Malkoff New Director of UNMH Neuro Critical Care

Marc Malkoff, M.D., has arrived at UNM to become the new Director of Neuro Critical Care at UNM Hospital.

Dr. Malkoff will oversee all areas of operation of the 24-bed Neurosciences ICU as well as be a key leader in establishing the “Stroke Center for Excellence" at UNM Hospital said Howard Yonas, M.D., chair of the Department of Neurosurgery.

Malkoff comes to UNM from the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix where he was Director of the Neurocritical and Neurovascular Service. Holding a joint professorship at UNM in the departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery, his arrival marks a major milestone in a two year effort to build the state’s first accredited stroke center, said Yonas.

New Mexico ranks near the bottom nationally in stroke outcome criteria. Hispanics and Native American populations both have higher than average incidences of stroke. An accredited stroke center, along with earlier and better coordination of care around the state, can positively impact those statistics.

As the new Director of Neuro Critical Care, Malkoff will oversee a number of initiatives that have been started in the Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery including the creation of an Interdisciplinary Stroke Response team to triage patients in the ER for early interventional treatment of suspected stroke cases.

The Department of Neurosurgery is also finalizing plans for a telemedicine program that will allow faculty physicians to read digital x-rays, conduct remote examinations and provide consults to physicians throughout the state. The project has been led by UNM Hospitals CEO Steve McKernan.

State and federal funds have also been provided to connect some eight medical centers across the state with needed infrastructure.

Malkoff received his M.D. from Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine. His post-graduate work includes a Charles A. Dana Foundation Fellowship within the Neuroscience Critical Care Unit, Department of Neurology, at Johns Hopkins University; and the chief residency in the Department of Neurology at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.

His previous academic appointments include: associate professor of Neurology and Anesthesiology in the Department of Neurology at the University of Texas – Houston, Medical School; associate professor of Neurology and director of the Neuroscience Critical Care Unit at Indiana University School of Medicine; associate professor of Anesthesiology and Neurosurgery (secondary appointments) at Indiana University School of Medicine; assistant professor (secondary appointment) in the Department of Anesthesiology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine and assistant professor of Neurology and Director of the Neuroscience Critical Care Unit at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

Equally as important as the in-patient center, said Yonas, is educating the public about the symptoms of stroke and the importance of early treatment.

A number of programs are underway to educate communities on symptoms, prevention and treatment.

Stroke Symptoms

The American Heart Association has devised a quick checklist intended to detect stroke symptoms and get the victim prompt attention. FAST is an acronym for face, arms, speech and time.

Ask the person three questions and observe the response.

Face: Ask the person to smile. Look for a drooping smile on one side.

Arms: Ask the person to close their eyes and raise both arms. Watch for one arm drifting downward.

Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?

Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 911.

Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322

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