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Friends of the Neurohospitalist Program

Launched in October 2009 thanks to gifts from the Ruth E. Raskin Fund and Susan and Bill Bridges

With a seed gift of $50,000 from the Ruth E. Raskin Fund and leadership from long-time patient safety advocates Susan and Bill Bridges, the precedent-setting Neurohospitalist Program at University of California San Francisco (UCSF) officially launched its "Friends of UCSF Neurohospitalist Program" on October 24, 2009.

"Those of us who understand the vulnerability of a family member or friend with a known neurological disease or simply with complex medical problems understand the urgent and priority need for consideration of neurological implications during ER admissions – the Neurohospitalist Program as envisioned by Dr. S. Andrew Josephson," says Friends founding co-chair and donor Susan Bridges. "We are so lucky here in the Bay Area to have this program at UCSF – one of the first of its kind nationally. And we understand the need for this model to be duplicated across the country. It deserves our full support."

S. Andrew Josephson, MD established and serves as Director of the UCSF Neurohospitalist Program. Dr. Josephson is an Assistant Professor of Neurology trained in neurohospitalist neurology as well as dementia and stroke. Dr. Josephson authored the first paper on Neurohospitalists and is a nationally-recognized leader in the field. A frequent presenter on the subject at conferences and symposiums, Dr. Josephson has had several of his papers on the subject selected by distinguished journals.

At this start-up stage of the Neurohospitalist program," explains Dr. Josephson, "we are dependent on funding that can be developed through this new 'Friends' group of champions. We are very grateful for their support and leadership and especially their commitment to this model of care, validating the pressing need for neurohospitalists. Through the generosity of visionary donors such as Betsy Gullickson and Andrea Booth, administering the Ruth E. Raskin Fund, Susan and Bill Bridges and the new membership of our 'Friends' group, we hope to have the ability to impact positively the lives of neurologic inpatients not just here at UCSF, but throughout the country."

Dedicated neurohospitalists, expert in neurologic inpatient care, have over the past three years transformed UCSF into the premier inpatient facility for those suffering from neurologic disorders. Patients who have difficult-to-diagnose neurological problems currently are transferred to UCSF from throughout the state and across the nation. In addition, patients with increasingly common but still under-treated neurologic disorders such as stroke and dementia are transferred to UCSF for the unique, high-quality care that our neurohospitalists offer. Furthermore, research studying the best methods to care for these patients will revolutionize the quality and safety of inpatient neurologic care nationally, helping millions of patients each year.

About half of the grant from the Raskin Fund will be used to launch the Delirium Prediction Rule, a research project with the goal of identifying those characteristics that best predict the development of delirium during hospitalization. Additional funds are provided for Dr. Josephson's discretion, primarily for further work in the Delirium Prediction Rule project, but also available in other critical areas in the development of the Neurohospitalist program.

"The Ruth E. Raskin Fund was established by our mother at the San Diego Jewish Foundation, continuing the commitment of our parents to give back," says Mrs. Gullickson. "My sister and I have the pleasure and honor to administer this fund, supporting causes informed by our parents' experiences. Quite simply: if neurohospitalists had been available for our parents, they – and we – would have suffered less. We are inspired by Dr. Josephson's vision and the excellence with which he is building this important new standard of care. Our fervent hope is that this gift will now inspire others to join with us, to be sure this Neurohositalist Program will be everything patients and their families need it to be."

If you are interested in joining our Friends of the Neurohospitalist Program or just have questions about it, feel free to contact Dr. Josephson directly via email at ajosephson@memory.ucsf.edu.