When it seemed their neurosurgery unit was at risk the communities of Otago and Southland rallied to retain the service. A number of options were explored, with the decision to develop and academic component to the unit based in Dunedin in order to make the unit more viable.
The Neurological Foundation’s Chair in Neurosurgery would be the only academic unit in New Zealand and run as part of the complete South Island Neurosurgical Service. TTCF supported this project by providing $85,368 to pay the research portion of the Senior lecturer’s costs for the first twelve months, enabling the unit to appoint a second ‘surgeon’ to the team, much earlier than originally anticipated.
Mr Reuben Johnson, from England is highly qualified and passionate about both the research into neurological conditions and the clinical care of patients, not just from Otago and Southland but from all over NZ who will be treated by this new integrated service.