GFM FEB 2017
Georgia Neurosurgical Institute (GNI) began in 1954 when Dr. Robert Allen Clark, Jr., the first neurosurgeon outside of the Atlanta area to become board-certified, established a small neurosurgical practice on First Street in downtown Macon. Over the next several years, Drs. Hugh Smisson, Jr., and Sam Hightower joined the group, and the office grew steadily.
It adopted its current name in 1990 and moved into the Professional Building of Navicent Health, formerly The Medical Center of Central Georgia, from 1992-93, where it now resides on the eighth floor. This move enabled GNI to create a fully accredited, state-of-the-art surgery center where minimally invasive procedures can be performed—allowing patients to forgo a hospital stay and return home shortly thereafter. Being connected to The Medical Center also means that GNI physicians are only minutes away from the only Level One Trauma Center in this area of the state.
The practice is now a partnership between Drs. Dr. Joe Sam Robinson, Jr., Kim W. Johnston, Hugh F. Smisson, III, Arthur A. Grigorian, and Richard A. Rowe, all of whom are board-certified neurosurgeons and many of whom are originally from Macon. Being board certified means that each of the doctors listed has completed a seven-year, highly-specialized residency program for brain and spinal cord treatment.
Neurosurgeons receive more training than any other doctors, and several of the doctors at GNI hold a combined total of 28 patents for various medical devices. They are very committed to research and education and collaborate on neurosurgical advancements internationally. Having just joined a Cambridge-initiated trial on acute subdural hematoma evacuation, GNI has become only the sixth practice in the United States to participate in this important research.
GNI exists to render neurosurgical care to patients of all social conditions, treating complicated problems involving the brain, spine, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. They endeavor to encourage quality care, medical research, innovation, and education on a local, national, and international level. All of the doctors are committed to developing surgical techniques, devices, and procedures that lead to an overall better patient outcome and experience.
For example, Dr. Grigorian has worked with several doctors in other states to create a device that retrieves hard clots in ischemic stroke cases. The hard clots are often impossible to remove and result in many deaths. This clot retriever has the potential to change survival outcomes worldwide.
Dr. Grigorian is not alone; the ThermaCor blood infusion device, which was created through a 10-year collaboration that included Dr. Smisson, is life-saving technology that has been used across the country in trauma events such as the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting. Be sure to ask him about it when visiting!
Additionally, Dr. Rowe served as a Staff Neurosurgeon with the U.S. Navy for over 10 years. During this time, he pioneered the use of computer technology for training neurosurgeons on anatomy. All of these doctors have a passion and commitment that extends far beyond simply being a doctor—they devote many hours to medical research with an ultimate goal of changing lives.
With patients from many different backgrounds and all over the state, the physician staff at GNI provides the only Neurosurgical ICU in Middle Georgia and is capable of treating mild to severe head and spinal cord injuries with state-of-the-art medical equipment. Additionally, they are the only practice in the region doing endovascular aneurysm coiling for vascular malformations that may otherwise be inoperable. And they can regale with rich stories throughout—such as when Dr. Robinson played football at Harvard with Tommy Lee Jones!
Though the main location is in Macon, the practice also has offices in Warner Robins, Dublin, and Milledgeville. They are devoted to pursuing better ways to treat patients and meet needs while providing first-rate, compassionate care. #
840 Pine Street
Macon, Georgia 31201