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Feature | Feb. 7, 2012

New departments come to Hospital Langley, Part 1: Neurology

By Monica Miller Rodgers 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Editor's Note: U.S. Air Force Hospital Langley has been identified by the Air Force Surgeon General as one of seven Air Force Medical Service currency platforms, a full-spectrum location to receive and provide for patient needs in an encompassing medical environment. To fulfill the currency platform plan, USAF Hospital Langley is adding new specialty departments to cover all conditions in patient care. Throughout 2012, The Peninsula Warrior will feature these new departments as they become operational.

On the third floor of U.S. Air Force Hospital Langley, a new clinic operates out of vacant patient rooms helping those with disorders that affect the nervous system, until it finds a more permanent residence. The Neurology Department opened for business Dec. 28, 2011. The growing in- and out-patient clinic provides consults, and diagnostic and treatment options for general neurological disorders, such as migraines and seizures.

The clinic only sees adult patients by referral from their primary care providers, so appointments cannot be made directly through the appointment line. The clinic is opened Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

With one neurologist, Dr. Jane Peng, two neurology technicians, two nurses and one administrative assistant, anywhere from six to eight patients with a variety of symptoms are seen daily. Routine procedures, such as tests using an electromyography machine to evaluate the electrical activity produced by skeletal muscles, and consultations are completed to determine the neurological disorder and the best course of treatment.

Due to its limited space and capacity at this time, the Neurology Department cannot service acute neurological disorders, such as stroke or spinal cord injury. According to Col. Jerry Wizda, 633rd Medical Operations Squadron commander, the clinic does have plans to develop, and able to treat all neurological disorder conditions.

"This is a growing service," said Wizda. "Once space becomes available, equipment becomes available, the services will expand."

According to Lt. Col. Maria Melendez, 633rd Medical Operations Squadron Internal Medicine and Specialty Clinics flight commander, the establishment of the Neurology Department helps to re-capture patients in the USAF Hospital Langley system, providing continuity and saving time for the patient.

"We want the patient to be able to come back to the Neurology Department and get feedback," said Melendez. "We want to be able to focus on patient satisfaction and customer service."