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    Our History

    Founded in 1962

    1970s

    Level 1 Trauma Center

    1972

    Level 1 Trauma Center
    In 1972 Barrow and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center were designated as Arizona’s first Level 1 Trauma Center.

    1975

    Barrow Installs 1st CT Scanner in Phoenix

    Neurorehabilitation Center Launched

    1979

    Neurorehabilitation Center Launched
    The center has continued to expand ever since.

    1980s

    Dr. Robert F. Spetzler Joins Barrow

    1983

    Dr. Robert F. Spetzler Joins Barrow
    In 1986, Dr. Spetzler would succeed Dr. John Green as Director of Barrow Neurological Institute.

    Dr. Robert Spetzler and Dr. Joseph Zabramski Refine Cardiac Standstill Procedure

    1983

    Dr. Robert Spetzler and Dr. Joseph Zabramski Refine Cardiac Standstill Procedure
    This radical procedure, which involves inducing hypothermia, stopping the heart, and removing blood from the patient, allows neurosurgeons to treat previously inoperable lesions in the brain.

    Dr. John Green Retires as director of Barrow Neurological Institute.

    1986

    Dr. John Green Retires as director of Barrow Neurological Institute.
    He is succeeded by Dr. Robert Spetzler.

    America's Brain Trust Event

    1987

    America’s Brain Trust Event
    Barrow celebrates its 25th anniversary by sponsoring the America’s Brain Trust event. The forum consisted of President Gerald Ford, Vice President Walter Mondale, and Henry Kissinger.

    Papal Visit

    1987

    Papal Visit
    Pope John Paul II Visits Barrow and St. Joseph’s. Barrow was the only hospital visited by the Pope on his tour of the United States.

    First Lady Nancy Reagan dedicates the Dr. Loyal and Edith Davis Neurological Research Laboratory

    1988

    First Lady Nancy Reagan dedicates the Dr. Loyal and Edith Davis Neurological Research Laboratory
    Nancy Reagan’s father, Dr. Loyal Davis, was one of the first neurosurgeons at Barrow.

    Dr. Volker Sonntag Successfully Treats

    1989

    Dr. Volker Sonntag Successfully Treats “Internal Decapitation”
    Barrow and Dr. Volker Sonntag make international headlines with the successful reattachment of the skull of a boy whose skull was severed from his spine.

    1990s

    Dr. Curtis Dickman Pioneers Thoracoscopic Spinal Surgery

    1992

    Dr. Curtis Dickman Pioneers Thoracoscopic Spinal Surgery
    Dr. Dickman devises a method of operating on the spine using endoscopic tools through small incisions in the chest.

    1994

    First Celebrity Fight Night Held
    The first annual Celebrity Fight Night is held. The star-studded event has raised funds for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow since its inception.

    The Champ Teams with Barrow

    1997

    The Champ Teams with Barrow
    The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute is founded.

    Neuroscience Research Tower Opens

    1997

    Neuroscience Research Tower Opens
    A $40-million Neuroscience Research Center, now known as the Marian H. Rochelle Neuroscience Research Center, opens on the Barrow Campus.

    Genetic Cause of Cavernous Malformations Identified

    1999

    Genetic Cause of Cavernous Malformations Identified
    Barrow researchers, led by Dr. Joseph Zabramski and Dr. Eric Johnson, identify the gene that causes the inherited form of cerebral cavernous malformations.

    2000s

    Dr. James Pipe Creates Propeller MRI

    2002

    Dr. James Pipe Creates Propeller MRI
    Dr. James Pipe at Barrow creates the new Propeller Method to assemble MRI scan images. The new method allows clinicians to obtain clear MRI images regardless of patient motion.

    2003

    First Hypothalamic Hamartoma Program in the United States

    Barrow opens the nation’s first Hypothalamic Hamartoma (HH) program, successfully removing the devastating brain tumor from hundreds of children from all over the world.

    First Hypothalamic Hamartoma Program in the United States

    2005

    Eller Telepresence Conference Room Opens
    Barrow installs the nation’s first Med Presence video-conferencing unit, facilitating real-time global consultations during surgery.

    Eller Telepresence Conference Room Opens

    2006

    Neuroscience Tower Opens
    The 430,000 square foot Barrow Neuroscience Tower opens, creating the largest neuroscience center in the nation. It houses some of the most advanced operating rooms in the world.

    Dr. Spetzler’s 5,000th Aneurysm Procedure

    2007

    Dr. Spetzler’s 5,000th Aneurysm Procedure
    Dr. Robert Spetzler clips his 5,000th aneurysm, believed to be the most of any neurosurgeon in the world.

    Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center Expands

    2009

    Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center Expands
    The expansion makes the center the largest center for Parkinson’s disease treatment and outreach in the Southwestern United States.

    2010s

    Brain Tumor Research Center Opens

    2010

    Brain Tumor Research Center Opens
    The Barrow Brain Tumor Research Center opens with Dr. Nader Sanai as director. The main goal of the center is to prolong patient survival and eventually find a cure for glioblastoma multiforme tumor

    Barrow Center for Neuromodulation Created

    2011

    Barrow Center for Neuromodulation Created
    The Barrow Neuromodulation Center, under the direction of Dr. Francisco Ponce, is created to treat patients with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders using deep brain stimulation (DBS). In addition, the center will participate in clinical trials exploring the use of DBS for other conditions. The center became just the second institution in the country to perform DBS on patients under general anesthesia (asleep DBS), and is now the first to offer placement of both leads and the stimulator pack in the same surgical procedure.

    Neuromuscular and ALS Research Center Created

    2011

    Neuromuscular and ALS Research Center Created
    The Gregory W. Fulton ALS and Neuromuscular Research Center, headed by Dr. Robert Bowser, is created to treat patients with complex degenerative neuromuscular diseases.

    Today

    and into the future, continuing to integrate our power-packed combination of talent, expertise, inquisitiveness, compassion, and equipment with our vision of excellence in patient care with that of problem solving and advancement.