The 2020 winner of the Jolene and Shelley Chou Excellence in Neuroscience Nursing Award is Deb Quigley, BSN, CNRN®. At the time of the award, Quigley was preparing to retire from 34 years of service with the Neuroscience Unit (6A) at the University of Minnesota Medical Center.
Although no one knew it at the time, Pete Bigalk of Prior Lake, MN, was born with a condition known as craniosynostosis, which prevents the skull from widening. His parents brought him to the U’s Neurosurgery Department to see pediatric neurosurgeon Stephen Haines, MD.
“The first thing that happens is your whole marriage flashes in front of your eyes and you think, ‘Oh, this is how it’s going to end.’” That was Maria Erickson’s reaction in 2018 when she learned that her husband, Chad, had been diagnosed with glioblastoma, the most common – and deadliest – form of brain cancer in adults.
Working in partnership, the General Surgery and Neurosurgery Departments at the U created a first-of-its-kind program known as the General Surgery/Neurosurgery Preliminary Track. It is designed for a qualified, internationally trained candidate to spend a year working with both departments in preparation for applying for a neurosurgical residency. The program mirrors the experience of a first-year neurosurgery resident.