Building a World-Class Neurosurgical Institute

Since the mid-1960s, Southern New York Neurosurgical Group has been pushing the boundaries of neurological and neurosurgical care through the services of internationally recognized experts, clinical trials, the introduction of advanced technology and consistently outstanding outcomes. Now, as the practice expands to Syracuse — and adopts the name Empire State Neurosurgical Institute — it is continuing to raise expectations for neurosurgical care in central and southern New York.


“Since its inception, Southern New York Neurosurgical Group, and now Empire State Neurosurgical Institute, has been innovative. The founder — the late Dr. Paul DeLuca [M.D.] — brought the first computerized axial tomography scanner for brain diagnoses to New York state in 1979. Since then, the practice has continued that theme. Today, we are one of the last full-service, nonacademic neurosurgical practices based in New York state.” — Daniel Galyon, M.D., FACS, Neurosurgeon, Empire State Neurosurgical Institute


Empire State Neurosurgical Institute will consist of physicians based in the Greater Binghamton area and in Syracuse. The main center will be located at UHS Wilson Medical Center in Johnson City, which is also home to the CyberKnife program and Neuro Medical Care Associates, with additional Empire State Neurosurgical Institute offices in Syracuse at Crouse Hospital and at the Institute’s Vestal-based pain-management practice, Comprehensive Pain Relief.


The Institute’s staff of eight neurosurgical specialists is supported by a strong group of nine ancillary providers, including physician assistants and nurse practitioners. The regionalization of services will facilitate patient and physician access to evolving technology and advanced techniques within the neurosurgical discipline.


IN THE PAST DECADE, Southern New York Neurosurgical Group — which is now transitioning into Empire State Neurosurgical Institute — and UHS Wilson Medical Center have seen an unprecedented growth in patient volumes. More than 2,300 complex neurosurgical and spinal procedures were performed last year in their Binghamton and Syracuse facilities. Empire State Neurosurgical Institute is now the single largest independent neurosurgical practice in the Southern Tier and Central New York area.


“We are humbled to have so many patients and families trust us to provide care for them and their loves ones, many of whom travel several hours to come seek our services,” says Matthew Salanger, President and CEO of UHS.“


The most important element is that patients will get state-of-the-art neurological and neurosurgical treatment in the most convenient setting. The treatment and evaluation will be delivered at multiple sites offering all the capabilities of the surgeons and physician specialists collaborating with each other,” says Saeed Bajwa, M.D., FACS, President of Empire State Neurosurgical Institute and clinical professor of neurosurgery at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University.


The expansion is made possible in part due to the affiliation between Empire State Neurosurgical Institute and UHS, one of the area’s largest hospital organizations and a regional trauma care provider. The partnership has opened the door to invaluable resources that improve accessibility and the quality of patient care.
“We are very fortunate to have a close working relationship with UHS, which really has allowed Empire State Neurosurgical Institute to expand the treatment options available to our patients with complex neurosurgical needs,” says Khalid A. Sethi, M.D., FACS, neurosurgeon at Empire State Neurosurgical Institute.


The Paramount Tools for Brain and Spine Treatment

As the region’s preferred destinations for patients with complicated presentations, UHS Wilson Medical Center and Empire State Neurosurgical Institute’s treatment capabilities encompass a wide scope of neurological conditions and injuries, with specific aptitude for aneurysms, malformations and complex brain, brain tumor, and spine nonoperative and surgical approaches. The practice evaluates and treats patients with a wide variety of diagnoses, including Alzheimer’s disease, brain aneurysms and tumors, cerebral palsy, degenerative disc disease, epilepsy, facet joint disorders, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, ruptured and herniated discs, scoliosis, spinal stenosis, and stroke.
The Binghamton/Johnson City location boasts a comprehensive stroke-care program and the ability to perform intricate brain embolization for both aneurysms and tumors utilizing an endovascular approach. Both the Syracuse and Johnson City offices provide spinal services, including minimally invasive techniques and fusions in the cervical and lumbar spine.
The CyberKnife program at UHS Wilson Medical Center offers the most precise stereotactic radio-surgery treatment for cancerous and benign lesions and tumors. The noninvasive, painless CyberKnife technology was the first modality of its kind in New York state. UHS Wilson Medical Center is also closely linked to Johnson City’s Neuro Medical Care Associates, which extends Empire State Neurosurgical Institute’s care coverage to arteriovenous malformations, brain aneurysms and brain tumors that were previously considered to be inoperable.
“We provide comprehensive neurological evaluation of all facets of neurology,” says Aamir Rasheed, M.D., stroke specialist at Neuro Medical Care Associates and Director of the New York State-designated Regional Stroke Center at UHS Wilson Medical Center. “This includes diseases of the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles.”
Finally, the partnership with UHS has also paved the way for the development of a comprehensive regional Stroke Program headed by Yahia M. Lodi, M.D. A full professor of neurology, neurosurgery and radiology at Upstate Medical University, Dr. Lodi brings the strengths of the clinical campus together with the infrastructural capabilities of UHS and the relationship with the surgeons at Empire State Neurosurgical Institute to provide one-of-a-kind stroke care.



When totaled up, there are decades of neurosurgical experience among the specialists at Empire State Neurosurgical Institute. Their expertise and dedication to the Central and Southern New York communities — exemplified in the fact that a fellowship-trained physician is on call 24/7 — allow for both the practice’s multidisciplinary approach and the patient-centric, hub-and-spoke relationship with hospitals in the region. The team at Empire State Neurosurgical Institute includes:
Saeed Bajwa, M.D., FACS, President of Empire State Neurosurgical Institute and clinical professor of neurosurgery at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University

Daniel Galyon, M.D., FACS, board-certified neurosurgeon

Khalid A. Sethi, M.D., FACS, board-certified neurosurgeon

Ross R. Moquin, M.D., board-certified neurosurgeon

Gregory W. Canute, M.D., board-certified neurosurgeon

David Kammerman, M.D., board-certified physiatrist

Dawn Fang, M.D., board-certified physiatrist

Sajid Khan, M.D., board-certified physiatrist

• Four certified physician assistants
• Five certified nurse practitioners


The Pathway to Surgery
Though the specialists at Empire State Neurosurgical Institute are leaders in their field — many train other neurosurgeons around the country in the latest techniques — surgery is never the first and only course of treatment. Rather, patients are evaluated for the conservative care track first. To this end, Empire State Neurosurgical Institute is allied with Comprehensive Pain Relief to provide a full array of nonoperative treatment and management options for chronic and residual pain.
“The field of pain management has been growing, and there is now such a need for physicians and caregivers dedicated to the assessment and treatment of patients with chronic pain,” says David Kammerman, M.D., board-certified physiatrist at Comprehensive Pain Relief. “Chronic pain consumes and takes over a patient’s life with the ongoing issues of anxiety, depression, fatigue and frustration that all come into play in the management of the index issue. It is therefore very important to have caregivers who understand this and provide comprehensive care to treat the patient as a whole.”
Comprehensive Pain Relief physicians utilize a multifaceted collection of therapies — including acupuncture, back bracing, chiropractic care, physical therapy, physiological counseling and water therapy — to target the root cause of the pain from emotional, neuronal, physiological and social perspectives.
Charting the Clinical Course
Beyond implementing today’s best practices in neurosurgery, Empire State Neurosurgical Institute is generating research that will prove instrumental in shaping the best practices of tomorrow. Surgeons have actively collaborated with Endwell, NY-based Regional Clinical Research to develop a full-time, in-house research department. Individual members of the research team have published the results of their investigations, which have included physician-led trials and randomized, double-blinded multiple institutional trials, in national and international forums. Empire State Neurosurgical Institute has explored a number of studies in osteobiologics and is currently overseeing active protocols in brain tumor and stroke research.
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