Skip to main content

Neuroscience Center of Excellence

St. Mary’s Hospital was first named a Neuroscience Center of Excellence in 2006. In 2017, St. Mary’s Hospital received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Get With The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award.

St. Mary’s Health Care System is dedicated to meeting the total health care needs of our community by providing a specialized center for the treatment of patients with diseases of the brain, nervous system and spine.

Neurohospitalist C. Van Morris, MD
Neurohospitalist C. Van Morris, MD

Inpatient Care

St. Mary’s Neuroscience Critical Care Unit and Neuroscience Nursing Unit

St. Mary’s created its Neuroscience Center after more than two years of planning and research, which revealed a strong need for this high level of neurological services in Athens and the surrounding community. The neuroscience team is led by Harlan Bruner, M.D. neurosurgeon, and Alan Morgan, M.D., neurohospitalist.

  • St. Mary’s Neuroscience Center features a 5-bed Neuroscience Critical Care Unit (NCCU), a 19-bed general Neuroscience nursing unit, and a 2 bed palliative care unit. Both neuroscience units are dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of diseases and disorders affecting the brain and spinal cord, with the NCCU providing specialized care to acutely ill neurological and neurosurgical patients.
  • Dedicated neuroscience personnel, including neurosurgeons, neurologists and certified neuroscience nurses.
  • A dedicated neurosurgical operating room, including our StealthStation Neurosurgical Platform.

St. Mary’s Neurohospitalists

  • The region’s first Neurohospitalist program, with John Edry, MD and Alan R. Morgan, MD, treating inpatients exclusively at St. Mary’s Hospital, was established in 2009.
  • Also in 2009, St. Mary’s teamed up with Georgia Regents University (formerly known as The Medical College of Georgia) to provide the REACH stroke telemedicine program in our Emergency Department, meaning stroke experts are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Learn more about the REACH program HERE.

Additional Information

  • St. Mary’s Hospital became the first community hospital in the nation (2004), and one of the first 20 overall, to be certified as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. This certification, continuously renewed every two years since, demonstrates the stroke care provided at St. Mary’s Hospital meets the highest standards in the nation.
  • Continuing education seminars are held on a regular basis for physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers to further their education about neurological diseases and disorders. Continuing Medical Education credits are available for physicians.

Outpatient Care

  • Board-certified neurologists at Georgia Neurological Surgery and Comprehensive Spine further enhance St. Mary’s Neuroscience team by providing non-emergent, outpatient neurology care. Visit or call (706) 548-6881 for more information.
  • Board-certified neurologists Angela McSwain, MD and Michael Steadham, MD of St. Mary’s Neurological Specialists further enhance St. Mary’s Neuroscience team by providing non-emergent, outpatient neurology care including care after hospital discharge at their primary location in Watkinsville and at satellite locations in Greensboro and Lavonia. Visit or call 706.310.1859 for more information.
  • St. Mary’s Stroke/Neuro Continuum of Care including: outpatient rehabilitation and support groups