Columbus CEO: Healthcare Achievement Awards
Local Doctors Recognized
Columbus CEO recently announced winners in the publication's annual Healthcare Achievement Awards.
Dr. Peter Pema and Dr. Aaron Boster of OhioHealth were recognized in the lifetime achievement and practitioner of the year categories respectively.
Dr. Aaron Boster - OhioHealth Neuroscience, Neuroimmunology
As a neuroimmunologist, Dr. Boster provides diagnosis and treatment for all types of MS as well as a wide range of neuroimmunological conditions. These include neuromyelitis optica (NMO), neurosarcoidosis, central nervous system vasculitis, NMDA receptor encephalitis, transverse myelitis, optic neuritis, stiff-person syndrome and more. He also provides medical management of refractory severe spasticity with expertise in all treatment modalities including intrathecal baclofen. Dr. Boster knew he wanted to become an MS specialist since he was 12 years old when his uncle was diagnosed with the disease. This personal connection and experience inspired him to treat MS patients and their families differently. His relentless focus on not just patients, but also their families, means they receive individualized and longitudinal care.
Here is more about Dr. Aaron Boster in his own words.
"I decided to become an MS doctor when I was 12. My uncle had MS, and there was a moment when my mom and late grandmother were sitting at the kitchen table, crying because they couldn’t get ahold of their doctor. They felt so helpless, and I told my Mom that I would try and do it better. I had no idea what I was telling her, I didn’t know I would go to 27 years of school, I didn’t even know what a neuroimmunologist was. I just knew that no one should make a family feel like that."
"Neurologists are the shepherds of the nervous system; brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves. And a neuroimmunologist is someone who narrows the focus to only include the central nervous system, leaving muscles and peripheral nerves out of it. Instead, we focus on the interface between the nervous system and your immune system. The nervous system is the brain; the supercomputer of the human body. The spinal cord is the super highway; it is really how that system interfaces with the immune system which are the soldiers that constantly do century duty to fight off bad guys. So a clinical neuroimmunologist is someone who spends his or her time dealing with disorders, like multiple sclerosis, and related conditions. MS is a situation where the immune system made an error in judgment, and it mistakenly identifies parts of your brain and spinal cord as being foreign invaders. So when your immune system sees that part of your body, your brain or spinal cord, it attacks it, and that causes brain damage and spinal cord damage. A neuroimmunologist spends his or her time fighting that, trying to retrain or block the immune system from attacking the brain and spinal cord, and simultaneously minimize the damage and improve the recovery for things that are lost.
"I go to bed and wake up thinking about how to beat this disease up. We run MS clinical trials, trying to bring the cutting edge to central Ohio. We want to create options where patients can fight back. There are a lot of innovative things and pilot programs being launched at OhioHealth Neuroscience Center. There are so many things going on, so this isn’t a 9-5 job for me. I’ve never had more fun taking care of MS patients than I have the last few here at OhioHealth, it’s awesome. I think we have landed on a great way to take care of patients.We have this interdisciplinary, comprehensive, innovative patient/family focused care model. We bring resources to the patient and family, everything to one location from imaging, testing, clinical visits; we want to make one-stop shopping. When you put the patient in the center, and move everything around them, it turns out to be awesome, and I am having a good time."
Dr. Peter Pema, Radiologist, Riverside Radiology & Interventional Associates
Dr. Pema was a finalist in the lifetime achievement category. He was described in his nomination as a pioneer in the field of neurointerventional radiology.
Dr. Pema also serves as the chair of the Department of Radiology at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, where he’s been an important figure in turning the OhioHealth Neuroscience Center into a nationally known stroke referral center. A neurointerventional radiologist, Pema performs a variety of surgeries to treat several neurological conditions such as strokes, aneurysms and vascular malformations, using X-rays to guide micro catheters through blood vessels leading into the brain.