FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville has opened the first Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit in the area.
Doctors and nurses can now better treat patients recovering from brain injuries and neurological illnesses.
"This unit isn't available anywhere else in Northwest Arkansas, and the dedicated staff that we have here that want to be trained to provide care to the neuro population is unique," said Assistant Chief Nursing Officer, Rebecca Kowie.
The 20 bed ICU is capable of providing a type of patient care that Kowie says is exclusive to this region.
"We have 24/7 coverage for strokes with our vascular neurologist, and so where other places use telemedicine we actually have people in-house who are able to respond and provide that in a timely manner," says Kowie.
Rachel Plume is a nurse in the Neuro Intensive Care Unit and says patients will benefit from not traveling for treatment.
"They get to just stay home. They get to be close to their family, and don`t have to drive two hours away. It's really important that patients here get to be with their families, that's a huge part of recovering."Plume told 5NEWS.
The new Neurosurgical ICU is Washington Regional Hospital's first phase of a $70 million project.
Next the hospital plans to expand cardiovascular services and the hospital's labs.