy Brain Tumor Center at Barrow, will serve as her sponsor on the project.

Brain Aneurysm Foundation Grant

Joelle Hartke, MD

Joelle Hartke, MD, a PGY-5 neurosurgery resident at Barrow, received a research grant from the Brain Aneurysm Foundation. The Froggy’s Drive and Strode Family Chair of Research for $45,000 will support her project that aims to establish the protective role of growth arrest-specific gene 6 (Gas6) against brain aneurysm rupture.

Daisy Award

Photo courtesy of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center

Richard Morris, RN, a nurse on 6NNB, received a Daisy Award for Extraordinary Nurses from The Daisy Foundation. He was nominated by a patient, who noted Richard’s cheerful, calm demeanor and impressive nursing skills. The patient referred to Richard as a “fantastic nurse” who went out of his way to be helpful.

Jewish News Readers’ Choice

Barrow Neurological Institute came in second place in the “Best ER/Hospital” category in the 2023 Jewish News Readers’ Choice contest. The Arizona-based magazine received more than 20 nominees for this category, and Barrow was mentioned on page 19 of its special “Best of Jewish News” issue, published in August.