Historical perspective on the Department of Neurosurgery at the Henry Ford Hospital

M K Kole, S T O'Leary, G M Malik, M L Rosenblum
Neurosurgery 2001, 48 (2): 412-9
The Henry Ford Hospital (HFH) was founded in 1915 as a philanthropic gift from Henry Ford, the automobile magnate and inventor of the Model T. The hospital and its organizational structure represented a nonsectarian facility that would provide care for all members of society. The system was patterned after the newest and most modern medical centers at the time in Europe, Canada, and the United States, including the German Krankenhauser, the Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Mayo Clinic, and the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston. The HFH grew into the Henry Ford Health System in the 1970s to 1990s, with the acquisition of other hospitals, the development of a multiple-region-based clinic system through southeastern Michigan, and the development of comprehensive, vertically integrated health care systems. The Division of Neurosurgery at HFH was established by Albert Crawford in 1926. The tradition of training residents in neurosurgery began in 1946, and the residency training program was accredited by the American Board of Neurosurgery in 1954. In 1970, the Division of Neurosurgery of the Department of Surgery was combined with the Division of Neurology to create the joint Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery. A separate Department of Neurosurgery was established in 1981. Four individuals have served as chairmen of the Department of Neurosurgery at HFH, i.e., Albert Crawford (1926-1952), Robert Knighton (1952-1978), James Ausman (1978-1991), and Mark Rosenblum (1992 to the present). During the 1980s and 1990s, HFH evolved into the vertically integrated, regionally distributed Henry Ford Health System. Under the current direction of Dr. Rosenblum, the Department of Neurosurgery at HFH has grown to include 11 full-time neurosurgeons, 2 neuro-oncologists, and 3 investigators with Ph.D. degrees and has recently expanded into three additional hospitals in southeastern Michigan, paralleling the growth of the system. The faculty annually treats more than 2,000 cases in all neurosurgical subspecialties, ranging from neuro-oncological surgery, cranial base surgery, radiosurgery, cerebrovascular surgery, epilepsy surgery, treatment of movement disorders, pain and spasticity surgery, pediatric neurosurgery, and neurotrauma treatment to complex instrumentation of the spine. This article chronicles the history of the Henry Ford Health System and the Department of Neurosurgery, its research endeavors, and its residency training program.

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