TUSD Students Invited to Participate in Regional Neurosciences Conference
How often would a high school student get the chance to sit side by side with some of this region’s premiere medical minds? That’s the case on Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21, 2011. Carondelet Neurological Institute has invited twelve TUSD high school students to participate in the Institute’s first ever Brain Academy.

The CNI Brain Academy is a two-day educational opportunity for high school students to engage with neurologists and neurosurgeons as these physicians present a continuing medical education conference covering the latest developments in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological conditions.

Invitees to the conference include physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and registered nurses. In a rare opportunity, high school students – identified by TUSD principals and science teachers – have been invited to participate as well. For the students, this chance to learn from practicing neurological experts about the field of neurosciences is unprecedented.

“In the educational community, we certainly recognize the need to generate more interest among today’s students in the fields of science and technology,” notes Tucson Unified School District Superintendent John J. Pedicone, Ph.D. “Carondelet Neurological Institute’s outreach to our students is a wonderful gift that will allow both the students who attend this event, and the classrooms to which they report back what they’ve learned, to recognize the possibilities that exist in their futures through science and medicine.”

“Carondelet Neurological Institute was founded for the promise of providing this region with neurological services and care residents here have never had available before,” says Robert P. Goldfarb, M.D., Chairman of Carondelet Neurological Institute. “The Brain Academy is a valuable next effort to invest in and strengthen this region’s future through the students we encourage to pursue careers in our field.”

While fourth graders in the United States score well against international competition in the subjects of math and science, statistics from The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Coalition show they fall near the bottom or dead last by the time they are in twelfth grade.

“As a doctor, a member of this community and a dad, I have a professional and personal interest in creating passion for science and medicine in the next generation,” says Eric P. Sipos, M.D., Medical Director of Carondelet Neurological Institute and Conference Program Coordinator.

On the first day of the Academy, TUSD students will tour the Carondelet Neurological Institute on the campus of St. Joseph’s Hospital. They will visit the angiography suite, surgical suites customized with some of the world’s most advanced brain and spine navigation technology and a sophisticated linear accelerator used for targeted radiation of brain and spine tumors. On day two, students will participate side by side as neurologists, neurosurgeons and other clinicians discuss the latest advancements in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, movement disorders, disorders of the spine and brain concussions. They will measure their own brain waves and create presentations that each student will later present to their peers in their respective high schools.

Media are welcome to attend. Please contact Carondelet’s Sr. External Media Relations Consultant, Lisa Contreras at 520-349-1845 to make arrangements.

About Carondelet Health Network
Located in Tucson, Arizona, Carondelet Health Network is a Catholic, nonprofit health care system dedicated to responding to the health care needs of Southern Arizonans. With a Mission to Heal, Carondelet was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet 130 years ago. Carondelet Health Network facilities include Carondelet St. Mary's Hospital, Carondelet St. Joseph's Hospital, Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute and Carondelet Neurological Institute on the campus of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tucson and Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital in Nogales, Arizona. Other Carondelet services include nearly fourteen Carondelet Medical Group primary care locations, three Carondelet Specialist Group offices, an ambulatory surgery center and various outpatient services. Carondelet Health Network is a ministry of Ascension Health, the nation's largest Catholic, non-profit health care system. In Fiscal Year 2010, Carondelet provided nearly $50 million (8.3 percent of its net revenue) in Community Benefit to improve the health of our community and increase access to health care. More information about Carondelet Health Network is available at www.carondelet.org.