The Akron General Women’s Board is raising money for the health system’s Neuroscience Institute to honor one of the program’s pioneers.
This year’s gala fundraiser on Nov. 10 at Portage County Club in Akron will be held in tribute of Dr. Kamel Muakkassa, an Akron neurosurgeon who died in May.
Muakkassa was among the neurosurgeons from the Center for Neuro and Spine Inc. in Akron who joined with Akron General Health System last year to launch the institute. The program treats patients with brain cancer and neurological disorders.
Muakkassa was founder, president and chief executive of the Center for Neuro Spine and the former chief of pediatric neurosurgery at Akron Children’s Hospital. During his career, he performed more than 8,000 neurological procedures and treated more than 10,000 patients.
The multimillion-dollar Neuroscience Institute is one of only five programs in the state to have a Gamma Knife, which uses precise beams of radiation instead of an actual knife to target and destroy brain tumors and other cranial disorders while minimizing damage to healthy tissue.
In addition, Akron General Medical Center opened a neurological intensive-care unit in February to treat patients recovering from strokes, traumatic brain injuries, brain surgery and other serious neurological problems.
By early next year, the hospital also will offer intraoperative imaging using CT and MRI that will allow surgeons to view images of a patient’s brain taken before a procedure is finished.
“This is a brand-new venture that the hospital has started,” said Toby Gorant, publicity chair for the gala. “ … It just seemed like a natural fit that this year we would throw our support in that direction.”
Throughout its history, the women’s board has raised a total of more than $5.8 million for the hospital.
“Over the years, we’ve given to all the departments in the hospital, large and small,” Gorant said. “We’ve touched probably every department in the hospital.”
The black-tie event will include dinner, entertainment, a live auction, prize drawings and casino games.
The cost is $175 per ticket. Patron tickets also are available for $200, $250 or $500 each. The deadline to register is Oct. 26.
To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Akron General Volunteer Services Department at 330-344-6351.
Free depression screening
Free depression screenings will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday on the second floor of the Kent Student Center at Kent State University.
The event — part of National Depression Screening Day — is open to students, staff and community members.
Participants will complete a questionnaire to screen for depression, as well as bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Mental health experts will review their results.
The event is being co-sponsored by Kent State’s Psychological Services, University Health Services and Active Minds @ Kent State University.
Those who are unable to attend can complete an anonymous online screening at www.mentalhealthscreening.org/screening/kent.
Food for thought
Does eating an apple a day really keep the doctor away?
New evidence from researchers at Ohio State University backs up the claim.
In a study of healthy, middle-aged adults, those who ate an apple daily for four weeks lowered blood levels of so-called “bad” cholesterol (LDL) by 40 percent.
LDL cholesterol is linked to hardening of arteries when it interacts with free radicals to become oxygenated.
“We got a tremendous effect against LDL being oxidized with just one apple a day for four weeks,” said lead researcher Robert DiSilvestro, professor of human nutrition at OSU and a researcher at the university’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.
The study, funded by an apple industry group, was published online in the Journal of Functional Foods.
Cheryl Powell can be reached at 330-996-3902 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Powell on Twitter at twitter.com/abjcherylpowell.