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Tenet Health announces partnership with UCSF to provide neurosurgical services to Central Coast

Tenet Health
Dr. Phillip Kissel with a neuroscope at Sierra Vista Medical Center.

Central Coast medical provider Tenet Health announced May 25 a new partnership with University of California San Francisco (UCSF) to provide neurosurgical services to patients at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo.

The partnership gives Tenet doctors access to UCSF’s technology which includes real-time consultations with expert neurosurgeons during surgery.

According to Tenet Health, the affiliation with UCSF Health will help Tenet provide state-of-the-art care to patients in San Luis Obispo County with neurological disorders involving the brain, spine or peripheral nerves.

Dr. Phillip Kissel, a neurosurgeon at Sierra Vista and the chair of the hospital’s surgery department, told KCBX News the partnership opens up lots of possibilities for collaborative care between UCSF and Sierra Vista.

“It also has allowed the neurosurgeons in the operating room to directly share what they’re doing through the eyepieces of the microscope, what we see, with the professor at UCSF,” Kissel said.

Kissel said that collaboration is especially important for complex cases that require UCSF’s expert attention.

“We have access to a superspecialist that’s already aware of the case, and look at it and say, ‘No, I think you need to do this,’ or ‘maybe try that.’ It gives us the ability to get an interoperative consult from a UC San Francisco professor,” Kissel said.

“And we have not had that before, and in actuality we’re breaking ground with this. There’s no other institution that has that ability.”

According to Tenet Health, about 60% of local residents requiring neurosurgical care leave San Luis Obispo County for care.

Editor's note: Tenet Health is among KCBX's financial sponsors.

Benjamin Purper came to KCBX in May of 2021 from California’s Inland Empire, where he spent three years as a reporter and Morning Edition host at KVCR in San Bernardino. Dozens of his stories have aired on KQED’s California Report, and his work has broadcast on NPR's news magazines, as well. In addition to radio, Ben has worked as a newspaper reporter and freelance writer.
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